Main Course,  Recipes

Grilled Goat Skewers with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Goat Skewers

Got goat?

If you live in the United States, chances are the answer to that question is “no.” However, something like 70% of the world regularly eats goat meat. Goat meat is under appreciated here, which is unfortunate because it’s low in fat and considered sustainable meat.

goaterie iconRecently on Twitter, a group of food bloggers started discussing cooking with goat (meat, milk, and cheese), and my mother, who like me, is always up for cooking something new, got involved and tagged me on it. The discussion went from cooking with goat, to an actual event called #goaterie (if you are on twitter, follow the hashtag). To read all about how #goaterie started, check out Creative Culinary’s post on goat sfeeha orFujimama’s post on the goaterie challenge. Also involved is Mark Scarbrough, one of the authors of the book, “Goat: Meat, Milk, Cheese.”

I’ve cooked with goat cheese before (6 posts, it must be one of my favorites) and even made Chocolate Goat’s Milk Ice Cream so this time I decided that I wanted to cook with goat meat. My mom wanted to BBQ a whole goat, but it turned out to be harder (and more expensive) than expected to find a whole kid in Los Angeles. I also thought it might be more prudent to start small, so mom bought a piece of goat leg, still on the bone, at a local market.

The goat leg weighed 3.9 lbs, but once we deboned, cleaned and cut it into pieces, it yielded 1.8 lbs. At $3.69 whole, it was pretty pricy meat for a kabob. If you can find the meat already cleaned, it might be a better deal (and less work).  Of course, not one to waste, Mom roasted the bones with some celery and onions and made a fantastic stock for a stew next winter.

A little while ago I bought some ground sumac spice at my local Armenian market and I’ve been looking forward to cooking with it. Sumac has a tart and almost citrusy flavor and  is common in Middle Eastern cuisines, as is goat meat, so it seemed like a perfect match. We made a marinade using yogurt and various spices to help tenderize the meat and marinated it for about 24 hrs. Before putting it on the grill, we drained the meat from the marinade well because wet meat does not BBQ nicely. After grilling,  we served the skewers with cucumber yogurt sauce and fresh pita bread at our 4th of July BBQ extravaganza (which included slow cooked pork, chicken skewers, quinoa and macaroni salads, and homemade ice creams and sorbets). While some people were hesitant at first, the skewers turned out to be a success. Everyone who tried the goat enjoyed it and many compared the flavor and texture to lamb. There wasn’t a scrap left. Both Mom and I agreed that there will be more goat in our cooking futures-she is still on the hunt for a regular source of goat meat.

If you are at all curious about cooking goat, I suggest you give it a try and even consider joining us in the #goaterie challenge.

Marinated and Grilled Goat Skewers

Recipe for grilled goat skewers marinated in yogurt and Middle Eastern spices.
Prep Time1 day
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time1 day 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Keyword: goat, skewers
Servings: 4 Servings


  • 2 lbs goat meat cut into 1.5" cubes

For the Marinade

  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 2 tsp ground sumac
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 each lime juiced

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 4 oz cucumber grated
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Cut the goat meat into cubes, removing any large pieces of fat or sinew.

To marinate the meat

  • Whisk together the ingredients for the marinade and combine with the goat meat. Place the marinated goat meat in a large zip lock bag or covered container and refrigerate for 24 hours or overnight.
  • When you are ready to cook it, take the meat out of the marinade, shaking off any excess. Place 3 or 4 pieces of meat on each skewer (I used bamboo skewers soaked in water but you can use metal ones as well). Cook on a hot grill until done to your preference. Serve with cucumber yogurt sauce (below) and fresh warm pita bread.

For the Yogurt Sauce

  • Grate the cucumber and combine it with the yogurt, lime juice, salt and pepper.
Raw Goat Leg and Marinade
Raw Goat Leg, Boned and Marinade
Grilled Goat Skewers
Grilled Goat Skewers


  • Barbara | Creative Culinary

    I love this…and won’t deny partially because it’s what is on my agenda. I can buy the meat already cut up and now am glad of that! I have yet to experience but am so thinking I want to try something to Americanize my goat dish. Thinking BBQ sauce but with some Middle Eastern tones? I best get to it soon or I’ll miss my own challenge.

    Great Job…beautiful!

  • Mark Scarbrough

    You KNOW I love this. I love the way goat sort of forces you into big flavors to balance the more umami notes in the meat. I guess I’m just bored with beef tenderloin and tasteless, overly sweet cuts. Your post is my answer!

    • formerchef

      Thanks Mark! I was really pleased with how it came out. But I was even happier to change some minds and preconceived notions (of my guests, and most especially, my husband).

  • Nina Ruit

    Thanks for this recipe. We have been eating our dairy goat bucklings for quite a few years now. Usually as stew meat, kebabs or ground. It takes a lot longer to get real meatiness out of a dairy animal than out of a Boer meat goat, but it’s just as tasty! I look forward to a new taste treat!

  • Jenn @LeftoverQueen

    This looks delicious and is so timely! As you know we raise goats for dairy, but then there is always the issue of, what if mamma has a boy? Goat is very much under-appreciated in the USA, and IMHO just as delicious as lamb. For as many goat dairies as are cropping up all over the US, a very real issue that needs to be dealt with. I started a series of posts on my farm blog this week on this very subject – the next one is going to be even dicier. Mind if I link your post here?

  • Kristen B.

    The skewer looks great. I haven’t tried eating goat skewer since I usually eat chicken and beef barbecue. Perhaps I am going to try this as well as the recipe of Cucumber yogurt sauce.

  • Lisa Runkle

    The meat looks juicy ad tender. I’m used to grilled chicken ad pork, but never have tried goat meat. Will give it a try tomorrow! Thanks

  • Thane Tierney

    This looks terrific. I’m toying with substituting mint for the cumin to take it to a slightly different place, but I’ll probably try it your way first. Anyway, thanks for the inspiration!

  • Sofka Bishop

    Hi, I just recently butchered our goat and am looking at different why to prepare it, Most of what Ive read is that slow long cooking is necessary so I was so happily surprised to see this!! I was wondering weather you have ever tried mincing the meat after marinading and hand forming the kebobs?? Wondered if the meat would be more tender in the end? Would love your thoughts on this 🙂

    • formerchef

      I have not tried mincing it, but that’s a very common preparation in other parts of the world, so it should work! Yes, goat meat can be tough, but ours came out fine on the skewer. I think the trick is to not overcook it.

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