Flavor abounds in this meal of marinated lamb cubes (a.k.a. kebabs) that are quickly roasted on a sheet pan with mushrooms and precooked rice. The spices and herbs are reminiscent of shish kebab marinades for the grill, and the rice is flavored with Sumac and a drizzle of marinade before it crisps up in the oven. Lamb chops would work as well for this lovely, tasty recipe when grilling outdoors is not as fun.

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plated sheet pan lamb and rice with fork, ready to eat.

Why make this Sheet Pan Lamb, Mushrooms, and Sumac Rice?

  • Ease: like many sheet pan dinners, this one comes together rather easily. The work is in marinating the lamb and prepping the rice. After that, it cooks in less than 30 minutes.
  • Shish Kebab vibes: when grilling outside isn’t an option, this dinner gives the same flavors you get when preparing kebabs on the grill, and then some.
  • Flavors: the marinated meat has a universally loved flavor. Why? Because it isn’t overly strong in any flavor direction. Rather, it has some lemon flavor as well as being seasoned with chili and curry, unlike most other marinades I researched. Also, the preparation of the rice (which I took a cue from the New York Times recent recipe for Sheet-Pan Turmeric Chicken and Crispy Rice) enhances the flavor in two ways. Firstly it crisps the rice, which adds texture, and secondly, the sumac seasoning gives the rice a wonderful tang. The sheet pan method allows the aromas and flavors to remain separate, which I find more interesting than other one-pot meals, where ingredients are mixed, and tastes can become indistinguishable.

plate of lamb cubes over rice pilaf with crispy mushrooms and herbs on top.

The Marinade

The flavor of this marinade is special, due in part to its origins. Unlike the 6+ shish kebab marinades I researched, this marinade passed down through my family has a more universal set of flavors I think because it originated before international cuisines became so widely individualized and available to the home cook. The olive oil and lemon flavors are like other marinades, but the chili powder and curry powder (not present in the 6+ meat marinades I researched), plus the wine (not present in any of the other marinades), give the meat a delightful and unique flavor. If you prefer not to use alcohol in your food, you can leave out the wine, as noted in the recipe card.

lamb marinade ingredients portioned out in containers.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

  • Lamb: I mostly used cubed boneless leg of lamb and trim the larger chunks of fat while leaving smaller amounts of fat for flavor (and crunch!). My research tells me that many of you like to prepare lamb chops, and this dish works wonderfully with shoulder-cut lamb chops (the less expensive ones) or the fancier rack of lamb ribs. Because the pieces of meat are thin and small enough any of these will cook on the sheet pan in 15-20 minutes and because the meat is set amongst the rice, their flavor integrity remains, regardless of the cut you choose.
  • Mushrooms: As noted in the recipe card, you can use whatever mushrooms you like. Baby bella (smaller portobello) or cremini mushrooms have more flavor than common white mushrooms and I love to use some oyster or shiitake mushrooms when available. They must be fresh, however. Reconstituted dried mushrooms won’t work for this sheet pan recipe.
  • Rice: I’m usually in favor of using brown rice because of its added nutrition and fiber. but in this case, the milder, white rice works best for two reasons. One reason is that it crisps up for the right texture, and the other reason is that the flavorings and seasonings come through. If you were to coat brown rice with sumac and garlic, you would likely taste more brown rice than the spices.

Left: marinating cubes of boneless leg of lamb. Right: cooked jasmine rice mixed with sumac and garlic powder.

Method and Timing:

  • Sheet pan method: the beauty of this method is the ease of prep. All ingredients are placed on the pan to cook. Here we don’t want to line the pan with parchment, because we want the rice to make contact with the hot metal and crisp. If you use foil for easy cleanup, the rice will likely stick to it some.
  • Marinate the lamb: If you are pressed for time, I can tell you that marinating the lamb is effective even if only for 30 minutes while you prep the rest of the meal. And if you have time or want to cut down on prep the day of, then leave it for 24-48 hours. I’ve done all of the above. The grated onion helps to tenderize the meat, but other than that, the flavors come through either way. Be sure to trim the larger chunks of fat, but not every last bit, as the fat also gives the dish great flavor.
  • Pre-cooking the Rice: as you’ve learned above in my pro tip, there is a real advantage to cooking the rice for this dish a day ahead. In addition to the improved nutrition from cooling the rice, the chilled rice is dryer and I think crisps up better when cooked. When you assemble the sheet pan dinner to cook, you ideally should place the pan of just the rice in the oven for 10 minutes before adding the other ingredients as it needs a bit more time to get crispy. If pressed for time, it still tastes great if you don’t do this, it is just less crispy.

1: pre-cooked rice on a sheet pan. 2: lamb cubes added to pan. 3: sliced mushrooms added on top of lamb and rice, ready for baking!

  • Loading the sheet pan: It’s time to cook this meal, and ideally, you should load the pre-cooked rice directly onto the pan (no parchment or foil), and roast in the hot oven for about 10 minutes so it can get a head start on crisping. Then, carefully remove it and place on a heatproof surface (like your stovetop). Use tongs to take the meat from the marinade and nestle in amongst the rice (throw out the marinade after- we don’t want that marinade on the sheet pan- too much liquid). Finally, sprinkle the lightly oiled and sliced/chopped mushrooms over it all.
  • Baking the sheet pan dinner: Once your pan is loaded with the ingredients, you simply place it on the rack you’ve placed in the top quarter of the preheated 450-degree oven and leave it to roast quickly. It should be ready in 15 minutes. The meat will be browned and cooked to medium doneness, the mushrooms will be light and crispy and the rice will be crispy to some degree, depending on all the moisture levels.
sheet pan lamb and rice dinner coming out of the oven.

The finished sheet pan dinner glistens with nicely browned ingredients.

Serving

Use a spatula to lift sections of the meal from the pan and gently plate it, so that the ingredients remain as is, nicely layered on top of each other. Sprinkle the chopped dill and mint over the dish. This sheet pan dinner may be easy to prepare, but. it makes for a beautiful presentation!

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dish of lamb and rice with mushrooms and fresh herbs with fork at table

Sheet Pan Lamb, Mushrooms and Sumac Rice

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time40 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Servings4 small
Calories607
Flavor abounds in this meal of marinated lamb cubes (a.k.a. kebabs) that are quickly roasted on a sheet pan with mushrooms and precooked rice. The spices and herbs are reminiscent of shish kebab marinades for the grill, and the rice is flavored with Sumac and a drizzle of marinade before it crisps up in the oven.
Kitchen Tools
  • 1 soup pot, or rice cooker, to pre-cook rice
  • 1 sheet pan

Ingredients
 

Lamb Marinade Ingredients (reserve a tbsp before adding lamb)
  • 1 lemon ((1/4c juice))
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fruity white wine- optional, see notes (i.e. White Zinfandel, Torrontes, Reisling)
  • 2 tbsp grated onion
  • 2 large minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
Ingredients for Rice
  • 1 cup long grain jasmine white rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or marinade)
Sheet Pan Dinner Ingredients
  • 1 lb boneless leg of lamb (or lamb chops of your choice, see notes)
  • 3 cups mushrooms of choice, thinly sliced (see notes)
  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method:  

Marinate Lamb (a few hours or full day ahead)
  • Mix all the marinade ingredients together and place in container that can hold the cubed meat.
  • If using boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1-1.5" cubes. Trim any large chunks of fat off. Leaving a bit of fat here and there will help flavor the rice.
  • Marinate the cubes in the marinade for at least an hour or two, or overnight. See notes.
Pre-cook the rice for the sheet pan dinner (see notes on when to do this)
  • Rinse the rice in colander until water runs clear and put in small soup pot with water. Add salt if desired and cook approximately 15 min, or until done.
  • Once ready to bake the sheet pan dinner, mix the cooked and cooled rice with the oil, sumac, garlic powder, salt and pepper. I recommend using clean hands to do this, so the grains get properly coated. (If you love strong lemon lavor, you can use the reserved marinade in place of oil).
Cook the Sheet Pan Dinner
  • Preheat the oven to 450F. Situate rack in the top quarter of the oven.
  • Spread rice mixture directly on sheet pan, spreading it out thoroughly and leaving some spaces for the meat.
  • Cook the rice on its own, on that top rack, for 10 min in the oven. It will dry and begin to crisp. Then remove and place on stovetop to add rest of ingredients.
  • Remove the pieces of lamb (or chops) from the marinade with tongs and place them intentionally on the sheet pan amongst the rice, ideally directly on the pan.
  • Slice/chop the mushrooms into small pieces and toss with a scant tablespoon of olive oil, using clean hands to even distribute the oil.
  • Scatter the mushrooms evenly over the top of the lamb and rice, and return sheet pan to oven to cook for approximately 15 min.
  • After 15 min (more like 20 min if using chops), remove sheet pan dinner from oven. Meat should be browing on top (and cooked to medium) and rice will be crispy in spots.
  • Serve as a light meal for 4, or big plateful for 2 with leftovers. Sprinkle with chopped fresh dill and mint before serving. Drizzle with reserved marinade at table for extra zest.

Notes

  • Wine: If you prefer not to ingest alcohol, you can simply leave it out, and the marinade will just be less watery (more like a salad dressing). The wine adds a lovely depth of fruity flavor.
  • Lamb: I use cubed boneless leg of lamb, (usually the leg is 2lbs, and I freeze half), When I cannot find a boneless leg, the cheaper, thinner lamb shoulder chops work well (trimmed), or the nicer “rack of lamb” type chops.
  • Mushrooms: Use any mushrooms. White mushrooms have less flavor (are more watery). I often use baby bellos (a.k.a. creminis) mixed with some fancier oysters or shiitakes I might have on hand. 
  • Marinade: You can marinate for 24-48 hours and I have done both. Alternatively, I’ve also marinated the meat at room temp or in the fridge just long enough to complete the rest of the prep (30 min to 1 hour) and it still has great flavor.
  • Pre-cooking rice: this can be done right before, hours before, or the day before. See post about benefits to chilling for 12 hours.

Nutrition (an estimate)

Calories: 607kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 392mg | Potassium: 714mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 4mg | Magnesium: 58mg | Net Carbohydrates: 43g
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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    how can I not give my own recipe 5 stars! What’s so amazing about this dish is how I can enjoy what usually is reserved for warm weather on the grill- crispy charred meat kebabs with a flavorful pilaf, but all done quickly in the oven.

  2. 5 stars
    Great recipe. It was so full of flavor and so easy to make. Will definitely be making it again.