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Greek-inspired Lamb Meatballs prove it’s not all about the tomato sauce! With lemon zest and Mediterranean spices, they’re fabulous tucked into a pita with tzatziki, but they’re also juicy and flavorful enough to stick on a toothpick and serve up as a party appetizer. 

Baked lamb meatballs in bowl with rice, tzatziki, and pita bread

Why You’ll Love This Greek Lamb Meatball Recipe

  • Vibrant Mediterranean Flavors. With lemon zest, coriander, earthy cumin, and fresh herbs, these lamb meatballs have Mediterranean flair in spades. All of these flavors are the perfect pairing with lamb!
  • Tender and Juicy. Traditional meatballs are often swimming in marinara because, well, they can sometimes be a little bit dry. Not so with these lamb meatballs! They’re juicy and succulent, even without sauce.
  • Easy to Make. Cooking with lamb might be new to you (confession: it was new to me until I made these Lamb Chops and Rack of Lamb last year), but everything about the process of making lamb meatballs will feel familiar if you’ve made recipes like Turkey Meatballs and Chicken Meatballs.
  • So Many Serving Options. Serve them over a bed of rice, tucked inside a warm pita with tzatziki sauce, or alongside a crisp Greek Salad. (I share a full list of serving suggestions later in this post!)
Closeup of juicy lamb meatballs on bed of rice with tzatziki

How to Make Lamb Meatballs

The Ingredients

  • Ground Lamb. When in doubt, your local butcher shop is probably the best place to buy ground lamb. Not all grocery stores sell it!
  • Red Onion. Chop this very finely so it mixes evenly into the ground meat to infuse every bit of these lamb meatballs with savory flavor.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs. Homemade breadcrumbs will also work, but skip the sawdust-like store-bought breadcrumbs for the best baked lamb meatballs.
  • Egg. Egg, along with the breadcrumbs, helps bind the meatballs and keep them moist.
  • Lemon Zest. For a bright hit of citrus. Use the finest grater you have (I like this one) so the zest is evenly distributed.
  • Seasonings. The usual salt and pepper, along with cumin, coriander, and garlic powder for those Mediterranean vibes.
  • Cilantro. Or a try parsley or mint. 
  • For Serving. Make it a meal with tzatziki, Homemade Hummus, and warm pita bread.

The Directions

Overhead view of ingredients for lamb meatballs in mixing bowl
  1. Combine. Add all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl.
Lamb meatball mixture in mixing bowl
  1. Start Mixing. You’ve really got to use your hands. Sorry ‘bout it. Invest in disposable food prep gloves if you’re squeamish about these things.
Cookie dough scoop forming lamb meatballs
  1. Portion. Divide the meatball mixture into 18 even portions. 
Lamb meatballs on parchment lined sheet pan before baking
  1. Roll. Oh-so-gently roll them into balls. 
Baked lamb meatballs on parchment lined sheet pan
  1. Bake. Cook the lamb meatballs in a 375 degree F oven until they reach 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, or until they’re browned on the outside and cooked through. Serve with tzatziki, hummus, and pita and ENJOY!

All the Ways to Serve Lamb Meatballs

  • Make Them Wraps. Use lavash or large tortillas to make wraps with your lamb meatballs, tzatziki sauce or tahini sauce, tomatoes, and lettuce.
  • Add Protein to a Salad. Keep it simple and serve them on a bed of greens, add them to fattoush, or try them with this Chickpea Salad.
  • Create a Meze Platter.  Build a meze platter around your lamb meatballs, with hummus (or Beet Hummus), pita bread, olives, stuffed grape leaves, and other Mediterranean-inspired dishes for a flavorful appetizer spread or fun weeknight dinner.
  • Serve Them as Skewers. Thread the cooked lamb meatballs onto skewers with raw or grilled vegetables for colorful kebabs.
  • Use Them in Meal Bowls. Use Turmeric Rice as your base, then add the meatballs, tzatziki, crumbled feta, and Oven Roasted Vegetables.

What to Serve with This Recipe

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Don’t Overmix. When combining your ingredients, mix just until everything is incorporated; when you’re rolling the meatballs, don’t use too much pressure, either. Gently roll, rather than squeezing into balls. Handling the ground meat too much will give you tough meatballs. 
  • Use a Scoop. For uniformly-sized meatballs, use a cookie dough scoop to measure out the mixture before rolling them into balls. This ensures they cook evenly.
  • Wet Your Hands. Before shaping the ground lamb meatballs, wetting your hands just a bit can prevent the mixture from sticking.
  • Space Them Apart. When placing the meatballs on the baking sheet, make sure they have some room between them. This allows hot air to circulate around each meatball, helping them get that nice crispy browned exterior, rather than steaming. Because steamed lamb meatballs? Oof.

Lamb Meatballs

5 from 3 votes
This recipe for Greek-inspired lamb meatballs is easy and works as a main with rice or pita, or an appetizer. Juicy, perfectly spiced, and delish!

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 30 minutes

Servings: 4 servings (18 meatballs)

Ingredients
  

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/4 cup very finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • Zest of 1 small lemon about 2 teaspoons
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves with tender stems, finely chopped (or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or mint)

For Serving:


Instructions
 

  • Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, place the lamb, red onion, panko, egg, lemon zest (zest the lemon directly into the bowl), salt, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, and black pepper. Sprinkle the cilantro over the top.
  • With your hands, gently combine all of the ingredients until well mixed. Be careful not to overwork the meat or your meatballs will be tough.
  • Shape the mixture into meatballs that are about 1 1/2-inches in diameter; you’ll have about 18 meatballs total. Arrange them on the prepared baking sheet so they are not touching.
  • Bake lamb meatballs until browned on the outside and cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes. An instant-read thermometer should register 160°F when inserted in the center of a meatball. Serve warm with tzatziki, hummus, and pita as desired.

Notes

  • TO STORE. Transfer the lamb meatballs to an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • TO REHEAT. Place the meatballs on a baking sheet and cover them with aluminum foil. Bake in a 350ºF until warmed through.
  • TO FREEZE. Arrange the lamb meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid, or for about an hour. Once frozen through, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw before reheating.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 365kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 21gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 129mgPotassium: 313mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 139IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 43mgIron: 3mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Thank you Erin for another recipe that works 100% perfectly! I cooked these in the oven and they definitely didn’t dry out at all. Served them in a bowl with the carrot and cabbage salad, mint sauce, rice… it was all very, very tasty.5 stars

  2. I can’t wait to try this recipe but I’d also like to know what kind of rice it is served with in the picture! Is there a recipe for that as well? Thanks!

    1. Hi Erin, it’s brown rice! Here is a recipe for it: https://www.wellplated.com/how-to-cook-brown-rice/

  3. Everyone enjoyed these, even though I didn’t have any fresh herbs on hand to add to them. I served it with mixed greens and sweet potato salad. I have tried many of your recipes and always go to the site for inspiration. Thank you so much, Erin!5 stars

  4. I have never made a meatball that I really loved until now. This recipe is absolutely perfect as written, no substitutions needed. These meatballs are definitely going into the weekly rotation. Thank you!5 stars