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Lamb meatballs, so tender that they melt in your mouth, smothered in a garlicky tomato sauce with crumbled feta cheese, fresh mint and parsley mounded on top. Sound good? Read on!
When I set out to create this lamb meatball recipe, I had just two criteria: they had to taste better than any lamb meatball I'd ever eaten and they had to be easy enough to make on a busy weeknight. Want to know the keys? Baking the meatballs for low fuss and low mess and the garlicky tomato sauce.
What Makes this Recipe Quick and Easy
Most recipes call for tomato sauce that cooks low and slow until it reduces down to a deeply flavored sauce. But for this recipe, I wanted the tomato sauce to be bright matching the freshness of the feta and fresh herbs, letting the lamb meatballs be the star with their deep rich flavor. A bonus of this method is being able to prepare the whole meal in about 30 minutes.
You'll have ample sauce with this recipe, which gives you a few options: serve the lamb meatballs extra saucy (as we like them); make some pasta to toss with the sauce and meatballs (extra hearty and delicious); or save the sauce for later use on some busy night when you need a meal fast (it freezes well too).
More Delicious Lamb Recipes
We're big fans of lamb in our home. If you are too, definitely don't miss out on these Lamb Burgers (sincerely they are knock-you-out delicious), these Lamb Tacos, this Gyro Meat recipe, Lamb Shawarma made with ultra flavorful Cumin Lamb and homemade Pita Bread, and these Baked Lamb Chops that you can make with 5 minutes of prep. And for other delicious meatball recipes, don't miss these Spanish Meatballs, Italian Meatballs, Pork Meatballs or Albondigas Soup!
How to Make Lamb Meatballs
Step 1: Make the garlicky tomato sauce. Combine all sauce ingredients in a blender pitcher and blend until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and bring to simmer over low heat.
Step 2: Prepare the lamb meatball mixture. Whisk together egg and milk then stir in all remaining ingredients except ground lamb. Add ground lamb and mix with your hands until just combined.
Step 3: Shape and bake the lamb meatballs. Scoop out 2-tablespoon portions of the meatball mixture and place in mounds on a parchment lined baking sheet. Gently roll mounds between your palms to smooth the ball. In the top third of the oven, bake for 10 minutes at 425°F until cooked through and lightly browned.
Step 4: Coat meatballs with garlicky tomato sauce and top with feta and fresh herbs. Transfer cooked meatballs to a serving bowl and pour over your desired amount of tomato sauce; gently toss to coat. Top with crumbled feta and chopped fresh herbs and mint; serve.
Lamb Meatballs with Tomato Sauce, Feta and Mint
Garlicky Tomato Sauce:
- 28 ounce can whole tomatoes with juice
- 1 large clove garlic smashed and peeled
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ cup dry breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot or onion
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon olive oil optional, only if your lamb is very lean
- large pinch kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pound ground lamb
- crumbled feta cheese to taste
- finely chopped fresh mint to taste
- finely chopped fresh parsley to taste
- Move a rack to upper third of oven and preheat to 425°F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- To make the Garlicky Tomato Sauce: Add tomatoes, garlic, mint and parsley to a blender pitcher; blend until smooth. Add olive oil and blend again. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour mixture into a medium saucepan and set on the stove over low heat; bring to simmer, stirring occasionally until you're ready to pour sauce over cooked meatballs.
- Meanwhile make lamb meatballs. In a large bowl, whisk together egg and milk. Stir in shallot, parsley, olive oil (only if your ground lamb is very lean), salt and pepper. Add lamb and mix just until combined (don't overmix or your meatballs will be tough).
- Scoop meatballs out with a 2-tablespoon scoop or heaping standard tablespoon and place in a ragged mound on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining lamb mixture leaving space around each meatball. Gently roll each mound to form a ball.
- Bake meatballs until cooked through and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer meatballs to serving bowl and pour desired amount of Garlicky Tomato sauce over. Gently toss meatballs to coat. Top with a generous amount of crumbled feta and fresh mint and parsley; serve.
- Note that you'll need finely chopped fresh mint and parsley for multiple steps in the recipe - I recommend chopping it all at once in the beginning.
- If your ground lamb is very lean, I recommend adding a tablespoon or even two of olive oil to the mix to ensure that they're very juicy!
- To keep your meatballs delicate not tough, take special care not to overmix your meatballs and form them gently without pressing too hard.
- When garnishing with feta, mint and parsley, be generous! You'll make your meatballs and tomato sauce sing with flavor!
- You'll have plenty of sauce! Serve the meatballs extra saucy (as we like) or add hot pasta to this dish to toss with meatballs and sauce for a heartier meal or save extra for another use (it freezes well!).
Followed recipe with no changes. Excellent dish and easy/quick. I know ovens vary, but my bake time was closer to 20 minutes. No problem though! Thanks for a great recipe.
Marissa Stevens says
So glad you enjoyed these, Dave! Thanks too for your notes on cook time - amazing how much ovens can vary! 🙂
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
What a delicious sounding lamb dish, I can't wait to give it a try. I'm pinning.
Thank you so much, Karen!
Katherine | Love In My Oven says
You are definitely my go-to lamb blogger!! These look amazing. Lamb goes SO well with a bit of mint.
I love to hear that, Katherine! Thank you so much.
David @ Spiced says
I love that you set out to create lamb meatballs that were better than any you've ever had before! I follow the same mantra in the kitchen, too. If I'm going to spend the time making it from scratch, then I want it to be knock-your-socks-off good! These lamb meatballs look like a delicious dinner...and in 30 minutes!? Nice!
I agree wholeheartedly! Thanks, David!
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
I love that these are baked! That makes life so much simpler :). And the sauce? I think I could eat that all on its own!
haha, thanks Kelsie! I almost always bake my meatballs...so good and so convenient!
I've never made lamb meatballs. Indeed, I'm not sure if I've ever tried them either. I certainly do love that they are baked. And the addition of mint and feta sound fantastic. I'm in Marissa!
Thanks, Ben! I hope you'll give these a try! 🙂
Dawn - Girl Heart Food says
I don't have lamb that often but when I do I really enjoy it and think I need to have more. These meatballs sound delicious, Marissa! I can think of so many uses, even just eat straight up as they are 😉 Have a wonderful weekend, my friend!
Thank you, Dawn!
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
Love the sound of these meatballs Marissa! Awesome combination of the lamb, feta and mint.
Thanks, Mary Ann! It's one of my favorite combos!
Cheyanne @ no says
These meatballs look absolutely outstanding, Marissa!!!! I'm dying over the combination of fresh and fabulous flavors paired with the tender lamb meatballs! AND this dish can be ready in 30 minutes?! I mean, enough said! Pass me a plate!! 😉 Pinning! Cheers, friend!
haha, gladly! Thanks, Cheyanne!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
It's so cold here today and I'd love a big bowl of these meatballs Marissa! I love baking meatballs because that way you can just forget about them.