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Imagine biting into Lamb Meatballs so tender they almost melt in your mouth, smothered in a rich, garlicky tomato sauce, then topped with crumbled feta, fresh mint, and parsley. Sounds tempting, right?

Closeup picture of lamb meatballs and sauce in a ceramic bowl.

I created this lamb meatball recipe with two goals in mind: to create the most flavorful lamb meatballs I’ve ever tasted and to keep the process simple enough for a busy weeknight. The magic happens in the oven, baking the meatballs to perfection, which means less mess for you. And the sauce? It’s all about the garlic and tomatoes, vibrant flavors that bring these meatballs to life.

Ingredients for Lamb Meatballs

Lamb Meatballs Ingredients arranged in bowls on a granite surface.

For the Sauce

  • Crushed Tomatoes with Juice: Italian crushed tomatoes are ideal because they typically come from sun-ripened fruits, offering a naturally sweet and robust flavor that’s perfect for a vibrant tomato sauce.
  • Garlic Clove: Choose firm, plump cloves with unblemished, taut skin. 
  • Fresh Mint Leaves: Look for bright green, perky leaves without any brown spots. Fresh mint should smell aromatic and strong.
  • Fresh Parsley: Choose a bunch with vibrant green leaves and no signs of wilting. 
  • Olive Oil: Opt for extra virgin olive oil with a fruity, peppery flavor profile.
  • Salt: Use pure, unrefined salt without additives for a clean, straightforward seasoning.
  • Black Pepper: Grind fresh for maximum flavor.

To Make the Lamb Meatballs

  • Ground Lamb: Look for lamb that is pinkish-red with a little marbling of fat, which will add to the meatballs’ juiciness and flavor.
  • Milk: Use whole milk for richer flavor.
  • Egg: Be sure to use a fresh, good quality egg, as they act as an important binder for the meatballs.
  • Ground Cumin: Use freshly ground, aromatic cumin or whole cumin seeds that you can grind yourself for the best flavor.
  • Dried Oregano: Look for dried Greek oregano that is still green and has a strong aroma, signs of good quality and freshness.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: Look for breadcrumbs that are light and airy to provide a delicate texture to the meatballs.
  • Shallot or Onion: Choose shallots or onions that are firm and heavy for their size, with dry, papery skins to be sure they’re fresh and flavorful.
  • Fine Sea Salt: Opt for fine sea salt that dissolves easily and offers a clean, balanced flavor.

For Garnish

  • Feta Cheese: Choose a feta that is crumbly but creamy, with a tangy, salty flavor to complement the lamb.
  • Fresh Mint and Parsley for Garnish: An easy way to add a burst of flavor and color to the finished dish.
Lamb meatballs in sauce with mint and feta.

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).

4 Recipe Tips

  1. Don’t Overmix the Meat: When combining the lamb with other ingredients, mix just until incorporated. Overworking the meat can lead to tough meatballs.
  2. Make Uniform Meatballs: Use a 2-tablespoon scoop to form your meatballs to help them cook evenly.
  3. Bake on Parchment Paper: To prevent sticking and ensure easy cleanup, bake the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Let Meatballs Rest Before Serving: Allow the meatballs to rest for a few minutes after baking. This helps to retain their juices, making them even more succulent.

How to Store and Reheat

Store leftover meatballs and sauce separately, refrigerated in airtight containers for up to 3 days. For longer storage, freeze them individually for up to three months; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating gently on the stovetop.

More Delicious Lamb Recipes

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. 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.

Recipe Video

Easy Lamb Meatballs

5 from 5 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Calories: 567
Servings: 4 people
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.

Ingredients  

For the Sauce:

  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes with juice
  • 1 large clove garlic smashed and peeled
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves loosely packed, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley loosely packed, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

To Make the Lamb Meatballs:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano ideally Greek oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot or onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 pound ground lamb

For Garnish:

  • 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese or more to taste
  • chopped fresh mint to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley to taste

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • To make the sauce, add tomatoes with juices, garlic, mint and parsley to a blender pitcher; blend until smooth. Add olive oil and blend again. Pour mixture into a medium saucepan and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. 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 milk, egg, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Add panko breadcrumbs and stir to combine. Stir in shallot and parsley. 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 ragged mounds on prepared baking sheet. Gently roll mounds into balls and arrange on baking sheet with some space around each one.
  • Bake meatballs until cooked through and lightly browned, 12 to 20 minutes (Recipe Note #1).
  • 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.

Notes

  1. Baking time depends on the size of the meatballs and your desired doneness – The USDA recommends a 160˚F internal temperature for ground lamb.
  2. When garnishing with feta, mint and parsley, be generous. You’ll make your meatballs and tomato sauce sing with flavor!
  3. 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).

Nutrition

Calories: 567kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 146mg | Sodium: 1163mg | Potassium: 1031mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1217IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 243mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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21 Comments

  1. Valentina says:

    Lamb + mint + feta is always such a delectable combination — and in that garlicky tomato sauce, wow! Definitely right up my alley. And beautiful as always. 🙂 ~Valentina

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      aww..thank you, Valentina!