Lamb Meatballs Recipe

Lamb Meatballs Recipe
Staff Writer
Cooking meatballs

Peggy Bourjaily

Cooking meatballs

Wonderful eaten alone, on a hero, or with a bowl of spaghetti. I like to serve them atop penne pasta mixed with a rich, braised short rib ragù.


  • 1 1/3 pounds ground lamb, preferably locally-sourced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more if you like spice
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons sparkling water
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley


In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together. Be careful not to overmix. 

Heat a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add a bit of oil, enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Roll one small meatball in the palm of your hands, about the size of a tablespoon. Brown meatball on all sides until cooked through, about 4 minutes. This is your taste-tester. Depending on its flavor, add more seasoning or pepper as you prefer, continuing to cook test meatballs until they taste right. When the seasoning is perfected, roll the remainder of the lamb into small meatballs, about 1 tablespoon of meat per meatball. Brown meatballs in a large skillet over medium-high heat until brown on all sides, about 4 minutes. Remove onto a paper towel-lined plate.

Add to your favorite sauce, make a delicious meatball hero, or just enjoy on their own.

Lamb Shopping Tip

Look for meat that is bright red. Red meat turns paler as the hemoglobin within releases oxygen – a sign that the meat has been sitting too long at the butcher's counter.

Lamb Cooking Tip

When browning meat, resist the urge to move the meat – you must allow a flavorful crust to form over high heat. Once it has formed, the meat should slide freely with the shake of a pan.

Lamb Wine Pairing

Most red wines, especially cabernet sauvignon, but also including cabernet franc, mourvèdre, Rhône blends, zinfandel, petite sirah, nebbiolo, nero d'avola, primitivo, barbera, and sangiovese.