It’s hard to pick a favorite cuisine, but I really love the diverse foods from around the Mediterranean Basin. These Mediterranean inspired baked lamb meatballs are a family favorite, I make them probably once a month and my kids LOVE them. I can’t always find fresh ground lamb, so when I see it at the store I buy a few pounds and freeze it so I can make this recipe any time.
Baking these meatballs is so simple and quick, you can line the pan with foil or parchment to further reduce clean up, and they take just 20 minutes to bake. It’s also an easy recipe to make ahead, I often prep the meatball mixture or roll out the meatballs onto the baking sheet and just stick it in the fridge until I’m ready to cook them.
I love serving these if you’re entertaining. I’ll do a double recipe of meatballs, and a big spread of homemade tzatziki or hummus, pita, and beautiful salads (recipes all coming this spring!) and let people make their own plates. But my kids’ favorite way is to eat these meatballs is just with their hands!
The fresh herbs, ground pistachios, and finely minced onion add so much flavor and texture. I’m using pistachio nuts instead of bread crumbs, which results in a really moist, tender meatball. I had been making herby lamb meatballs for years (again, my kids will always eat them, so they’re solidly in the dinner rotation), but recently started adding in the pistachios after trying Yotam Ottolenghi’s meatball recipe in his cookbook Simple. I love the combination of ground pistachios with the dill, mint, and fennel!
There is absolutely zero possibility you could describe these as dry or tough, which is one of the worst things to happen to a meatball. You could also put these on skewers and grill them for an added element of sear/char flavor.Print
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
- 1/2 onion
- 1 clove garlic
- approx 1/2 cup roughly chopped dill.
- approx 1 TBS fresh mint, roughly chopped
- 1/4 tsp ground fennel
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- Preheat the oven to 350 and set aside a foil or parchment line baking tray
- In a food processor, pulse the pistachios until finely ground. Set aside in a large bowl.
- Add the quartered onion and garlic to the food processor and blend until the onion is thoroughly minced. Scrape this into the mixing bowl.
- Add the lamb, egg, dill, mint, fennel, salt and pepper, and gently mix with your hands. Don’t overwork it, you just want it so you can see the herbs spread through.
- Roll 20 smaller sized meatballs and place on the baking sheet.
- Bake for approx 20 minutes and serve.
- If you don’t have pistachios, you can use 1/4-1/2 cup breadcrumbs instead.
- If the mixture feels overly wet, add a few tablespoons of bread crumbs to balance it out. You want the meatballs to just hold together but not feel dry at all.