Bold, flavorful, easy, 2-step Mediterranean Lamb Meatballs. This recipe will be a hit for your busy weeknights! Including detailed instructions for freezing your meatballs cooked or uncooked, a delicious homemade meal will be on the table no matter how much time you have.
When you’re craving lamb in a pinch, or a budget, or both, this recipe is calling for you! Usually lamb is enjoyed as a beautiful marinated roast or as chops. While both options are out-of-this-world delicious, neither are exactly time or cost effective. Ground lamb, while more expensive than beef, is a happy medium. These meatballs? Well, they’ll be ready from start to finish in less than 30 minutes!
Lamb is certainly a love-it-or-hate-it ingredient. But, you know what? I LOVE IT. This flavor combination doesn’t hit as well with anything else the way it does with lamb. The warm flavors from the spice mixture, the fresh herbs, particularly, mint; it’s perfection. Doused generously with tzatziki and wrapped up with thin pitas? This is a dream meal for me.
Click the “Jump to Recipe” button at the top of the page or scroll down to the recipe card for ingredient amounts and the full recipe instructions. Below you’ll find substitutes, tips, tricks, and FAQ for this recipe.
- Lamb – Ground. If you really aren’t a lamb fan, you can use regular ground beef instead.
- Onion – Any type you have on hand. Even shallot, if that’s up your alley.
- Garlic – As much or little as you like. Fresh is best!
- Breadcrumbs – I prefer panko, but regular bread crumbs will work too.
- Egg – I used a large egg.
- Fresh cilantro – If you don’t like cilantro, leave it out! You can replace it with some parsley if you’d still like to have a fresh, herbaceous flavor.
- Fresh mint – Fresh is best! It may seem odd to add mint to meatballs, but trust me on this. The flavor is a must.
- Oregano – I used dried oregano. I find oregano has a slightly different flavor when dried versus fresh, but equally as delicious.
- Paprika – I like to use regular or sweet paprika. While I love smoked paprika, the flavor is a little overwhelming in these meatballs
- Pumpkin pie spice – This mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and ginger is all common in Mediterranean cooking and especially with their lamb. So, why measure them all out separately when you can just take a scoop of the pre-mixed ensamble?
- Salt & pepper – Season to taste.
How to make Mediterranean lamb meatballs
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir well to combine completely.
- Roll the mixture into 1-2 tbsp-sized balls and place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Transfer the sheet to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until fully cooked through.
Ahh, the polarization of lamb! No problem if you’re not a fan. Beef will be a great substitute. Specifically, regular ground beef. Lamb is a bit of a fattier meat so using lean ground beef may give you a drier result.
I’m a gal of convenience. I like to bake my meatballs to save time. However, pan-fried meatballs get that gorgeous crust and extra-juicy interior.
Stovetop instructions: Heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the meatballs working in batches. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until browned and completely cooked through. Adjust the heat as needed.
If you don’t have any pumpkin pie spice on hand, check your pantry! You might have everything you need to make it.
This mixture will make you about 1 tbsp of pumpkin pie spice: 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground allspice, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, and 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg.
I served these meatballs with tzatziki, crumbled feta, some extra chopped herbs, pitas, and Greek salad. It made for a beautiful build-it-yourself meal.
How to store leftover Mediterranean lamb meatballs
Transfer your leftovers to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 3-4 days. I find it easiest to reheat meatballs in the microwave at 30-second intervals. You can also use the oven. Preheat to 350F, and place the meatballs in an oven-safe skillet or baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes, or until they are heated through.
How to freeze meatballs (uncooked or cooked)
Uncooked: After you’ve followed step 2 and rolled the meatballs on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cover them with plastic wrap. Place the sheet in the freezer for 1-2 hours, or until the meatballs are frozen solid. Take the sheet out and transfer the meatballs to an airtight container or freezer bag. They will last 3-4 months.
Place the meatballs on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and let them thaw at room temperature for about 1 hour before baking.
Cooked: Let the meatballs cool down, fully, to room temperature. Place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for 1-2 hours or until frozen solid. Take the sheet out of the freezer and transfer the meatballs to an airtight container or freezer bag. They will last 3-4 months.
Reheat the meatballs in the oven at 350F. Place them into an oven-safe skillet or baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until warmed through.
Looking for more easy recipes like this?
- Greek Salad
- Mediterranean Lamb Bowls
- Korean Beef Bowls
- Easy Shakshuka Recipe
- Chicken and Mushroom Coconut Curry
Mediterranean Lamb Meatballs
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1/2 cup onion grated, with juices, about 1 medium
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp fresh mint finely chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro finely chopped
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp cumin ground
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp pepper or to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Roll the mixture into 1-2 tbsp-sized balls and place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Transfer the sheet to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until fully cooked through.