(Not Quite Kofta) Lamb Meatballs
Quick and simple lamb meatballs with raisins and cinnamon can be made from start-to-finish in less than 20 minutes. Serve on top of homemade hummus (recipe below), then top with toasted pine nuts and arugula. Weeknight meal at its finest.
Ingredients for lamb meatballs
Clean, simple ingredients. All of which you likely have on hand except for the lamb!
- ground lamb
- regular breadcrumbs (see note below on why I never use panko in meatballs)
- 1 egg
- rehydrated golden raisins
- ground cinnamon
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
Making homemade meatballs
It’s as simple as carefully mixing all ingredients in a large bowl. You can turn these into mini meatballs by rolling them into smaller balls, but I like to keep them at 1 1/2″ – 2″ in diameter.
Place on a rimmed baking sheet an inch or two apart, then… BROIL. Yeah, that’s right, you heard me!
Best way to cook meatballs (from trial and error!)
I have been that person. I’ve hovered over a pan, flipping meatballs every 2-3 minutes so they brown evenly on all sides. NO MORE. Literally the only way I ever cook meatballs anymore is broiling, and these lamb meatballs are no exception.
Usually I don’t even turn them over in the oven, but with this particular meatball recipe I recommend it. Why? Because if you’ve got any golden raisins poking out of the top of your meatball, they will turn black if they’re broiled uninterrupted for 12-13 minutes.
However, if you turn the meatballs over halfway through, your raisins stay juicy and plump inside. Trust me, you want this.
What to serve with meatballs
I am majorly loving the combination of these easy lamb meatballs with a quick homemade hummus. These would also be great with tzatziki or other yogurt sauce, or even polenta! Just don’t forget the toasted pine nuts which I think truly make the recipe pop.
Can lamb meatballs be frozen?
Yes! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: meatballs are PERFECT for freezing. Simply let cool completely at room temperature, then place in a large Ziploc bag or freezer safe container.
When ready to serve, remove meatballs and either defrost overnight in fridge or heat in a microwave until defrosted, usually about 1-2 minutes on high.
Personally, I love to reheat refrigerated meatballs by slicing them in half and pan searing cut-side down in a nonstick pan with a little olive oil. You’re left with a crispy exterior and a light fluffy center. Deeeelish.
On a scale of 1-10, I rate these bad boys a mere 168. Yes, they are that good. You’re going to love ’em!
If you make these (Not Quite Kofta) Lamb Meatballs, please let me know by leaving a review below!
For more simple weeknight meals, check out the following recipes:Print
Not-quite-kofta meatballs are a spin on a Middle Eastern dish with a few staple pantry ingredients. The recipe is jazzed up with a 5 minute homemade hummus — seriously amazing! Serve with toasted pine nuts and some fresh spicy arugula.
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- 1 1/2 lb ground lamb
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Place raisins in a small bowl, then cover with water. Let sit 10 minutes to rehydrate, then drain and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl combine lamb, breadcrumbs, egg, salt, cinnamon, pepper, and rehydrated raisins. Gently mix until well incorporated, trying hard not to over work the meat.
- Divide mixture into meatballs about 1 ½” – 2″ in size. Should yield approximately 16 meatballs. Place on a rimmed baking sheet then broil on high for 6 minutes. Remove from oven, turn meatballs over and cook an additional 6 minutes (*see note below) until just fully cooked, or until internal temperature is 155 F. Lamb will continue to cook slightly when removed from oven.
While I love panko breadcrumbs, I do not recommend using them here as they create a coarser texture in the meatballs. Using regular breadcrumbs keeps the meatballs smooth.
I don’t usually insist on turning meatballs over halfway through cooking time when broiled, but because of the raisins in this recipe, it’s necessary. If the meatballs cook for a full 12-13 minutes on one side, any raisins poking out of the top of the meatball will burn. This is avoided by flipping the lamb halfway through cooking.
- Serving Size: 1 meatball
- Calories: 113
- Sugar: 2.2g
- Sodium: 221mg
- Fat: 3.9g
- Saturated Fat: 1.3g
- Carbohydrates: 5.3g
- Fiber: 0.3g
- Protein: 13.7g
- Cholesterol: 53mg
Keywords: how to cook meatballs, lamb meatballs, ground lamb, middle eastern lamb, homemade meatballs, lamb with hummus, lamb with raisins, cinnamon spiced lamb