These tasty mint and lamb meatballs are mildly spiced with cumin, coriander and cinnamon in a spicy mint and tomato sauce.
Meatballs are a great choice for an easy midweek meal and I know I can be guaranteed that at least one of my children will eat dinner if that's what I'm making! There are so many different way to flavour meatballs. Herbs and spices are great way of adding different flavours and making them really appetising! If you don't often cook meatballs then these mint and lamb meatballs in a mint and tomato sauce are a good place to start!
I love lamb meatballs as minced lamb goes so well with a lot of the North African and Indian spices that I love. In my opinion, lamb is so much tastier with some spices and the addition of the fresh mint really brings it alive. It's so much better than using dried herbs, although I know it's not always practical.
What spices are in these mint and lamb meatballs?
These meatballs contain cinnamon, cumin and dried coriander as well as few flakes of dried red chilli pepper to add a touch of heat. The spices are in the tomato sauce too which means you can still really taste them and the sauce doesn't become just another tomato sauce, especially not when you add the fresh mint as well.
How do you make the Lamb and Mint Meatballs?
These Moroccan flavoured meatballs are so easy to make. Just put the lamb, herbs, spices, breadcrumbs, onion, garlic and egg into a bowl and mix them together with your hands. Then roll balls of the mixture between your hands to form the mince mixture into meatballs.
I then heat a little oil in a pan and fry the meatballs on all sides to brown them. Take the meatballs out and if there's a lot of excess oil from the mince you can wipe that out so it doesn't end up in the sauce.
Then make the sauce in the pan. The sauce is very simple to make. Fry the onions until softened and then stir in the herbs and spices followed by tomato sauce and stock. Bring to the boil then return the meatballs to the pan and lover it to a simmer for 20 minutes. For full instructions see the recipe card further down this post.
What can you serve with these minted lamb meatballs?
I like to serve these mint and lamb meatballs with couscous but you can serve them with rice or flat breads if that's more your thing. A homemade tzatziki on the side is also delicious.
You could serve them in all kinds of other ways though. Why not put them in a baguette or serve them on top of a baked potato?
How can you adapt this meatball recipe?
I think these meatballs are delicious as they are. However, if you are not a big fan of lamb you could make turkey or chicken meatballs instead.
If you want the meal to have a bit more of a fiery punch then stir a spoonful of harissa into the sauce as well.
What can you do with the leftovers?
You can store the leftover meatballs in the fridge for up to three days. If you don't think you're going to eat them then freeze them in an airtight container. Before eating just defrost in the fridge overnight and then reheat until piping hot. If you reheat them in a saucepan you may need to add a dash of water to loosen them.
The Inspiration for this recipe
This recipe is slightly adapted from a recipe on the Hobo Kitchen. It's a great site if you like dishes with lots of herbs and spices from various cultures.
Recipe for Mint and Lamb Meatballs
Mint and Lamb Meatballs
For the Meatballs
- 500 g lamb mince
- 1/4 onion finely dice
- 1 clove of garlic crushed
- 2 tbsp fresh mint chopped
- 1 egg
- 1 slice of white bread made into breadcrumbs (toast, leave to cool then crumble up)
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
For the Tomato Sauce
- 3/4 onion finely diced (use the rest of the one used for the meatballs)
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed
- 100 ml stock I used vegetable stock but you could use lamb or chicken
- 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Handful of chopped fresh mint
- Put all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl and mix them together with your hands.
- Take small pieces and roll them between your hands to make the meatballs.
- Heat a little oil in a large frying pan and fry the meatballs, turning until they are slightly browned on all sides.
- Remove the meatballs and set aside.
- Add a little more oil and start making the sauce by frying the chopped onion gently so it softens.
- Add the garlic and stir into the onions then add all the other sauce ingredients except the mint. Bring to the boil then add the meatballs. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Serve with rice or couscous.
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