Coriander, Fennel & Mint Lamb Meatballs
Recipe type: Dinner, Meat, Lamb
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
These meatballs are delicious over couscous, with pasta, or in a sandwich. I imagine if you made them tiny, they’d be great as a pizza topping!
  • For the Meatballs:
  • ½ c. Breadcrumbs
  • ¼ c. Plain Yogurt
  • 1 # Ground Lamb
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1 Shallot, minced
  • ¼ c. chopped flavorful Black Olives (I used oil-cured olives; Kalamata would work too)
  • 1 heaping tsp. Coriander Seeds, toasted and slightly crushed (*see notes)
  • 1 heaping tsp. Fennel Seeds, toasted and slightly crushed
  • ½ tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3 Tbsp. thinly sliced Mint Leaves
  • Olive OilFor the Tomato Sauce:
  • 1 Shallot, minced
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 14 oz. can Italian Plum Tomatoes, crushedTo Finish:
  • 3 Tbsp. thinly sliced Mint Leaves
  • crumbled Feta or Goat Cheese, optional but a very tasty addition!
  1. Mix together the breadcrumbs and yogurt in a small bowl and allow to sit and soften for a few minutes.
  2. Combine the lamb, breadcrumb mixture, egg, 1 minced shallot, olives, coriander and fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, 3 Tbsp. mint, and about ½ tsp. of kosher salt in a medium bowl. Use your (clean) hands to mix the ingredients together until everything has been evenly incorporated. Form the mixture into 1½ in. balls and place on a baking sheet. If you have time, chill the formed meatballs for 30 minutes (or more) before cooking them, as I find they hold their shape better if they’re cold.
  3. Heat a couple of Tbsp. of olive oil in a Dutch oven or wide skillet. Add half of the meatballs and brown all around, about 6 minutes. Transfer the meatballs to a plate. Add a little more olive oil to the pan if it is dry, brown the remaining meatballs, and transfer to the plate.
  4. If there’s a lot of fat in the pan, drain all but a thin coating off; if the pan is dry, add a touch of olive oil. Add the minced shallot, season with salt, and sauté over medium-high heat until softened, 1-2 minutes. Add a pinch or 2 of red pepper flakes then add the crushed tomatoes. Season the tomatoes, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Nestle the browned meatballs into the tomatoes and simmer together until the meatballs have cooked through and the tomatoes are thick and saucy and have picked up the flavor of the meatballs, 15-20 minutes. Scatter the remaining mint over the meatballs and serve. I served mine over couscous and crumbled a bit of chèvre over the top, post pictures.
Recipe by strawberryplum at