I’ve got two words for you—lamb tacos. Actually maybe three words, spicy lamb tacos. I’m SO excited to share these with you because they’re both classic and brand new at the same time. This recipe modernizes the good ‘ol taco while also maintaining the basic components.
So what makes a good (lamb) taco? Let’s break it down.
Quality protein : in this case ground lamb
Bold flavors : harissa (spice), coriander, cumin and garlic
Something fresh, bright or cooling : yogurt-feta sauce with mint and lemon
Crunch : cucumbers
Toppings : pickled onions (a must), fresh herbs and fresh lemon
What to serve with lamb tacos:
These lamb tacos are bold in flavor, savory and spicy so I recommend serving them with something bright, fresh and maybe even a touch sweet. Here are a few ideas of what to serve with lamb tacos!
- Herbed Salad with Grapefruit Cardamom Vinaigrette
- Avocado Green Goddess Dressing (swap in for the yogurt sauce)
- ZK’s Secret Ingredient Guacamole
- Winter Citrus Salad
- Winter Green Salad with Oranges and Candied Pistachios
- For a dessert/cocktail serve this Sparkling Rhubarb-Lemon Ice!
How to make lamb tacos:
These ground lamb tacos come together quickly and easily! Here’s all you need to do:
- Sauté onion until soft.
- Add garlic, cumin, coriander and salt and sauté just until fragrant.
- Add lamb and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until cooked through.
- Drain off drippings (this is important, lamb is pretty fatty and skipping this step will create greasy tacos).
- Stir in harissa and cook until heated through.
- Mix together ingredients for yogurt sauce.
- Assemble and enjoy!
Can you make lamb tacos with other meat/protein?
You can definitely make these tacos with whatever meat you prefer (or have on hand). Ground meat works best since the recipe was developed using ground lamb, but you could easily swap in thinly sliced beef or chicken and cook it briefly with the spices. If you go that route, I would recommend adding a bit more oil to the pan before adding the sliced meat.
Here are some alternative protein ideas:
- Ground beef
- Ground turkey
- Ground chicken
- Ground pork
- Veggie crumbles (TVP)
- Firm tofu (drained, pressed and crumbled)
These easy-to-make Harissa Lamb Tacos are perfect for busy weeknights OR for entertaining. Make them tonight and top them with a creamy yogurt-feta sauce, quick pickled onions, crunchy cucumbers and fresh herbs!
For the filling:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 teaspoons each ground coriander, cumin, and minced fresh garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1½ tablespoons harissa (1 tablespoon + 1½ teaspoons)
For the yogurt sauce:
- 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup crumbled feta
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon minced lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon minced fresh garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8 corn tortillas (6-inch), warmed
- 3 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup each fresh cilantro and parsley
- Quick pickled red onions
- Lemon wedges
For the filling:
Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium until shimmering. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add coriander, cumin, garlic, and salt and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add lamb and cook, crushing with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, 5 minutes. Drain off drippings. Stir in harissa and cook 1 more minute.
For the yogurt sauce:
Mix together yogurt, feta, mint, lemon juice, zest, and garlic; season with salt and pepper.
Serve ground lamb in corn tortillas, top with yogurt sauce, cucumbers, cilantro, parsley and pickled onions. Serve with lemon wedges.
Equipment you’ll need:
- Large sauté pan (with lid for draining meat)
- Don’t forget to drain the meat before adding in the harissa (you’ll drain off about ⅓ cup of grease)! Ground lamb can be quite fatty, draining the meat ensures your tacos won’t be greasy!
- 1½ tablespoons (1 tablespoon + 1½ teaspoons) of harissa was the perfect amount of spice for me. If you’re sensitive to heat, start with 1 tablespoon. If you love it, try using 2 tablespoons.
- Calories: 412
- Sugar: 6g
- Sodium: 790mg
- Fat: 16g
- Saturated Fat: 8g
- Carbohydrates: 39g
- Fiber: 5g
- Protein: 28g
- Cholesterol: 83mg
Keywords: Harissa, Lamb Tacos, Taco Recipe