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meatballs in a tomato sauce in a dutch oven pot

Spicy Lamb & Beef Meatballs Recipe with Burst Tomatoes

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Savory and full of flavor, these lamb meatballs make a hearty appetizer or cozy dinner served with crusty bread or rice.


  • ¾ cup chopped parsley
  • ⅓ cup chopped mint (½ ounce)
  • ½ cup whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 4 large cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • ½ pound 96% lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes (20 ounces)
  • ¼ cup vinegar (distilled, white wine, red wine or sherry are all great)
  • Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, mint and bread for serving


  1. Combine parsley, mint, yogurt, garlic, paprika, fennel seeds, 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl.
    herbs, yogurt and spices in a large glass mixing bowl
  2. Add ground lamb and beef, and mix, using your hands, until combined. Form mixture into 1 ½ inch meatballs (about 2 ½ tablespoons each or #24 scoop (1.5 ounces)); transfer to a plate.
    ground beef and ground lamb in a bowl with herbs mixed with yogurt
  3. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or braiser over medium. Arrange a few meatballs in an even layer in pot and cook until browned all over, about 5–8 minutes (depending on how hot your stove runs, you may need to lower the heat to avoid splattering). Transfer browned meatballs back to plate and repeat, in batches, with remaining meatballs.
    meatballs browning in a Dutch oven
  4. Drain all but 2 tablespoons drippings from pot. Add shallots to pot; season with salt and cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes.
    shallots cooking in drippings
  5. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until some start to burst  (you can help the tomatoes along by smashing them against the sides of the pan with a spoon), about 5 minutes.
    tomatoes and shallots cooking in a Dutch oven
  6. Deglaze pan with vinegar, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in 1 ½ cups water, and bring to a simmer over high heat. Cook until sauce has slightly thickened but is still loose, 7–8 minutes.
  7. Add meatballs and any accumulated juices to sauce, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until cooked through, about 8 minutes.
    meatballs cooking in a cherry tomato sauce
  8. Sprinkle mint and pecorino over meatballs. Serve with warm crusty bread.


  • Buying ground beef: an easy way to get ½ pound of ground beef is to buy it at the meat counter (not the pre-packaged section where most ground meat is sold in 1-pound packages).
  • This entire dish can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. Store the meatballs and sauce together in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • These spiced lamb meatballs are delicious served over rice or with crusty bread.


  • Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe
  • Calories: 324
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Sodium: 472mg
  • Fat: 16g
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Carbohydrates: 6.5g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 24g
  • Cholesterol: 76mg

Keywords: lamb meatballs, spicy lamb meatballs, lamb and beef meatballs

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