Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce

August 9, 2010

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

Growing up my mother would buy any meat that was on sale and call it beef. Venison, lamb, buffalo were all turned into roast beef, meatballs and hamburgers. She had quite an imagination for such a frugal lady. It all came to an end one night when my dad wanted steak for dinner. She swore on all her daughters (not me) that it was beef, but my dad knew better. He packed her bags and threw her ass out of the house.

Lamb is something that you like more the older you get. The fresher it is the less it has that “lamby” taste. I know “lamby” isn’t a word, but you know what I mean if you’ve had a piece of lamb that wasn’t fresh.

I love making these meatballs for parties or picnics. They’re small, sweet and crunchy and when you serve it with the yogurt sauce, they’re refreshing. P.S. My dad never threw my mother out, but I could tell by the look on his face that he so wanted to! - MySocialChef


Food52 Review: Easy, accurate recipe instructions, which produced very tasty meatballs. The currants provide a nice sweet counterbalance to the rich tasting lamb. I was going to try slightly toasting the pine nuts, but was happy I didn’t. Toasting would have complicated the flavor and texture of the meatballs. - ECmtlThe Editors

Makes: 12 - 14 meatballs


  • 1 pound Ground Lamb
  • 1/4 cup Dried Currants
  • 1/4 cup Pine Nuts - Chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sweet Paprika
  • 2/3 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Egg
In This Recipe


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Add all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands until everything is dispersed evenly. Roll some of the mixture in your hand to form meatballs (a little smaller than a golf ball). Place on a nonstick cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. ..................... Yogurt Dipping Sauce--- 1 Cup 2% Greek Yogurt---- 1 Tablespoon Dill – Chopped---- 1 Tablespoon Mint – Chopped--- 1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice--- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate. If your dipping sauce is too thick add another teaspoon of lemon juice.

More Great Recipes:
Meatball|Lamb|Yogurt|Make Ahead|Entree

Reviews (20) Questions (0)

20 Reviews

Kathy K. March 22, 2015
I added garlic to these meatballs but they are the best meatballs ever! And fast and simple
TheRambis November 24, 2014
Made these tonight. These are the best meatballs I have ever made! So simple. I used a portioning scoop to make the balls and it worked great. Love being able to throw them in the oven. Lip-smacking.
afbpatterson June 10, 2014
These were amazing and I expect they will become a part of our regular rotation. With the freekeh salad and some spinach, an absolute delight!
Douglas B. June 2, 2014
I loved these. I ran out of currants so subbed dried cranberries. I look forward to adding these as a Thanksgiving app. delish
juliunruly April 27, 2013
This has become a staple at our house. We're big lamb fans and I enjoy using it ground. I've been making this 1-2 times per month and it's always a welcome treat. I serve it with a greek salad. Thanks for the great recipe!
Crispy December 11, 2012
I made these for dinner last night with ground lamb from Al Rosas Farm ( and they were delicious. I used Westminstress's suggestions although I did use Panko bread crumbs and cooked them about 3 minutes longer than suggested. My un-lamb loving husband even enjoyed them! Glad your dad didn't really throw your mama out!
Westminstress March 19, 2012
Made these tonight and really enjoyed them! I subbed a bit of cayenne pepper for the paprika and a large finely shopped shallot for the onion powder. Oh and my bread crumbs weren't panko. No matter, all turned out very well indeed. Lamb has so much umami! The yogurt sauce was lovely also.
Jimbly February 27, 2012
I made these to nibble on while we were watching the Oscars. Great dish! I used dried sour cherries instead of currants, and Alton Brown's trick of using a baby-muffin pan instead of a cookie sheet. Very happy with this recipe.
tastysweet February 26, 2012
I have a son who follows a gluten free diet. Is there anything I can use in lieu of the panko <br />bread crumbs. I realize of course that Panko is the breadcrumbs of choice as I use them <br />all the time. But now I need a substitute.
Head2Tail February 27, 2012
My father is gluten-intolerant and my mom (an adventurous and resourceful cook indeed) has started using cooked white quinoa in place of breadcrumbs in meatloaf and claims it is even better tasting than meatloaf with breadcrumbs. I'm not sure about the structural integrity of using quinoa for meatballs but it seems worth a try.
shoestringmama February 20, 2012
Oh I can't wait to try these ... now why didn't I get that freshly ground lamb I saw at the Farmer's market this past Saturday - and it was calling to me too! I just didn't have a recipe in mind and hadn't read this one yet! Love your story too!
lapadia August 12, 2010
Thanks for the entertaining story, thanks for the sharing your recipe, however I am not a "lamby" person, maybe I shall try with buffalo...I have never tried that and have wanted to...otherwise, how about beef or pork?
dymnyno August 11, 2010
I love your recipe and your sense of humor! (you should have kept the last line off and kept us all in wonder)
Author Comment
MySocialChef August 11, 2010
Ha, I did for my blog, but I received so many emails from people asking what happened to my poor mother. Thanks!
hamburglar August 11, 2010
i know this is a meatball contest, but i think i'll make some burger patties with the same mixture, and toss in a pita with some havarti. MMMMMMMMMM
Gurra B. August 11, 2010
These are amazing! I made these last night and served with a simple rice pilaf and shepherd salad. This morning, when I was getting ready for work, I snuck a leftover out the fridge and ate it just like that - so delicious. I'm already planning on making these for dinner with my extended family on Sunday. I didn't have dried currants so I finely chopped some dried cherries that I had in my fridge and added them to the mix.
aargersi August 11, 2010
Yum - LOVE lamb and I will try this soon - and I am glad your mom didn't really get the boot :-)
Jackie_ August 11, 2010
I made this last night and it was so incredible. My eight year old who is so picky asked for seconds. Thank you Social Chef!!!
Chef L. August 11, 2010
Wow, these look better than the Ikea ones.. thank you so much, Social Chef! still licking my fingers after that delicious potato salad!
nannydeb August 9, 2010
You're hilarious! These look tasty with the currents and the pine nuts. I'll try them, but probably with beef. Maybe when I grow up I'll like lamb...