Made with lamb and spiced with black pepper, oregano, and cumin, these Mediterranean- inspired meatballs have enough flavor that they’re nearly just as good served at room temperature as they are hot. Finished with a tangy yogurt sauce and wrapped in flatbread. Any extra yogurt sauce is great for drizzling over roasted squash.
Try a couple of directions for wine: A new-world rosé with fresh strawberry–tart cherry notes is refreshing on warm evenings, while a full-bodied Syrah brings out the black pepper for cooler, cozier nights.
You can find Kate’s book Wine Style: Discover the wines you will love through 50 simple recipes online now.
Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced, or 1⁄8 medium red onion, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 cup panko bread crumbs*
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
- 1 cup firmly packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 1 garlic clove, grated with a Microplane or finely minced
- 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Flatbread, such as lavash or pita or buttery noodles for serving
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper or lightly oil it.
- In a large bowl, gently but thoroughly mix together the lamb, water, garlic, green onions, salt, paprika, oregano, cumin, and pepper. Add the bread crumbs and gently mix until incorporated. Roll into 16 small meatballs about 1½ ounces each and arrange on the prepared pan. Brush the tops with the oil.
- Roast, rotating the pan halfway through, until the tops of the meatballs start to brown, about 15 minutes. For a deeper brown color, carefully arrange an oven rack in the top third of the oven and preheat the broiler. Broil until the meatballs caramelize, 1 to 2 minutes depending on the broiler (keep a close eye on the pan and don’t walk away while broiling).
- In a mini food processor, combine the yogurt, cilantro, mint, garlic, and salt and process until evenly blended. (Or chop the herbs very finely and stir the ingredients together in a bowl.)
- Serve the meatballs with the yogurt sauce spooned over the top and flatbread on the side. For a more substantial plate, serve the meatballs and yogurt on top of buttery noodles.
Reprinted with permission from Wine Style: Discover the Wines You Will Love Through 50 Simple Recipes by Kate Leahy, copyright © 2021. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.