Lamb Meatballs with Labneh + Honey

Makes about 4 servings

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400.

  2. Mix the meatball ingredients thoroughly in a large mixing bowl. Roll into tablespoon sized balls, and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes until cooked through + browned. (If you prefer, you can pan-fry the meatballs in a large skillet over medium heat using about 1 Tbsp. olive oil. I use both methods often! The pan fry method yields a crispier result.)

  3. While meatballs are cooking, spread yogurt onto serving tray or bowl.

  4. In a very small bowl, use a fork to mix the honey with the 1/4 tsp. turmeric and a pinch of salt. If mixture is too thick, you can add 1/4 tsp. water as well.

  5. Drizzle desired amount of the turmeric honey onto the labneh/yogurt. Arrange meatballs and dill sprigs on top of yogurt/turmeric honey, and serve with lemon wedges (Or mix a squeeze of lemon juice with the labneh before spreading).

    **NOTE: To keep the meatballs more round in the oven, you can place them on a rack on top of the baking sheet. You can also make these meatballs with beef as well as with chicken or turkey. You will not need to adjust any spices.

    **Serving suggestions: Pair with oven roasted sweet potatoes, a bright/fresh green salad, a grain, or whole roasted carrots. I also really enjoy topping the meatballs with pickled red onions.


For the Meatballs:
1 lb. ground lamb
1/4 c. finely chopped parsley or cilantro
2 cloves garlic, grated (or finely minced)
1 large egg
1/4 c. panko breadcrumbs (optional!)
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional, for heat)

For Serving:

1 Tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1 c. plain, full-fat labneh (or Greek yogurt: I use the Fage brand 5% yogurt)
1/4 c. fresh dill sprigs, for serving
Lemon wedges, for serving

Large baking sheet
Mixing bowl
Grater/zester for garlic

15 minute prep
20 minute inactive cook time
35 minute total time

Gluten-free option, refined-sugar free, nut-free

Venzi’s Notes

Another meat post — I almost feel hypocritical because, like I said in my leeky chicken post, I so rarely cook meat! However, I absolutely LOVE these lamb meatballs. Lamb is so great for seasoning with all of the aromatic spices you can think of. It’s pairs beautifully with so many herbs and flavors. The meatballs would also be great with beef, chicken or turkey, but if you do eat meat, I highly recommend the lamb. It gives the meatballs a true Middle Eastern vibe which is really what the recipe is going for!

The labneh and the golden turmeric honey really sends the meatballs over the edge and pairs perfectly with the seasonings. I love to pair them with roasted sweet potato wedges, a bright and lemony green salad, a grain dish, a fresh vinegar based slaw, or roasted vegetables. They would also be wonderful stuffed inside of a pita pocket with the labneh and a big handful of fresh herbs if you’d like to serve them with more of a street food vibe.

I usually have meatballs leftover — in this case, I’ll use them on top of grain bowls with fresh greens, herbs and a tahini dressing. There are so many ways to enjoy them!