Moroccan Lamb Meatballs

My toddler and I have something in common, we both love meatballs.  I love them for their versatility, to be dressed up with sexy salads and sauces for a dinner party or equally delicious popped in a pitta for a quick dinner, for their make ahead-and-freezability and the endless flavour options.  She loves them as they are fun finger food and meat that doesn’t take too much chewing when new teeth are appearing.

So many parents I talk to have toddlers that love meat balls, so this makes them an excellent way to introduce new flavours, with the safety of a familiar food, and just a whisper of a different and new flavour.

I always favour lamb as a red meat as it’s much easier to digest than beef, and it lends itself really well to the warm middle eastern spices and sweet apricots in this recipe.  I include pine nuts as not only are they delicious, and a common addition to cuisine of this type, but they are a rich source of good heart loving fats, B vitamins, Vitamin E and one of the best sources of manganese which helps the body defend itself against infectious diseases.  Also high in manganese is turmeric, included here too- it’s a superfood, and it supports the body in short term and long term health, is used in many medical treatments, read about it here.

Serve these meatballs with a couscous or quinoa salad, jewelled with pomegranate seeds, fresh coriander and flaked almonds.  Sides of spiced yogurt and flatbread are lovely too.  Or, as is often the case with me, whatever your toddler fancies, they work well with sweet potato mash or wedges, cucumber salads, quinoa and rice.

Moroccan lamb meatballs


1 medium red onion, finely diced

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

Tablespoon good oil, avocado or coconut would be best.

8 apricots, finely shopped

50g toasted Pinenuts

Finely zested zest of 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Big pinch of black pepper

500g lamb mince


Gently fry the onion and garlic over a low heat for 15 minutes until soft and translucent, taking care not to brown them.   Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl add all the spices, the apricots, lemon zest and pine nuts.  Add the cooled onion and garlic and give it a good mix.  Then with your hands, work the lamb mince into the mixture, making sure it’s all evenly dispersed and well mixed.

Take two clean plates, and roll the mixture into balls, I usually make 18 or so from these volumes.  These can be covered with cling film and frozen for a month or so or cooked in a number of ways.

Oven: in a preheated oven, to 200 degrees C, these will cook through in around 20 minutes depending on the size of the meatballs.  There is no need to add any additional oil.   If I’m cooking for my toddler, put these in a ceramic dish covered with foil- it’s stops them browning too much.

On the hob: brown these meatballs in a frying pan with a tiny splash of oil, for 10-15 minutes.  They can be finished in the pan, in the oven or transferred to a sauce to finish cooking.

In any case always test them to make sure they are cooked through before serving.

Gorgeous serving ideas:

  • Red onion marinaded in lemon juice
  • Green salad
  • Houmous
  • Spiced Yogurt
  • Couscous with pomegranate, fresh coriander leaves and flaked almonds
  • Flat breads, and pitta

Tags: , ,

Categories: Dairy Free Family Recipes, Fit Fork, Lunchbox Fillers, Real food for Babies, Recipe, Summer Family Recipes

3 Comments on “Moroccan Lamb Meatballs”

  1. Phil & Liette
    March 25, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

    We just love this recipe. Thanks for sharing!


  2. April 2, 2015 at 2:59 pm #

    Thanks! Hope you enjoy these



  1. Easter Eating: 5 Delicious Ways with Lamb | Family Fork - April 2, 2015

    […] Moroccan Lamb Meatballs.  Recipe here.  A fun and relaxed approach to eating lamb this Easter.  Pile into a pitta with salad and lots […]


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