Lebanese Meatballs




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Lebanese Meatballs ~ you can’t help but fall in love with these tender beef and lamb meatballs made with tons of fresh herbs, spices, and tangy goat cheese!  This is the perfect addition to your next Mediterranean dinner or mezze platter!

Photo of Lebanese Meatballs on a white plate.

I know.  These look really good, don’t they?  Little spiced meatballs are one of the things I make over and over again.  But I do try and experiment with something a little different each time.  This time I made them a little spicier and a little greener.  I don’t know why, but flavors tend to get sucked up by ground meat dishes like meatballs and meatloaves.  It helps to have a pretty heavy hand with the seasonings if you want the flavors to come through in the end.

Photo of raw Lebanese Meatballs on a tray.

We had these meatballs with the Hummus and Laffa Bread the other night.  I like meatballs because you can have just a little meat as part of a mostly vegetarian dinner.

Photo of raw ground meat and spring onions on a table for Lebanese Meatballs.

And once you have the meatball ‘formula’ down, you can tweak it any way you like.  My formula is an egg and half a cup of some kind of bread crumb for every pound of ground meat. The rest is up for grabs.  I consider myself  a meatball expert at this point, I make them all the time.  If you love them too, check out some of the other meatball recipes on the blog, there are some amazing recipes here.

Photo of spices on top of raw ground meat for Lebanese Meatballs.

For these meatballs I added a little extra in the way of spices—cardamom, cumin, allspice and lots of salt and pepper.  Cinnamon can be substituted for the cardamom if you don’t have any.  I love the exotic combinations of spices in Middle Eastern meats.  You can experiment with other spices, too, like paprika, coriander, turmeric, ginger, nutmeg and chilies.

Photo of sliced green onions and sprigs of mint for Lebanese Meatballs.

I also used a heavy hand with the scallions and herbs. I used parsley and mint here, and I wouldn’t hesitate to add a lot since they really bring these meatballs to life!

Photo of herbs, onions, cheese, spices, and ground meat in a bowl for Lebanese Meatballs.

Just for a little more flavor and texture I added some crumbled goat cheese.  You could also use feta.

Closeup photo of Lebanese Meatballs on a plate with yogurt sauce.

TIPS for amazing Lebanese meatballs ~

  • Use fresh herbs only for this recipe, and don’t skimp, they add moisture and flavor to this recipe.
  • Don’t be afraid of the spices, they may seem unusual for a meat dish, but trust me, they make these meatballs taste incredible.
  • Just like with any ground meat, don’t overwork it by mixing too much.  Just blend until all the ingredients are well combined and don’t compact it too much.

Lebanese Meatballs
Rate this recipe
30 ratings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: Lebanese

Yield: serves 6

Calories per serving: 364.37 kcal

Fat per serving: 26.77 g

Saturated fat per serving: 10.75 g

Carbs per serving: 11.08 g

Protein per serving: 19.61 g

Fiber per serving: 1.35 g

Sugar per serving: 2.84 g

Sodium per serving: 399.78 mg

Trans fat per serving: 0.45 g

Cholesterol per serving: 93.3 mg

Lebanese Meatballs

Lebanese Meatballs ~ you can't help but fall in love with these tender beef and lamb meatballs made with tons of fresh herbs, spices, and tangy goat cheese! 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground lamb
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs (grind some fresh in your mini processor if you have any bread lying around, or use prepared crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup finely crumbled goat cheese (you can use feta)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom (or cinnamon)
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil for browning
  • pine nuts for garnish
    Yogurt Sauce
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1/8 cup tahini (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, parsley, mint, or a combination, finely minced
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 350F
  2. For the meatballs: Put everything except the olive oil into a large bowl. Make sure you egg is pre-beaten. With as little manipulation as possible, combine all the ingredients thoroughly together. The less you work the mixture the more tender your meatballs will be.
  3. Form into small balls and set on a plate. Using a scooper makes the process clean and easy. Mine was 1 3/4 inch.
  4. If you want to do this part ahead, you can, just cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate till you're ready to cook.
  5. Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and brown the meatballs, in batches, for several minutes, turning them once or twice in the pan.
  6. Transfer the meatballs to a baking sheet and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, until done. The time will depend on the size of your meatballs, I like to use my cooking thermometer to check one; it should read about 160 degrees. They will continue to cook a bit after they're out.
  7. For the sauce mix up all the ingredients and thin with a little milk if it seems too thick. This can be made ahead.
  8. Serve the meatballs with the sauce and a few pine nuts for garnish.
Nutrition label for Lebanese Meatballs

Other Lebanese recipes to try ~

 

Thanks for pinning these Lebanese Meatballs!

 

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66 Comments

  • Reply
    Lauren
    December 16, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    I never follow recipes, but I followed this one to a tee, and it turned out amazingly. Ingredients do sound odd to mix together, and I fought every urge to not add garlic the entire time. Great recipe, and worth the effort to try. Btw, these made my kitchen smelled amazing.

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 16, 2018 at 4:15 pm

      Now you’ve got me craving these meatballs :)

  • Reply
    David
    November 23, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    These meatballs were really delicious. Thanks for the recipe. I followed everything exactly, except that I doubled the meatball mixture and added four cloves of minced garlic. I served this with a very basic jasmine rice cooked with chicken stock, along with some thinly-sliced tomatoes and cucumbers on the side Yummy stuff!

  • Reply
    Chris
    October 15, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    All I have to say is “WOW!!!” These were absolutely delicious. I did add some garlic because I can’t have anything without garlic lol, but my fiancé and I obliterated these. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 15, 2018 at 1:22 pm

      Glad you enjoyed them Chris, I love all meatballs, but these are definitely one of my faves :)

  • Reply
    Laura
    August 19, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    Wow! Made almost exactly as written, except I doubled the recipe, let the meat rest in the fridge for a few hours, then I baked the meatballs at 375 until cooked through (instant read thermometer 155; they continue to cook while resting).

    I served with a yogurt dill sauce; big salad of romaine, mint, dill, and parsley; sliced veggies, and warm pita.

    These were delicious! Leftovers will be devoured.

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 19, 2018 at 6:30 pm

      I just bought a package of ground lamb for the first time in months…I guess I know what I’m going to do with it!

  • Reply
    Marie-Eve Dufresne
    August 12, 2018 at 10:19 am

    Thanks a lot for the recipe, it became a classic here :)
    Marie-Eve

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 12, 2018 at 11:25 am

      I’m so glad :)

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    August 3, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    These look fabulous and would be Keto and gluten free except for breadcrumbs. I have tended to stay away from meatballs since sticking to Keto because they are so dense. Can you think of an alternative to bread that might serve the same purpose? I would love to try these. Have tried almond flour and it does not work!

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 4, 2018 at 9:41 am

      I have used instant mashed potatoes, believe it or not, to lighten meatballs, and it works great ~ I think it’s an old Scandinavian trick.

  • Reply
    Alannah
    June 12, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    Loved this recipe, added a bit of chopped dates and It was awesome, but didn’t notice that there’s no garlic in the recipe until they were done. Want to add garlic next time :)

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 12, 2018 at 8:15 pm

      I have to admit I’m a little bit garlic phobic, I use it sparingly, but if you love it, go for it, I think these meatballs can handle it :)

  • Reply
    Dannii
    April 12, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Lebanese food is my absolute favourite, but I have never heard of Lebanese Meatballs before. I love the idea of yoghurt sauce on Meatballs.

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 12, 2018 at 11:37 am

      Hope you get a chance to try them Dannii.

  • Reply
    Cindy Gordon
    April 12, 2018 at 10:39 am

    I am always looking for new and fun recipes to make when my parents come over! I think that this one fits the bill for Sunday supper! YUM, can’t wait!

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