Lamb Balls in Red Sauce

A while back I saw a recipe for lamb meatballs, cooked in a red sauce. It really appealed to me because I love lamb. And, I think I could eat shoe soles cooked in red sauce.

But did I print this recipe? Or even take notes as to where I found it? Stupidly no, although I’m typically organized about such important things as recipes.

So I’m creating the recipe for slightly Greek-inspired lamb balls, baked in a red sauce, along with goat cheese. The meat balls are gently seasoned with oregano, allspice, and a hint of cinnamon.

Lamb Balls in Red Sauce with Goat Cheese
Makes about 36 meatballs

Approximately 42 ounces favorite red sauce or simple Marinara
2 pounds ground lamb
3 eggs, mixed well
1/3 cup panko crumbs
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 medium onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
Panko bread crumbs, approximately 1/2 cup
10-12 ounces soft goat cheese
Freshly chopped parsley, optional

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pour the red sauce into a 9 x 13″ baking dish; set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the lamb, egg, panko crumbs, parsley, salt, oregano, cinnamon, allspice, and pepper.

In a large skillet, (you’ll be using it for another purpose), sauté the onion over medium-low heat until soft. Stir in the garlic, then remove the skillet from the burner. Let the mixture cool, then add to the lamb mixture.

Using the same skillet, add approximately 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Have a bowl of panko crumbs next to the meatball mixture. Form the lamb into medium-sized meatballs, I used a 1 1/2” scoop, roll in the bread crumbs, then sauté them in the skillet, about 8-10 at a time.

When the balls have browned well on all sides, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the skillet and place them in the baking dish with the red sauce. This should only take about 5 minutes over medium-high heat.

Repeat with remaining meatballs. If you have any bread crumbs leftover you can sprinkle them over the meatballs in the red sauce.

Bake the meatballs for approximately 20-25 minutes and remove the baking dish from the oven. Turn off the oven.

Add the goat cheese to the meatballs, adding a generous tablespoons interspersed amongst them, eturn the baking dish to the oven to allow the cheese to melt, approximately 10-15 minutes.

Before serving, sprinkle the lamb balls with freshly chopped parsley.

Serve directly from the baking dish, if desired, along with crusty bread.

Make sure there’s a generous amount of red sauce served with the lamb balls.

If desired, the meatballs and red sauce can be served over pasta or polenta, but today I used pasta.

The meatballs are tender, with a slight crunchy firmness on the outside.

The goat cheese is spectacular with the lamb and red sauce.

The crusty bread is a must!

35 thoughts on “Lamb Balls in Red Sauce

  • You and I definitely have different taste buds. I like meatballs but not made with lamb. However, I could substitute another meat for this recipe. Take good care of yourself and stay well.

    • Perhaps! I live in a small town, and delivery service is limited, so i had to suck it up and go to the grocery store. It was so odd what they didn’t have. Like ground pork. And flour. Well, maybe everybody is making cookies. Stay healthy!

  • This looks great. I sometimes make lamb kefta — basically meatballs — cooked in a red sauce. Gotta try this — it looks SO good. Thanks!

    • Well, I love a leg of lamb, and lamb chops, but I’ve had a fabulous Greek lamb burger that was out of this world, and meatballs were very good. In fact, maybe better than lamb stew if you really enjoy the flavor of lamb?

    • I have no experience with almond meal, but in the meatballs themselves I bet it would be wonderful. You don’t have to roll the meatballs in them – that was just for a little crunch.

  • Now that we are in a 4 week lockdown this looks pretty darn good. Wish I’d thought to add Lamb Mince to the shopping list.

    I will make this one day……… :))

    • I know what you mean. And it’s just starting to warm up outside where I live, so the daily menus will change. I wish my garden was producing already! Stay safe!

    • Oh I love Merguez! Someone wrote that everyone loves meatballs, and I really think that must be true!

  • I make my Lamb Meatballs with a little grated ginger, but your addition of cinnamon and goat’s cheese looks like a good idea! I can never make my meatballs perfectly round like they do at restaurants and in packaged food- I wonder what their technique is? I first brown my meatballs, while rolling them roll around in the pan so they don’t flatten out, but they never seem to come out perfectly round. Oh well- I guess it’s the taste that matters, right?

    • Ginger? Interesting. I never would have thought about that combination. Well, Chef Fran should know… is there some kind of meatball mold? I’ve never thought about the perfect shape, but I’m more into rustic cooking. At least I say that to make myself feel better!!! I can’t do anything finicky or something that requires patience. Taste does matter!

    • We’re all well so far… thanks for asking! It hasn’t gotten to our neck of the woods yet. I guess that’s one thing good about living in Oklahoma 😬! I love lamb as well, and with the red sauce the meatballs were fabulous.

  • Mimi, this sounds so incredibly delicious. I love the warm spices with the lamb — especially cinnamon. This is will made very soon in my house. :-) ~Valentina

    • Awww, thank you. Yes, the herbs and spices really helped the whole flavor profile. PLUS, the cheese!!!!

  • Yum, I love meatballs. And lamb is my favourite meat. So I’m definitely with you here Mimi. Thanks for another tasty recipe. And stay safe during these surreal times!

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