Lamb Meatballs with Minted Yogurt and Pomegranate Molasses

  • We sourced this beautiful grass-fed lamb from local Northern CA farmers Duane and Wendy Massa who live only 15 minutes from where this book was created. When you can find superbly fresh pasture raised quality ground lamb like this, you want to treat it with the love it deserves. You won’t believe the flavors you’ll be able to create when using farm fresh ingredients. Less is more, simple is best, and straight from the source is downright fabulous. This particular recipe was inspired by the flavors of Marguez - a North African lamb sausage that just might be one of the tastiest sausages on the planet. We simplified things by applying some of the same great spicy flavors to the everyday meatball. Then we topped everything off with a lovely contrast of cucumber, yogurt, mint, and pomegranate. Grab a basket, go to your farmers market, hug your farmer, go straight home, and make some freakin’ meatballs!
  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Serves 6 to 8


  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 4 sprigs of oregano, leaves chopped or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup greek yogurt, crème fraîche, or sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ⅓ cup chopped mint
  • ¼ cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1 Japanese cucumber, sliced thin
  • ⅓ cup pomegranate seeds, for garnish


  • In a large bowl, combine the lamb, garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, cinnamon, lemon, shallots, oregano, honey, salt, and pepper. Form the ground lamb mixture into golf ball sized meatballs and lay them out on a baking sheet.
  • In a medium bowl, thin the greek yogurt slightly with a drizzle of water. You want the yogurt to be the consistency of lightly whipped cream. Mix the greek yogurt with half of the fresh mint. Add the honey, salt, and pepper to taste.
  • Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook the meatballs in batches until browned on the outside and medium on the inside. Transfer the meatballs to a serving platter and brush sparingly with pomegranate molasses. Serve with minted yogurt and garnish with cucumbers, mint, and pomegranate seeds.
  • Makes approximately 25-30 small meatballs.
  • Note on Lamb: For a milder lamb taste, you can make this recipe using 1 pound of lamb combined with one pound of beef.
  • Note on Pomegranate Molasses: If you can’t find pomegranate molasses, you can boil 12 ounces of pomegranate juice in a saucepan over high heat until reduced to ¼ cup.