spinach lamb meatballs

Spinach Lamb Meatballs

Sometimes you get recipes from a cookbook, or online, or from a friend. This recipe for spinach lamb meatballs started in a cookbook in NY, bounced to the US West coast, and then back again to NY. It was a cross-country collaboration!

Here’s what happened.  A friend had some ground lamb and was looking for dinner ideas.  I mentioned a spinach lamb meatball recipe I had and gave her the ingredients.

She wanted to serve her meatballs with marinara sauce, so I suggested she might want to change it around a bit (the original recipe called for nutmeg, which wasn’t going to work with marinara sauce). Also, while the recipe I had fit her requirements, it was, honestly, a bit bland, and needed more punch.

She added her own spin, then told me what she did. I made a few more changes, and ended up with this recipe.

Red wine vinegar stands up to the lamb’s assertive flavor, while cumin adds a warm, nutty, slightly spicy bite. The spinach adds color, and those all important vitamins and iron too.

It’s pretty easy to put together too. First, you sweat the onions (cook them over low heat for a few minutes, until they become transparent). Then wash and dry the spinach (this is important, otherwise the meatballs will be too moist and won’t hold together). The rest is simply measuring, mixing, and rolling.

Spinach Lamb Meatballs

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: Meditteranean

one serving

spinach lamb meatballs

Rich with lamb, tangy vinegar, earthy spinach, and spicy/warm cumin, this spinach lamb meatballs recipe is ready in minutes.


  • 2 T olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 small onion, diced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 pound ground lamb
  • 1 C spinach, washed, drained, patted dry, and chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, diced
  • 1/2 egg (break the egg, mix with a fork, and pour off half into a container, save that for another use)
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1T breadcrumbs (or panko)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat half the oil in a small skillet. Add the onions, and sweat them, cooking on low heat for about 5 minutes until they become translucent.
  2. Add the cooked onions to a large bowl, and then the remaining ingredients. Mix everything together.
  3. Form the meat mixture into meatballs, about one inch in diameter.
  4. Wipe out the pan you used for the onions, add the rest of the oil and heat on medium-high heat. Then cook the meatballs, turning gently so they cook on all sides. This should take about 5-8 minutes.
  5. Remove from pan, drain on paper towels, and serve.


Note: it's easier to turn the meatballs if you use two teaspoons (one on each side) to rotate them)

Spinach Lamb Meatballs Substitutions and Variations

  • try red wine (say a Pinot Noir) instead of the vinegar
  • add an extra flavor punch and spice with some harissa
  • use ground beef instead of lamb
  • skip the cumin and have the meatballs with marinara sauce
  • serve the meatballs with Greek yogurt and cucumber

More Lamb Recipes

Turkish Lamb Burgers

Lamb Merguez Sausage with Rice and Vegetables

Lamb Keema with Potatoes and Broccoli

Greek Lamb Breast Recipe

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