A Mediterranean Lamb Bowl Dinner

A Mediterranean Lamb Bowl Dinner

This Mediterranean lamb bowl is what my kiddo likes to call a “little bit of everything dinner.” These bowls have a variety of tastes and textures, so your picky eater can try a small bit of something. And they are a great use of leftover grains and greens and other chopped vegetables.

Meatballs are a great addition to dinner bowls. Why? Aside from a little chopping, meatballs are extremely easy to make, come together in ~30 minutes, and have infinite variety.

So what’s in this bowl?

  • Lamb meatballs with sesame seeds, cumin, and coriander (see recipe)
  • Israeli couscous with lemon juice and chopped mint
  • Sliced red cabbage
  • Sliced radishes
  • Hummus
  • Feta
  • Chopped cucumber and tomatoes with salt and olive oil
  • Base: baby spinach
  • Garnish: toasted pine nuts, chopped parsley, chopped cilantro
  • Dressing: sour cream and sumac sauce (from Jerusalem)
  • On the side: pita

In the past my homemade hummus had the wrong texture. But with some encouragement to try again, I used this hummus recipe from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, and it turned out silky smooth. No more store-bought hummus for me!

a small bowl of hummus with a spoon

Notes and tips about making any meatballs

  • The easy-to-remember starting ratio for meatballs and meatloaves is one pound of ground meat: one egg: one half cup of breadcrumbs or equivalent.
  • You should finely chop any add-ins, or your meatballs may have a hard time staying together.
  • If I’m using onion or some other crunchy vegetable (e.g. fennel, celery), I will often saute it beforehand, but that just adds time and another pan to clean. If a recipe calls for onions, I’ll often substitute green onions, which don’t have to be pre-cooked.
  • The mixture should be combined gently with your hands (no need to knead!) and rolled to form balls. I use a cookie scoop to get meatballs of generally the same size for cooking consistency.

FAQs about this Mediterranean lamb bowl

What is the difference between ground lamb and lamb mince?

Technically they are two different ways of processing meat (i.e. grinding versus fine cutting). But effectively they are the same thing, with “ground lamb” being the more common terminology in the U.S. and “lamb mince” being used elsewhere.

What wine would go well with lamb meatballs?

Que syrah syrah! Syrah is bold enough, and often has a bit of peppery spice that would be perfect with this bowl.

Can I freeze these meatballs?

Yes, meatballs freeze perfectly. Just blot any oil with a paper towel and then freeze them in a freezer bag with all the air removed. Reheat in the oven or in a steamer.

Could I substitute another ground meat for the lamb?

Yes, beef, chicken, or turkey would all work well with these meatballs.

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Yes, there are a lot of things to use that could substitute for the panko. We have used Ian’s Gluten Free Original Panko, and we can’t tell the difference.

I hate cilantro. Can I leave it out?

You’re not alone in having the gene that makes cilantro taste like soap. You can always use only parsley and skip the cilantro. But I’m guessing you know that by now!

A glass bowl with the mixture for the lamb meatballs with cumin and coriander.
a bowl of lamb meatballs with sesame seeds, cumin, and coriander

Lamb meatballs with sesame seeds, cumin, and coriander for the Mediterranean lamb bowl

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 4


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil for greasing the pan
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup panko or other dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Use the tsp of vegetable oil to grease a baking pan or dish.
  • Add all of the remaining ingredients (i.e. everything except for the vegetable oil) into a large bowl and mix together using your hands.
  • Use a large cookie scoop or use your hands to scoop golf ball-sized (2+ generous tablespoons) amount of mixture. Roll the mixture gently in your hands to form a ball and place them in the dish, leaving space around each one. You will have ~18 meatballs.
  • Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until the internal temperature is 165°F. About 10 minutes into baking, shake the meatballs around and use a spatula to loosen any that might be sticking to the pan. Serve warm.

What next?

If you make this Mediterranean lamb bowl or the lamb meatballs, please comment and/or share a pic! Or make it again with my lamb meatballs with raisins and pine nuts.

Like greens and grains bowls? Check out other grain and salad bowls from the uglyducklingbakery archives.

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A bowl of lamb meatballs with cumin and coriander.

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