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Moroccan Spiced Lamb Meatballs

Photo: Thomas J. Story; Styling: Robyn Valarik
Total time 1 hr, 15 mins
Yield Serves 6
Time: 1 1/4 hours. Meatballs are easy to make, and they're a good way to get everyone at the party involved in the cooking. Dan Petrie peps up this familiar food with fresh ginger along with the fragrant Moroccan spice blend ras el hanout. A razor-sharp grater, such as a Microplane, makes quick work of finely shredding ginger and garlic. If you don't have one, simply mince those seasonings into a paste.Wine Pairing: Etude Pinot Noir 2006 (Carneros).


  • Dipping sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups (14 oz.) low-fat Greek yogurt
  • Finely shredded zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated or minced garlic
  • Meatballs
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated or minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated or minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ras el hanout*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1/2 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or canola oil
  • Mint sprigs

Nutrition Information

  • calories 383
  • caloriesfromfat 61 %
  • protein 30 g
  • fat 26 g
  • satfat 9.7 g
  • carbohydrate 6 g
  • fiber 0.3 g
  • sodium 616 mg
  • cholesterol 102 mg

How to Make It

  1. Make sauce: In a small bowl, stir yogurt with lemon zest, mint, olive oil, salt, and garlic. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

  2. Make meatballs: In a large bowl, combine ginger, garlic, ras el hanout, salt, and pepper. Add lamb and beef and gently mix just until seasonings are distributed.

  3. In your palms, gently roll meat to form 1 1/2-in. balls; set on a rimmed baking pan.

  4. Preheat oven to 200°, line another rimmed baking pan with paper towels, and put it and a heatproof serving bowl in the oven to keep warm. Heat a 12-in. frying pan over medium heat. Add oil and swirl to coat. Brown meatballs in 2 batches on all sides, turning as needed, 10 to 12 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer meatballs to the paper towel–lined pan.

  5. Transfer meatballs to the warm serving bowl, garnish with mint sprigs, and serve with yogurt sauce.

  6. *Buy at well-stocked supermarkets.

  7. Make ahead: Shape, wrap, and chill meatballs up to 1 day (their texture will be a little softer than if just made).

  8. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.