Lamb & apricot meatballs

Lamb & apricot meatballs

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(42 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 20 mins


Serves 4
No one can resist meatballs, and this recipe is so moreish you might want to make double and freeze for another time

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal411
  • fat22g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs26g
  • sugars13g
  • fibre3g
  • protein28g
  • salt0.72g
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  • 2 tbsp olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 red onions, very finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp each ground cumin and coriander (or 4 tsp Moroccan spice blend)



    An aromatic spice native to eastern Mediteranean countries and Upper Egypt. This warm,…

  • 400g can chopped tomatoes



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • ½ tsp sugar



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • ½ 20g pack mint, finely chopped



    There are several types of mint, each with its own subtle difference in flavour and appearance.…

  • 500g pack lean lamb mince



    A lamb is a sheep that is under one year old, and is known for its delicate flavour and tender…

  • 8 dried apricot, finely chopped



    A relative of the peach, nectarine, plum and cherry, apricots are fragrant, with a soft, velvety…

  • 50g fresh breadcrumbs
  • pitta bread and salad, to serve


  1. Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan and soften the onions for 5 mins. Add the garlic and spices and cook for a few mins more. Spoon half the onion mixture into a bowl and set aside to cool. Add the tomatoes, sugar and seasoning to the remaining onions in the pan and simmer for about 10 mins until reduced.

  2. Meanwhile, add the mint, lamb, apricots and breadcrumbs to the cooled onions, season and mix well with your hands. Shape into little meatballs.

  3. Heat the rest of the oil in a non-stick pan and fry the meatballs until golden (in batches if you need to). Stir in the sauce with a splash of water and gently cook everything for a few mins until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve with pitta bread and salad.

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Comments (49)

abbykelly's picture

Made this a few times now and really enjoy it. To make life easier (and to make less mess) I bake the meatballs in the oven rather than fry them. Easy to make ahead if entertaining. I serve with the bbcgoodfood recipe 'Harissa coucous' and with salad. Delicious

nataliedelph's picture

Wasn't sure these were going to be very nice... but they were AMAZING really enjoyed them definitely will make them again!

yum11shaw's picture

5 stars. Highly recommend - so tender and delicious! Whole family inc toddler demolish this dish.

hels189's picture

Loved it - clear plates for the hubster and me - although the children weren't keen on the apricots. We served with a herby couscous. Will definitely make again.

truebluesteve's picture

This was absolutely delicious and very much enjoyed. I added the zest of about half a lemon to the meatballs and some chilli to the sauce and it worked a treat. I also served it with cous cous

bandcamper's picture

Really lovely. I blitzed the onion for the meatballs in a food processor, then added them and the spices to the meat without cooking them first. Cooked the meatballs in the oven while I made the sauce. Made ahead of time and quickly warmed through for an easy family tea.

huisie's picture

Very tasty, served them at my birthdayparty and even my father (super fussy) liked them.

Sporty spice's picture

Made this for friends last night and it was a big hit. I doubled the quantity so that I could freeze the leftovers, as my children love them. A small tip, I made sauce and meatballs before friends arrived and then instead of browning in the pan I placed them in a hot oven on a baking tray so that I could chat with my guests as they browned. Less mess and less smell.

blurpyblurp's picture

I thought it was yummy but hubby thought it was a tad sweet with the apricots.

Maria s's picture

wow! What a fantastic and tasty recipe. My grown-up boys who can be very fussy loved it and asked me to make it again. Used pitta breads which was good, but think I will try it with a nice couscous next time. This is definately going to be a regular meal in our house!

Katyk's picture

Very tasty. Easy enough to make and makes loads. Added some tomato passatta and cream to make the sauce and it turned out really tasty. 18 month old loves it too which is a bonus.

vintageabbie's picture

Absolutely delicious, a really great throw together weekday meal with wonderful flavours. I would grill the meatballs next time, as they fell apart a bit whilst frying them, and also added houmous to the pitta and salad for an extra flavour boost.

neetz_ward's picture

Absolutely delicious!! Made these to the recipe and added feta and salad to the pita when serving. Also a good way to disguise vegetables inside too. Highly recommended.

fabnickyj's picture

Delicious! my family devoured these.

swetmanje's picture

These meatballs are really tasty. There isn't quite enough sauce for the amount of meatballs. Served them with toasted pittas and houmous - amazing!

mighty_south's picture

Recipe made around 12 golf ball size meatballs. Very nice flavours but I found that having to keep turning them to get even cooking caused a little bit of break up, but no too much, perhaps I made them too big. I might try baking them next time and serve the sauce over them at the end. I tried them with pitta but they were a bit messy so will try with pasta or cous cous in future.
Maybe it was just me but it seemed to take me twice as long to prep and cook than the recipe suggests.

joannahopper's picture

Very tasty although I found the sauce a little bland so added some chipotle paste. Also once I'd fried the meatballs I put them with the sauce into a casserole dish and baked in the oven to finish them off. Delicious! Will definitely make again. I also substituted the coriander for fennel and carraway. Yum.

amy55bannister's picture

these were so good and pretty easy to make all the ingredients worked well together and the lamb helps make it have a much fuller taste

scaramouche28's picture

Absolutely delicious! I shall be making this again very soon. Had it with rice the first time and then couscous when eating the leftovers. Don't think it would have been filling enough if served just with pitta. Great recipe :)

fizzh89's picture

Made these last night for tea for two adults and our 4 year old. I cooked half the meatballs (the mix made 16) and served all the sauce with penne pasta. They were absolutely delicious. wondered whether to freeze the other half or chill them to have in a couple days......have chilled them! I would highly recommend trying them, though found they took longer than 10 mins prep time. I wasn't in a rush, but it was an hour from starting to plating up, having said that, the prep was very straightforward.


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