Lamb meatball & pea pilaf

Lamb meatball & pea pilaf

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(47 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 20 mins


Serves 4
Meatballs aren't just for pasta dishes. Experiment with this tasty pilaf - a winner for any meatball fan

Nutrition and extra info

  • Raw or cooked meatballs only
  • Easily doubled / halved

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal496
  • fat10g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs72g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre4g
  • protein33g
  • salt1.34g
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  • 400g pack lean minced lamb
  • 3 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tsp cumin



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

  • 300g basmati rice
  • enough lamb or vegetable stock to cover the rice, from a cube is fine
  • 300g frozen pea
  • zest 2 lemon, juice of 1



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

For the cucumber yogurt

  • 1⁄2 cucumber, finely chopped or grated
  • 150ml pot mild natural yogurt
  • small bunch mint, leaves torn



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


  1. Mix the lamb with half the garlic and 1 tsp of the cumin, then season and shape into about 16 balls – it’s easier if you wet your hands. Heat a large frying pan (with a lid for later), then fry the meatballs for about 8 mins until golden and cooked through. Remove from the pan, set aside, then tip in the rice, final tsp of cumin and remaining garlic. Fry for 30 secs, stirring, then pour in enough stock to cover. Cover and simmer for 10 mins or until almost all of the liquid is absorbed.

  2. Stir in the peas, return the meatballs to the pan, then warm through for a few mins until the peas are tender. Meanwhile mix the cucumber, yogurt and half the mint together, then season. To finish the pilaf, stir in the lemon zest and juice with some seasoning and the remaining mint. Serve with a good dollop of the cooling cucumber yogurt.

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Comments (42)

fallenstar27's picture

Pretty tasty, and very adjustable to individual preferences. I usually just buy the meatball ready made and grill them on skewers instead of frying. Oh and for the cucumber yogurt I just use Tzatziki. This really is my lazy day meal and still tastes great with no effort.

zendeling's picture

Really very very tasty. Not bland at all!
Did nog expect such a nice result..
Making this more often, kids love it too!

itsamee's picture

Rather bland,am amazed that this is a Good Food recipe, I only made this because of the number of recommendations. Sadly the best that I can say is that it is edible.

snoble's picture

Really enjoyed this dish. I used shop bought minted lamb meatballs. The mint and lemon made it really fresh. In the end I used a stock to rice ratio of 2:1 as after frying the rice the first lot of liquid evaporated too quickly. Will make again!

georgie89's picture

This was delicious!! Even my partner.... who can be very fussy loved it too :) yummy :)

annachild's picture

What does 'Raw or cooked meatballs only ' (above, under 'Serves 4') mean?

catherineberry's picture

Greek yoghurt and mix in 1 or 2 teaspoon of mint sauce don't need to buy a cucumber

staceyb85's picture

This was delicious, used turkey mince instead of lamb to make it slightly healthier and instead of frying the meatballs I baked them for 15 mins in the oven and they came out perfectly. Was a bit unsure about how much water to put over the rice but as long as you cover it and keep checking and stirring while it cooks it turns out fine. Added some cherry tomatoes to the rice at the same time as the peas to give it some colour and extra goodness, will definitely make this again!

kategater's picture

Really lovely recipe! Used lamb stock the second time and it really made a difference. Also added plenty of seasoning to the meatballs to liven them up and this really made a difference.

njwilson121's picture

Just to add - the yoghurt MAKES the dish, so don't be tempted to cut on this, and not make the mint yoghurt. My last version using Tzatziki was okay, but nothing special. My first attempt doing everything from scratch was WOW!

I'll also add that I didn't use as much lemon - simply because I'm not a fan off too lemony meals

njwilson121's picture

Such fresh flavours! I did this two weeks ago, and I'm doing it again tonight. My only amendment is that this time I'm using Tzatziki because it's easy. I was tempted to try beef mince to make it cheaper, but the lamb and mint combination go together so well!

charity_haynes's picture

very good recipe. Easy, fast and the whole family loved it. I usually add more peas -just because the kids love them. It is nice served with pitta breads. And the cucumber yoghurt really makes it.

cherblm's picture

Pretty simple, nice dish - added a chilli and onion to the meatballs, but still think we'd need a bit more spice in the mix

dragonma5306's picture

Mmmm, this was delicious. The cumin and the lemon gave it a lovely flavour, and it was quick and easy to cook. I needed to top up the stock whilst cooking the rice but otherwise no problems. Even my two fussy boys ('I don't like meatballs....') ate the lot. Will definitely be making again.

rturner's picture

Didn't like this at all, found the flavours a bit odd and even though the lamb was lean the dish seemed really greasy.

emmacatignani's picture

Really nice quick dish - really needs the yogurt as without it is a bit dry.

becskr's picture

Made this last night and it was divine. I'd recommend finely chopping the mint though and I used about 1/3 of a cucumber as I read the comments above about using too much. Could add some cinnamon or other spices as well if you wanted. The lemon in it was delicious!

popadum's picture

This is my favourite good food recipe so far, and both my husband and young kids love this too. I make double the amount of meatballs and freeze them for a really fast after work tea.

jpeacey's picture

Delicious, quick and good for you! Perfect! Agree that less cucumber would work better and also reduced the lemon to half of one, juice only, squeezed over before serving and it was just enough. Will become a favourite i'm sure!

lisacoppen's picture

We love this in our house, quick and easy to make and delicious to eat!
I add a morrocan spice mix or curry spice to the meatballs for a variation, but the original is good.
Not keen on lemony flavours in savoury dishes so only add 1/4 of lemon juice and no zest and still yummy!


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