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)

lynn32's picture

We love this recipe, it gets the thumbs up from my children and so we cook it regularly!

njvines's picture

Really tasty dish - loved by all members of the family.

hunkydory's picture

Brilliant mid week meal for the family, even though I cheated and did boil in the bag rice with egg, peas, cumin & garlic. Very nice. Plus a tip for rollng the meatballs, coat your hands in some olive oil!!

siobhanm's picture

Was convinced this was going to be terrible but it was great! Delicious, even the yoghurt dip (left out the mint as we're not keen) was nice and I never like that sort of thing. Agree with Badders, the amount of lemon seemed excessive to I put only a couple of teaspoons of the rind/juice mix and it was still lovely. Would also leave out the rind next time (husband not keen on lemony flavours so the rind wasnt good for him). But on the whole this was a good recipe and has been added to my list of recipes to make regularly!

monochromic's picture

This is the best recipe I have found on the site so far. Have made twice, once for me and my other half, and once for when friends came over, and both times it went down a treat (especially with my man, who has been starved of kebabs since we both started eating healthier, and thinks this is the next best thing!) I usually make this with a mixture of basmati and wild rice to make it a bit more interesting, go easy on the lemon juice and keep tasting til it's just right, serve it with mini poppadoms and the cucumber yoghurt and it is soooo good. Definitely better than takeaway.

huxley-radish's picture

My boyfriend loved this recipe. Do keep an eye on your rice. I didn't fancy it being too al dente, so just added stock twice so that the rice really plumped up. Very very tasty. Also I used raita instead of making the sauce because I was very lazy, but it worked a treat. Boyfriend is begging for more!

liezeldutoit's picture

Not impressive at all. I have on a bit of a pilaf bender, testing all of the recipes on the site and this one was rather dull. I like rice and meatballs, but this match was not made in heaven

badders20's picture

This dish was far too lemony (and I only included 1/2 the lemon rind scecified in recipe)! It is a real shame as I feel this dish would have benefited from just juice and no rind. On the plus side, the cooling cucumber yogurt was actually very nice - and this is coming from someone who doesn't generally go for yoghurt dips. I did follow the above advice (from Tim Evans) to halve the quantity of cucumber.

germaine1278's picture

added some harissa in the lamb mince to give the meatballs a bit of spice. what a treat! really easy dish.

paulahenihan's picture

In process of cooking and tried brown rice and it just aint soakin gup the stock as well as Basmati would I guess.

nicademeus's picture

Delcioso! This was lovely, not too much effort although it took my boyfriend a bit longer than the alloted time..But worth it!

bethocallaghan's picture

Very popular with my other half - tasted fantastic. Def make again recipe.

sarah_corns's picture

This was really delicious! I added onion to the meatballs and rice.
One thing though, keep an eye on the rice, I had to keep adding little bits of water, because it was sticking.
I will definately make it again.

karina_ams's picture

Again good proof that a busy job isn't an excuse to eat take-away! This was ready in seconds and very tasty!
(I added some sugar snaps for extra crunch and vitamines)

grahamedenise's picture

A superb meal and so easy,used peas and sweetcorn - it just gave it a little lift.

Frantic Flapjack's picture

This made a good mid-week supper. Very quick and tasty.

zaina35's picture

It was different to my usual rice pilaf that I cook. Very light compared to our spicy Asian dishes so I added crushed chillies, some paprika, one chopped onion and one egg to the mince(I used chicken mince instead and went well). I enjoyed it

hexane's picture

A very tasty dish that was easy to make.

jaynecar's picture

Delighted with this recipe - The children enjoyed as much as the adults. Really simple to make.

lisamary's picture

Thought this was delicious, watch your rice though you do need to make sure it's well covered by the stock. Definitely making it again, ever so simple and fab results.


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