Lamb meatball & pea pilaf

Lamb meatball & pea pilaf

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(49 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 cloves, 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, questions and tips

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6th Jun, 2011
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
4th Jun, 2011
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!
2nd May, 2011
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.
21st Mar, 2011
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
13th Mar, 2011
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.
13th Mar, 2011
Didn't like this at all, found the flavours a bit odd and even though the lamb was lean the dish seemed really greasy.
9th Mar, 2011
Really nice quick dish - really needs the yogurt as without it is a bit dry.
10th Feb, 2011
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!
16th Jan, 2011
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.
13th Jan, 2011
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!


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