Lamb & apricot meatballs

Lamb & apricot meatballs

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(57 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


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    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 1 year old; between 1 and 2 years old you will find it sold as…

  • 8 dried apricots, 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, questions and tips

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8th Jul, 2019
Very simple and so delicious. I make double batches and freeze into portions with some sauce, and they reheat perfectly. As someone else commented, I baked mine instead of frying for convenience.
13th Jan, 2019
These were great! I cooked the meatballs in the oven (200C for ~15 mins) and served with pitta and Tzatziki (not Moroccan but hey!). I loved the flavours in the meatballs, but next time I think I'll double the apricot and mint and add some chili to the tomato mix for a bit of heat.
31st Jan, 2017
I don't usually leave reviews but for this one I just had to. I didn't think the apricots would work but they really do. Really impressed with this! I did this with pasta instead of what's recommended and it was really good with the sauce. Lush!
8th Aug, 2016
For those who have cooked these in the oven - what temperature and for how long please?
24th Aug, 2015
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
29th Jun, 2015
Wasn't sure these were going to be very nice... but they were AMAZING really enjoyed them definitely will make them again!
20th Aug, 2014
5 stars. Highly recommend - so tender and delicious! Whole family inc toddler demolish this dish.
15th Feb, 2014
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.
2nd Feb, 2014
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
22nd Dec, 2013
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.


14th Aug, 2017
At what point would you freeze? What are instructions for defrosting and cooking please?
goodfoodteam's picture
17th Aug, 2017
Thanks for your question. You can either freeze the meatballs uncooked after step 2. You'll need to freeze them spaced apart on a tray so they don't stick together and then transfer them to a freezer bag. Freeze the sauce separately in a tupperware. Defrost both in the fridge or on the side for a couple of hours, then resume the recipe from step 3. Alternatively, freeze the finished dish, defrost and reheat in the microwave or on the hob.
Peter Johnston
27th Sep, 2016
Made these and really enjoyed them. I'm a bit of a cooking novice so was wondering whether you should freeze any excess meatballs raw or after cooking? If after cooking, how would you re-heat them up once defrosted? Thanks for the help
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