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
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  • 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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30th Aug, 2012
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.
22nd Jul, 2012
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
3rd Jul, 2012
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 :)
1st Jul, 2012
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.
27th Jun, 2012
These meatballs are superb. The next time I will definitely make a larger quantity for freezing. I didn't have apricots but had apricot jam which i put in the tomato sauce. I chopped the onions finely in the food processor so that, when I fried them with the spices, they were almost paste-like, this made for well-formed meatballs which didn't break up when fried. I chilled the meatballs well before frying too. I used tinned cherry tomatoes for the sauce and served with spaghetti. Very favourable comments from everyone.
13th Jun, 2012
I found these fairly straight forward to make and though I didn't eat them (I'm not a fan of minced lamb) my family hoovered the lot with gusto. I had thought I'd get to freeze a couple of portions but they practically licked the platter clean!!
21st Apr, 2012
Kids loved this!
6th Apr, 2012
made these for my friends they all loved it definately going to make again, even my partner liked them and he can be really fussy ................yummy :)
2nd Apr, 2012
I made these meatballs over the weekend, and I have to say they are the tastiest I've ever made. I made a larger quantity, 800 grams of mince, and 2 tins of chopped tomatoes. On one night I ate with homemade lemony/pine nut/mity cous cous, and the second night I has with spaghetti. I will definately be using this recipe over and over again. Would highly recommend. Very easy, very tasty, very happy!
26th Mar, 2012
A really simple but delicious recipe. Made approx 35-40 meatballs. The sauce was a bit too tomatoey so after I'd reduced it, I added approx 150ml of chicken stock and reduced down again...I didn't want it too saucy. Also used 2 tsp ras el hanout, 3 cumin and 2 coriander. Loaded pitta with meatballs and salad. Will definitely make these again.


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