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Meatballs with rice and salad

Lebanese-style meatballs with mujadara

A star rating of 3.9 out of 5.6 ratingsRate
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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
    • plus chilling
  • Easy
  • Serves 4

Brown rice, lentils and onions make a delicious base for this healthy dinner. We've used lean lamb mince and plenty of herbs and spices to add flavour

  • Gluten-free
  • Healthy
Nutrition: per serving
low inkcal497


  • 250g lamb mince (10% fat or lower)
  • 2 large onions (320g), 1 very finely chopped, 1 halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove , finely grated
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 lemon , half zested and juiced, half cut into four wedges to serve
  • 2 tsp rapeseed oil
  • 200g brown basmati rice
  • 1 tbsp bouillon powder
  • 390g can green lentils , drained
  • 2 tbsp tahini

For the salad

  • 4 tomatoes , cut into wedges
  • ¼ cucumber (about 150g), sliced
  • 12 Kalamata olives , quartered
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint , plus a few small leaves to serve


  • STEP 1

    Tip the lamb into a bowl with ¼ of the chopped onion, the garlic, ½ tsp cumin, the lemon zest and some black pepper. Mix well with your hands, then shape into 16 small meatballs. Chill for at least 30 mins.

  • STEP 2

    Heat 1 tsp oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Reserve most of the remaining chopped onion for the salad, then fry the rest for 5 mins until golden. Stir in the remaining cumin, then tip in the rice, bouillon powder, 500ml water and some black pepper. Reduce the heat to a simmer, then cover and cook over a medium heat for 30 mins. Tip in the lentils, cover again and cook for 5-10 mins more until the rice is tender and all the water has been absorbed.

  • STEP 3

    Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a non-stick pan over a medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and sliced onion, cover and cook for 5 mins. Stir, then cook for 5 mins more until the meatballs are cooked through and the onions are golden. Stir the tahini and lemon juice together with 3-4 tbsp water to make a sauce.

  • STEP 4

    Mix all of the salad ingredients with the reserved chopped onion. If you're following our Healthy Diet Plan, divide half of the mujadara between two plates and top with half of the meatballs and onions. Spoon over half of the tahini sauce and serve with half of the salad, two lemon wedges and a few mint leaves. Cover and chill the remaining portions to eat another day. Will keep for two to three days in the fridge.


This recipe is part of our free Healthy Diet Plan. Sign up today and we’ll send you seven days of triple-tested, nutritionally-optimised recipes, plus expert tips to help you look and feel your very best!

Goes well with

Recipe from Good Food magazine, January 2020


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A star rating of 3.9 out of 5.6 ratings

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