Lamb Meatballs with Herbed Tomato Sauce and Olives

dinner make ahead Oct 28, 2017

I’m always on the lookout for meals in which some or all of it can be make ahead. If I spend time batch cooking for the freezer, it helps to know I always have something on hand to make dinner in a snap especially on busy weeknights. Meatballs are great for this because you can put everything together, roll them and then freeze for later. When you’re ready to cook,a you have control over how many you want to cook so there’s never a chance of too much or not enough. 


When choosing the meat, I decided on lamb because my body really does well with it. I’ll go on in a separate blog in relation to my conscious choices about meat but to talk about it quickly, I buy my meat from a local farmer who so I know exactly where it comes from and how the animals are treated. Grass fed meat is naturally leaner and in my opinion has way more flavour so you end up eating less. If lamb isn’t your thing, go ahead and substitute ground turkey, pork or beef. 


I wanted to experiment with how I could get the most flavour into these little balls of goodness so I added Hummus as a binder rather than an egg and kept the breadcrumbs to minimum. The result tender and full of flavour, plus it’s really hard to dry these out. 


I kept with the Greek theme for the tomato sauce, olives and fresh herbs to keep it super simple but ever so tasty. I use a potato peeler to create zucchini ribbons which you could have on their own or mix in with your favourite brand of pasta. 


I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. They make great appetizers or to add to a tapas platter if you’ve got plans for summer parties as they’re just as good, maybe better at room temperature. As for leftovers, try them in a pita with extra hummus and cucumber or crumbled over a greek salad. 


Lamb Meatballs with Herbed Tomato Sauce and Olives


Serves 4


For the meatballs:

  • 1 1/2 pound lean ground lamb
  • 1tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  •  1/2 cup hummus
  • 2 tbsp panko crumbs (you can substitute regular breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the tomato sauce: 

  • 1 12 ounce can strained tomatoes, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 cups zucchini, ribboned with a potato peeler
  • 1 tbsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste


Preheat the oven to 350* To make the meatballs, combine ground lamb, mustard,oregano, garlic, hummus, salt and pepper. Once combined, shape mixture into 2 inch balls. Refrigerate until ready to cook .


Heat olive oil in an oven safe skillet over med-high heat. Cook meatballs in batches making sure not to crowd the pan, turning occasionally until meatballs are browned on all sides. Remove from the pan but keep the pan on medium heat.


Add the strained tomatoes to the pan to deglaze. Add the olives and simmer for 5 min.


Return the meatballs to the pan and place in the oven for 15-20 min.


Remove from the oven and add parsley, mint and zucchini. Stir until combined and zucchini is softened. 


Serve as a meal over mashed potatoes or pasta, or as an

appetizer with pita bread for dipping.


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