Kefte (Lamb Meatballs)

  • Author: John Pitblado


The centerpiece of any meze platter is a heap of these tender, super-flavorful meatballs. Lamb might be a conflicting purchase for some, so when buying it, be sure to source it from someone who you trust has treated their animals with the best of care. For those of you in the L.A. area, we suggest going to butchers who know the farmers rather than stores that buy meats from large distributors. We love working with the fine folks who own and operate small, sustainable shops such as BelcampoA Cut AboveElectric Butcher  and some of the farmers who sell at your local farmers markets.

Take a few minutes while the meatballs are cooking to make the Labneh dip to serve alongside them.


Kefte (Lamb Meatballs)

1 lb. Ground lamb meat
1/2 cup Fresh mint, minced
1/2 Onion, grated
2 Garlic cloves, minced
2 tsps Paprika
2 tsps Kosher salt
1 tsp Ground pepper
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
1 Yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Drained roasted red peppers, finely chopped
1 cup Water
2 Tbsps Pomegranate molasses
2 Tbsps Italian parsley, finely chopped


Kefte (Lamb Meatballs)

  1. In a large bowl gently mix lamb, mint, grated onion, paprika, cumin, salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Using moistened hands roll meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch meatballs of about 2 tablespoons (purple scooper). Arrange on sheet
  2. Heat skillet over medium-high heat with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When oil is hot, add sliced onions; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Sauté until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Remove to rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon oil to same skillet; heat over medium-high heat. Sauté meatballs until just cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to baking sheet. Add oil to skillet if dry. Add roasted peppers to reserved skillet; stir 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup water and 1 tablespoon molasses. Bring to simmer, scraping up browned bits. Cook until reduced to 1/3 cup, stirring occasionally. Return onions and meatballs to pan with pepper sauce. Mix in parsley. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more pomegranate molasses, if desired.