HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


ground lamb ideas?

I anticipate a good price on ground lamb tomorrow at the supermarket. Any ideas about good preparations for that? Maybe Indian? I did once make a meat loaf from mostly ground lamb, and it was great. But I would like to try some more ethnically diverse options.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. lamb burgers. you can take them in numerous ethnic directions based on the herbs, spices, condiments and type of bread you use. Indian, Italian, Persian, Greek...

    Epicurious is a good place to start, they have some solid recipes:

    there re more, but this should give you a place to start.

    2 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      I second the lamb-burger option. We had them a few nights ago -- just mixed with some worchestershire, dijon, red wine vinegar, salt & pepper, fresh thyme, garlic, and a sprinkle of pepper flakes. All I can say .. life changing. I'm about ready to kidnap the next lamb I see.

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        I top my lamb burgers with caramelized onions and chevre.

      2. Mix ground lamb with generous sprinklings of garlic powder, dried mint, cinnamon, and dried dill, plus salt.. Make into big meatball shapes and put in a baking dish. Mix a can of tomato sauce with more garlic, mint, cinnamon, and dill, also some lemon juice. Pour this over the meat. If you feel like it you can put some chunks of zucchini, onion, and pepper in also. Bake this. It is totally inauthentic and fake as Middle Eastern food (I invented it and I'm not Middle Eastern) but it TASTES Middle Eastern. Have it with rice of course.

        1. A basic Indian mince dish will start by frying chopped onion and garlic until translucent. Add about a tsp. of grated ginger and fry until fragrant. Then a tablespoon each of ground cumin and coriander as well as a teaspoon of chili powder. Fry for thirty seconds and then add a kilo of ground lamb. Brown the lamb, but just before it is finished give it a good squeeze of lemon juice, about a cup of frozen peas, cook through and finish with chopped coriander and optional garam masala.

          Ground lamb is also perfect for stuffed vegetables, kibbeh and casseroles:

          3 Replies
          1. re: JungMann

            Keema & peas is one of life's success stories.

            1. re: JungMann

              My mom always makes this with some chopped tomato and cubed potatoes too, and whole chilies instead of chili powder. (And she adds a squeeze of ketchup while cooking.) When I make it, I often mix it up with couscous or other grains for a one-pot meal.

            2. If you like gyros, I've got just the recipe for you:

              1 lb lean ground lamb
              2 cloves garlic (crushed)
              1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano (crushed)
              1 teaspoon onion powder
              1 teaspoon salt
              3/4 teaspoon pepper

              Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. Since lamb is very fatty, be sure and drain it. Once the loaf cools (I even refrigerate it to "solidify" it) slice it very thin and sear it on both sides in a skillet. Add tzaziki sauce, shredded lettuce, put or wrap in a pita, and ta-dah! You've got a great gyro!

              1. i make lamb meatballs often with harissa, mint and oregano mixed in. serve with lemon yogurt sauce over cous cous.

                2 Replies
                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  I do something similar w/ tzatziki or hummus and whatever veggies I feel like in a grilled flatbread or pita. Yum.

                  1. re: sholli

                    i just made lamb meatballs tonight for dinner. added chopped garlic, fennel seeds, chili pepper flakes, ginger powder, orange zest and black sesame seeds to the meat. along with egg, bread crumbs and romano cheese. baked at 400 til done.

                    made a puree of kalamata olives, tomato, mint, garlic, a thai chili, feta cheese and evoo for sauce.

                    delish dinner.

                2. Andrew Carmellini's lamb ragu with mint and pecorino. So good! I like it with radatiore instead of papardelle, and, to further gild the lily, a dollop of fresh ricotta.

                  1. A really good moussaka recipe makes a wonderful meal.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Joebob

                      yes this lamb and eggplant moussaka, not too much cinnamon, with a nice bechamel sauce.

                    2. I really like this recipe, from the Times, for a Turkish-style lamb & pasta dish: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage...

                      Also Julie Sahni's got a great Indian lamb keema dish, if you're up for googling.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Emmmily

                        I was going to suggest the Turkish-style lamb & eggplant pasta dish - I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds outrageously good.

                      2. Shepherd's Pie - the real one not with beef which is Cottage Pie.

                        But I second Moussaka or Keema Peas.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: smartie

                          Oh yes! Amazed I didn't think of that. Yum!

                        2. I mix copious amounts of crumbled feta cheese, garlic, and chopped onion into the lamb, make into burgers, and grill. Delish!

                          1. i had the most exceptional lamb meatballs in tomato sauce based on a claudia roden recipe (from arabesque maybe?). you bake the meatballs, then add tomato sauce, lemon juice, a little bit of sugar, some garlic and hot pepper to the accumulated juices and bake some more. it was rich and luscious and delicious.

                            4 Replies
                              1. re: GretchenS

                                Yes, that's exactly it--thanks for finding it. I totally recommend adding the optional lemon juice and red pepper.

                              2. re: rose water

                                rose water, thank you for bring this up. I have the book and overlooked it. I will try to make it soon. Looks great:)

                                1. re: rose water

                                  i'm not a huge lamb eater, so i once made that Roden recipe with ground turkey thighs, and it was still fabulous!

                                2. Greek pastitsio. Yum!

                                  1. saute onions, saute lamb, mix in turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, salt, pepper, golden raisins, cooked beluga lentils, and chopped cilantro and/or italian parsely, mix together, serve over jasmine rice - so easy and really good!

                                    second shepherd's pie, which is really good with a sweet potato and/or rutabaga mash topping instead of the usual potato.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                      Your first suggestion sounds delicious. Is it a traditional thing? From which region of the world? Your own creation? Does it have a name?

                                      I've never thought of combining ground lamb and lentils but it sounds like a really interesting idea. The raisins and coriander make it sound complex and intriguing.

                                      1. re: rainey

                                        No, just made it up. the lentils add a really nice texture, and because they're blakc and shiny they make the dish pretty, too.

                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                          Well done! It's definitely something I want to try. ;>

                                          1. re: rainey

                                            thank you! sure you will love it.

                                      1. Mark Bittman's Greek Nachos are great, simple, and delicious. Recipe here: http://bitten.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/...

                                        1. Another plug for this dish from Nigella. It is my go-to dish when I have little time but still want something comforting and delicious. I use red lentils, and often forget the cheese. It is delicious!

                                          1. Stuffed grape leaves made with ground lamb and rice. Moussaka and Pastitio.

                                            1. I like the burger idea because you can flavor it how you like - I like Greek with feta and the top them with olive tapenade. Another favorite is Shepherd's pie. But my all time favorite ground lamb recipe is for Thai lamb meatballs in lettuce wraps with tomato cilantro salsa. Here's the meatball recipe:
                                              1 lb. ground lamb
                                              1 whole green onion, minced
                                              2 Tbsp. cilantro sprigs, minced
                                              2 cloves garlic, minced
                                              2 Tbsp. thin or low-sodium soy sauce
                                              2 tsp. Asian chile sauce
                                              ½ c. unseasoned bread crumbs

                                              Mix everything, roll into balls and bake or grill them until cooked through.

                                              For the salsa, chop some fresh tomatoes, add some cilantro, lime juice, a little brown sugar, sriracha or chili paste, and a little fish sauce.

                                              Serve the whole thing in leaves of fresh Bibb lettuce.


                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: ladyberd

                                                THAT sounds amazing! I am definitely going to try those.

                                              2. Kefta is incredibly delicious.

                                                I recently made Jamie Oliver's with pistachios, served inside flatbread (naan). He calls it "Kofta," but I have always heard it referred to as "Kefta." I highly recommend this recipe!
                                                Grilled Lamb Kofta Kebabs with Pistachios and Spicy Salad Wrap -

                                                2 Replies
                                                  1. re: wineos

                                                    I third. If you got ground lamb, make JO's Koftas. I've also substituted Ras El Hanout spice mix and used pickled red onions with Excellent results.

                                                    Best when grilled on real charcoal or open fire. Mmmmm smoke ...

                                                  2. Lamb burger or kebob is good.

                                                    Mint, arabic 7 spice (which I mix myself and keep in the freezer) oregano, salt, sumac, black pepper, garlic, onion, lemon juice, pomegranate molases and mix well then form.

                                                    Grill or BBQ as soon as possible. Yum!! I did this today but with beef, it was delicious.

                                                    1. Kibbeh!!!! Love it. Send me some if you make it.

                                                      1. The kefta recipe from "Couscous and Other Good Foods from Morocco" by Paula Wolfert is SENSATIONAL.

                                                        1. When I think "ground lamb," I think "Pastitsio!"

                                                          1. This is really good! My whole family loves it. (I don't usually bother letting the topping ingredients sit overnight and it's never been a problem.)

                                                            From Informaniac on ChowHound Home Cooking

                                                            1 lb. ground lean lamb
                                                            1 1/2 cup yellow onion chopped fine
                                                            1/2 cup green bell pepper chopped fine
                                                            1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
                                                            1 teaspoon chopped garlic
                                                            1 teaspoon of fresh sweet basil chopped
                                                            1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves chopped
                                                            1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
                                                            1 can diced tomatoes
                                                            1 small can tomato paste
                                                            Cayenne pepper to taste [optional]
                                                            Salt and pepper to taste

                                                            Brown off the ground lamb and add the other ingredients and saute until onions and peppers are tender. Refrigerate overnight to marry the flavors

                                                            2 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour
                                                            1 pkg. Fleishman's dry yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
                                                            1/2 teaspoon salt
                                                            1/2 teaspoon sugar
                                                            1/4 cup Crisco shortening [melted]
                                                            1/2 cup warm water

                                                            Mix the sugar and salt with the yeast to dissolve, and in a large bowl add sifted flour, shortening, and the yeast mixture. Knead into a smooth soft dough
                                                            Add a little more four or water if necessary to dough is not too dry or too sticky moist. Divide the dough into a dozen balls and roll out into tortilla sized rounds [about 8 inches in diameter]. Place on lightly greased baking sheets.
                                                            Makes 12

                                                            Spoon the topping mixture on to the dough rounds spreading evenly to the edges of the lahmahjoons. Bake in preheated 450 degree oven about 20 minutes.
                                                            Place the lahmahjoons on a large piece of foil separating each one by stacking
                                                            them meat side to meat side and dough side to dough side and then bring the edges of the large piece of foil over the whole stack. This will prevent them from drying out.

                                                            For a quick version you may use fluffy flour tortillas instead of the above lahmahjoon dough. Tortillas must also be placed on greased pans for baking.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: Euonymous

                                                              I LIVE on lahmacun, as they are spelled here in London in the Turkish take aways. I just had one for lunch. I like mine rolled up with salad, tadziki and garlicy chili sauce. The Turkish guy I work with gets his with lemon juice and parsley.

                                                              1. re: relizabeth

                                                                Here is a more authentic recipe for Turkish lahmacun from Saveur:


                                                                The raw meat topping is put on the raw dough and the flatbread is cooked very quickly in a very hot wood-fired oven. At home, a really hot pizza stone is a reasonable substitute.

                                                                The common garnish to a cooked lahmacun in Turkey is a squeeze of lemon juice, some chopped parsley, shaved red onions, and perhaps a dash of chili flake if you like it more spicy. The garnish really brightens this dish, don't skip that part! It goes great with a glass of aryan, which is plain yogurt thinned with water to the consistency of buttermilk and salted.

                                                            2. I'm a foodie who had a gastric bypass 6 years+ ago and I've found that my systm much prefers ground lamb to ground beef--must be lower on the food chain. So I always have it. In fall and winter I make a ground lamb stew, Greek style, with tomatoes, big chunks of anise bulb, green beans, tomatoes and a bit handful of dried mint, garlic, lemon juice, and bake the whole thing in a Dutch oven or on the stovetop for about an hour. Meltingly tangy and superbly satisfying. Especially when you drop a few little lumps of feta on top before serving.

                                                              1. Try bobotie - a "south african meatloaf" I grew up eating this it is not really a meatloaf, but rather a baked meatdish with dried fruit and baked with an egg custard. I always add dried apricot and some ground almonds.

                                                                The recipe below from blog I found is pretty good - I normally make a couple of variations to make it like my momma's...


                                                                1. I am surprised that no one has mentioned Dolmades (various names and spellings): stuffed grape leaves. With my apologies in advance should I have missed a reply (or more). This recipes makes about 80.


                                                                  3 cups rice, raw, rinsed well and drained
                                                                  2 cups tomatoes, chopped, canned or fresh
                                                                  2 tablespoons onion, chopped
                                                                  1 cup dill leaves and young stems, fresh, chopped
                                                                  1 cup celery leaves, chopped (celery stalks are fine)
                                                                  ½ pound lamb, ground
                                                                  ¼ cup cooking oil, olive or corn (I often use grape)
                                                                  2 teaspoons paprika (when I stick to this basic recipe, I like to use Basque or Spanish smoked paprika
                                                                  1 tablespoon lemon juice


                                                                  Reserving the grape leaves, mix the other ingredients together with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Take 2 heaping tablespoons of the stuffing and put it in the center of each grape leaf. Roll it into a small bundle about 2 inches in long and ¾ inch thick. Pack the leaves tightly in layers in a pan. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and pour in 2 to 3 cups hot water. Just enough to cover the leaf bundles. Cover the leaves with a ceramic plate to hold them under the water. Bring to a boil over moderate heat and cover the pan. Cook over low heat for 1 hour. Add another ½ cup water should it evaporate too quickly
                                                                  Serve at room or warm temperature.


                                                                  Many cooks prefer a 1/2 and 1/2 mix of lamb and hamburger.

                                                                  The traditional dish calls for celery leaves; but, the stalks or a combination work fine.

                                                                  A traditional Greek seasoning goes well with this dish. Try a blend of 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano, dried; 1 teaspoon each mint, thyme; 1/2 teaspoon each of basil and marjoram, dried, and onion, minced; and, 1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced. The garlic and onion can be either fresh or dried. This recipe assumes dried for everything (for storage); however, dried basil tastes to me like hay. Fresh is far better. I have used some of my pesto cubes that I generally keep handy in the freezer. The results were great!

                                                                  Alternatively, some cooks (or cook moods) cannot resist adding a tablespoon of their curry or garam masala powder. Which is quite in keeping with –istani cuisine. This particular version hails from Kurdistan.

                                                                  Grape leaves. This calls for fresh; however, pickled leaves are excellent. Right now (May), I am knee deep in fresh wine grape leaves; so, fresh it is! At the same time, I am already well along in pickling my own for later use. I never have quite enough to get through our long, barren winters. Good technique: make them like cigars. Two layers of grape leaves laid out in opposing directions. Fill and roll with one leaf; then, re-roll with a second. Each grape leaf's midrib may have to be cut off to facilitate rolling. Stick with very young leaves if you can (or pickled ones).

                                                                  1. Zucchini stuffed with ground lamb seasoned with Mediterranean spices and covered with a tangy tomato sauce is excellent.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Toni6921

                                                                      Perfect ! I'm swimming in summer squash.