Spanish Lamb Meatballs
with roasted cauliflower, chickpeas, and mint
These Spanish meatballs are flavored with so much fragrant spice that everyone will love them!
Smarts: Pimentón is Spanish paprika that has been smoked. It comes in three types: sweet, bittersweet, and spicy. Any of them are fine for this recipe, just be careful if using the spicy variety - it can be quite hot! If you can't find it, just use regular paprika.
- Onions - 1, chopped
- Garlic - 3 cloves, minced
- Mint, fresh - 3 Tbsp, finely chopped
- Ground lamb, lean - 1 lb
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
- Cumin - 1 1/2 tsp
- Paprika, smoked - 1 1/2 tsp ((preferably Spanish Pimentón))
- Eggs - 1, beaten
- Cooking oil - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Crushed tomatoes (28 oz / 794 g can) - 1 can
- Red wine vinegar - 1/4 cup
- Chicken stock - 1 cup
- Mint, fresh - 1 Tbsp, finely chopped
- Cauliflower - 1 head, thinly sliced
- Garbanzo beans (14 oz / 397 g can) - 1 can, drained and rinsed
- Cooking oil - 1 Tbsp
- Paprika, smoked - 2 tsp (preferably Spanish Pimentón)
- Cumin - 2 tsp
- Lemons - 1/2, juice of
- Onions / Garlic / Mint (for meatballs and cauliflower) - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Cauliflower - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Make meatballs - In a mixing bowl, add the lamb, garlic, mint, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, and the egg in a large bowl. Gently knead the meatball mixture with your hands just until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Wet your hands, then break off a piece of the mixture and roll into a 1-inch balls. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
- Garbanzo beans - Drain and rinse.
- Preheat the oven to 450F (232C) degrees.
- Arrange cauliflower on a sheet pan and drizzle with oil, smoked paprika, cumin, and some salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Place cauliflower in the oven and roast until the edges are brown and become crisp, ~20 minutes. When the cauliflower has browned, add chickpeas to pan and allow to heat through another 2 minutes.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and brown all over, 3 to 4 minutes, shaking the skillet so that the meatballs brown evenly. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the browned meatballs to a bowl.
- If the meatballs have released too much fat, drain off all but 1 tablespoon (for 4 servings; adjust accordingly if customizing). Add the onion and cook until soft and lightly browned, ~5 minutes. Add tomatoes, red wine vinegar, and chicken stock, and cook to blend the flavors and reduce the sauce, ~5 minutes.
- Add the meatballs to the sauce and cook over medium-high heat until they are cooked through and the sauce reduces, ~5 to 10 minutes
- Remove cauliflower and chickpeas from oven when crispy. Drizzle with fresh lemon juice, and sprinkle with fresh mint.
- Assemble plates of meatballs in sauce and roasted cauliflower with chickpeas. If desired, garnish meatballs with additional chopped mint. NOTE: If you have leftover yogurt sauce from the Indian chicken wraps, or extra plain yogurt in the fridge it makes a great topping to the meatballs. Enjoy!
Used turkey and left out the mint. Even better if the sauce and meatballs are served on top of the cauliflower/chickpea mixture, so I wished I'd made the meatballs smaller and just done it as a sort of thick stew.0 Helpful
Absolutely LOVED this! Will definitely be a repeat for us.0 Helpful
made this with green salad and cous cous also for a dinner party. it was a hit! We subbed in half beef half bison for the lamb0 Helpful
Everything (cauliflower, chckpeas, lamb, and sauce) took longer than recipe. BUT it ws all tasty and nutritious and I will make again.0 Helpful
I added some extra garlic and mint in the meatball mixture. The cauliflower roasting took longer than 20 minutes but still came out fairly crispy. Can't wait to make this again!0 Helpful
Roast chickpeas entire time with cauliflower and they will crisp up so nicely!0 Helpful