lamb meatballs garnished with pomegranate arils; lettuce served on the side

Lamb Meatballs

Contributor: Emily Paster

These Lamb Meatballs are pan-fried and served with a sweet and tangy pomegranate glaze that elevates them above ordinary weeknight fare.

  • Author: Emily Paster
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Frying
  • Cuisine: American


Units Scale

Pomegranate Glaze:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Lamb Meatballs:

  • 1 lb. ground lamb
  • 1/2 yellow onion, grated or minced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp pine nuts, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 12 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)


  1. To make the pomegranate glaze, combine the pomegranate juice, Balsamic vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn down the heat to medium or medium-low and simmer the glaze until it has reduced to approximately a half a cup, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside.*
  2. To make the meatballs, combine the ground lamb, grated onion, egg, pine nuts, salt, and spices in a large bowl and mix with your hands, or a fork, until well combined.
  3. With damp hands, form the meat mixture into 16 equally sized meatballs.**
  4. To cook the meatballs, add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a large skillet that has a tight-fitting lid and heat over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering.
  5. Working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, add the meatballs to the skillet. Brown the meatballs on all sides, turning them as needed, about 5 minutes
  6. Once the meatballs are browned, cover the skillet and turn the heat down to low. Continue to cook the meatballs until they reach an internal temperature of 160°F on an instant read thermometer (like this) and are no longer pink in the center, 3-5 minutes.
  7. You will notice quite a bit of fat in the skillet. Drain this by carefully tilting the skillet until the fat pools at the bottom and scoop it out with a spoon. Discard the fat.
  8. Add the pomegranate glaze to the skillet with the meatballs. Toss the meatballs to coat them with the glaze.
  9. Simmer uncovered until the glaze is reduced and syrupy and the meatballs are coated, about 2 minutes.
  10. Transfer the meatballs to a serving platter and spoon any remaining glaze over them. Garnish with pomegranate seeds if desired. Serve immediately.


*Glaze may be made up to one day in advance. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until needed.

**Meatballs may be made up to one day in advance. Transfer the meatballs to a plate, cover, and refrigerate until ready to cook.