Lamb Meatballs with Raisin Pesto

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| Servings: 4 servings

Loving meatballs has never been this rewarding. They’re gilded with lots of strong spices and set in a cooling swoosh of yogurt and anointed with the sweet brightness of a mint pesto. Sound fancy? Not really. We use ground lamb, which is naturally fatty and can be baked without sacrificing juiciness or a charred crust.



  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley, plus 1 cup parsley leaves with tender stems
  • 2 Tbsp. plus ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more
  • 4 garlic cloves, divided
  • 1 lb. ground lamb
  • 2 cups mint leaves
  • 3 Tbsp. golden raisins
  • Plain whole-milk Greek yogurt (for serving)


  1. Place a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 425°. Combine egg, panko, cumin, red pepper flakes, turmeric, finely chopped parsley, 2 Tbsp. oil, and 1½ tsp. salt in a large bowl. Finely grate 2 garlic cloves into bowl. Add lamb and mix with your hands until evenly distributed.
  2. Gently roll lamb mixture into 1½”-diameter balls (about the size of a golf ball; you should have about 20). Place on a rimmed baking sheet, spacing evenly apart. Bake meatballs until browned and cooked through, 8–10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, purée mint, raisins, parsley leaves with tender stems, remaining garlic clove, remaining ½ cup oil, and a big pinch of salt in a blender until smooth. Taste pesto; season with more salt if needed.
  4. Spread yogurt over plates and divide pesto and meatballs on top.


Do Ahead: Pesto can be made 2 days ahead; cover and chill. Meatballs can be formed 2 months ahead; freeze on baking sheet until firm, about 2 hours, then transfer to a freezer bag and keep frozen.

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