This easy lamb meatball salad is a perfect summer dish! It’s especially delicious hot thanks to the minty meatballs, fresh salad, roasted tomatoes and mozzarella.
I first tried the delicious combination of meatball salads after accidentally making far too many meatballs one evening and saving the leftovers to make a salad. Having meatballs with a tomato salad like this is a great way to make a boring salad so much more exciting!
The tomato salad is rich and earthy, with chopped up fresh parsley leaves for extra flavour. This goes brilliantly with the lamb meatballs with herbs and spices inside them that compliments the salad flavours just perfectly!
I like to use a nice, light vinaigrette dressing on mine – just some simple lemon juice and olive oil mixed together to add a citrus punch and tie it all together perfectly!
Why use lamb meatballs in a salad?
I’ve tried these meatball salads with a variety of different meats, and lamb came out top by a mile!
I tend to use a mixture of half pork and half beef if I’m making meatballs to go with with pasta dishes, as well as removing some of the spices I use in lamb to replace them with Mediterranean herbs like basil and oregano.
However, I find that lamb is perfect for salads as I find that lamb meatballs are lighter and the flavour goes so well with common summer salad ingredients.
Of course, if you don’t eat lamb or prefer beef, pork or a mixture (or even chicken or turkey) then you can use those instead. I’d have to recommend lamb as my favourite, but if you’re in a pinch then it’s nothing to worry too much about!
However, I must recommend that you make the meatballs yourself. This is because the mixture of herbs and spices inside them may not match the flavours of the salad if you buy pre-made meatballs. This means that the flavours may actually end up clashing and tasting pretty bad in a worse-case scenario!
Lamb mince often isn’t available in our supermarket – either it’s popular that everyone buys it or they don’t ever have many packages. If I see them I tend to 2 packs – one for the meatballs and one for the freezer.
What do I need to make the lamb meatballs?
You don’t need anything too rare at all – all the herbs and spices that I used are pretty common and you probably already have them if you cook from scratch often!
- Lamb mince – enough to make 4 portions-worth of meatballs
- Some nice, large cloves of garlic
- Ground cumin to add some gentle spice to the lamb
- Dried mint – because lamb and mint are a match made in heaven!
- Dried oregano – to keep the Mediterranean flavours of the salad consistent!
- A handful of fresh mint – for the same reasons as above!
See? Nothing unusual, and really – not that many different ingredients at all!
What about the simple salad?
To go with the lamb, you do, of course, have an easy salad. This isn’t a super extravagant salad with lots of ingredients. After all, I’d rather make this often than make it complicated!
So, you’ll need:
- Lettuce – of course
- Fresh parsley for flavour
- One chilli pepper – this is optional, but highly recommended. I prefer to remove the seeds too as they can sometimes be bitter.
- Mozzarella balls – because no salad including tomatoes is complete without cheese!
- Roasted tomatoes – like these ones. If you’d rather keep things simple, then you can just buy sundried tomatoes instead.
- Olive oil for the dressing
- Lemon juice for the dressing – fresh is much better than bottled here
- Salt and pepper to season the salad to taste
Nothing too complicated – especially if you choose to use sundried tomatoes instead of using your own homemade ones!
Freezer lamb meatballs
Lamb mince freezes and defrosts really well. You can also make a large batch of these meatballs and freeze them before you cook them. When you take them out to defrost leave them for a few hours until soft and defrosted all the way through then cool. Don’t refreeze.
These family favourites are a great dinner no matter what time of year. It’s also a fabulous thing to make a bulk of and pop in the freezer. I use lamb mince, garlic, dried mint, cumin, oregano and a little salt and pepper. Mix it all together and form balls. I tend to squash them a little so they cook easier.
How do I make this meatball salad?
The salad is pretty simple, but you need to make sure to follow the instructions so that you don’t accidentally end up putting the spice for the meatballs in the dressing or that sort of silly thing that happens when we’re busy and rushing!
- Add the lamb mince, garlic, ground cumin, both types of mint and oregano to a bowl and mix together. Roll into balls and set aside until ready.
- Chop up the lettuce and wash it. Add to a serving bowl.
- Add the chilli if desired and lightly chop the parsley. Season to taste.
- Add the roasted tomatoes, keeping the juice to one side.
- Add the lemon juice and olive oil to the tomato juice and stir together.
- Cook the meatballs on medium heat.
- Add to the salad, dress it in tomato juice mixture and toss together
- Enjoy straight away!
See? This really is an easy lamb salad recipe – I promise!
You could even try cooking the meatballs on a sheet of foil on the BBQ if you’d like to serve this salad at a summer gathering – that would go down a treat, I’m sure!
I tend to make my meatballs about a bitesize. Normally about half a tablespoon worth of mix.
OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner
My new kitchen gadget which is getting so much use during this brilliant heatwave, is the OXO Good Grips lettuce spinner. I always thought I wouldn’t really need one but once you get it and if you, like me, prefer getting a big lettuce and cutting it up rather than buying a bag of salad leaves then it’s so useful. It’s so quick and I was amazed at the amount of water that you can spin out.
The base bowl that the spinner sits in also doubles up as a fantastic salad bowl. It’s high sided and can fit in a lot of food. Brilliant for families, parties and of course BBQs while we have the great weather.
It’s also been very useful for drying fresh herbs without damaging them or breaking them. It’s also a lot of fun for kids (and big kids) to press the plunger and set the bowl spinning.
Top tip – take the mince lamb meat out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you want to make the meatballs. This way it’s warmed up a little and will be easier to sculpt without making your hands freeze!
Easy Lamb Meatball Salad
Easy Lamb Meatball Salad with Roast Tomatoes
- 500 g minced lamb
- 2 large cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons of ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons of dried mint
- 1 tablespoon or oregano
- handful of fresh mint
- 2 Romaine lettuce
- Fresh parsley
- 1 red chilli seeds removed optional
- 2 mozzarella balls
- roasted tomatoes see link below fresh or sundried also work
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- Add the lamb mince, garlic, ground cumin, dried mint, orgeano and mint to a bowl and mix together. Roll in to balls and set aside until you’re ready.
- Chop up the lettuce and wash. Add it to a serving bowl.
- Break up the mozzarella and add to the bowl.
- Add the chilli if you want to add some spice.
- Lightly chop the parsley and add it to the mix along with salt and pepper.
- Add in the roasted tomatoes. Keep the juice to one side.
- Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the tomato juice and stir together.
- Cook the meatballs on a medium heat in a frying pan with a little oil until cooked.
- Add to the salad and toss together.
- Serve straight away.
Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
Follow me on instagram to see what other delicious things I’ve been baking and making recently. www.instagram.com/sewwhite