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Ground Lamb Recipes: 15 Easy Things to Make

Ground lamb recipes

Ground lamb has all the versatility of ground beef with a little extra style. It’s the perfect vehicle for delicious herbs and spices, which is why it has found its way into cuisines across the world.

What is ground lamb?

Ground lamb is the lamb equivalent of ground beef — a mixture of lamb cuts ground into a soft texture ready for shaping. Ground lamb can be any combination of shoulder, brisket, flank, skirt, and other trimmings.

Ground lamb is widely used all over the world, with Middle Eastern cuisines particularly taking to it.

What to make with ground lamb

Ground lamb can be made into almost anything. Burgers, chilis, meatballs, gyros — here’s a list to get some ideas going:

  • Lamb Ragu (meat-based pasta)
  • Lamb Kofta or köfte (ground lamb skewers)
  • Lamb Chili
  • Stuffed Lamb Eggplant
  • Stuffed Lamb Peppers
  • Shepherd’s Pie
  • Lahmacun (Turkish Minced Meat Flatbread)
  • Sambousek (Crispy Meat Pie)
  • Lamb Burgers
  • Lamb Dumplings
  • Lamb Gyros
  • Casseroles

You can also substitute ground lamb into any ground beef recipe. It will just have that signature flavor! Ground lamb is also delicious just sauteed with some simple herbs and spices for an easy protein. Serve it alongside rice and/or any veggies and you have a protein-packed weeknight meal.

15 delicious ground lamb recipes

Here’s a good list of recipes that mix cuisines and the amount of effort required. You can’t go wrong!

1. Zesty gyros with homemade lamb gyro meat

A Spicy Perspective shows you how to make zesty gyros with homemade lamb gyro meat. Try marinating the lamb in yogurt and spices for extra tenderness and flavor, and the quality of your pita will make or break this dish.

2. Lamb feta peppers

Ground lamb, tangy feta cheese, and sweet bell peppers — there is no way this recipe from AllRecipes won’t be tasty. It’s also super easy to throw together. All you do is stuff the pepper and slowly roast it in the oven!

3. Lamb shawarma chickpea soup

This lamb shawarma chickpea soup recipe from Recipe Tin Eats is punchy and full of depth thanks to the healthy mix of spices including cardamom and cinnamon. Serve it with a dollop of yogurt and coriander with some warm pita. Use homemade stock for more depth.

4. Cumin lamb dumplings

I never need to be convinced to eat dumplings. This recipe from Caroline’s Cooking is a great foundational dumpling recipe. You can sub the spices and sauces to slot it into any cuisine flavor profile you’d like, too.

5. Lamb meatballs

Healthy Recipes Blogs offers a deliciously straightforward recipe for lamb meatballs. You can serve these over pasta or on a lightly toasted hoagie for a lamb meatball sub. These make great party appetizers alongside hummus and pita as well.

6. Lamb and white bean chili

Once Upon a Chef’s lamb and white bean chili recipe features tender chunks of lamb shoulder, white beans, and aromatic spices. For more flavor, try toasting the spices before adding them to the chili and/or blooming them in fat.

7. Moroccan lamb chili with sweet potatoes

Feed Me Phoebe gives us a fun twist on chili with this Moroccan lamb chili recipe, full of sweet potatoes and chickpeas. Use homemade beef stock or lamb stock and fresh lemon juice for the best results. Store-bought lemon juice doesn’t have the same brightness.

8. Quick lamb ragu

NYT Cooking’s lamb ragu recipe is simple and relies on fresh ingredients cooked and served immediately — the way Italian food should be. You can use store-bought or homemade pasta. Choose your own adventure!

9. Lamb kofta

Once Upon a Chef shows you how to make kofta, which is a form of grilled meatball popular in many Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines. Don’t sleep on pairing it with a tangy, lemony salad to cut lamb’s deep flavor.

10. Grilled lamb burgers

For something a little closer to home, use this grilled lamb burger recipe from Tasting Table. For the best texture, salt right before cooking instead of in advance. You can sub in any toppings you’d like, and make sure you get good buns.

11. Stuffed eggplant with lamb and pine nuts

Pine nuts always feel like a treat, and when you combine them with eggplant and lamb the texture and flavor are unreal. Serious Eats shows you how to do it right, and don’t skip the tamarind.

12. Classic lamb shepherd’s pie

One of the UK’s most popular exports, shepherd’s pie is traditionally made with lamb. The Wholesome Dish breaks down how to make this cottagey classic. I’m not sure any dish is better in the middle of winter.

13. Sambousek (lamb meat pies)

Sambouseks are like tacos or sushi. You can never get enough. These may look intimidating to make, but don’t worry — The Spruce Eats breaks it down into a simple, digestible recipe. These are perfect for parties.

14. Lahmacun (Turkish pizza)

Lahmacuns are thin flatbreads with a thin spread of ground lamb on top. They are easy to make and go great with fresh herbs on top and olives on the side. This recipe from the Mediterranean Dish is even easier with store-bought dough. Enjoy!

15. North African spiced lamb meatballs

You don’t have to do much to make meatballs delicious, but if you’re tired of the classic Italian angle, try this recipe from Simply Scratch. It’s packed with flavor and delicious when served with rice, naan, and fresh seared vegetables.

How to cook ground lamb

Again, ground lamb is full of possibility. You can make just about anything.

That being said, here’s a basic skillet recipe you can adjust with whatever seasonings and sides you’d like.

  1. Grab ground lamb, aromatics such as onions, garlic, and any additional vegetables you’d like.
  2. Heat a skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Add olive oil or butter to the pan.
  4. Add ground lamb and begin breaking it up with a spatula.
  5. Cook the lamb until browned and caramelized. Usually 5-7 minutes.
  6. Add hearty spices like rosemary or thyme here.
  7. When most of the lamb has started to brown, add your chopped onions and other vegetables.
  8. Add salt and pepper.
  9. As the vegetables begin to cook down, add other aromatics like garlic until fragrant.
  10. Continue cooking until beef is thoroughly browned and most of the liquid is gone.

Ground lamb FAQ

And here are a few answers to questions we hear a lot!

What does ground lamb taste like?

Ground lamb has the texture of ground beef but with a distinctive flavor. That slightly gamey, unique flavor is due to a particular type of branched-chain fatty acid that lambs have that cows don’t [*].

How should ground lamb be cooked?

There is no right answer! Meatballs, meat pies, kofta, gyros — the question is how do you want ground lamb to be cooked!

What seasoning goes well on lamb?

A heavy dose of herbs and seasonings is best to match lamb’s strong, signature flavor. Here are a few reliable combinations:

  • Rosemary and thyme
  • Fresh mint and rosemary
  • Coriander, fennel, garlic, shallot, ginger, lemon peel

Can ground lamb be a little pink?

While other lamb cuts that aren’t minced are fine to eat pink assuming the outside has been seared thoroughly, ground lamb is best browned completely and cooked to at least 145º, lest you open yourself up to the possibility of salmonella [*].

Can you overcook ground lamb?

Yes! You can overcook anything! Once the liquid has dried up and the lamb is brown, take it off the heat!

How do you get the gamey taste out of ground lamb?

I’d argue you should cherish that flavor, but if you can mitigate the gamey flavor by removing as much fat as possible. So with ground lamb, you need to shop for the lowest fat % possible.

Outside of that, you just need to use strong spices and flavors!

Where to buy the best ground lamb

The best-tasting lamb comes from producers who allow sheep to behave like sheep. That means buying from sustainable family farms who are dedicated to good stewardship and make a point to avoid chemicals, added growth hormones, GMOs, and antibiotics.

You can do that by shopping locally or finding companies that ship sustainable lamb.

At US Wellness Meats, we’ve built an entire network of farmers who raise incredible, beautifully simple lamb. There’s a reason why our ground lamb sells out so often!

See how good lamb raised by skilled farmers who care about health and flavor can be.

The world is your mutton

Ground lamb is as versatile as ground beef. You can use it in all the same ways, and you’ll end up with a gamier, more novel result. From meatballs, to gyros, to kofta, you can’t go wrong.

Opt for sustainably raised lamb for the best flavor and health, and get cooking.


Nathan PhelpsNathan Phelps

Nathan Phelps owns and writes for Crafted Copy, a boutique copywriting shop that finds the perfect words for interesting products. He is also an ethical foodie, outdoors-aficionado, and hails from Nashville, TN. He splits his time between helping sustainable businesses find new customers and managing his ever-increasing list of hobbies, which include playing guitar, baking bread, and creating board games.