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Lamb Meatballs with Buttery Lemon Orzo

These Lamb Meatballs with Buttery Lemon Orzo served with homemade Tzatziki Sauce will turn you into a lamb lover — and more so if you’re already on board. Tender, oven-baked lamb meatballs loaded with fresh rosemary, Parmesan cheese, and other spices are joined with buttery and lemony orzo pasta for a complete meal idea anytime.

If you enjoy lamb, make sure to check out my other lamb recipes including my Instant Pot Curry Australian Lamb Shanks, Greek Lamb Burger with Tzatziki Sauce, Roasted Rack of Lamb, and Red Wine Braised Leg of Lamb.

bowl of lamb meatballs and orzo pasta

Any meal you typically enjoy with ground beef can be easily swapped with ground lamb, and that was exactly my idea when I was creating this recipe.

Herbs, lemon, and Mediterranean flavors really shine in this dish, and lamb is the perfect foundation. Australian ground lamb holds moisture and flavors very well, making every bite in this tender meatball a culinary experience.

overhead shot of lamb meatballs, orzo, and tzatziki sauce

Baked lamb meatball are awesome for any occasion or day of the week. Enjoy them solo as an appetizer and serve the Tzatziki dipping sauce on the side (very popular in Greece and neighboring countries) or turn them into a full meal, as I’ve done in this recipe.

Ingredients you’ll need to make lamb meatballs with pasta:

lamb meatball ingredients
  • Australian pasture-raised lamb enhances your lamb experience with robust flavors that are not “gamey” whatsoever. Not only will you be pleasantly surprised by the taste, but you will also reap the benefits of the amount of protein it packs. The ground lamb is the main attraction of this dish, boasting flavors of minced garlic, grated Parmesan cheese, onion powder, oregano, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, salt, black pepper. Plus an egg which adds to the moisture and tenderness of the meatball.
  • The orzo pasta looks like rice but has the texture of pasta. It’s an ingredient I am using more and more. The orzo is cooked with chicken stock then blended with melted butter, lemon zest, fresh parsley, and of course, garlic. It’s great all by itself.
  • The tzatziki sauce will add some freshness to the entire dish. It combines chopped cucumber, Greek yogurt, fresh dill, fresh lemon juice, garlic, fresh parsley, salt, black pepper, and ground cinnamon.

How to make lamb meatballs with pasta:

When it’s time to create this dish, you will begin by breaking down the ground lamb and placing it inside a large bowl. Season the lamb with onion powder, oregano, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, Himalayan Pink Salt, black pepper, minced garlic, Parmesan cheese, and fold in your egg.

Mix everything well with your hands, then form them into palm-sized meatballs.

Placing lamb meatballs on baking sheet before baking in oven

Place the meatballs onto a baking sheet (paid link). Bake these meatballs at 350 degrees for 15 minutes and remove them from the oven. Note: To brown them a little more, you can broil the meatballs back in the oven for an additional 1-2 minutes.

While the meatballs are cooking, add your chicken stock to a cooking pot and bring it to a boil. Add in your orzo pasta and cook as instructed.

Add 1/2 cup parsley and 1/4 cup of butter to a cooking pan. Once the butter melts, add your minced garlic and stir until combined.

Zesting a lemon

When the Orzo is finished cooking, zest one lemon into the pot and add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice over the orzo. Add your chopped parsley and melted butter mixture over the cooked orzo and stir together.

Ingredients to make Tzatziki sauce

For the Tzatziki sauce, remove the skin from the cucumber, then chop into small pieces. Using a paper towel, squeeze the cucumber to remove any excess moisture. Place the cucumber in a bowl. Chop 1 tsp. of fresh dill and add to the bowl. Add your Greek yogurt, lemon juice, minced garlic, chopped dill, parsley, ground cinnamon, Himalayan Pink Salt, and black pepper to the bowl and mix.

When you take these tender meatballs out of the oven and add soft buttery orzo on your plate with fresh and bright tzatziki sauce, you know you’re going to have a fantastic meal!

picking up a lamb meatball with a fork

If you love lamb, this lamb meatball recipe is the perfect option. The combination of lemon-buttered Orzo and tender and flavorful lamb meatballs served with homemade Tzatziki sauce is a complete meal idea that everyone will enjoy.

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bowl of lamb meatballs and orzo pasta

Lamb Meatballs with Buttery Lemon Orzo


  • Author: Eric Jones
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x

Description

Tender, baked lamb meatballs paired with a lemon butter orzo pasta and homemade tzatziki sauce for a complete meal idea anytime.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Lamb Meatballs:

  • 24 oz ground Lamb
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Buttery Lemon Orzo:

  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Tzatziki Sauce:

  • 5 oz Greek yogurt
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 tsp fresh dill
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


Instructions

  1. Break the ground lamb into pieces and place it into a large bowl.
  2. Mix grated parmesan cheese, minced garlic, egg, oregano, sea salt, black pepper, onion powder, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder in the same bowl.
  3. Form the mixture into palm-sized meatballs before placing them onto a baking sheet (paid link).
  4. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, then broil for an additional 1 to 2 minutes until browned.
  5. For the Buttery Lemon Orzo, add chicken stock to a cooking pot and bring to a boil. Cook the orzo pasta as instructed. Add minced garlic, melted butter, chopped parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt to the same pot as the cooked orzo. Mix.
  6. For the Tzatziki Sauce, peel the skin from the cucumber and chop it into small pieces. Drain the juices by squeezing them in a paper towel. Place in a small bowl. Add fresh dill, lemon juice, minced garlic, parsley, black pepper, ground cinnamon, and sea salt. Whisk together until smooth. Service alongside lamb meatballs and orzo.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Comfort Food
  • Method: Oven Baked
  • Cuisine: Greek

Nutrition

  • Calories: 466
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Sodium: 970mg
  • Fat: 21.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 23.8g
  • Fiber: 1.5g
  • Protein: 43g
  • Cholesterol: 163mg

Keywords: Lamb Meatballs, Greek Lamb Meatballs, Lemon Orzo, Tzatziki Sauce, Buttery Lemon Orzo

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24 Comments

  1. This is my new go-to quick meatball. These were delicious. Quick, easy and delicious!






    1. Eric Jones says:

      Thanks, Bill! So glad you enjoyed them!

  2. Made the lamb meatballs last night for dinner. Doubled the recipe for my hungry crew of boys and to have an easy meal to reheat later in the week. I loved the ease of the recipe and it certainly was delicious! I used a container of pre shredded 4 cheese blend which made it super quick! I served them with cauliflower mash and creamed collards. Great meal for a rainy winter evening!






    1. Eric Jones says:

      That sounds like a wonderful meal, Lisa! Happy the crew enjoyed it!

  3. This recipe was FANTASTIC! The meatballs were very tender and flavorful…. I used half parm and half feta.

    1. Eric Jones says:

      Thanks, Jennifer! This is a household favorite!

  4. Susan Elliott says:

    Liked the meatballs and orzo, but didn’t like the tzatziki sauce recipe.

    1. Eric Jones says:

      Hi Susan. Glad you enjoyed the meatballs and orzo. 🙂

  5. Jo Weller says:

    I made this and my husband (a French-trained chef) loved it. I put the meatballs on a bed of arugula dressed with lemon/olive oil dressing.






    1. Eric Jones says:

      Hi, Jo! Thanks for stopping now. Nice! We love it when a trained chef approves! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  6. Maria Delvina says:

    delicious and very easy to make!

    I substituted sour cream for the yogurt bc I only had vanilla yogurt on hand and I substituted acini de pepe for the orzo, yummmm






    1. Eric Jones says:

      This is awesome Maria! Glad you enjoyed it!!

  7. I made this last night for some friends. Turned out great (although I admit we required nearly double the orzo) and some even went back for thirds! Thank you!






    1. Eric Jones says:

      Thanks for sharing, Tess! Glad you were able to make the adjustments and glad it came out great! Awesome!

  8. Eric, you call for rosemary in the description but not on the recipe itself, I missed it.

    1. Eric Jones says:

      Hi John! That was a typo in the description. This recipe has no rosemary. We have updated that verbiage. Please follow the recipe card as this is correct. Thanks!

      1. could you substitute feta for parm?

        1. Eric Jones says:

          Hi, Kendra! Feta is a good substitute for parmesan because of its saltiness and sharp, tangy flavor. I have never used it in this recipe, so I can’t comment on the result.

  9. Beck & Bulow says:

    I’ve made these three times in less than a month. They are so easy and so delicious. Thanks for the great recipe!






    1. Eric Jones says:

      Awesome! So glad you enjoy it!

      1. You call it both Buttery Lemon Orzo and Lemon Parmesan Orzo. But the orzo recipe ingredients show no parmesan! So which is it? Thanks!

        1. Eric Jones says:

          Hi Felix! The recipe card should state, “Buttery Lemon Orzo.” This typo has been corrected.

  10. This was so delicious. Big hit with my family. The meatballs were so easy and tasty. Nice trick doing them in the oven, too— no mess. The buttery orzo is a perfect side. This dish makes great lunch leftovers, too (though I had to fight to make sure we had any. Everyone devoured this dish). My kids packed up meatball and pitas for school lunches.






    1. Eric Jones says:

      Thank you so much, Maggie! It’s always a win when the kiddos love it!