This delicious Mediterranean lamb bowl is a healthy and straightforward ground lamb recipe filled with savory and exotic Mediterranean flavors that are sure to add some spice to any weeknight dinner this week!
And beyond this recipe, there are many ground lamb recipes you can make by substituting ground beef or ground chicken recipes for ground lamb meat, such as a lamb burger, shepherds pie, lamb tacos, spiced lamb kabobs spaghetti, and spiced lamb meatballs, lamb ragu, and much more.
Have you ever tried making a recipe using ground lamb? While lamb might not be the most popular meat in the U.S., unlike other countries, please do not let that discourage you! If you’ve yet to try it, maybe you’re curious about what ground lamb meat tastes like.
The Taste of Ground Lamb Explained
Grass fed American Lamb is known to have a robust meaty flavor – even more potent than beef. There’s no mistaking its distinctive taste for anything else. Because of this, some folks might consider it a bit “gamey,” but that’s not always a bad thing.
With ground lamb recipes, once you attain some crispy pieces in your pan, it tends to lose a bit of its gamey taste. However, you still get a bit of umami flavor. It’s terrific with mashed potatoes or as a filling in baked sweet potato. And let’s not forget about lamb meatballs!
Best of all, a little spice goes a long way with lamb since its flavor is already so is so rich. You can pile on heaps of delicious veggies, herbs, and even tangy Greek yogurt sauce or tzatziki sauce to help balance out its fat. It’s a terrific meat for any salad and tastes heavenly with Greek dressing.
Ground lamb is also a great main dish to shake up your breakfast routine, to create some truly unforgettable omelets. You can also make breakfast bowls, burritos, scrambles, and much more.
As someone who grew up on beef, I often have a tough time enjoying other meats like deer, for example, but with lamb, if you cook and season your food properly, the gamey flavor becomes a positive (at least in my opinion). After all, if you want the meat to taste like beef, you should probably stick with beef. But I also understand the confusing strangeness of eating meat that tastes too “gamey.” Grass fed lamb offers the perfect balance, in my humble opinion.
What Herbs and Spices Work Well With Lamb?
The top herb people mix with their ground lamb is mint and a little lemon juice. This food also blends well with potent spices such as fennel, chili flakes, and cumin. Minced lamb meat is prevalent in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods. And ingredients like seasoned tomato sauce, chicken broth, and pine nuts really take it to the next level.
For example, in recipes such as stew, meat balls, and grilled lamb kebabs, lamb kofta, you can use spices like Aleppo pepper. But, we should note since the primary source of Aleppo pepper is found in Syria, it may be more challenging to come by because of the ongoing conflict; however, if you can’t find some, red pepper flakes and paprika work just as well. You can also throw in some ground ginger and allspice. A lot of people also enjoy cooking lamb in ghee butter Worcestershire sauce.
As for the bowls, this ground lamb recipe contains fresh tomatoes, flavorful turmeric rice, hummus, cucumber, and feta cheese with fresh pita bread on the side. You can also add fresh red onion. You’ll have a deliciously savory meal in one bowl!
And if you wish to really go big, you can create your pita and hummus from scratch. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with store-bought either if you’re looking to make a quick meal that’s ready to eat within minutes.
Other Suggested Ground Lamb Recipes
There are also tons of brand-new ground lamb recipes with unique flavors you’ve probably never tasted before. Many are traditional Mediterranean dishes people have enjoyed for generations, and there are some new recipes inspired by those culinary traditions. And now you can surprise your family with a unique cultural experience that will have them looking forward to trying more new recipes. Below are a few of my favorite Mediterranean-inspired ground lamb recipes.
Chickpea Crepe “Tacos” With Eggplant and Lamb
This recipe features chickpea flour pancakes that are naturally grain-free, replacing tortillas to create flavorfully spiced eggplant and lamb tacos.
Stuffed Onions With Spiced Lamb and Pomegranate
You have a delicious mix of raw jasmine rice and spiced ground lamb wrapped in layers of an onion, then oven-baked until the fragrant onions are tender.
Lamb Burgers with Lemon-Caper Aioli and Fennel Slaw
Shake up your next barbecue by introducing this recipe for delicious lamb burgers. You may want to consider spending a bit more for good quality burger buns that can handle this delicious, creamy sauce!
Spiced Lamb Burger
This is a different take on the lamb burger that features grilled pitas. The lamb meat melds into the bread to create a vibrantly flavored, crunchy, savory pie that will have you rethinking what a burger can be.
Spiced Lamb Meatballs With Walnut Romesco
This simple dish features an insanely delicious smokey sauce created using chili powder and walnuts. It’s the ideal dip for these flavorful, juicy spicy lamb meatballs. Grab some pita bread or a sub roll to create an outrageously yummy sandwich!
Chile-Cumin Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt and Cucumber
Here’s another example of a simple yet tasty meal featuring savory lamb meatballs filled with fresh herbs and spices in a spicy chili sauce that balances well with the cool, creamy yogurt and lemony cucumbers.
Spicy Larb with Cabbage Cups
This sensational recipe for spicy arb balances sweet, sour, spicy, salty, and umami flavors to create an irresistible meal that you’ll want to make again and again.
What Does Ground Lamb Need to Be Cooked To?
Ground lamb mixtures, like a spiced lamb meatball, must be cooked until reaching an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. You only remove the ground meat from your heat source after your meat thermometer shows it’s got this temperature.
How Long Does Ground Lamb Last in the Fridge?
Raw ground lamb should be kept inside its sealed package until you’re ready to cook. Once cooked, you can refrigerate ground lamb recipes for 1-2 days max. Any longer, and you should consider freezing your food.
What Cut of Meat is Used for Ground Lamb?
The cut of meat ground lamb comes from is the shoulder. It’s the preferred cut for ground lamb since it’s lean, but butchers may also use leg, shank, neck, breast, flank, rib, or loin meat. Because of the leanness of the meat, you should take great care not to overcook your meat in ground lamb recipes.
What are the five grades of lamb?
Lamb meat is graded based on factors such as conformation (also called carcass muscling), the age of the lamb, and several other factors like color. Lamb meat has five quality grades: Cull, Utility, Good, Choice, and Prime.
How do you make ground lamb less gamey?
One way to cut the gamey flavor of ground lamb is by mixing it with other meat such as pork, turkey, or beef. You can add just enough to reduce the “gamey” lamb flavor while still enjoying its unique flavor. You can play around with the lamb mixture until you find the best taste for your palette.
And as mentioned above, you can reduce the gamey flavor by cooking the meat a bit longer to get those delicious brown bits mixed into the cooked meat. Your ingredient list and seasonings can also make a significant impact on lamb’s flavor, which isn’t as strong as many other types of meat, such as deer and elk.
Should ground lamb be washed?
Before cooking, you should never wash raw meat such as ground beef, poultry, pork, veal, or lamb. Doing this will likely spread bacteria to your utensils, surfaces, and other foods, causing “cross-contamination.” Any type of ground meat should be safe to use straight out of the package depending on the expiration date and how the retailer stored it.
Pro Tip: Avoid buying any meat from people selling it out of their trucks. In all seriousness, buying meat from private hunters can be risky if they’ve not taken to proper precautions to ensure their meat hasn’t been contaminated.
Which is Healthier? Ground Beef or Ground Lamb?
While ground lamb and beef may have similar calories, protein, total fat, mineral, and vitamin content – lamb (especially grass-fed) outshines beef as far as omega-3 fat content. Also, a lamb that’s grass feed has more healthy fat CLA, which has been shown to benefit cardiovascular, cognitive, and metabolic health.
Mediterranean Spiced Ground Lamb Bowls
To Make the Spiced Ground Lamb
- 1 lb. of ground lamb This recipe can be adapted also to use ground beef, ground turkey, or other ground meat.
- 1 Tbsp of olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves finely minced (You can use the garlic that comes in a jar already minced, and in a pinch, you can use garlic powder.)
- ¼ Cup of onion finely diced
- ½ Tsp of red pepper flakes
- 1 Tsp of allspice
- 1 Tsp of paprika
- ¼ Tsp of ground ginger
- Pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- ¼ Cup of flat-leaf parsley chopped
- ¼ Cup of fresh mint chopped
For the Bowls
- Seasoned ground lamb any amount you wish
- 1 cup of turmeric rice You can also use brown rice, cauliflower rice, or fluffy basmati rice if you like.
- 1 cucumber diced or peeled
- 1 tomato diced, or you can use canned tomatoes
- 1 cup of Greek feta cheese
- 1 cup of hummus store-bought or homemade, any flavor you like
- 2 pieces of pita bread store-bought or homemade
For making your seasoned ground lamb:
- Heat up a large pan over medium heat, then add in your olive oil.
- Once the oil begins to smoke, add in your garlic and onions. Sauté the ingredients for about 5 minutes or until both finally soften.
- Now, add in your ground lamb. Brown the ground meat until it is cooked through.
- Next, you'll add paprika, ginger, red pepper flakes, pepper, salt, and allspice. Mix everything, then cook for between 1-2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in your fresh herbs.
Assembling the bowls
- First, layer your turmeric rice in a bowl, then add some seasoned ground lamb, hummus, cucumbers, tomatoes, and feta. Sprinkle the dish with parsley and fresh, meant for garnish (if desired).