Serves: 4 | Total Time: 30 Minutes
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Lamb meatballs, mint pesto and sweet yogurt sauce. Sounds gourmet, doesn’t it?
Well, it is… and it’s all keto, too!
Initially, I wasn’t aiming to make this recipe a gourmet keto recipe. It just sort of happened, like a lot of things in the kitchen do when I experiment with new recipe ideas.
The story goes something like this…
I had lamb for the first time at the Outback Steakhouse many years ago. This was way back when they offered a rack of lamb on the menu. It came with ramekins of mint jelly and a rich brown gravy made from the pan juices.
I was in love!
As time went by I got pretty used to cooking my own lamb chops at home. Having lamb with mint is one of my favorite culinary flavor combinations, and since I wanted them more than I could afford to go out and get them at restaurants, I needed to learn how to cook lamb at home.
My love affair with lamb got even juicier the first time I had a gyro…
Ooooooh,… seasoned lamb meat roasted on a spit, slathered with yogurt sauce and all wrapped up in a chewy, pillowy flatbread…. can life possibly get any better? When I introduced Mark to gyros not long after we met, his reaction was pretty much the same.
These days, the mere mention of ‘lamb’ when he asks me what’s for dinner will produce a happy dance.
This lamb meatballs appetizer is a combination of my two favorite ways to have lamb; chops with mint jelly for dipping and a traditional Greek gyro. The keto part just sort of happened. In fact, the carbs in this recipe are so low that you can double up the serving portions and have these easy lamb meatballs as a keto dinner without even coming close to busting your carb limit.
Don’t you just love it when things work out like that? Oh, and did I mention that this is a 30 minute lamb recipe, too?
Fast and easy.
With that said, feel free to pour your favorite glass of red for sipping while enjoying the free time you just gained back tonight.
Wine pairings for Lamb Meatballs with Mint Pesto and Sweet yogurt Sauce:
Cabernet sauvignon pairs well with both lamb and mint, and syrah will compliment the delicate flavors without overpowering.
Not a fan of reds? Grab your favorite dry rosé, it works just as well.
*Peppermint Essential Oil is necessary for the yogurt sauce to be smooth and pretty on the plate. If you don’t have the peppermint essential oil and you want to get some, you will want a food grade essential oil. (Adulterants, fillers, and contaminants – be gone!) Peppermint is not too pricey, and if you don’t know where to buy essential oils for cooking, send me a message and I will let you know where I get mine. You can use the remaining oil in other recipes, in cocktails, to relieve headaches, freshen feet, and even to repel mice, ants and spiders. It has a long shelf like and will keep for many months.
Lamb Meatballs with Mint Pesto and Sweet Yogurt Sauce
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup flat parsley finely chopped, plus
- ¼ cup whole flat parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup olive oil divided
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt plus more
- 1 garlic clove peeled
- 1 pound ground lamb
- ¼ cup whole mint leaves firmly packed
- ¼ cup whole milk plain greek yogurt
- 1 drop peppermint essential oil
- 3 to 4 drops liquid stevia
- a few grinds black peppercorns (from a pepper mill), or a pinch of coarsely ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- In a large bowl, mix together the egg, coconut flour, cumin, turmeric, red pepper flakes, finely chopped parsley leaves, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt. Add the ground lamb and mix everything together well. Use your hands for best results!
- Roll the lamb mixture into balls that are about one inch in diameter. You should end up with around 20 meatballs. Place the meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet so that they are evenly spaced. Bake on the top rack in the oven for 12-15 minutes. When done, use kitchen tongs to roll the meatballs around on the baking sheet. This will smooth out any uneven edges as well as coat them in their juices for maximum flavor.
- While the meat is baking; add the mint leaves, whole parsley leaves, the second garlic clove, 1/4 cup olive oil, and a pinch of salt to a food processor. Pulse for about a minute or until leaves are very finely chopped and the pesto is beginning to get smooth.
- In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, peppermint essential oil, liquid stevia and fresh ground black pepper. Mix well until the yogurt is smooth and creamy and the flavors are evenly distributed.
- Smear a spoonful of yogurt sauce onto each plate. Drop a spoonful of mint pesto on top of the yogurt and smear the pesto into the yogurt using light, arcing motions. (Don't overdo it, though! You want to have distinct circles of white yogurt and green pesto covering the plates.). Place 5 meatballs on top of the sauce/pesto swirls, then top the meatballs with a drizzle of olive oil. Garnish with a grind or two of fresh ground black pepper and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes.