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Italian Lamb Meatballs in a bowl with red wine.

Easy Italian Lamb Meatballs

Plump, juicy and perfectly spiced with oregano, basil and parsley, these easy Italian lamb meatballs are the perfect dinner tonight. They're quick to make, they're oven-baked making them healthier and easier to cook and they are perfect in any tomato sauce you have.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Lamb Meatballs, Meatballs and Pasta, Meatballs and spaghetti squash
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 724kcal
Author Debs


For the Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 white onion finely chopped and gently cooked
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped and gently cooked
  • 3 rashers of smoked bacon chopped into lardons (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon each dried oregano dried basil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon each dried thyme dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes optional
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs optional, see notes
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil for baking
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Sauce

  • 1 white onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 2 x 14oz tins of chopped tomatoes in juice fire roasted it available
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 bunch fresh basil chopped
  • 1/2 bunch fresh oregano chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Spaghetti Squash

  • 1 spaghetti squash cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


To make the meatballs

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Heat a high sided skillet or frying pan over a medium heat. Add a splash of olive oil to the pan and gently sweat the onions and garlic until they are translucent and soft, but not coloured. Once cooked, spoon the onion and garlic out into a small bowl and set aside to cool. If adding bacon to the meatballs, cook the bacon in the skillet first and set aside, then sauté the onions and garlic in half the bacon fat. Reserve the pan for making the sauce.
  • In a large bowl add the lamb, egg, herbs and breadcrumbs (if using) and a splash of milk. *See notes. Mix well, then add the onions and garlic (and bacon if using) and mix again. Roll out the mixture into golfball sized meatballs. Place on a baking tray or in a small roasting dish and drizzle with the olive oil and a sprinkle of thyme. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes. The meatballs will be golden and the juices will run clear when pierced with a fork or knife.

To cook the spaghetti squash

  • Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Drizzle with the olive oil and salt and pepper and place on a tray cut side down and roast for 30 minutes while the meatballs cook. Once the squash is cooked, use a fork to scoop the strands from the skin. Season with some more salt and pepper if necessary and a knob of butter.

To Make the Sauce

  • Meanwhile make the sauce, use the skillet that you cooked the onions and garlic in, gently sauté the onions and garlic until they’re fragrant and soft, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook until the onions are just starting to turn golden, about another 8 minutes. Add the wine and scrape up any golden bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the wine come to a boil and reduce for about 1 minute.
  • Add the tomato paste and the tinned tomatoes. Stir in the fresh herbs and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the sauce is thick and hearty. Add the meatballs and stir to coat them.

Serve over spaghetti squash with some bread and wine.


    Notes 1. If you’re using the breadcrumb option, add a splash (1/4 cup) of milk to the mixture to add some extra moisture to the meatballs.