Project Description

Mini Lamb Meatballs with Pomegranate Glaze

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8 Servings
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Difficulty Level
Active Prep
Active Prep
25 min
Total Time
Total Time
30 minutes

Kickoff is just a couple hours away. You let your friends bring the easy stuff on the menu: the chips, the hot dogs, the brownies. No one’s going to be talking about those by halftime, Everyone is going to want to know how you came up with the idea to make meatballs that taste like a sultry stroll through a Moroccan bazaar. These will go fast; Don’t be afraid to double—triple?—this recipe depending on the size of the party or the veracity of your guests.

See Cook’s Note on substitutions.


Preheat broiler to high, setting top rack 5 inches below the heat source. Lightly oil a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and set aside.

Soak the bread in the milk in a small bowl for 5 minutes. Crumble the lamb into a large bowl. Add the egg, garlic, cilantro, 2 tablespoons of mint, orange zest, salt and spices. Squeeze the milk out of the soaking bread, discard the milk, and crumble the bread into the bowl of meat. Combine with your hands until just mixed. Try to avoid overworking the mixture or the meatballs will turn out dense and heavy. Form lamb mixture into 32 balls (using wet hands or an ice cream scoop), about 1-inch each, (about 1 tablespoon per meatball) and place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush or spray meatballs with oil. Broil until meatballs are lightly golden and just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.

Push meatballs together on the pan and toss with the molasses; roll around on the pan to coat evenly. Transfer the meatballs to a serving platter and drizzle the glaze and juices over them. Scatter the mint leaves and pomegranate seeds over the meatballs and serve warm with toothpicks.

Straight-up lamb too gamey for you? Substitute half of the lamb with beef.
Don’t like cilantro? Use parsley instead.


  • Olive oil or olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 slice sandwich bread, with crust, torn
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint, plus 12 torn leaves for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Generous pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds (arils) (optional), from half of one pomegranate

special equipment

  • 32 decorative toothpicks, for serving
  • 1-inch/1 tablespoon cookie scoop or meatball maker (not necessary, but handy)
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