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Grilled Lamb Meatball Bowl with Mediterranean Rice, Tomato Onion Salad, & Spicy Harissa Vinaigrette

Bring a mix of Mediterranean flavors to an awesome bowl. Perfect for meal prepping or when you are craving a healthy and lighter dinner.

Meal prepping doesn't have to bore, and this is a perfect example of why.


Make these on a Saturday night, prep a bunch extra, and have it for a few more meals during the week. This has Cava vibes, but way better.


Lamb is lean, so you have to be careful to not dry them out. Grilling the meatball on high does a few things - Helps to "sear" the outside and lock in the juices. It also adds a great flavor to it. But be careful not to cook them too long. You'll see below that I move the meatballs to the top rack, turn off one side of the grill for indirect cooking, or swap them over to the oven to finish.


You can also customize the salad with different vegetables that you have on hand. Add corn, bell peppers, radishes, and even shaved beets if you're feeling adventurous.




Grilled Lamb Meatball Bowl - With Mediterranean Rice, Tomato Onion Salad & Spicy Harissa Vinaigrette


Ingredients

  • 1Lb Ground Lamb

  • 1/2 C Mild (or Hot) Harissa

  • 1 Bunch, Parsley

  • 1/4 C Whole Milk Ricotta

  • 1/4 C Panko Breadcrumbs

  • 3 Garlic Cloves

  • 1 Large Egg

  • 1/2 Pint Cherry Tomatoes

  • 1/2 Small Red Onion, Thinly Sliced

  • 1 Tbs Chopped Cilantro

  • 2 Cups White Rice

  • .5 Tbs Unsalted Butter

  • 1.5 tsp Cinnamon

  • 1 Tbs Fresh Thyme Leaves

  • 1 Lemon

  • 1/4 C Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 6 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Divided

  • Salt & Pepper

  • Feta Cheese



Notes:

You can use any low-fat alternatives to the feta and ricotta cheeses, if you want to go for something a bit more healthy. Honestly though, this dish is already on the healthier side of my site. So maybe don't skip the flavor...


Technique


For the Lamb Meatballs:
  1. Combine ground lamb, panko breadcrumbs, ricotta cheese, 1/8 C chopped parsley, 1/4 C Harissa, 1 garlic clove minced, egg, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Mix until thoroughly incorporated.

  2. Roll into golf ball-sized meatballs and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 F.

  3. Turn the grill on high, and let it preheat for at least 15 minutes to get the grates quite hot. You are just marking the meatballs on the grill and finishing in the oven. This will help give it a nice grilled char, without drying them out. If your grill likes to stick, treat the grates beforehand with a neutral oil such as grapeseed.

  4. Cook meatballs on the grill over high heat for 45-75 seconds before flipping. Once marked, place in oven until the center reaches 150 F. Remove from oven and allow to rest for at least 2 minutes before serving.


For the Tomato & Onion Salad:
  1. Slice cherry tomatoes in half. I prefer a rustic approach in this dish, so I don't do this evenly or exactly in half.

  2. Thinly slice 1/2 of the red onion. These should be thin enough that they are fairly translucent.

  3. Combine onions and tomatoes in a small mixing bowl and add several large leaves of parsley.

  4. Add 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the juice of 1/2 a lemon.

  5. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste Note: If prepping ahead of time, this will hold well in the fridge, just don't add the salt until just before serving.

For the Rice

The rice in this recipe is prepared more like pasta than traditional rice. I prefer it this way for this recipe as it makes it more fluffy and less sticky. If you prefer rice cooked traditionally, go for it, just season per the directions below.

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil

  2. While your water is coming to a boil, wash rice with cold water, until the water runs clear.

  3. Add rice to boiling water until cooked, about 11 minutes. Rice cooking time will vary, so check it after 7 minutes. You do not want to overcook the rice in this dish, it should have a bit more of a tooth, similar to risotto.

  4. Drain rice with a mesh sieve and set aside.

  5. In a small saucepan, add 2 Tbs Olive Oil and 1 Tbs butter over medium heat.

  6. Once the butter froths, add 1/4 C chopped parsley, 1 Tbs Chopped Cilantro, 1.5 tsp cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.

  7. Cook for 15 seconds until fragrant.

  8. Remove from heat and add rice. Stir to combine and adjust salt as necessary.

  9. Set aside until ready to serve.



For the Harissa Vinaigrette
  1. In a blender or container for an immersion blender add: 1/2 C Harissa, 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 Tbs Fresh Thyme, 1 Tbs Fresh Parsley, 1.5 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar, Juice of 1/2 Lemon, 2 tsp Kosher Salt, 1 garlic clove, a pinch of cinnamon

  2. Blend on high until it is emulsified.


To Assemble:
  1. In an entree bowl, add the rice to serve as your base

  2. Top with 3-4 Lamb Meatballs

  3. Spoon over large portions of the Tomato and Onion salad over and around the meatballs

  4. Top with harissa vinaigrette and crumbled feta cheese

  5. Enjoy!


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