Lamb and lentil meatballs with feta yogurt and flatbreads by Emma Hatcher

Lamb and Lentil Meatballs with Feta Yogurt and Flatbreads by Emma Hatcher

Succulent Middle-Eastern inspired lamb meatballs, made with half lamb mince and half lentils for a delicious and budget friendly way to up those plant points. Served with a juicy, spiced tomato sauce made with onion and garlic (let’s up those prebiotics while we’re at it) and a creamy feta live yogurt (for those probiotics, too).

While this ingredient list looks long, rest assured that the recipe itself is simple to make! And creating the 3 components very much consists of chucking the ingredients for each in a bowl, pan or food processor and tossing, stirring or blitzing.

You could use wholemeal flatbreads to pile everything on, or if you do feel like making your own gluten-free version, try my easy recipe. If you fancy skipping them altogether, do so along with the feta yogurt - and why not try served with whole-wheat or brown rice spaghetti and extra feta sprinkled on top.

Serves 4


250g ground lamb mince, 10% fat
250g cooked puy lentils
2 thick slices bread, blitzed into crumbs and gluten free if needed
1 medium free-range egg, whisked
50g feta
Small bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
Zest of 1 lemon
Generous few grinds of black pepper
Olive oil, for cooking

For the tomato sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion
3 garlic cloves, crushed
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon crushed chilli flakes
2 tins plum tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

For the whipped feta:

150g feta
200g live yogurt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of ½ a lemon

To serve:

4 flatbreads, gluten free if needed
Small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
Small bunch of mint leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


To make the meatballs, add all of the ingredients, except the oil, into a large bowl. Use a fork to bring the ingredients together, then get in there with your hands and gently form the mixture into small golf balls. You should have around 20-24 in total. Place the meatballs on a tray and put in the fridge while you make the tomato sauce.

Add the olive oil to a large pan and place over a medium heat. When the oil is hot and glossy, add the onion and cook for 6-7 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add in the crushed garlic, cinnamon and chilli flakes and cook for a further few minutes. Pour in the tomatoes, crushing them with the back of your spoon and add the salt sugar and red wine vinegar. Bring to a boil then turn the heat down to low and simmer until thickened.

Add a generous glug of oil to a large frying pan (with taller sides if you’ve got one, for less splashing) and place over a medium heat. When hot and glossy, carefully add the meatballs and cook for 7-8 minutes, turning often, until golden brown all over. You might need to do this in two batches.

Gently turn up the heat on the tomato sauce and add in the meatballs, along with any delicious juices or crispy bits from the frying pan. Cook the meatballs in the sauce for another 5-10 minutes, or until cooked through. If the sauce is reducing too much, add a mug of water to loosen.

To make the whipped feta yogurt, add all of the ingredients to a food processor and blitz until smooth.

To serve, put a flatbread in the centre of a plate, add a dollop of feta yogurt on top, followed by 4-5 meatballs and some of the tomato sauce. Sprinkle over the herbs and a drizzle of oil and serve.

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