Lamb Meatballs with Saffron-Almond Sauce

Lamb Meatballs with Saffron-Almond Sauce: Main Image

Quick Facts

Servings: 18
Prep Time: 40 min.
Cook Time: 40 min.
Total: 1 hr. 20 min.
Chef Tim McKee
Earthy lamb meatballs, surrounded by a silky saffron sauce, comprise this elegant dish. Serve over fragrant basmati rice.


  • Lamb Meatballs3 cups bread, crust removed, cubed
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 2 cups onions, 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/3 cup garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs ground coriander
  • 3 lbs ground lamb
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tbs parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 3/4 Tbs kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp peppercorns, toasted and ground
  • to taste cayenne
  • 4 Tbs canola oil
  • Saffron-Almond Sauce1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 Tbs saffron
  • 1 1/2 Tbs garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Tbs salt
  • 1/4 cup corn nuts, ground
  • 4 cups whole, blanched almonds
  • 2 cups olive oil


  • For Lamb Meatballs Soak bread in wine for 30 minutes.
  • In a stainless steel saucepan, heat oil and sweat onions, garlic and coriander until onions are soft and translucent. Remove from heat and spread on sheet pan to cool. Strain any excess wine from bread and place bread in large bowl; discard wine.
  • Add cooled onion mixture and ground lamb; gently mix. Add whole egg, egg yolk, parsley, salt, pepper and cayenne. Gently mix until just blended. Use a 1 oz scoop (similar to an ice cream scoop ) to form meatballs. Place on sheet pan and bake in 375° F oven for 12 to 15 minutes; set aside.
  • For Saffron-Almond SauceCombine water and saffron; set aside. In food processor, mince garlic. Add salt and ground corn nuts; pulse to combine. Add almonds and oil; puree to a fine paste. With processor running, slowly pour in saffron water to make a smooth paste.
  • To prepare meatballs in sauce, divide saffron almond paste between two large skillets. Add additional water if necessary to thin the sauce. Add meatballs, stirring to coat. Heat through and serve.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 514
  Calories from Fat 377 (73%)
(67%)Total Fat 43g
(30%)Saturated Fat 6g
Polyunsaturated Fat 7g
Monounsaturated Fat 29g
(25%)Cholesterol 74mg
(60%)Sodium 1433mg
(14%)Potassium 488mg
Total Carbohydrate 12g
(13%)Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 2g
Sugar Alcohols 0g
(43%)Protein 22g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Nutrition facts are calculated by a food expert using nutritional values provided by the USDA for common products used as recipe ingredients. Actual nutritional values may differ depending on the amounts or products used and can be affected by cooking methods.

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The information presented here is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2018.