A serving platter full of lamb meatballs with little bowls of crudites and dips surrounding it

Lamb meatballs with labneh and flatbreads

  • serves 6
  • Easy

Combine gently spiced lamb, date and pine nut meatballs with thick, creamy fresh cheese (known as labneh) and plenty of herbs to make a great plated starter or canapés

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Try these spiced lamb meatballs, then check out our Greek lamb meatballs, lamb shakshuka meatballs, healthy meatballs, classic Turkish meatballs and more meatballs recipes.

Spread a spoonful of labneh over a flatbread, put on a plate with a few meatballs and some herbs, and have guests wrap them up themselves. Or, serve in individual bowls with the flatbreads cut up alongside.

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Ingredients

LABNEH

  • full-fat greek yogurt 1 kg
  • dill chopped to make 4 tbsp, plus extra to serve
  • mint leaves chopped to make 4 tbsp, plus extra to serve
  • garlic 1 clove, crushed

MEATBALLS

  • lamb mince (20% fat) 800g
  • onion 1 small, grated
  • dates 75g, pitted and finely chopped
  • pine nuts 50g, toasted
  • ground turmeric ½ tsp
  • ground cumin 2 tsp
  • dried chilli flakes a pinch
  • olive oil for frying

DUKKAH FLATBREADS

  • strong white bread flour 600g
  • olive oil 75ml
  • sea salt flakes a pinch
  • coriander seeds 1 tbsp
  • cumin seeds ½ tbsp
  • blanched hazelnuts 50g, roughly chopped
  • sesame seeds 2 tbsp
  • clarified butter, ghee or extra-virgin olive oil 50ml

Method

  • Step 1

    Combine the labneh ingredients with 1 tsp of fine salt in a bowl, then scrape into a muslin-lined sieve set over a large bowl. Cover and chill for 24 hours until the liquid has been strained out.

  • Step 2

    Using clean hands, mix together all the meatball ingredients. Roll the mixture using your palms into 24 meatballs, then transfer to a tray lined with baking paper. Cover and chill for 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.

  • Step 3

    For the flatbreads, mix together the flour, oil, 1 tsp of salt and 350-400ml of warm water in a bowl until you have a rough dough. Tip onto a worksurface and knead for 10-15 minutes until smooth. Cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes to relax the dough.

  • Step 4

    Cut the dough into 16 pieces and roll out on your worksurface into rough ovals (the oil in the dough will help prevent any sticking, but you can lightly dust the worksurface with flour, if you like). Heat a dry frying pan over a medium-high heat and cook the flatbreads for 2-3 minutes on each side until bubbles have appeared and turned golden brown, and the flatbreads look dry and toasted. Keep warm while you cook the rest. Or, to make ahead, leave to cool completely, wrap in foil and reheat in a low oven.

  • Step 5

    Put the sea salt flakes, coriander and cumin seeds in a mortar and crush with a pestle to open the seeds. Add the hazelnuts and bruise to release the oils. Add the sesame seeds and bash again. Transfer half the mixture to a small bowl, and stir in the clarified butter, ghee or oil.

  • Step 6

    Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the meatballs for 10-15 minutes until cooked through and browned on all sides, shaking the pan regularly to turn. You may need to cook these in batches. Spoon onto a plate and season with a little more salt. Brush the dukkah butter over the warm flatbreads.

  • Step 7

    To serve, thickly spread the labneh over a platter or serving dish, scatter over some of the reserved dukkah and spoon over the meatballs (leave any fat in the pan). Scatter with the remaining dukkah and some extra dill and mint. Drizzle over any left-over dukkah butter. Serve with the flatbreads for scooping up the meatballs and labneh.

Check out our best meatball recipes

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Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 1359
  • Fat 83.9g
  • Saturates 30.5g
  • Carbs 94.7g
  • Sugars 18.7g
  • Fibre 7.1g
  • Protein 52.9g
  • Salt 2.3g
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