Grilled Lamb Meatballs with Tahini Sauce

Grilled Lamb Meatballs with Tahini Sauce

  • Author: Nicole Gaffney (


Serves 2-4



For the Tahini Sauce

  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated
  • juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup), or more to taste
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • pinch of cumin
  • salt, to taste
  • cold water, as needed

For the meatballs

  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest (from about half a lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 small red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • olive oil, as needed

For Serving

  • fresh pita bread
  • diced tomatoes + cucumbers + sliced red onion, sprinkled with salt + drizzled with olive oil
  • feta cheese
  • fresh dill


Make the Tahini Sauce

  1. Combine the garlic, lemon, tahini, cumin and salt in a bowl. Whisk together and add cold water, a tablespoon at a time, while whisking. The mixture will seize up at first. Keep whisking and adding water until it forms a smooth, saucy consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed with more lemon and salt. Set aside while you prepare the meatballs.

Make the Meatballs

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the lamb, lemon zest, salt, garlic, paprika, cumin, cinnamon and coriander. Use clean hands to mix everything together until thoroughly combined, but be mindful not to overmix as it will cause the meatballs to be tough.
  2. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Rub your (clean) hands lightly with oil, then form the mixture into 12-14 small meatballs. Skewer the meatballs on kebabs, placing a piece of red onion in between each, as well as on both ends. Drizzle with olive oil and turn to coat on all sides.
  3. Grill the meatballs until charred on all sides and to your desired doneness inside. I think they’re best when medium-well, or just slightly pink in the center. Overcooking the meatballs will make them dry and tough. Be careful not to leave them on for too long.
  4. Serve the meatballs with tahini sauce, fresh pita bread, diced tomatoes, cucumbers, sliced red onion, feta cheese and fresh dill.


  • Leftover tahini sauce can be stored in a container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.