Pesto Lamb Meatballs with Spinach

Pesto Lamb Meatballs with Spinach

The first cookbook I bought myself was a family-style Italian cookbook. I liked all of the pasta recipes. I didn’t really pay attention until I went home to my apartment by myself and tried to make my first recipes. There were ingredients and no amounts. What! I freaked out at first, but then I jumped in and gave it a try and over time, I learned to cook much more by feel than by following a recipe.

I am sharing this story because I want to encourage you to get out of your comfort zone a little bit and experiment in the kitchen.

I can’t tell you how many times having a jar of pesto in the refrigerator has made the difference between a drab dinner and dinner with some pazazz. You can substitute turkey, beef, buffalo, even garbanzo beans for the meatballs and use baby kale, chopped swiss chard or sliced peppers instead of spinach. This dish vegetable-rich is delicious served with a side salad and a cooked grain or starchy vegetables (roasted parsnips, potatoes, or sweet potatoes).


Ground lamb rolled into small balls

Baby spinach or baby kale

Pesto (I used dairy-free)

Salt and pepper

Minced garlic

Extra virgin olive oil



Heat the pan, and add the olive oil and garlic. Reduce flame. When the garlic begins to cook, add the lamb balls and a few spoons of pesto to the pan.

Brown the lamb on one side, flip them in the pesto and turn over. Fill the pan with baby spinach, add some water to the pan and cover. Cook for about 10 minutes. Gently turn the spinach and lamb balls so that everything is cooked. If your lamb balls are large, you may need to add more water to the pan, cover, and can continue to cook 5-10 minutes longer. If your lamb balls are smaller, they may be done.

When the lamb is cooked through, season the dish with salt and pepper to taste and serve.