← Back to Search Results
Lamb Meatballs with Spicy Garbanzo Beans Recipe-2652

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 1


This is a quick and easy version of a very popular appetizer that we served at Campanile for years. I like to make the garbanzo beans with the meatballs still in the pan, pushed to the side after they’ve been cooked. This way, the meatballs soak up the flavor of the gravy the garbanzo beans are cooking in. The paprika and pepper pastes that I use to season the garbanzo beans came from Jons Marketplace, a grocery store in L.A. that carries many imported products from around the world and Jons was a real source of inspiration for me in conceiving many of the recipes in the book. If you can’t get to Jons, look for ethnic markets where you live, or look at the sources section in the back of this book.

Yield: Serves 4
Cooking time: 25 Minutes


For the meatballs:

  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon chile flakes
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil (or other neutral-flavored oil)

For the garbonzo beans:

  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (about 1½ cups), rinsed and drained
  • 1½ cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon paprika paste
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red pepper paste
  • 2 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves
  • ¼ cup strained whole milk Greek yogurt
  • Sea salt


To make the meatballs, in a large bowl, combine the lamb, eggs, parsley, thyme, garlic, salt, paprika, and chile flakes and mix the ingredients with your hands just until they are thoroughly combined. Divide the mixture into halves, then quarters, and so on, until you have 16 pieces. Roll each piece between your palms to form the meatballs.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until it's almost smoking (you will begin to smell the oil at that point). Add the meatballs and cook them for 4 to 5 minutes, turning them occasionally, until they're browned all over. Push the meatballs to one side of the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low.

Put the garbanzo beans, vegetable broth, paprika paste, and red pepper paste in the empty side of the skillet and stir to combine. Simmer the garbanzo beans until the sauce is reduced by half, to the consistency of thin gravy. Turn off the heat and stir the meatballs and garbanzo beans together to coat the meatballs with the gravy.

Mound the spinach onto four plates, dividing it evenly. Spoon the garbanzo beans and sauce over the spinach, reserving about ¼ cup of the sauce, and place the meatballs, four to a plate, on top of the garbanzo beans. Spoon the reserved sauce over the meatballs. Put a tablespoon of yogurt on each serving of meatballs, sprinkle them with the reserved parsley and season them with sea salt.

© 2007 Nancy Silverton

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information does not include sea salt for serving.

930kcal (46%)
2302mg (96%)
68g (104%)
25g (125%)
271mg (90%)
220mcg RAE (7%)
23mg (38%)
139mg (14%)
7mg (40%)

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.
  • cylin

    09.21.09 Flag comment

    Cut meatball portion in half but made full sauce recipe. Would drain some of the fat after cooking meatballs next time. Added 2 cloves garlic and 1/2 diced onion to sauce. Subbed tomato paste and dry paprika for paprika paste b/c I couldn't find it and served over couscous instead of spinach. I would make it again, tasty and different.


Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

good-to-the-grain Good to the Grain
by Kim Boyce
mom-a-licious Mom-a-Licious
by Domenica Catelli
jacques-torres-a-year-in-chocolate-80-recipes-for-holidays-and-special-occasions Jacques Torres' A Year in C...
by Judith Choate, Jacques Torres
desserts-4-today Desserts 4 Today
by Abby Dodge
the-bread-bible The Bread Bible
by Rose Levy Beranbaum
david-rosengarten-entertains-fabulous-parties-for-food-lovers David Rosengarten Entertain...
by David Rosengarten
young-and-hungry-more-than-100-recipes-for-cooking-fresh-and-affordable-food-for-everyone Young and Hungry: More Than...
by Dave Lieberman
living-raw-food Living Raw Food
by Sarma Melngailis
lucid-food Lucid Food
by Louisa Shafia
a-new-way-to-cook A New Way to Cook
by Sally Schneider
nigella-express Nigella Express
by Nigella Lawson
rice Rice
by Bonnie Tandy Leblang, Joanne Lamb Hayes
salmon-a-cookbook Salmon: A Cookbook
by Diane Morgan
gluten-free-and-vegan-holidays Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays
by Jennifer Katzinger

Thanks for signing up!

You'll receive an activation email in your inbox shortly. Don't forget to click that link and activate your new Cookstr.com account!

Already a member? Sign in here

Sign up for Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?