Ground Lamb is super flavorful, under-utilized, and can be part of your healthy diet! For real. These ground lamb recipes take you around the globe and bring vibrant flavors and fresh ingredients. I have included a few of my blogger friends' recipes as well so you have many to choose from!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks
I've got a soup, casseroles, pizzas, one-pot dishes, patties and meatballs. All but one (I think 🤔) are ready in under an hour. As lamb is a key ingredient in Mediterranean, Indian, and Middle Eastern cooking, most of the recipes are inspired by those regions.
Beyond Mere Sustenance has begun to focus on Latin-inspired recipes, and I am excited to bring you more Latin-inspired ground lamb recipes. My first offering is the Quick Ground Lamb Casserole (Enchilada Style). While Latin American countries do use lamb in their cooking, those dishes are not widely known. I look forward to this challenge!
🐑About Ground Lamb
I would venture to guess, that for many home cooks, ground meat refers to beef, pork, or turkey.
Ground lamb (and ground meat and poultry in general) is a perfect protein for quick, weeknight dinners. Unlike cubed stew meat, it doesn't require tenderizing. Browning requires just a few minutes.
By nature of ground meat in general means lots of surface area for crispy brown edges and caramelization (aka maillard reaction). The browning process reduces the slightly gamey taste that some people find objectionable (not me 😃), but maintains the earthy flavor that makes lamb so delicious! Win. Win.
🍽 Is Lamb "Healthy?"
YES. AND. NO. Eating red meat occasionally is fine. In some cases, it may be necessary (anemia). Yes, there are plant-based sources for iron, but Lamb is rich in iron, mostly in the form of heme iron, which is highly bioavailable and absorbed more efficiently than non-heme iron found in plants.
Lamb is rich in iron, mostly in the form of heme iron, which is highly bioavailable and absorbed more efficiently than non-heme iron found in plants.
Lamb is also a great source of Vitamin B12, Phosphorus, Zinc, and Selenium. Yes, the calorie count is higher, but the nutrition may be as well. For more, see Lamb 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Effects.
Adding ground lamb to a casserole, tacos, or one-pot dish means plenty of iron-rich protein in less time. A 3.5 ounce (100 gram) serving provides 25 grams of protein and 258 calories. When I have lamb for dinner, I simply choose leaner protein options (ie. plant-based) earlier in the day.
In short, lamb does provide great nutritional value and can be part of your healthy diet. Below, you will find a few of my favorite ways to use ground lamb.
💭 Tips for Cooking with Ground Lamb
- Brown the lamb, but don't overcook. Substances found in well-done and overcooked meat are not healthy.
- If making a one-pot dish like my Quick Ground Lamb Casserole, remove browned meat to a towel lined bowl, wipe the casserole/skillet dry, then proceed. This process reduces fat content.
- Using a potato masher to break up the meat as it cooks makes the job easier, and results in quicker cook time too!
- NOTE: The "gamey" flavor in lamb comes from the fat. Look for leaner cuts and packages.
- If you hate the taste (or cook for someone who does), substitute beef or pork.
I hope this post encourages you to occasionally include ground lamb in your healthy or healthyish diet!