DNX FOOD Recipes Tray bake dinner: Lamb kofta meatballs

Tray bake dinner: Lamb kofta meatballs

Tray bake dinner: Lamb kofta meatballs post thumbnail image

An enormous heartfelt thanks for the messages of support following the news of Dozer’s condition. I don’t have the words to properly express how much it meant to me and never imagined I would find myself in a position where I felt such overwhelming support from all corners of this big wide world. I will continue to provide updates on his progress in the Life of Dozer section, and hope to have good news in the coming weeks.~ Nagi x

This tray bake dinner combines beautifully spiced lamb kofta meatballs with colourful roast vegetables for a Middle Eastern dinner that’s as versatile as it is delicious. Stuff into warm flatbreads, make couscous or rice bowls, or serve with roasted cauliflower for a substantial low-carb salad meal!

Freshly made Baked lamb kofta meatballs and vegetables

Lamb kofta meatballs tray bake

There’s a lot less sheet pan dinner recipes on my website than one would expect for someone who tells “everyone” that she mostly shares dinner recipes. It’s because I’m a little fussy about them. I find that if you toss everything – meat and vegetables – in the same seasonings, everything comes out tasting the same-same.

Which is fine every now and then. But I get bored quickly.

But this meatball tray bake? Anything but boring!! Think – your favourite boldly spiced lamb koftas, in meatball form, with a pile of colourful capsicum and red onion. All baked on the same tray. The smell when this is in the oven is incredible!! It’s the cinnamon. Signature Middle Eastern spice.

Stuff in warm pita breads, make rice or couscous bowls or a big low-carb warm salad!

Pita bread stuffed with Baked lamb kofta meatballs and vegetables


Here’s what you need to make this tray bake dinner.

Kofta meatballs

These are the same ingredients used in skewered lamb koftas.

What goes in lamb koftas
  • Lamb mince (ground lamb) – While lamb is a favourite in Middle Eastern cuisine and just goes so well with the spice mix, these meatballs are also terrific made with beef. Chicken and turkey would also be good but you’ll need to add a little extra breadcrumbs else the mixture is too loose.

  • Onion – Use a box grater to shred it so you don’t need to cook the onion separately before adding into the mixture. Also, the onion juices just make the meatballs tastier!

  • Panko breadcrumbs – Adds bulk and absorbs moisture so the mixture isn’t too wet to form meatballs. Panko breadcrumbs are easy to find these days in the Asian and breadcrumb aisle of grocery stores. Ordinary breadcrumbs (smaller and finer, like sand) can also be used but the meatballs will not be quite as tender.

  • Garlic – Very rare to find savoury dishes on my website that don’t involve garlic!

  • Spices – Classic Middle Eastern spices: cumin, coriander, paprika (I use regular but smoked would be lovely), cinnamon (Middle Eastern secret ingredient!) and cayenne pepper. These meatballs are mildly spicy so feel free to reduce or omit the cayenne pepper.

  • Coriander/cilantro – For a hint of freshness and for visual purposes too. Substitute with parsley.

The vegetables

For the vegetables, you could really use any roast-able vegetables you want. I opted for capsicum / bell peppers for a splash of colour and also because I like that they are easy to cut into strips for easy of stuffing into flatbreads.

Baked lamb kofta meatballs and vegetables ingredients

Sauce options

The meatballs are pictured in post drizzled with Tahini Sauce which is a widely used sauce in Middle Easter cuisine. The nutty flavour and creamy texture goes so well with the spice flavour of the meatballs and just adds that extra touch to take this from tasty to OMG gawd this is soooo gooood!! (Which is the bar to which I aim!)

Being a sauce I use quite regularly in Middle Eastern recipes, I finally got around to writing it up as a separate recipe, so find the Tahini Sauce recipe here. The other sauce option is Lemon Yogurt Sauce which is also on-point for Middle Eastern food – use the sauce in this recipe.

For the simplest option (and we all have those days), just a dollop of plain yogurt will work fine, or even a squeeze of lemon juice.

How to make Lamb Kofta Meatball Tray Bake

The only difference between making normal Moroccan meatballs and this one is that you don’t need to deal with cleaning up the stove splatter. I know which one I’m making tonight! 🙂

How to make Lamb Kofta Meatballs tray bake
  1. Toss the vegetables with salt, pepper and olive oil.

  2. Mix the lamb kofta meatball mixture in a bowl with your hands. Mix well to ensure the spices are dispersed evenly throughout.

How to make Lamb Kofta Meatballs tray bake
  1. Roll 16 meatballs. They are slightly on the large side to ensure they don’t dry out when cooked in the oven.

    PRO TIP: I use an ice cream scoop with a lever to portion out the mixture. Then I roll the balls. This is the most efficient way I have come up with to make meatballs – without resorting to $5,000 meatball making machines (oh yes, they exist!)

  2. Spray the meatballs generously with oil so they will brown in the oven.

How to make Lamb Kofta Meatballs tray bake
  1. Scatter the vegetables around the meatballs.

  2. Bake for 15 minutes, then finish with 5 minutes under the grill/broiler to get a bit of colour on the meatballs. 20 minutes is all the cook time we need for meatballs to cook them through without overcooking them which will make them dismally dry on the inside.

    You’ll also get some nice charring on the edges of the capsicum, reminiscent of the flavour we would’ve achieved if we had cooked these over charcoal which does not happen midweek around these parts!

Baked lamb kofta meatballs and vegetables fresh out of the oven
Baked lamb kofta meatballs and vegetables rice bowls

How to serve baked lamb kofta meatballs

I promised you versatile, and here’s proof!

  1. Wraps / pita pockets (pictured at top of post) – Stuff the meatballs and vegetables into warm wraps or pita pockets and drizzle with Tahini Sauce or Lemon Yogurt Sauce (use the one in this recipe). Shredded lettuce and tomato slices are great extras to bulk it out and (happily) cram extra vegetables into your meal.

  2. Bowls (pictured above) – Make bowls with a mound of steaming basmati rice or couscous (very on-theme!).

  3. Warm salad – Make roasted cauliflower (without the parmesan) and pile onto a plate. Top with the meatballs and all the vegetables, finish with a dramatic, generous drizzle of the tahini sauce and a shower of toasted pinenuts or almond flakes and fresh coriander/cilantro. Stand back and admire the glittering pile that is your dinner that happens to be low-carb and nutrition packed!

And as I describe that cauliflower salad to you, I’m kicking myself for not having shot it! It was so, so good. Next time! – Nagi x

Watch how to make it

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Freshly made Baked lamb kofta meatballs and vegetables

Tray bake dinner: lamb kofta meatballs

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Recipe video above. This easy sheet pan dinner combines beautifully spiced lamb kofta meatballs with colourful roast vegetables for a Middle Eastern dinner that’s as versatile as it is delicious. Stuff into warm flatbreads, serve with couscous or rice bowls, or add a side of roasted cauliflower for a substantial low-carb dinner.Less messy and healthier than pan frying – less oil! Tip: make meatballs on the large side so they don’t dry out in the oven.



  • 1/2onion, grated using a box grater
  • 500 g / 1 lblamb mince(ground lamb), or beef
  • 1/4cuppanko breadcrumbs(sub regular breadcrumbs)
  • 2clovesgarlic, finely minced
  • 2tbspcoriander/cilantro, finely chopped


  • 2tspcumin
  • 2tspcoriander
  • 2tsppaprika(plain, sub smoked)
  • 1 1/2tspground cinnamon
  • 3/4tspcayenne pepper(a bit spicy, reduce to taste or leave out)
  • 3/4tspcooking salt / kosher salt
  • 1/2black pepper


  • 1largered capsicum, deseeded, sliced into 1 cm thick slices
  • 1largeyellow capsicum, deseeded, sliced into 1 cm thick slices
  • 1red onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 1tbspextra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4tspeach cooking/kosher salt and pepper

SERVING (wraps option)

  • Olive oil spray(for the meatballs)
  • 4flatbreadsor rice, couscous or cauliflower rice
  • 1quantityTahini sauceor lemon yogurt sauce (or even just plain yogurt)
  • 3cupsshredded iceberg lettuce(or other leafy greens)
  • 2tomatoes, halved, cut into thin slices
  • 1tbspcoriander/cilantro leaves, finely chopped, optional (for sprinkling)


  • Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F (180°C fan-forced).
  • Kofta meatballs – Place the Kofta ingredients and spices in a bowl. Use your hands to combine thoroughly then roll 16 large-ish meatballs (I scoop all mixture onto a tray, then roll into balls). Spread them out on a large tray.
  • Vegetables – Toss the vegetables with the oil, salt and pepper. Scatter around the meatballs.
  • Bake – Spray the meatballs with oil. Bake for 15 minutes then switch the oven to the grill/broiler on high. Cook for a further 5 minutes to get some colour on the surface.
  • Serve – Sprinkle with the chopped coriander then serve! To make wraps, stuff with lettuce, tomato, meatballs, and the cook capsicum and onion. Drizzle with lots of tahini sauce then tuck in! Other ideas: rice or couscous bowls or big salads – see below.

Recipe Notes:


  • Wraps – Stuffed in pita bread or flatbreads with lettuce, tomato, drizzled with tahini or yogurt sauce.
  • Bowls – Make bowls with couscous, rice,cauliflower rice or grains/beans (eg lentils – cook using this method).
  • Warm salad – a substantial low-carb dinner with a side of roasted cauliflower (bake prior to meatballs).


  1. Meat – Lamb is a natural choice for Middle Eastern food but the spice mix is really good with beef too. Chicken will also work but you’ll need to increase the panko else the mixture is a little loose.

Life of Dozer

Unsurprisingly, after telling you about Dozer’s laryngeal paralysis condition and surgery, I expect the Life of Dozer section will be focussed on his recovery for the next little while. I want to share the facts but I also want to add a sprinkle of fun. Because even in the fog of worry, there have been moments of laughter!

The serious stuff

So, I’m not going to lie. Dozer’s post surgery recovery has been a little slower and more worrying than expected. For 2 days after his operation, he was very wobbly on his feet and needed help to get up, walk and pee. He would collapse after walking a metre or two, and get very agitated when he couldn’t get up himself when he wanted to – which mean breathing heavily and straining his throat.

What did really scare me though was that his hoarse breathing sounded (to me) worse than it was pre-operation. That combined with his lack of mobility prompted a dash to the emergency vet.

Thankfully they gave him the all clear and just reminded me again that his airways are swollen from the surgery so his breathing and panting will sound laboured and painful. I was told it will take about 2 weeks for the swelling to go down to see if the surgery was effective – if it was, he should breath quietly and in time, go back to some level of exercise. 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻

I had hoped to avoid using the chill-pills the vet prescribed for Dozer but I gave up. Since starting him on those, he is definitely more relaxed. Basically, peaceful sleeping Dozer means no hoarse panting which should help with the speed of recovery. I think when he’s awake, he is conscious of the fact that he’s short of breath which makes him agitated and breath frantically (like right now, at my feet).

I’m worried, but thinking positively. It’s only day 3 after surgery. 11 days to go.

on the lighter side….

The little things we celebrate – so happy when he was able to weight bear himself and pee without assistance!! (Just in case you are conjuring up visions of paper cups – no, it was nothing like that!! I was using a towel sling under his belly to help support his weight. )

Check out his excellent squatting action. Well done Dozer. Well done! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

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