Beef & Lamb Meatballs

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Beef & Lamb Meatballs

Millet is the secret ingredient that gives this meatball dish a healthy kick. The millet acts as a binding agent and helps cut the amount of meat needed, while adding fiber and a whole-grain ingredient to this timeless appetizer. Browning the meatballs before baking locks in flavor and moisture. If time permits, after browning, you can use a slow cooker instead of baking.

Prep and cook time: 75 min. Servings: 10 (2 meatballs in ¼ c. sauce)


  • 2 c. water
  • ½ c. millet, hulled
  • ½ c. flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ¼ c. jarred red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ t. salt
  • ½ t. black pepper
  • 6 oz. lean ground lamb
  • 6 oz. extra-lean ground beef
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Cooking spray

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ t. dried oregano
  • 1/8 t. dried red pepper flakes
  • ½ t. salt
  • 1 28-oz. can no-added-salt diced tomatoes


  1. To cook millet, bring water to a boil. Add hulled millet and lower heat to low. Cover and simmer for 15-20 min., or until tender. Cool.
  2. Using your hands or electric mixer, thoroughly combine cooked, cooled millet with parsley, red bell pepper, salt, black pepper, ground lamb, ground beef, eggs and garlic. Cover and refrigerate for 15 min.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Wet your hands, then shape meatball mixture into 20 meatballs (approx. 1-in. each). Cover and refrigerate for 15 min.
  4. To prepare the sauce, add olive oil to skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, oregano, dried red pepper flakes and salt. Cook until fragrant, about 30 sec.
  5. Stir in tomatoes and their juice. Increase heat to high, bringing tomato mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tomato mixture thickens, about 15 min.
  6. While sauce is thickening, spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium-high. Add chilled meatballs and cook, turning until all surfaces are browned, about 5 min. in total. Transfer meatballs to baking sheet coated with cooking spray and bake for 20 min., or until cooked through.
  7. Place cooked meatballs into prepared sauce and serve.

Nutrition Information

Per serving: 150 calories (63 from fat), 7 g total fat (3 g saturated fat), 60 mg cholesterol, 350 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrates, 2½ g fiber, 3 g sugar, 10 g protein.
Exchanges: 1 starch, ½ fruit, 1 protein.

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