Got a jar of pesto but you're sick of pasta? Use them in these luscious meatballs instead!






Skill level

Average: 2.7 (10 votes)


  • 1 kg lamb mince
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¾ cup pesto
  • ½ cup parmesan, grated
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup panko / breadcrumbs
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 50-100 g butter or
  • 500 g passata
  • Extra parmesan, to serve
  • Basil, to serve
  • Relish or chutney, to serve
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

2. In a small pan, heat olive oil and cook garlic and onion until tender 5-10mins and let them cool slightly.

3. In a bowl, combine cooked onion, garlic, mince, pesto, parmesan, egg, breadcrumbs, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper and mix well with your hands.

4. Roll mixture into 4cm balls and place on a lined baking tray. Wrap and refrigerate for 15 mins to rest.

5. Bake for 25-30 mins at 180C or pan-fry them on low for 30-40mins with ½ litre of passata or simply in 100g of butter. 

6. Serve the passata version with extra shaved parmesan and fresh basil. Serve the baked version with some flatbread and relish/chutney.