Lamb Meatballs in Greek-Inspired Tomato Sauce


  • 1 ½ pounds ground lamb
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • cup bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons milk or water
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onions
  • 1 medium green pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup dry red wine or dry vermouth
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes in purée (or substitute a 28-ounce can of plum tomatoes, including liquid, combined with a 6-ounce can of tomato paste)
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • cup pitted, chopped kalamata olives
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese, plus more for garnish
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Nutritional Information
    • Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

      778 calories; 54 grams fat; 23 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 22 grams monounsaturated fat; 4 grams polyunsaturated fat; 30 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams dietary fiber; 13 grams sugars; 39 grams protein; 196 milligrams cholesterol; 1247 milligrams sodium

    • Note: Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available data.

4 servings.


  1. In a large bowl, blend the first 9 ingredients for the meatballs. Moisten your palms with water, and shape the mixture into meatballs about 1 inch in diameter.
  2. In a 4-quart or larger pressure cooker, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the onions and green pepper, and cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to soften, about 1 minute.
  3. Stir in the wine, scraping up any browned bits sticking to the bottom of the cooker. Boil until the wine is reduced by half, about 1 minute. Stir in the water, and add the meatballs in one or two layers. Pour the tomatoes over the meatballs. (Do not stir.) Sprinkle on the garlic powder.
  4. Lock the lid in place. Over high heat, bring to high pressure. Reduce the heat just enough to maintain high pressure, and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat. Quick-release the pressure by setting the cooker under cold running water. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow the steam to escape.
  6. Split a meatball in half to check for doneness. If necessary, cover the cooker, and simmer until done.
  7. Gently stir in the olives, feta, parsley, crushed red pepper, oregano, cinnamon and a tablespoon of olive oil, if needed, to give the sauce a rich finish. Simmer a few minutes. Season to taste with sugar, salt and pepper (go easy on the salt, as the olives and feta have plenty). Serve in shallow bowls, garnished with feta.

30 minutes

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