Greek Lamb Meatballs with Bulgar Wheat

Cooking time
Serves2 people
Greek Lamb Meatballs with Bulgar Wheat

Inspired by a Greek dish that bakes meatballs in tomato sauce, this quick version simmers juicy lamb meatballs in a cumin and cinnamon scented sauce. It’s served with side of fluffy bulgar wheat to soak up all the fragrant flavours.


  • 150g bulgar wheat
  • 300ml boiling water
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 lamb meatballs
  • 4 tbsp cold water
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • A handful of thyme

Prep: 5 mins | Cook: 20 mins

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1. Fill and boil your kettle. Tip the bulgar wheat into a heatproof bowl and pour in 300ml boiling water. Swirl with a fork, cover the bowl with a plate and set aside to soak for 10-15 mins. The bulgar will absorb the water and become tender.
2. While the bulgar soaks, peel and finely chop the onion. Peel and grate or crush the garlic. Put a deep frying pan or large pan on a medium heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil and the meatballs. Fry for 3-4 mins, turning often, till browned all over.
3. Add the chopped onion to the pan with 4 tbsp cold water. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Pop a lid on the pan (or use a baking tray if you don't have a lid). Fry for 5-6 mins, stirring often, till the onion is glossy.
4. Add the garlic to the pan with 1 tsp ground cumin and ½ tsp ground cinnamon. Gently stir to mix everything together. Tip in the tin of chopped tomatoes and stir again.
5. Drop in most of the thyme sprigs (keep a sprig back for garnishing). Pop the lid back on the pan and simmer for 5 mins. The sauce should thicken slightly and the meatballs will be cooked through.
6. While the meatballs simmer, pick the leaves off the remaining thyme sprig. Pick the thyme sprigs out of the meatball sauce and discard them. Taste the sauce and add a pinch more salt or pepper if you think it needs it. Drain any excess water off the bulgar wheat, then divide it between 2 warm plates or bowls. Spoon over the meatballs and sauce and garnish with thyme leaves to serve.
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