The Best Lamb Recipes from Around the World

From tiny meatballs to a whole roasted leg, lamb is one versatile protein

Lamb is an essential—even revered—ingredient all over the globe, probably because it’s not only good when it’s simply grilled, but also when it’s skewered into kebabs, formed into burgers, rolled into spiced meatballs, braised with chiles, and cooked into a ragù with sweet peppers and spooned over spaghetti. And that’s only the start. Find these dishes and more in our best recipes for global lamb inspiration.

Cazini with Lamb Ragù

Cazini with Lamb Ragù

Grilled Rack of Lamb with Garlic and Herbs

Get the recipe for Grilled Rack of Lamb with Garlic and Herbs »
At the Marketplace at Emerald Valley in Washington, Pennsylvania, lemon zest and fresh mint go into every lamb burger patty. A tangle of sweet balsamic onions, a hint of chile, and briny feta balance the charred meat and brioche bun. Ground lamb falls on the fattier side; if using a grill, watch out for flare-ups. Lamb Burger with Mint, Feta, and Balsamic Onions
Chunks of lamb shoulder are rubbed with spices and marinated with aromatics before hitting the grill in this easy kebab recipe. Get the recipe for Grilled Marinated Lamb Kebabs

Lamb Ribs with Spicy Harissa Barbecue Sauce

Fatty lamb ribs are rubbed with spices and glazed with harissa-laced barbecue sauce, yielding an irresistible sticky-sweet crust. Get the recipe for Lamb Ribs with Spicy Harissa Barbecue Sauce »

Seaweed-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Red Wine Sauce

Seaweed-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Red Wine Sauce

Yellow Tomato Soup with Lamb Meatballs, Yogurt, and Mint

“Spices have always fascinated me. I collect them from all over the world,” says Giorgia Goggi, who accents this soup with Middle Eastern sumac and Indian garam masala. If you can’t find fresh yellow tomatoes, red will work just as well. Yellow Tomato Soup with Lamb Meatballs, Yogurt, and Mint »
This recipe comes from Sam Smith, Of Tusk in Portland, Oregon. Smith notes: “I like to eat it with a steak knife, keep some texture.” Serve this with lots of bread for soaking up the juices; a simple mixed green salad with champagne vinegar, black pepper, and edible flowers if available; and a super cold rose or white wine. Get the recipe for Braised Lamb Shoulder with Rose, Turnips, and Pistachios »

Lamb-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Green Tahini

At Mokonuts in Paris, cabbage leaves are stuffed with lamb and herbs and and drizzled with lemony tahini sauce. Get the recipe for Lamb-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Green Tahini »
Get the recipe for Kubdari »

Rack of Lamb with Rosemary and Thyme (December 2009)

This herb-adorned rack of lamb is seared then roasted at high heat for a crispy brown crust.
Get the recipe for Herbed Lamb Stew (Sabzi Govurma) »

Turkish Yogurt and Brown Butter Tomato Sauce

Yogurt and tomato combine to create this delicious, creamy sauce with hints of peppery zest. This sauce is a main component to manti, a Turkish spiced lamb dumpling dish. Get the recipe for Turkish Yogurt and Brown Butter Tomato Sauce »

Lamb Soup With Sour Cream (Palócleves)

Hungarian chef Andrea Németh mixes sour cream with flour before adding it to this paprika-spiced lamb and vegetable soup. It thickens the soup and prevents the cream from curdling. Get the recipe for Lamb Soup With Sour Cream (Palócleves) »

Grilled Yogurt-Marinated Lamb Shoulder Chops

These lamb shoulder chops tenderize in a yogurt marinade flavored with cumin and cardamom before grilling. Get the recipe for Grilled Yogurt-Marinated Lamb Shoulder Chops »

Lamb Chops with Mint Salsa Verde

Salsa verde, a Mediterranean condiment flavored with anchovies, capers, and herbs, partners nicely with seared, medium-rare lamb chops. Get the recipe for Lamb Chops with Mint Salsa Verde »

Grilled Lamb Chops with Tzatziki Sauce

In this classic Greek pairing, dill is used two ways: first in a garlicky marinade for the lamb, and then in a cooling, brightly flavored yogurt sauce. Serve this dish with a simple green salad. Get the recipe for Grilled Lamb Chops with Tzatziki Sauce

Rosemary-Jerk Lamb Chops

Aromatic fresh rosemary sets the umami-rich marinade for these lamb loin chops apart. Get the recipe for Rosemary-Jerk Lamb Chops

Chile and Cumin Lamb Kebabs (Yángròu chuàn)

The staple meats of Western China, lamb and mutton can be found folded into everything from pilafs to buns to noodles. Of course, they’re also the focal point of the region’s iconic kebabs. Seasoned with freshly ground cumin (zira in Farsi and zīrán in Chinese), which was probably introduced to Xinjiang from Persia, the kebabs get an extra kick from minced garlic cloves and ground chile powder. Get the recipe for Chile and Cumin Lamb Kebabs (Yángròu chuàn) »

Beef and Lamb Koftas with Mustard

Beef and Lamb Koftas with Mustard

Spicy Lamb and Grape Leaf Tarts With Orzo and Feta

These crustless tarts, adapted from Ana Sortun and Maura Kilpatrick’s book Soframiz, are inspired by a yogurt and semolina custard that is traditionally baked inside cooked grape leaves in Greece. The authors say that, even though the grape leaves aren’t rolled and filled cigar-style, the filled tarts are still a version of a dolma, a word that means “stuffed” in Turkish and Greek. “I love this version because the grape leaves get crispy and a little caramelized,” Sortun says. They work equally well in ceramic ramekins, fluted or non-fluted tart pans, muffin tins, or small cast iron baking dishes. Get the recipe for Spicy Lamb and Grape Leaf Tarts With Orzo and Feta »
Turmeric does double duty here: it goes into the lamb meatballs as well as the lemony broth they’re cooked in.

Grilled Lamb Chops with Ginger Sauce

Grilled Lamb Chops with Ginger Sauce

Pear-Marinated Roast Leg of Lamb

The enzymes found in pears tenderize this roast lamb, while garlic and herbs add flavor. Get the recipe for Pear-Marinated Roast Leg of Lamb »

Moroccan Meatballs with Arugula

Moroccan Meatballs with Arugula

Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Lamb and Sweet Pepper Ragù

Lighter than the rich beef and pork ragùs of other Italian regions, this Abruzzo specialty features bell peppers mixed into the sauce and cooked briefly so they retain their shape and lend a pop of sweetness. Get the recipe for Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Lamb and Sweet Pepper Ragù »

Pakistani Slow-Cooked Lamb Stew (Dumbay Ki Nihari)

A rich, spicy stew topped with bright cilantro leaves, a squeeze of citrus, and thin-sliced hot chiles, nihari is the ultimate comfort food. Get the recipe for Pakistani Slow-Cooked Lamb Stew (Dumbay Ki Nihari) »

LAMB AND CAULIFLOWER STEW WITH HARISSA

Greek Easter Soup

Greek Easter Soup

Bobotie (South African Meat Pie)

This Cape Town specialty generally consists of spiced meat mixed with chutney and tamarind paste and milk-soaked bread, poured into a dish, topped with a custard of egg and milk, and baked until it’s golden on top. Get the recipe for Bobotie (South African Meat Pie) »

Grilled Lamb Chops and Squash with Herb Salad and Sunchokes

Grilled Lamb Chops and Squash with Herb Salad and Sunchokes

Roast Leg of Lamb with Herbs and Kale

roast lamb

Beet Stew with Lamb Meatballs

For this traditional Iraqi-Jewish dish, ground-lamb meatballs are braised in a vibrant beet stew. Get the recipe for Beet Stew with Lamb Meatballs »

Grilled Lamb Burgers with Red Onion Aioli

Grilled red onion aïoli, smashed avocado, and sunny-side-up eggs top these rich cumin-spiced lamb burgers.

Albanian Baked Lamb and Rice with Yogurt (Tave Kosi)

Garlicky lamb and rice baked under a thick, tart veil of yogurt is a dish beloved throughout Albania. Get the recipe for Albanian Baked Lamb and Rice with Yogurt (Tave Kosi) »

Honey-Braised Lamb Shanks (Mrouzia)

Lamb shanks are braised for hours in a sumptuous sauce of honey, almonds, and raisins in this centuries-old Moroccan dish served at the restaurant Mansouria. Get the recipe for Honey-Braised Lamb Shanks »

Iraqi Eggs with Lamb and Tomatoes (Makhlama Lahm)

For this rich, spicy Iraqi breakfast dish, ground lamb is sautéed with onions, tomatoes, and parsley, seasoned to the hilt with bahar asfar, yellow curry powder, and then topped with soft-baked eggs. Get the recipe for Iraqi Eggs with Lamb and Tomatoes (Makhlama Lahm) »

Irish Stew

In this traditional warming stew from the Emerald Isle, lamb shoulder is rendered spoon-tender by a simmer and then a long, slow bake with plenty of filling potatoes and aromatic carrots and onions. For bright color and a bit of verdant sweetness, green peas are tossed in toward the end of the cooking. Get the recipe for Irish Stew »

Kashmiri Lamb in Chile Sauce (Mirchi Qorma)

Tender lamb simmers in a fiery sauce in this recipe from Adhoo’s in Srinagar, Kashmir. Get the recipe for Kashmiri Lamb »
In the Indian city of Hyderabad, this dish is traditionally made using goat, but lamb makes an excellent substitute; including the bones adds an unmatched depth of flavor. While peeled muskmelon and watermelon seeds are usually used to thicken the dish, we’ve substituted pumpkin seeds in our version.

Easter Lamb Pie

Easter Lamb Pie

Chickpea Stew with Lamb, Pork, and Veal (Cozido de Grão)

Chickpeas are bolstered with spicy sausage and three kinds of meat in a filling stew served at País das Uvas in Vila de Frades, Portugal. Get the recipe for Chickpea Stew with Lamb, Pork, and Veal »

Roasted Rack Of Lamb with Roasted Pumpkin and Chickpea Salad

The flavors of fall and winter are perfectly represented in this simple and elegant meal. Get the recipe for Roasted Rack Of Lamb with Roasted Pumpkin and Chickpea Salad »

Braised Leg of Lamb with Graukäse Polenta

Cooked in a fragrant rosemary–juniper lamb stock, the tender braised meat is then presented over a mound of hearty polenta, enriched with Gruyère-like cheese.Get the recipe for Braised Leg of Lamb with Graukäse Polenta

Lebanese Lamb-Stuffed Eggplant (Batenjen Mehchi)

Eggplants are stuffed with a mixture of spiced lamb and rice, then simmered in tomato sauce in a rustic, cinnamon-scented dish from Lebanese author Fouad Kassab’s mother, Isabelle. During the autumn olive harvest, she prepares it with new-season olive oil from the family’s groves. Use smaller-sized eggplants, such as Japanese or fairy-tale eggplants, for this dish. (If you can’t find these varieties, zucchini may be substituted for the eggplant.)

Spiced Lamb Patties with Tomato and Onion (Kefta bil Sayniyeh)

Lebanese seven-spice powder—a mix of allspice, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, fenugreek, ginger, and nutmeg known as baharat—flavors the lamb patties as well as the tomatoes in this richly spiced dish.