I love lamb and I love the way the herbs and spices commonly used in Middle Eastern food complement its flavor. These bulgur lamb meatball wraps are simple but full of those flavors, and they make a great meal prep recipe too! Combining bulgur with the lamb stretches what can be an expensive meat further, and I like the resulting texture.
Most large grocery stores should have bulgur; look for it near the specialty grains section, which is where my local Albertsons stocks it. Otherwise, look in the international section, or try the baking section.
Similar Middle Eastern recipes are often accompanied by a yoghurt based sauce, but I really like feta cheese with them as well. So I decided to combine them, which resulted in this creamy feta sauce. It’s adapted from a Serious Eats burger sauce recipe which, I’m sorry to say, I found far too messy for a burger. But for a wrap, with a few small modifications? Perfect!
How to Serve Bulgur Lamb Meatball Wraps
Spread some of the sauce on a flatbread, followed by some meatballs and vegetables—I like to use Shirazi salad, which is a simple Persian salad consisting mostly of tomato and cucumber.
If you prefer, you could also serve this deconstructed. Place the meatballs and salad on the plate with the flatbread or perhaps pita chips, and use the sauce for dipping. Make it low carb by using low carb bread or taking the bread out completely and using more sauce and vegetables.
This recipe will serve four adults generously, and can probably stretch to six if you use smaller flatbreads and put less meatballs on each one.
Making Ahead and Leftovers
You can make the sauce a day ahead if you like and store in the refrigerator; the flavors will develop more overnight. I prefer the sauce to not be too cold, so if you feel the same you should take it out of the refrigerator 30 minutes or so before serving.
The meatballs and sauce keep well in the fridge for a few days. Just reheat the meatballs lightly in the microwave for 30 seconds or so.
How to Make Bulgur Lamb Meatball Wraps
Soak the Bulgur
First, you need to soften the bulgur by soaking it. Pour the bulgur into a medium heat proof bowl and pour hot water over the top. I just heat some water on the stove until it’s near a boil. Now leave it for 15 minutes, though I’ve left it for up to 30 before and that works as well. When it’s finished soaking, drain well and leave to cool a bit. You don’t want to add hot bulgur to the raw lamb! I usually find it’s cool enough after 5 or 10 minutes; it’s fine if it’s still a bit warm.
Make the Creamy Feta Sauce
In a small bowl, mix together the Greek yoghurt, feta, olive oil and garlic. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside until ready to serve. Or, if you are making this further in advance, refrigerate and, if desired, take out about 30 minutes before serving just so it’s not too cold.
I love my Microplane, but I do not recommend using it for the garlic here as I find the flavor is too strong. Mince finely with a knife instead, unless you like spicy raw garlic flavor.
Prepare for Baking
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or grease lightly, and preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius.
Make the Meatballs
In a large bowl, combine the drained and cooled bulgur, the lamb, beaten egg, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, cinnamon and allspice. Mix until everything is well combined; I like to use my (clean!) hands for this.
Now form the meatballs and place them on the prepared baking sheet. When handling ground meat mixtures like this, wet your hands first so that the meat is less likely to stick to you. I use my medium scoop which holds around 1 1/2 tablespoons. You can adjust the size to your liking; just keep in mind the cooking time will be less for smaller meatballs and a bit longer if you make them bigger. I end up with about 25 meatballs.
Place the meatballs in the oven. They should take about 15 minutes to cook, maybe a few minutes more depending on your oven.
I recommend serving everything at the table separately, so everyone can form their wrap to their liking. Take a flatbread and spread with some of the sauce, then add some meatballs and vegetables or salad. Roll up and enjoy!
Bulgur Lamb Meatball Wraps with Creamy Feta Sauce
Bulgur Lamb Meatballs
- 2/3 cup bulgur wheat whole grain
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Creamy Feta Sauce
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta about 2 ounces
- 1/2 cup full fat Greek yoghurt
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic minced, see note
- lemon juice, to taste
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 large flatbreads
- vegetables of your choice, or Shirazi salad see note
- Soak bulgur in enough hot water to cover for 15 minutes, then drain well. Allow to cool slightly; it can be warm but not hot.
- While the bulgur is soaking, make the creamy feta sauce. In a small bowl, combine feta, Greek yoghurt, olive oil and garlic. Start with a squeeze of lemon juice and add more if desired, also adding salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside until ready to serve.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add bulgur, lamb, egg, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, cinnamon and allspice to a large bowl and mix until ingredients are well combined.
- Using wet hands, form meat mixture into meatballs, around 1 1/2 tablespoons per, and place on prepared baking sheet. You should get about 25.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through.
- To serve, place meatballs, sauce and vegetables or salad on flatbread and enjoy!
- For this particular recipe I strongly suggest mincing the garlic by knife rather than grating on a Microplane or using a garlic press. Raw garlic can be quite strong and kind of spicy and you may find it overpowering if you use one of the latter methods.
- I like to serve this with Shirazi salad but most salad vegetables would work.
- Meatball recipe adapted from Serious Eats.
- Sauce recipe adapted from Serious Eats.
Did you make this recipe? If so, follow @theflavorvortex on Instagram and post a picture using #theflavorvortex as I would love to see it!