You know the feeling—you’re scrolling through social media, and there it is: a mouthwatering pic of Cava Spicy Harissa Lamb Meatballs from your go-to Cava location. Your taste buds start tingling, right? Well, guess what? You don’t have to hit the East Coast—or even Northern California—to satisfy that craving. I’ve got a recipe for you today that packs so much flavor, you’ll think you’re celebrating a special occasion, right in the comfort of your own home.
But hold on, it gets better. Not only will you get to relish those juicy meatballs with a unique flavor profile, but this recipe is also super wallet-friendly. That’s right! We’re taking that beloved Cava experience and transforming it into a meal prep dream, perfect for busy weekdays or lazy weekends. You ready? Let’s get cooking!
Flavor Profile: Greek Lamb Meatballs with a Twist!
You read that right. These aren’t just any meatballs; they’re Greek lamb meatballs spiced up with spicy harissa. The combination of lamb and harissa creates a flavor profile that’s unforgettable. Seriously, your taste buds will do a happy dance.
Cava Spicy Harissa Lamb Meatballs Supplies and Ingredients Checklist
Let’s get organized. You’ll need:
- Large bowl: To combine your meatball mixture
- Medium bowl: For side sauces or extra spices
- Cookie Scoop: for even meatballs
- Large pan or large skillet: for stovetop version
- Baking sheet: for oven method
- Air Fryer: for Air fryer method
- Paper towels: for draining the meatballs on
- Ground lamb, beef, or bison
- Fresh herbs parsley and cilantro
- Fresh garlic
- Spicy harissa paste
- Spices: coriander, cumin, ginger, black pepper, and kosher salt
Let’s Make These Cava Spicy Harissa Lamb Meatballs!
Combine Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the ground lamb with parsley, cilantro, garlic, harissa, coriander, cumin, ginger, salt, paprika, and turmeric. I do not recommend using a food processor for this!
Shape Meatballs: Shape the mixture into balls, using about 2 to 3 tablespoons for each. You can make them as small or as large as you like. This recipe yields approximately 10 to 15 meatballs, depending on size. Take a cookie scoop to help form even meatballs. Make sure they’re of similar portion size and line them up on your prepared baking sheet.
Prepare Pan: Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil.
Cook Meatballs: Add the meatballs to the pan, making sure they are spaced apart to allow for even cooking.
Sear Meatballs: Sear the meatballs on one side for about 3 minutes, then rotate to sear the other side. Continue this process until the meatballs are cooked through to the center.
Serve and Enjoy: Remove from heat onto a paper towel lined plate. Enjoy your spicy lamb meatballs in a salad, wrap, or rice bowl!
The Oven Method for Cava Spicy Harissa Lamb Meatballs
If you prefer to bake your spicy lamb meatballs our fool proof oven method is for you!
Preheat the Oven: Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Prepare Baking Sheet: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
Shape Meatballs: Follow steps 1 and 2 from the stovetop instructions to prepare and shape your meatballs. Place them on the prepared baking sheet, making sure they are evenly spaced.
Drizzle Oil: Lightly drizzle olive oil over the meatballs or use a cooking spray. This will help them brown nicely in the oven.
Bake: Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven. Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the meatballs reaches at least 160 degrees F (71 degrees C).
Optional Searing: For an extra sear, you can broil the meatballs for an additional 2-3 minutes, watching carefully to prevent burning.
Air Fryer Instructions for Cava Spicy Harissa Lamb Meatballs
If you’re a fan of the air fryer and its ability to give food a crispy texture with less oil, you’ll be pleased to know you can make these spicy lamb meatballs in your air fryer as well. Here’s how:
- Preheat Air Fryer: Start by preheating your air fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Shape Meatballs: Follow the original stovetop recipe to mix and shape your lamb meatballs.
- Prepare Air Fryer: Lightly coat the air fryer basket with a non-stick spray or a small amount of olive oil to prevent sticking.
- Place Meatballs: Carefully place the shaped meatballs into the air fryer basket, ensuring they are not touching. You may have to cook them in batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
- Cook: Air fry the meatballs for about 10-12 minutes, turning halfway through, until they are cooked through and have an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees F (71 degrees C).
- Serve and Enjoy: Once done, take them out of the air fryer and enjoy in a salad, wrap, or with RightRice for a CAVA-inspired Greek bowl.
The air fryer offers a less oily but equally delicious alternative to stovetop or oven methods, making these meatballs a versatile dish no matter your cooking preference!
Storing Leftovers: Keep the Flavor Alive!
Wondering what to do with those extra spicy lamb meatballs? No worries; storing leftovers is a breeze, and the best part is, they taste just as fabulous the next day!
- Step 1: Let the meatballs cool down to room temperature.
- Step 2: Place them in an airtight container, separating layers with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
- Step 3: Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
If you’re into long-term meal prep, the freezer is your friend.
- Step 1: Again, cool the meatballs first.
- Step 2: Arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze until solid.
- Step 3: Once they’re fully frozen, transfer them to a zip-top bag or an airtight container. Don’t forget to label with the date!
- Step 4: You can freeze them for up to 3 months.
Reheating: Make Them Juicy Again
When you’re ready to dig in, you have a couple of options for reheating:
- Microwave: Quick and easy. Just place the meatballs on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a paper towel, and heat on medium for 1-2 minutes.
- Oven: Preheat to 350°F and bake for 10-15 minutes. This method is great for keeping that golden brown exterior.
And there you have it! Your meatballs can be a flavorful gift that keeps on giving, whether you’re serving them up for meal prep or treating yourself to round two.
Cava Spicy Harissa Lamb Meatballs Serving Ideas: Unleash the Flavors!
So you’ve mastered the art of making spicy lamb meatballs, but wondering how to serve them? Let me give you some tasty options that’ll take your meal to the next level.
Cava Inspired Rice Bowl
Combine brown rice, greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, and pickled red onions. Top with your spicy lamb meatballs and a dollop of tzatziki sauce or red pepper hummus. Don’t forget the pita chips!
Pita Pocket Extravaganza
Take a pita pocket or pita bread, stuff it or top it with your spicy meatballs, fresh greens, pickled red onions and feta cheese. Add a dollop of crazy feta for that extra kick.
Cava Spicy Harissa Lamb Meatballs Meal Prep Magic
Yes, these meatballs are not just dinner; they’re a week-long lunch plan. Meal prepping rice bowls with these spicy lamb meatballs is a fantastic way to guarantee a week full of delicious and balanced meals. Let’s dive right in!
Step 1: Cook Your Base
Start by cooking your choice of rice or grain. Brown rice works beautifully for added fiber and nutrients. Divide the cooked rice into individual meal prep containers as the base layer.
Step 2: Meatball Magic
If you’ve made your meatballs in advance (smart move!), take them out of the fridge or freezer. Place a generous serving of meatballs on top of the rice in each container.
Step 3: Veggie Power
For added crunch and color, include veggies like cucumber salad, cherry tomatoes, or cabbage slaw. A combination of lamb and fresh ingredients makes the meal both delicious and well-balanced.
Step 4: Sauce It Up
Whip up some tzatziki sauce, spicy harissa, or garlic dressing and store them in separate small jars or sauce containers. When it’s time to eat, just drizzle over your rice bowl to elevate the flavor profile.
Step 5: Extra Toppings
Want to add some more oomph? A sprinkle of feta cheese or a handful of fresh herbs like parsley or dill can work wonders. Store these in separate small containers to keep them fresh.
Step 6: Seal and Store
Close the lids of your airtight containers and store them in the fridge. They should last for about 4–5 days. If you’ve prepared sauce, store that in the fridge as well.
Quick Reheating Cava Spicy Harissa Lamb Meatballs
Come mealtime, take out a container, remove any small sauce or topping containers, and microwave for 2–3 minutes. Then add your toppings and sauce, give everything a good mix, and enjoy!
By taking a little time to meal prep these delicious rice bowls, you’ve not only saved future you tons of time but also made sure you’ve got wholesome and flavorful meals ready to go!
Closing Thoughts: It’s Your Turn!
Okay, foodies, you’re all set to make these Greek lamb meatballs your main course for any occasion. Share your kitchen adventures on social media and don’t forget to give this recipe a star rating! What are your favorite Cava Inspired dishes? Let’s keep this conversation going. Sound off in the comments below!