Tips for Cooking With Lamb

Ground Lamb Safety and Handling

  • Frozen ground lamb should be defrosted in the refrigerator and never at room temperature. As meat packages can leak as they thaw, place lamb (or any meats) on a plate larger than the package of meat in the fridge while thawing, to catch any drips.
  • Ground lamb should be cooked as soon as possible after it is defrosted.
  • It is recommended that ground lamb dishes such as meatloaf and moussaka be checked for doneness with a meat thermometer. This is especially important when the lamb has been blended with dark sauces that can mask the color of the meat, making it difficult to determine if any pink color remains, which would indicate that the meat is not fully cooked.
  • Leftovers should be placed in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as the meal is over. Lamb should not be away from refrigeration longer than 2 hours after cooking. Cooked food left at room temperature for more than two hours should be discarded.

Nutritional Information on Lamb:

There’s no overriding health reason to stay away from lamb. Its nutritional value is influenced by the cut, and the leanest choices include loin, shank, and leg, all of which are often comparable to beef or pork in terms of calories and fat—about 150 to 170 calories per 3-ounce serving, and 2 to 3 grams of saturated fat. However, some cuts of lamb—blade as well as ground lamb—can be 20 to 30 calories per serving higher than their beef counterparts.

Another important factor is how the animal was raised. We all know the expression “You are what you eat,” and it is just as true for animals. The majority of cattle and lambs are grain-fed to help fatten them up, but their natural food is grass. More and more farmers are raising their animals on grass in pastures, which can improve the nutritional quality of the meat. One study found cuts from grass-fed animals can have up to a third of the fat of grain-fed. And grass-fed animals tend to have much higher amounts of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.**

-David L. Katz, MD

**It is important to note that all of the beef and lamb in the SLO Meat Shares will always be 100% grass-fed, grass-finished — never any grain! **

Recipes for Ground Lamb:

  • Ground lamb can be used in place, of, or in combination with, any other ground meats (beef, pork, chicken, turkey) in a favorite recipe you already make.
  • Lamb is used in many Middle Eastern dishes, so use this ground lamb as an opportunity to sample a new cuisine if you are adventurous in the kitchen.
  • If you prefer to stick to the basics, ground lamb can be used in something as simple as meatloaf or a breakfast hash.

Following is a highly reviewed, simple recipe from to try:

Spicy Lamb Patties