Spiced Lamb Meatloaf

Plain old meatloaf gets a major flavor boost in a lamb and beef meatloaf recipe with Moroccan-inspired spices, plus a sweet and savory ketchup and pomegranate molasses topping.

Moroccan Meatloaf
Elise Bauer

If you like lamb, you will love this Moroccan meatloaf! If you don't like lamb, I'm willing to bet this meatloaf will convert you.

This meatloaf is superb — flavored with classic Moroccan spices with speckles of cilantro and mint. You can top it with a simple pomegranate molasses sauce, or skip the topping all together.

This recipe is an adaptation of a recipe for Moroccan Meatloaf in the Niman Ranch Cookbook from Chef Monica Pope, of T'Afia in Houston, Texas.

Moroccan Meatloaf
Elise Bauer

I've made it a few times over the years and have recently changed up the spice mix and the topping a bit from the original recipe. Rather than using curry powder, which the original recipe called for (and which is unusual in Moroccan cuisine), I've opted for some coriander and a little more cinnamon.

I've simplified the sauce from the original, which included chipotle in adobo. I now just mix some ketchup and pomegranate molasses together in a 2:1 ratio and add a little chipotle chili powder. It's delicious, and works perfectly with the meatloaf. Again, you can omit the sauce if you want.

Spiced Lamb Meatloaf

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 105 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 5 mins
Servings 6 to 8 servings

A mini-chopper or food processor works well to finely chop the carrot, celery, and onion.


  • Meatloaf:
  • 2 lbs ground lamb
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger (3-inch piece)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt (or a teaspoon of sea salt)
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • Pomegranate molasses Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chipotle chili powder (more to taste)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the lamb and beef in a large bowl:

    Set aside.

  2. Sauté onions, carrot, celery, garlic:

    Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and ginger and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.

    cook vegetables for moroccan meatloaf
    Elise Bauer
    add spices for moroccan meatloaf
    Elise Bauer

    Add the salt, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, ground coriander, cayenne, pepper, and saffron. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes to release the flavors. Remove from heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes.

  3. Make meatloaf mixture:

    Stir the vegetables into the ground meat. Mix in the breadcrumbs, eggs, cilantro, and mint.

    breadcrumbs, eggs, cilantro, mint, spices, moroccan meatloaf mixture
    Elise Bauer
    combine moroccan meatloaf mixture
    Elise Bauer
  4. Place meatloaf mixture into loaf pan:

    Pack meatloaf mixture into a 5x9 or 4x8 loaf pan. If using a 4x8 pan, you'll need to mound the mixture high in the pan. Set the loaf pan in a baking pan. Pour about 1/2 inch of hot water into the baking pan so it comes up the sides of the loaf pan a bit.

    place moroccan meatloaf mixture into loaf pan
    Elise Bauer
    place loaf pan with meatloaf mixture into a large pan with an inch or so of water
    Elise Bauer
  5. Bake:

    Bake the meatloaf for 1 1/2 hours, or until firm and cooked through. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Un-mold onto a plate and slice.

    Serve with pomegranate molasses sauce, ketchup, or just the drippings from the meatloaf itself. Very good served with rice pilaf.

  6. Make the (optional) pomegranate molasses sauce:

    Mix the ketchup, pomegranate molasses, and chipotle chili powder in a small bowl. Heat in a microwave or warm in a saucepan until just warm.

Moroccan Meatloaf
Elise Bauer