Ground Lamb, Eggplant, And Couscous Bowls Recipe

For a long time, salads ruled the lunch hour as a steadfast, healthy option to balance the indulgence of weekend eating. Grain bowls have since taken the culinary world by storm, and for good reason: All of the components of a balanced meal can be found in one bowl, including protein, sauce, veggies, and, of course, grains. Sure, a salad might be a trustworthy option for a healthy go-to meal, but with the addition of grains like rice, couscous, farro, or quinoa, the tired bowl of veggies becomes so much more. Not only are grain bowls filling, but they satisfy the need for a warm, cooked meal while being easy to throw together.

Usually made with chicken, tofu, salmon, or shrimp, this grain bowl recipe written with recipe developer Michelle McGlinn veers from the norm and offers a way to use ground lamb for a protein-packed, Greek-inspired bowl. Layered with lemony couscous, roasted tomato and eggplant, and an herb-packed mayonnaise, this filling lamb-based bowl will bring you all of the flavors of the Mediterranean — just in time for lunch.

Gathering the ingredients for ground lamb, eggplant, and couscous bowls

You'll need a few pantry staples for this recipe, starting with olive oil, salt, pepper, and water. From there, raid your spice cabinet for cumin and dried parsley, and then gather fresh parsley, mint, and chives or use the dried herb alternatives. For fresh veg, gather lemon, garlic, tomato and eggplant. For four servings, look for a medium-sized eggplant that's about 10 inches long and about half as wide. Lastly, grab ground lamb, mayonnaise, and Israeli couscous to complete the bowl. If you can't find Israeli couscous, also known as pearl couscous, you can use Moroccan couscous (the small, granular kind), or swap it out for orzo.

Step 1: Heat up the oven

Preheat the oven to 450 F.

Step 2: Season the vegetables

In a bowl, toss the eggplant and tomatoes with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.

Step 3: Put vegetables on a sheet tray

Add the vegetables to a parchment-lined sheet tray.

Step 4: Roast the vegetables

Roast for 25–30 minutes, tossing halfway through, until browned and crispy. Set aside.

Step 5: Bring water to a boil

In the meantime, make the couscous: Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan.

Step 6: Cook the couscous

Add the couscous, cover, and simmer until the couscous is fluffy, 8–10 minutes.

Step 7: Toss the couscous with lemon and seasoning

Drain the couscous as needed, then add 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Step 8: Heat the oil in a skillet

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a skillet over medium heat.

Step 9: Brown the lamb

Crumble and cook the lamb in the skillet until browned.

Step 10: Season the lamb

Add ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, the cumin, dried parsley, mint, and 4 cloves of minced garlic.

Step 11: Combine

Stir until combined.

Step 12: Combine the herb mayo ingredients

To make the herb mayo, add the grated garlic clove to the mayonnaise. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, the parsley, and the chives.

Step 13: Season and stir

Stir the herb mayo together and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Step 14: Assemble the bowl

To build the bowl, first add the couscous mixture, then add the lamb. Add the eggplant and tomato, then top with a dollop of herb mayo.

Step 15: Serve

Serve.

Ground Lamb, Eggplant, and Couscous Bowls Recipe
No Ratings
For a delicious, nutritious, and filling grain bowl, we use Mediterranean flavors alongside roasted vegetables, ground lamb, and perfectly cooked couscous.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
30
minutes
Servings
4
bowls
ground lamb and couscous on fork
Total time: 40 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 cups chopped eggplant
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper, divided
  • 7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
  • 5 large cloves garlic, 4 minced and 1 grated, divided
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
  2. In a bowl, toss the eggplant and tomatoes with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.
  3. Add the vegetables to a parchment-lined sheet tray.
  4. Roast for 25–30 minutes, tossing halfway through, until browned and crispy. Set aside.
  5. In the meantime, make the couscous: Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan.
  6. Add the couscous, cover, and simmer until the couscous is fluffy, 8–10 minutes.
  7. Drain the couscous as needed, then add 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  8. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a skillet over medium heat.
  9. Crumble and cook the lamb in the skillet until browned.
  10. Add ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, the cumin, dried parsley, mint, and 4 cloves of minced garlic.
  11. Stir until combined.
  12. To make the herb mayo, add the grated garlic clove to the mayonnaise. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, the parsley, and the chives.
  13. Stir the herb mayo together and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  14. To build the bowl, first add the couscous mixture, then add the lamb. Add the eggplant and tomato, then top with a dollop of herb mayo.
  15. Serve.
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What can I use extra herb mayo for?

This herby mayo is perfect for lamb and vegetable bowls in particular because it mellows the gamey taste of lamb while complementing the rich flavor of the roasted vegetables. Plus, who doesn't like a grain bowl with a little dressing? Herb mayonnaise works on other dishes, too, so save any extra mayonnaise that you have leftover. You can spread the mayonnaise on hamburgers, use it on paninis, or fold it into tuna salad. Herb mayonnaise also makes a great addition to classic BLT sandwiches.

Herb mayo can also make an excellent dipping sauce. You can dip fries into it, or use it as a dipping sauce for roasted baby potatoes. You can also use it on fresh, crunchy vegetables or to accompany grilled kabobs. And, if you're looking for a good dipping sauce for a late-night snack, this herby mayonnaise is a great partner to crispy air-fried chicken nuggets.

What are some other ingredients I can add to my grain bowl?

Though lamb can be tough to find pairings for because of its gamey, earthy taste, this bowl is versatile and can be made many different ways. We recommend using seasonal vegetables in your bowl, such as summer squash and zucchini, Brussels sprouts and broccoli, or cauliflower and Swiss chard. Like the eggplant and tomatoes, you can toss the vegetables in oil and roast them, or simply saute them until soft.

You can also add vegetarian proteins to your bowl, such as tofu, beans, or lentils. You can use simple kidney or great northern beans, or go the extra mile and add crispy roasted chickpeas. For tofu, drain and press the block, season it with a mixture of parsley, cumin, paprika, and garlic, and then toss it with lemon and oil. Roast along with the vegetables for crispy squares of seasoned tofu. Our final recommendation for switching up your bowl? The addition you can never go wrong with: A good, ripe avocado.