How many calories are in 4 ounces of ground lamb?

Quick Answer

4 ounces of raw ground lamb contains around 290 calories. The exact calorie count can vary depending on the fat content of the lamb, but most sources estimate around 290 calories per 4 ounces.

Calculating Calories In Ground Lamb

To determine the calories in 4 ounces of ground lamb, we first need to break down the nutrition facts for lamb.

According to the USDA, 4 ounces (113g) of raw ground lamb contains:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 290
Total Fat 23g
Saturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 115mg
Sodium 95mg
Total Carbohydrate 0g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 0g
Protein 24g

As you can see, there are 290 calories in 4 ounces of raw ground lamb. The majority of those calories come from fat, with 23 grams of total fat per serving.

It’s important to note that the fat content can vary depending on the leanness of the lamb. Fattier cuts will have more calories from fat. For example, 4 ounces of ground lamb that is 80% lean will have around 250 calories, while 4 ounces of 90% lean ground lamb will have around 200 calories.

In general, leaner cuts of lamb will have fewer calories for the same serving size. But on average, you can expect around 290 calories per 4 ounces of ground lamb.

Calories From Carbs, Protein, and Fat

The calories in ground lamb come almost entirely from fat and protein.

There are no carbohydrates in lamb, so there are 0 calories from carbs.

There are 24 grams of protein in 4 ounces of ground lamb. Since there are 4 calories per gram of protein, that equals 96 calories from protein (24 * 4 = 96).

The remaining calories come from fat. With 23 grams of total fat and 9 grams of saturated fat, there are:

  • 23 * 9 = 207 calories from total fat
  • 9 * 9 = 81 calories from saturated fat

So the calorie breakdown for 4 ounces of ground lamb is:

  • 0 calories from carbs
  • 96 calories from protein
  • 207 calories from total fat
  • 81 calories from saturated fat

Adding those up:

  • 0 + 96 + 207 + 81 = 384 calories

According to the USDA data, there are 290 calories in 4 ounces of ground lamb. So the numbers don’t add up exactly, which is common when analyzing macronutrients. But this gives a general breakdown of where the calories are coming from.

Calories In Cooked Ground Lamb

The calorie count refers to raw ground lamb. But how many calories are in cooked ground lamb?

When meat is cooked, some of the fat melts off or evaporates. The protein also loses a small amount of water weight.

According to the USDA, cooked ground lamb loses about 15% of its total weight from raw. So 4 ounces (113g) of raw lamb reduces to about 3.4 ounces (96g) when cooked.

If we assume approximately 15% fat loss during cooking, 4 ounces of cooked ground lamb will have around:

  • 246 calories
  • 20g total fat
  • 8g saturated fat
  • 24g protein

So cooked ground lamb has slightly fewer calories and less fat compared to raw. But the difference is relatively small. You can expect around 250 calories whether the ground lamb is raw or cooked.

Calories In Common Lamb Dishes

Here are the typical calorie counts for common cooked lamb dishes based on 4 ounces of ground lamb:

Dish Calories
Grilled lamb burgers 246
Lamb meatballs 267
Lamb kebabs 230
Shepherd’s pie (with veggies) 331
Lamb curry 412
Lamb chops 356

The calories can increase depending on any sauces, oils, or other ingredients added to the dish. But for basic 4 ounce lamb portions, you can expect 200-300 calories for most recipes.

Nutrition Benefits of Lamb

Besides being a good source of protein and nutrients, lamb also provides some important health benefits:

  • High in Vitamin B12 – Helps make red blood cells and maintain the nervous system.
  • Good source of iron – Transports oxygen and aids muscle function.
  • Contains selenium – Important antioxidant that protects cells.
  • Provides zinc – Supports the immune system and wound healing.
  • Rich in vitamin B3 (niacin) – Converts food into energy.

Lamb is a powerhouse for B-vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. It can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation.

Weight Loss and Lamb

At around 250 calories for a 4 ounce serving, lamb can fit into a weight loss diet when portion sizes are controlled.

Some tips for enjoying lamb on a weight loss plan:

  • Stick to lean cuts like loin or leg.
  • Measure portion sizes using a food scale.
  • Limit to 4-6 ounces per meal.
  • Avoid lamb rib chops or lamb shoulder which have more fat.
  • Trim off any excess fat before cooking.
  • Broil, grill or roast lamb instead of frying.
  • Pair with non-starchy vegetables to balance your plate.
  • Avoid breaded or fried lamb dishes.

While lamb is high in fat and calories, consuming reasonable portions along with veggies can keep calories in check.

Daily Calorie Recommendations

How many calories should you eat per day from lamb? Here are some general guidelines based on a 2000 calorie diet:

  • Women: 3-5 ounces, 150-250 calories
  • Men: 4-8 ounces, 200-400 calories
  • Athletes/Very active: Up to 8 ounces or 400 calories
  • Sedentary adults: 3-4 ounces or 150-200 calories
  • Older adults: 3-5 ounces or 150-250 calories

Consuming up to 400 calories or 8 ounces of lamb two to three times per week can fit into a balanced diet. Listen to your body and reduce portion sizes if you experience weight gain.

Comparing Lamb to Other Meats

How does lamb stack up against other types of meat nutritionally? Here’s a comparison of nutrients in 4 ounce cooked servings of common meats:

Meat Calories Fat (g) Protein (g)
Ground lamb 246 20 24
Ground beef (15% fat) 262 18 24
Ground turkey 157 7 24
Chicken breast 165 3 31
Pork chop 179 7 26

Lamb is comparable to beef in terms of calories and fat. Both are higher compared to poultry or pork. Lamb does have slightly more saturated fat than beef. But all red meats provide quality protein.

When choosing lamb or other red meats, opt for leaner cuts and keep portions modest. Combine with plant foods to maximize nutrition.

Cooking Methods for Lamb

To take advantage of lamb’s rich flavor, while avoiding too much added fat, use these healthy cooking methods:


Grilled lamb chops, kebabs, or leg steaks have great flavor. The fatty areas will drip away, leaving a tender, juicy meat. Grill on medium heat, turning occasionally, until it reaches your desired doneness.


For a quick, hot method, broil lamb in the oven about 4-6 inches from the heat. Broil chops, loin or ground lamb patties for 2-5 minutes per side based on thickness.


For bone-in cuts like a leg of lamb, low and slow roasting is ideal. Roast seasoned lamb in a 300°F oven until it reaches the minimum safe internal temperature.


Cook lamb steaks in a hot cast iron skillet to develop a nice crust. Use a bit of oil and cook lamb about 1-2 minutes per side over high heat.


For lamb shoulder or shanks, slow stewing makes the meat very tender. Brown the lamb then cook in liquid for 1-2 hours until fork-tender.


Braise lamb by browning then cooking over low heat in a small amount of liquid. Add aromatic veggies and herbs for flavor. Cook covered for 2 or more hours.

Each technique brings out the best in lamb. Combine with healthy side dishes like vegetables, grains, beans or salad.

Choosing the Healthiest Cuts of Lamb

To maximize nutrition and flavor while minimizing fat, choose leaner cuts of lamb such as:

  • Leg of lamb – A leaner cut that can be roasted or sliced into steaks or kebabs.
  • Loin chops – Taken from the center section, loin chops are tender with a nice layer of fat.
  • Foreshank – The lower portion of the legs makes for a lean, flavorful stew meat.
  • Ground lamb – Opt for 90-95% lean to reduce fat and calories.
  • Shoulder chops – Less tender than loin chops but still a good choice.
  • Sirloin chops – Smaller chops cut near the hip with great lamb flavor.

Avoid lamb breast, rib, and shoulder cuts which tend to have more fat.

Healthy Lamb Recipes

Here are some delicious and nutritious recipes featuring lean lamb:

Moroccan Lamb Stew

Tender lamb simmered in a rich sauce with chickpeas, raisins, and warming Moroccan spices.

Greek Lamb Kebabs

Marinated leg of lamb chunks grilled on skewers and served with tzatziki sauce and vegetables.

Lamb Lettuce Wraps

Quick sautéed ground lamb with fresh veggies wrapped up in crispy lettuce leaves.

Lamb Kofte

Ground lamb mixed with herbs and spices, formed into patties, and grilled or broiled.

Lamb Bolognese Sauce

Hearty lamb tomato sauce tossed with whole grain pasta or zucchini noodles.

Lamb Rogan Josh

Indian curry with tender lamb cubes in a creamy, aromatic tomato-based sauce.

With global spices or Mediterranean ingredients, lamb can star in nutritious recipes.

Tips forCooking Lamb Safely

When cooking lamb, use these tips to ensure it’s safely handled and prepared:

  • Thaw frozen lamb in the fridge, not on the counter.
  • Marinate lamb in the refrigerator up to 2 days.
  • Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces after touching raw lamb to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Use separate cutting boards and plates for raw and cooked lamb.
  • Cook lamb to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F for medium rare or 160°F for well done.
  • Refrigerate cooked lamb within 2 hours and use within 3-5 days.
  • Reheat cooked lamb thoroughly to 165°F.

Following basic food safety practices keeps lamb and other meats safe to enjoy.

Is Lamb Healthy?

Lamb is a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. In particular lamb provides:

  • High-quality, complete protein needed for muscle growth and maintenance.
  • Important nutrients like iron, zinc, and B12.
  • More mono- and polyunsaturated fats than saturated fat when trimmed of visible fat.

Lamb is a healthy red meat choice when consumed in moderation. The fat content varies depending on the cut. Go for leaner cuts like loin or leg.

Some tips for healthy lamb consumption:

  • Eat no more than 3-4 servings per week.
  • Limit portion size to 4-6 ounces.
  • Trim excess fat before cooking.
  • Choose lower-fat cooking methods like grilling or roasting.
  • Pair lamb with vegetable side dishes.

As part of a balanced diet, lamb provides valuable nutrition. But too much red meat may increase health risks. Practice moderation and choose lean cuts.


Four ounces of ground lamb contains about 290 calories, with the majority coming from fat. The actual amount can vary based on the lamb’s fat content. Cooked lamb has closer to 250 calories for a 4 ounce serving.

Lamb is a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. For health, choose lean cuts like leg and loin. Moderate your portions and use healthy cooking methods to avoid excess calories.

Pair lamb with plenty of vegetables, grains, beans or other plant foods. This allows you to take advantage of lamb’s nutrients while limiting the saturated fat intake.

Consumed occasionally and in reasonable serving sizes, lamb can be part of a healthy, well-balanced diet. Use proper food handling and cooking techniques to maximize safety as well.

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