A delicious Middle-Eastern inspired recipe for Zaatar Meatballs with Green Tahini Sauce that can be made with your choice of ground turkey, chicken, beef or lamb. A fast, easy, low-carb weeknight dinner!
These Zaatar Meatballs are full of flavor and super easy to make. We’ve made them with ground turkey and ground lamb- but would work just as well with ground chicken or beef. Paired with the Green Tahini Sauce and Lebanese Slaw, they make for light, low-carb and incredibly satisfying meal.
How to make Zaatar Meatballs:
- Mix ground meat with spices and herbs.
- Form into balls the size of a golf ball.
- Pan sear each side until golden.
- Serve with Green Tahini Sauce!
So the recipe starts with mixing the meat with the herbs and spices. Like I mentioned above you choose what meat you prefer- chicken, turkey, lamb or beef. Chicken and Turkey are obviously lighter and lower in fat and calories, but lamb offers up a really nice richness. Fresh mint gives these Middle Eastern meatballs a lovely flavor- but feel free to sub other herbs like dill, or parsley.
Mix and knead the meat together well with damp hands.
Form into twelve golfball-sized balls.
Sprinkle with a little Zaatar to coat if you like.
Pan-sear the Zaatar Meatballs in a skillet.
Above are the lamb, and below are the turkey.
While the meatballs are cooking through, blend up the Green Tahini Sauce.
It is basically a Tahini sauce blended with fresh herbs and a few slices of jalapeno.
Blend until smooth. Trust me you’ll be happy you will have a little extra here.
To plate, place some Green Tahini Sauce on the bottom of your plate.
Here are the Zaatar Meatballs made with ground turkey and served up with simple tomato herb salad. So light and tasty!
Here the Zaatar Meatballs made with ground lamb- richer and earthier, served up with a Middle Eastern Slaw with I’ll post later this week.
Such a simple but satisfying meal! Give it a try and let us know how you like it in the comments below.
More recipes you may like:
- Lebanese Slaw (Salatet Malfouf)
- Meatball Soup with Turmeric, Spinach and Lime
- Lamb Meatballs with Indian Curry Sauce
- Thai Turkey Meatballs with Lemongrass Coconut Sauce
- Moroccan Meatballs with Pomegranate Glaze
- Chimichurri Poblano Turkey Burger!
- Paleo Chicken & Wonton Soup with Bok Choy
- 1 lb ground turkey, beef, chicken or lamb
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon zaatar spice
- 1 teaspoon sumac or sub 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/3 cup onion, very finely chopped (or 2–3 scallions)
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/4–1/2 cup chopped herbs (mint, dill, Italian parsley or cilantro- a mix is nice)
- 1/2 teaspoon aleppo or chili flakes (optional)
- 1–2 tablespoons sesame seeds or zaatar to coat (optional)
Green Tahini Sauce
Make the meatballs: Place ground meat, salt and spices in a bowl and mix and toss with a fork to evenly distribute. Add onion, garlic, herbs and chili flakes, mixing again with a fork.
With wet hands, knead the mixture a couple of times adding olive oil if need be (please see notes). Divide into 4 balls, then form into 12 meatballs with wet hands (3 meatballs per ball).
Heat a large skillet with 1-2 tablespoon olive oil over medium-low heat, add the meatballs turning as each side gets golden. Lower heat to low to continue cooking all the way through or cook through in a 350F oven.
While the meatballs are cooking make the Green Tahini Sauce: Place all the ingredients (except the tahini paste) in a blender or food processer and blend until combined but not overly smooth. Add tahini paste. Blend until creamy. Taste, and adjust salt, acid and heat. If you want a “looser “sauce, add a little more water until the desired consistency.
Serve the meatballs over the Green Tahini Sauce with a side salad.
If using very low-fat turkey or chicken, knead in 2 teaspoons olive oil– or meatballs will be rubbery. 😉
Keywords: Zaatar Meatballs, turkey meatballs, lamb meatballs, Lebanese meatballs, arabic meatballs, middle eastern meatballs