- 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