clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Zaatar Meatballs with Green Tahini Sauce can be made with ground turkey, chicken, lamb or beef. A quick, low carb meal that is full of flavor. #meatballs #zaatar

Zaatar Meatballs with Green Tahini Sauce

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: main
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Zaatar Meatballs with Green Tahini Sauce can be made with ground turkey, chicken, lamb or beef. A quick, low-carb weeknight meal that is full of flavor. Serve with Israeli salad or Lebanese Slaw on the side.


Units Scale

Zaatar Meatballs

  • 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
  • 1/41/2 cup chopped herbs (mint, dill, Italian parsley or cilantro- a mix is nice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon aleppo or chili flakes (optional)
  • 12 tablespoons sesame seeds or zaatar to coat (optional)

Green Tahini Sauce

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 fat garlic cloves
  • 3/4 cup fresh herbs (cilantro, Italian parsley, dill or basil or a combo!)
  • 23 slices jalapeno (optional)
  • 1/2- 1 teaspoon salt ( start with 1/2, add more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup tahini paste, stirred


  1. Make the meatballs: Place ground meat, salt and spices in a bowl and mix and toss with a fork to distribute evenly. Add onion, garlic, herbs and chili flakes, mixing again with a fork.
  2. 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).
  3. Optional: Coat the meatballs in sesame seeds by rolling them or sprinkle lightly with zaatar  (if using zaatar, know it may contain more salt so go light or do a tester first)
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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. 😉


  • Serving Size: 3 Turkey Meatballs w/ 3 tablespoons Green Tahini Sauce
  • Calories: 387
  • Sugar: 2.7 g
  • Sodium: 796.1 mg
  • Fat: 28.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10 g
  • Fiber: 2.7 g
  • Protein: 26.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 78.2 mg

Keywords: Zaatar Meatballs, turkey meatballs, lamb meatballs, Lebanese meatballs, arabic meatballs, middle eastern meatballs