Turkey Shawarma Meatballs

Remember how I told you recently that everyone should have an Elly in their life? Earlier it was because she’s so smart. But to add to that list, she has a knack for pointing out just what you’re looking for – especially when she’s already created it.

With some yogurt tahini sauce leftover from my baked pumpkin falafel in mind, I was busy pondering some of kind deconstructed shawarma, if you will. Shawarma flavors all mixed up and put back together in burger form. Because I told you before, burgers are a much easier way to throw a bunch of stuff together and make it taste like you marinated it all day. So I was pondering, and chatting with Elly, and she’s all, you know, been there, done that. I guess I can’t win! But that’s ok – I’ll settle for second place with my meatball spin-off version.

I had to modify a bit, because Elly’s recipe called for thyme and sumac, and I didn’t have either. But I did have some za’atar, which is just a blend of thyme and sumac with some sesame seeds and salt thrown. If you need to get your hands on either sumac or za’atar, I suggest an visit (in person or virtual) to Penzeys.

I made sure to take a bite of naked ball (oh, um, yeah) to see how the flavors came through – and yes, they were delish. And perfectly complimented, as I suspected, by the sauce. I made some smokey grilled eggplant and seasoned it with za’atar too, since I knew it would also be incredible with the tahini.


Turkey Shawarma Meatballs
Adapted from Elly’s Lebanese Chicken Burgers
Printable Recipe

8oz 93% lean ground turkey
1 1/2 tablespoons light sour cream
2 tablespoons (15gm) panko breadcrumbs
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon za’atar seasoning
juice from 1/2 of a small lemon
freshly ground salt & pepper

Preheat broiler. Place a cooling rack on top of a baking and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray (or, if you have a broiler pan, that would work well since that’s exactly what we’re trying to mimic here.)

Combine all ingredients and mix gently with hands. Shape into balls and place on the rack. Broil for 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Turn and broil for another 3 minutes, until lightly browned on opposite side and cooked through.

Serve with yogurt tahini sauce.

Nutritional Info (for the turkey shawarma meatballs, no sauce!)

Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 214.8
Total Fat: 9.5 g
Cholesterol: 83.8 mg
Sodium: 108.3 mg
Total Carbs: 9.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.3 g
Protein: 23.5 g

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37 Responses to “Turkey Shawarma Meatballs”

  1. 1

    Elina — February 22, 2010 @ 12:51 pm Reply

    Love this! Just added Elly's blog to my reader as well :)

  2. 2

    yumventures — February 22, 2010 @ 3:13 pm Reply

    Looks awesome, especially with the eggplant! I love how you put your own creative twist on everything! Thanks again for the guest post — it got rave reviews!

  3. 3

    Joanne — February 22, 2010 @ 7:32 pm Reply

    Elly is definitely a genius. I love reading all of her Greek/Middle Eastern recipes. What a fantastic way to enjoy tahini sauce!

  4. 4

    ellysaysopa.com — February 23, 2010 @ 2:35 am Reply

    Mmm looks SO good. I think I will do meatballs next time, too. :) And I agree that tahini sauce is awesome on eggplant.

  5. 5

    Kalyn — February 23, 2010 @ 2:40 am Reply

    Love the sound of this, both Elly's version and yours.

  6. 6

    Pam — February 23, 2010 @ 1:20 pm Reply

    This looks really good! My husband loves turkey so I will have to try this! Thanks!

  7. 7

    Dawn — February 23, 2010 @ 3:36 pm Reply

    This is funny…I just made turkey meatballs last weekend! I love the addition of the spices though. Mmmmm….

  8. 8

    Barbara — February 23, 2010 @ 8:10 pm Reply

    Wonderful recipe, filled with great flavors! Lo calorie too!

  9. 9

    Kevin — February 24, 2010 @ 2:30 am Reply

    What a great meal! I really like the sound of the za'atar seasoned grilled eggplant with yogurt tahini.

  10. 10

    grace — February 24, 2010 @ 11:54 am Reply

    oh boy, do i love this kind of food. the lean meat, the amazing spices (hello cinnamon!)(helloooo za'atar!!), the ball form. oh, and an extra helping of yogurt sauce, if you please. :)

  11. 11

    Shannon — February 24, 2010 @ 2:48 pm Reply

    those sound absolutely delish!! LOVE penzey's :)

  12. 12

    Protein Diet Bars — March 27, 2011 @ 3:07 am Reply

    Hi friends,Turkey shawarma meatballs are very delicious, the ingredients are ok. We can enjoy them with our friends and family. But don't take too much, it may hamper to our health. Thanks a lot.

  13. 13

    Shannon — March 28, 2011 @ 8:39 pm Reply

    those sound absolutely delish!! LOVE penzey's :)

  14. 14

    grace — March 28, 2011 @ 8:39 pm Reply

    oh boy, do i love this kind of food. the lean meat, the amazing spices (hello cinnamon!)(helloooo za'atar!!), the ball form. oh, and an extra helping of yogurt sauce, if you please. :)

  15. 15

    grace — March 28, 2011 @ 8:39 pm Reply

    oh boy, do i love this kind of food. the lean meat, the amazing spices (hello cinnamon!)(helloooo za'atar!!), the ball form. oh, and an extra helping of yogurt sauce, if you please. :)

  16. 16

    Kevin — March 28, 2011 @ 8:39 pm Reply

    What a great meal! I really like the sound of the za'atar seasoned grilled eggplant with yogurt tahini.

  17. 17

    Barbara — March 28, 2011 @ 8:39 pm Reply

    Wonderful recipe, filled with great flavors! Lo calorie too!

  18. 18

    Dawn — March 28, 2011 @ 8:39 pm Reply

    This is funny…I just made turkey meatballs last weekend! I love the addition of the spices though. Mmmmm….

  19. 19

    Pam — March 28, 2011 @ 8:39 pm Reply

    This looks really good! My husband loves turkey so I will have to try this! Thanks!

  20. 20

    Pam — March 28, 2011 @ 8:39 pm Reply

    This looks really good! My husband loves turkey so I will have to try this! Thanks!

  21. 21

    Kalyn — March 28, 2011 @ 8:39 pm Reply

    Love the sound of this, both Elly's version and yours.

  22. 22

    ellysaysopa.com — March 28, 2011 @ 8:39 pm Reply

    Mmm looks SO good. I think I will do meatballs next time, too. :) And I agree that tahini sauce is awesome on eggplant.

  23. 23

    Joanne — March 28, 2011 @ 8:39 pm Reply

    Elly is definitely a genius. I love reading all of her Greek/Middle Eastern recipes. What a fantastic way to enjoy tahini sauce!

  24. 24

    yumventures — March 28, 2011 @ 8:39 pm Reply

    Looks awesome, especially with the eggplant! I love how you put your own creative twist on everything! Thanks again for the guest post — it got rave reviews!

  25. 25

    Elina — March 28, 2011 @ 8:39 pm Reply

    Love this! Just added Elly's blog to my reader as well :)

  26. 26

    Protein Diet Bars — March 28, 2011 @ 8:39 pm Reply

    Hi friends,Turkey shawarma meatballs are very delicious, the ingredients are ok. We can enjoy them with our friends and family. But don't take too much, it may hamper to our health. Thanks a lot.

  27. 27

    Protein Diet Bars — March 29, 2011 @ 2:04 am Reply

    Hi friends,Turkey shawarma meatballs are very delicious, the ingredients are ok. We can enjoy them with our friends and family. But don't take too much, it may hamper to our health. Thanks a lot.

  28. 28

    Shannon — March 29, 2011 @ 2:04 am Reply

    those sound absolutely delish!! LOVE penzey's :)

  29. 29

    Kevin — March 29, 2011 @ 2:04 am Reply

    What a great meal! I really like the sound of the za'atar seasoned grilled eggplant with yogurt tahini.

  30. 30

    Barbara — March 29, 2011 @ 2:04 am Reply

    Wonderful recipe, filled with great flavors! Lo calorie too!

  31. 31

    Kalyn — March 29, 2011 @ 2:04 am Reply

    Love the sound of this, both Elly's version and yours.

  32. 32

    Barbara — April 5, 2011 @ 1:14 am Reply

    Wonderful recipe, filled with great flavors! Lo calorie too!

  33. 33

    Kevin — April 5, 2011 @ 1:14 am Reply

    What a great meal! I really like the sound of the za'atar seasoned grilled eggplant with yogurt tahini.

  34. 34

    Shannon — April 5, 2011 @ 1:14 am Reply

    those sound absolutely delish!! LOVE penzey's :)

  35. 35

    Kevin — April 5, 2011 @ 1:14 am Reply

    What a great meal! I really like the sound of the za'atar seasoned grilled eggplant with yogurt tahini.

  36. 36

    yumventures — April 5, 2011 @ 1:14 am Reply

    Looks awesome, especially with the eggplant! I love how you put your own creative twist on everything! Thanks again for the guest post — it got rave reviews!

  37. Pingback: Shawarma Meatball Wrap with Pickled Cherries | cinnamon freud

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