falafel style turkey meatballs

falafel style turkey meatballs

These falafel style turkey meatballs combine the spices and herbs of the mediterranean classic with high protein turkey. Traditional falafels are delicious but these deep fried balls are not the healthiest meal to enjoy on a regular basis. Although fried, falafels boast nutritious ingredients such as herbs and garbanzo beans. I extrapolated the healthy bits from the classic recipe (ie fresh herbs and spices) and baked them with lean ground turkey for a mid week dinner we could really feel good about.

falafel style turkey meatballs

My mom is an amazing cook and I’ve been spoiled with incredible Mediterranean food my whole life. I’ve yet to taste Persian restaurant dishes that come close to my mom’s cooking. Falafels are the one exception to this rule. Luckily, I’ve tasted several restaurant falafels that stand up well to my mom’s home cooking.

My favorite restaurant falafels are:

When I can’t enjoy my mom’s cooking or get to these establishments, I turn to these healthy turkey meatballs with falafel spices. Fresh parsley and green onions combine with cumin and coriander for a tasty falafel taste-alike that you can whip up in no time. Unlike traditional falafels, these meatballs are baked and not fried – making an even healthier weeknight dinner.

Serve the meatballs with the tahini sauce and stuff inside a whole wheat pita. Enjoy with fresh veggies for a nutritious, delicious mediterranean feast.

Other mediterranean recipes you’ll enjoy:

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falafel style turkey meatballs

falafel style turkey meatballs


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  • Author: Sepideh Esmaili Campos

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 large bunch fresh parsley
  • 10 stalks green onions, roots removed
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Avocado oil or olive oil spray

Tahini sauce

  • 3 Tablespoons tahini paste
  • 1 Tablespoon water (or more for a thinner sauce)
  • Juice of ½ fresh lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon granulated garlic

Optional toppings/serving suggestions:

  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Fresh parsley
  • Diced tomato
  • Diced cucumbers
  • Whole wheat pitas
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce

Instructions

  1. Finely chop the fresh parsley and the green onions, tip into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Drop the ground turkey into the mixing bowl.
  3. Add the kosher salt, cayenne pepper, coriander and cumin to the meat.
  4. Add breadcrumbs and the beaten egg. Mix the meat and spices with a fork to fully combine all the ingredients.
  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight to let the flavors meld.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  7. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray the pan with oil.
  8. Scoop out balls of the meat mixture and roll into small balls.
  9. Arrange the meatballs on the greased aluminum foil.
  10. Bake the meatballs until they’re fully cooked and register 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer, 15-25 minutes (depending on the size of the balls).
  11. To make the tahini sauce, combine the tahini, water, lemon juice, salt, and garlic in a small bowl. Whisk with a fork to fully combine. Add more water if you want a thinner sauce.
  12. Serve the meatballs inside whole wheat pitas with any toppings you like. You can also serve the meatballs on top of a mediterranean salad for a delicious, low carb meal.
  13. Finely chop the fresh parsley and the green onions, tip into a large mixing bowl.
  14. Drop the ground turkey into the mixing bowl.
  15. Add the kosher salt, cayenne pepper, coriander and cumin to the meat.
  16. Add breadcrumbs and the beaten egg. Mix the meat and spices with a fork to fully combine all the ingredients.
  17. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight to let the flavors meld.
  18. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  19. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray the pan with oil.
  20. Scoop out balls of the meat mixture and roll into small balls.
  21. Arrange the meatballs on the greased aluminum foil.
  22. Bake the meatballs until they’re fully cooked and register 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer, 15-25 minutes (depending on the size of the balls).
  23. To make the tahini sauce, combine the tahini, water, lemon juice, salt, and garlic in a small bowl. Whisk with a fork to fully combine. Add more water if you want a thinner sauce.
  24. Serve the meatballs inside whole wheat pitas with any toppings you like. You can also serve the meatballs on top of a mediterranean salad for a delicious, low carb meal.
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