Growing up in Turkey, Turkish Meatballs were a favorite in our house. Made with only a few ingredients, these spicy meatballs are my go-to recipe whenever I miss home.
- Prep Time: 20 min
- Cook Time: 20 min
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 15 meatballs
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Mixing
- Cuisine: Turkish
For The Turkish Meatballs
- 1 medium-size onion, peeled
- 1 pound ground beef (85% lean 15% fat), preferably freshly ground & organic
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped (optional)
To Serve: (optional) – For 4 servings
- 1 cup Tahini Yogurt Sauce
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate arils
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- Using a box shredder or a food processor, shred the onion. Pass it through a strainer to remove its juices.
- Transfer onion to a large bowl. Add in the ground beef, garlic, egg, cumin, baking soda, salt and pepper. If using, add in the Italian parsley into the bowl.
- Use your hands to thoroughly mix. I usually mix it for 5-7 minutes to ensure that all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Cover it with stretch film and place in the fridge for 2 hours or, if possible, let it sit overnight.
- Divide meatballs into 15 portions (like seen in the video and/or in the photo above) and roll each portion into a small ball. Each ball should be somewhere between 2 ½ or 3 tablespoons. Lightly flatten each ball in the palm of your hands. Continue with the rest of the meat.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 12-inch grill or cast iron pan until it is shimmering hot.
- Add in the meatballs and cook for 7-8 minutes, turning them several times as they cook to prevent them before burning. Use a spatula to lightly press as they cook.
- If you have a smaller pan, you might have to do this in two batches.
- Transfer cooked meatballs into a platter, cover with aluminum foil, and let it sit 5 minutes before serving.
- If you prefer to serve like I did, spread a dollop of Tahini Yogurt Sauce at the bottom of a plate and add 3 meatballs in the middle. Garnish it with pine nuts, pomegranate arils, and chopped fresh parsley.
- These meatballs freeze very well. Simply, make a big batch, shape it into balls, layer them in between parchment papers in airtight containers, and freeze them for up to 2 months. A day before you are ready to serve, let them thaw in the fridge, and cook as directed.
- As you can see in the video, I used a grill pan, but you can also use a cast iron skillet or better yet, come summer time, grill them outside.
- The trick to prevent them from burning is to turn them every few minutes and gently press them with the back of a spatula as they cook. This way, both the inside and the outside of the meatballs will cook evenly. As in all meat dishes, after they are cooked, cover them with aluminum foil, and let them sit for a few minutes to make sure that all of their juices will remain in the meat.
- I served my Turkish Meatballs with a dollop of Tahini Yogurt Sauce, but you can serve them with, pretty much, any starch as you like: Mashed potatoes, rice, pasta, quinoa, etc.
- The nutritional data below does not include the calories coming from the Tahini Yogurt Sauce.
- Serving Size: 1 meatball
- Calories: 107
- Sugar: 0.7g
- Sodium: 211.1mg
- Fat: 6.7g
- Carbohydrates: 4.9g
- Fiber: 0.4g
- Protein: 6.4g
- Cholesterol: 32.1mg