Middle Eastern Chicken Meatballs with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

This recipe is inspired by my love of Lebanese food. Made with lean ground chicken, turmeric, cumin, and parsley, these easy baked meatballs are packed with Middle Eastern flavors, and (surprisingly) loaded with veggies. Whip them up as a high protein snack or serve them over salad--there are so many things you can do with this gluten-free, dairy-free recipe!

 Turmeric-infused chicken meatballs, made without eggs, dairy or gluten.

Turmeric-infused chicken meatballs, made without eggs, dairy or gluten.

I’ve always loved Middle Eastern food. I remember requesting Lebanese food for dinner as young as five years old. It was one of many cuisines on the dinner table growing up in Sydney.

Our local Lebanese restaurant was nothing fancy. It was a dimly lit place with long strings of beads hanging from the door frame. However, the dishes were fresh and fantastic. To this day, I still think about the kibbeh, and the soft rounds of Lebanese bread from that shop.

I am no Lebanese Grandma, but after testing many variations of this recipe, I can confidently say that these lean chicken meatballs are fresh, flavorful and delicious. Toss over greens, add them to a grain bowl, or eat them all by themselves-- these gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo and freezer-friendly bites are worth the effort! Bon appétit!


Middle Eastern Chicken Meatballs with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

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Ingredients

Meatballs:

  • ½ lb white mushrooms

  • 2 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • ½ tsp cinnamon

  • ½ tsp turmeric

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1 lb (455g) ground chicken

  • Cooking spray

Dressing:

  • 6 tbsp tahini

  • 8 tsp lemon juice

  • 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 3 tsp honey

  • ¼ tsp garlic powder


Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425℉ (215℃).  

  2. Line a large sheet pan with aluminum foil, and spray with cooking spray.

  3. Finely chop the mushrooms (or pulse a couple of times in a blender/food processor).

  4. Finely chop the parsley.

  5. Add the parsley, mushrooms, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric and ground chicken to a medium-large mixing bowl. Mix until well-combined.

  6. Roll the chicken mixture into 1-inch balls, and place on the greased sheet pan.

  7. Insert the sheet pan into the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 165℉ (74℃). While the meatballs are cooking, combine the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, water, and, honey in a small bowl. Whisk until well-combined.

Makes 24-26 1-inch meatballs.

Hungry for more? Find additional quick and healthy recipes here.

 Quick Middle Eastern chicken meatballs with lemon-tahini dressing. Delicious and nutritious!

Quick Middle Eastern chicken meatballs with lemon-tahini dressing. Delicious and nutritious!