blissful eats with tina jeffers: Turkey zucchini meatballs

One of my very favorite cookbooks is Jerusalem by Ottolenghi.  He highlights vegetables in unique ways with Middle Eastern flavors and I have had a wonderful time cooking my way through both of his cookbooks.  The photos alone are worth purchasing the book for and the recipes are truly inspirational.  We have made these several times over the last few months and the addition of the mint and cilantro gives a nice lightness and freshness that you wouldn’t usually associate with meatballs.  We’ve served them up on a salad and made burgers out of them as well.  They would also make wonderful appetizers for a party if you want to something a little different.  You could also use chicken instead of turkey but don’t forget the herbs, they are critical to the taste of these meatballs. 

I’m posting everyday for the rest of the month at my blog so come by for a visit, I’d love the company!

Turkey zucchini meatballs

Adapted from Ottolenghi

Serves 4


1 ½ pounds ground white meat turkey

1 medium zucchini coarsely shredded

2 tablespoons Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 ¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

2-3 tablespoons canola oil for frying


for the sauce:

½ cup Greek yogurt

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon water

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


8 cups mixed greens

1 zucchini, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ cup fresh mint

¼ cup fresh cilantro


Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. 

In a small bowl mix all the ingredients for the sauce together until smooth.  Chill until ready for use.

In a large bowl combine the all the ingredients for the meatballs together and using your hands mix well.  Shape the turkey into 20 1-inch meatballs.

Heat the oil over medium heat until hot and sear the meatballs in batches until brown on all sides, about 2 minutes on each side.  Transfer the meatball to a baking sheet lined with parchment and place in the pre-heated oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until they are just cooked through.

In a large bowl add the greens and zucchini, add the tablespoon of oil and toss to coat.  Divide the salad between 4 plates, top with 4-5 meatballs and spoon some of the sauce over the top.

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