These Turkey Falafel Meatballs are the softest most flavorful turkey meatballs you’ll ever have, because ground turkey is mixed with moist and tender chickpeas and tasty Middle Eastern Spices! These are great stuffed into a pita for lunch or for dinner with a side of rice or mashed potatoes. Pass around the lemon yogurt sauce!
I love to have a few comfort food recipes, like this one, that taste like a delicious indulgence yet are lighter and healthier. These turkey falafel meatballs have lots of lean protein from turkey and all the nutritious benefits of falafel, but way less fat because they’re not deep fried.
SCRUMPTIOUS HEALTHY TURKEY FALAFEL MEATBALLS
HOW TO MAKE THEM
- In the bowl of a food processor add canned chickpeas, onion, garlic, cilantro, parsley, egg, cumin, coriander and salt. Process until everything is chopped finely.
- Scrape the mixture into a bowl with ground turkey and bread crumbs or quinoa (for gluten-free)
- Roll into balls and sauté until golden brown and cooked through.
- If you prefer, you can bake these turkey meatballs in the oven. Spread them out on lightly-oiled baking tray and cook for 20 minutes at 400ºF.
WHAT IS FALAFEL AND WHO INVENTED IT?
Falafel is made of ground chickpeas or fava beans, mixed with herbs and spices, shaped into a ball or patty, and deep fried. The balls are usually served wrapped in pita with assorted salad ingredients and tahini sauce on top.
Falafel is extremely popular throughout the Middle East. But like many things in that region, falafel is the subject of a contentious debate about which country is its rightful owner or originator.
Honestly, after a good deal of research, I’m reluctant to connect these fried chickpea balls to any single country for fear of inciting a war. And I can truthfully (and safely) say that my recipe for turkey falafel meatballs was inspired equally by the falafel of Israel, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon.
HOW TO SERVE THESE
Serve turkey falafel meatballs warm or room temperature, with Mediterranean chickpea salad on the side or with a simple salad of diced tomato, cucumber, red onion, and parsley, dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Or you might enjoy these stuffed into a pita with chopped veggies, hummus and lemon yogurt sauce
This is one of my favorite healthy comfort foods. Do you have a favorite healthy comfort food? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Here’s the recipe for Turkey Falafel Meatballs with Lemon Yogurt Sauce. If you try this recipe I hope you’ll come back to leave a rating and comment. I’d love to know what you think.Print
Turkey Falafel Meatballs with Lemon Yogurt Sauce
Light, flavorful, healthy turkey meatballs made with ground turkey, chickpeas and Middle Eastern spices. Serve with a side salad for dinner or pack into a pita for lunch. Pass around the lemon yogurt sauce!
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 50 mins
- Yield: 5-6 1x
- Category: Lunch, brunch or dinner
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
- Yogurt lemon sauce
- 1 cup plain whole milk or low-fat yogurt
- 1 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried crumbled mint or basil to sprinkle on top (optional)
- 4 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 pound ground turkey, light or dark meat
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, packed
- 1/4 cup parsley leaves, packed
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup plain Panko bread crumbs or (for gluten-free) 1 cup cooked, cooled quinoa
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Yogurt lemon sauce Combine all ingredients. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Meatballs In the bowl of a food processor add chickpeas, onion, garlic, cilantro, parsley, egg, cumin, coriander and salt. Process until everything is chopped finely and the mixture has a grainy consistency. Scrape mixture into a medium bowl and add the ground turkey. Add bread crumbs or (for gluten-free) quinoa. Mix everything until just combined. Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls (should make about 25) Note: If using quinoa, the meatball mixture will be a bit looser – use a light touch when rolling into balls, tossing the meat from palm to palm and pressing, to shape.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add half the meatballs and sauté for 8 minutes or so, turning frequently, until browned on all sides and cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with the rest of the meatballs.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with lemon yogurt sauce and a salad or slice in half and stuff into a pita with salad and lemon yogurt sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!