December 14, 2021

Shawarma Meatballs + Garlic-Feta Yogurt Sauce


shawarma meatballs
These flavorful and juicy shawarma meatballs are a quick and easy recipe with all the great flavors of shawarma that can be on the table in 30 minutes. You will love how much flavor is packed into each meatball! I like to pan fry them in a cast-iron pan, and then transfer them directly to the oven so there is less cleanup involved. You can serve these over rice or with homemade naan and them top them with the best garlic-feta yogurt sauce. Sometimes I make these smaller and serve them as a flavorful appetizer or hors d’oeuvre.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Servings 4


For the Meatballs:

  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs + 1 tbsp water
  • 1 lb ground beef or lamb
  • 1 egg
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced on microplane
  • ¼ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp salt

For the Garlic-Feta Yogurt Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp creamy-style feta
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • Salt, to taste (just a pinch)
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped scallions


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix together the breadcrumbs and water and set aside.
  • Then combine the beef, egg, garlic, onion, spices and salt.
  • Using your hands, mix the ingredients together. Blend the bread crumb mixture into the meat mixture.
  • Shape into 2-inch balls.
  • Heat oil in a large sauté pan. When oil is very hot but not smoking, fry meatballs in batches. When the bottom half of the meatball is brown and slightly crisp, turn and cook the top half.
  • Remove from heat and drain on paper towels.
  • Finish the meatballs in the oven so they are fully cooked, about 10 minutes.
  • To make the sauce, place the feta in a small bowl and mash until smooth, then add the rest of the ingredients and mis until combines.
  • To serve, drizzle the sauce over the meatballs and enjoy with rice, pita bread or my homemade naan!
Keyword game-day, kid-friendly
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