Shawarma-Spiced Meatball Salad Bowl

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  • ½–¾ cup panko, more as needed

  • 1 egg

  • 2 scallions, minced

  • 1 tablespoon shawarma spice

  • 1 teaspoon black Urfa chili flakes, or use a pinch of crushed red pepper to taste

  • 2 teaspoons parsley, minced

  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt

  • ½ lemon, juiced

  • 1 pound ground turkey

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil, for frying

  • ½ cup water or chicken stock

Yogurt sauce:

  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, a few leaves reserved for garnish

  • 1 small jalapeño, trimmed

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled

  • ½ cup Greek yogurt

  • ½ lemon, juiced

  • 2 tablespoons water, plus more if needed

  • Salt

For serving:

  • 1 head of Romaine lettuce, chopped

  • ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped

  • 2 radishes, trimmed and sliced

  • ½ English cucumber, sliced into rounds

  • 2 ounces watercress or spring mix

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 4 ounces plain hummus

  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced

  • Pinch of salt, to taste

  • Dukkah or sesame seeds, optional

Make the meatballs:

  1. Add ½ cup panko, egg, scallions, shawarma spice, chili flakes, parsley, Greek yogurt, and lemon juice in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix to combine and let stand for 5 minutes.

  2. Place the turkey on top and season all over with salt and pepper. Mix to incorporate all of the ingredients. Add the remaining ¼ cup panko (or more) if the mixture is too wet. Take a small piece and fry or microwave until cooked through. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.

  3. Form into tablespoon-sized meatballs and set aside.

Fry the meatballs:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon neutral oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the meatballs in an even layer, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. You may need to fry them in batches.

Cook, turning every 3 minutes, until well-browned all over and nearly cooked through.

  1. If you cooked in batches, return all the meatballs to the pot in an even layer and pour in the water or stock. Bring to a boil and then cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes until the meatballs reach 165ºF. Keep warm as you finish the salad.

Make the yogurt sauce:

  1. Combine the cilantro, jalapeño, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until minced. Add the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and water and pulse until combined. Add more water to achieve a drizzling consistency. Taste and add salt.

  2. Place the diced English cucumber in a bowl. Pour the sauce over the cucumber and toss to combine. Taste and season.

Make the salad:

  1. Combine the Romaine lettuce, parsley leaves, radishes, cucumber, watercress, and halved cherry tomatoes in a large bowl and toss to combine. Add a sprinkle of salt.

To serve:

  1. Spoon 1–2 tablespoons hummus into 4 shallow bowls and use the back of your spoon to smooth it out into a smear. Pile the salad on top and arrange a few slices of avocado on each salad. Pile meatballs on top of each salad and drizzle with the yogurt sauce. Garnish with dukkah and cilantro leaves, if you like. Enjoy!

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