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Middle Eastern Meatballs

These meatballs seasoned with za’atar aren’t cooked into tomato sauce and served over spaghetti — rather, these are quickly browned and then roasted, and served over rice, couscous, or other grains. For dipping sauce, I recommend yogurt or sour cream, blended with Herbes de Provence, Greek Seasoning, or other spices.

Meatballs (Middle Eastern)

Course Main Dish
Cuisine Central
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Servings 2 servings


  • 1 pound ground meat (see Notes below)
  • 2 tbsp Za’atar for mixing in Step 1
  • 1 tbsp Za’atar for sprinkling in Step 4
  • 1/2 tsp salt (Fine Sea Salt recommended)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • Using a mixer, or mixing by hand, blend the ground meat, 2 tbsp za’atar, and salt.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F while you form the meatballs (about the size of a ping pong or golf ball).
  • Put the oil in a large frying pan, bring to high heat, and toss in the meatballs. Cook over high heat until browned, flipping regularly, 6-8 minutes.
  • Put meatballs into roasting pan and cover generously with sprinkling of remaining za’atar. Roast, uncovered, for 8 minutes, and let cool 3 minutes before serving.


This recipe was designed for ground lamb, but also works for beef, pork, or chicken/turkey (if using poultry, I recommend adding 1 tsp mushroom powder to the ground meat).