Middle Eastern Meatballs with Lime Yogurt and Orange Almond Couscous
Recipe Type: Main
Serves: 6-8
Juicy, light, and delicious with lime-whipped yogurt, these meatballs are anything but dull and dry.
  • 2 lbs of ground turkey or chicken
  • 1 medium red or white onion, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves minced. I use a microplane or a garlic press.
  • 1-2 tiny green or red Thai peppers, minced (optional). A small minced jalapeno pepper, a dash of sriracha or some dried red pepper or chili pepper flakes will work too.
  • A generous handful of fresh mint or basil, chopped. Any herb of your choice will likely work including dill and parsley.
  • 2 limes, zest one of them and reserve the zest
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
  • ⅔ cup of plain bread crumbs
  • ⅓ cup of pine nuts (optional but good)
  • Drizzle of honey
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Sea salt to taste
  • To Serve: Lime wedges and lime-whipped yogurt or plain Greek yogurt
Orange Almond Couscous
  • 1 box of Original Plain Near East Couscous, cooked according to package directions.
  • ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted.
  • 2 oranges, zest one and reserve the zest. Cut one orange into segments and chop the segments into small pieces.
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • A handful of both fresh parsley and dill, chopped. Any herb of your choice would work here like basil or chives or cilantro.
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Serving suggestions: A scattering of quickly defrosted frozen peas, a drizzle of olive oil
  1. Using the small holes of a box grater, grate the onion directly into a large bowl. Add the ground turkey or chicken, the eggs, the breadcrumbs, the minced garlic, Thai peppers (if using), fresh mint, and pine nuts (if using), drizzle of honey, dried oregano and salt to taste. Mix to combine all the ingredients. Wet your hands with cold water and form the mixture into small balls the size of large marbles or walnuts.
  2. Heat a large nonstick pan on medium high heat with some olive oil. Drop the meatballs in the pan and saute until they’re golden brown on all sides and cooked through. Do not overcrowd the pan. Fry in batches if you have to. Be careful not to burn them as the honey will help to caramelize the outside of the meatballs, helping them brown and crisp. You can cover the pan occasionally to cook them. But, keep a close eye on them and remove the cover when almost done. They cook rather quickly. Try not to overcook or they’ll become dry. Remove them from the pan as they’re done cooking. Serve with lime wedges and lime-whipped yogurt. Enjoy!
  3. To make the lime-whipped yogurt: Mix into 2 cups of thick Greek yogurt with the lime zest, adding a pinch of salt.
Orange Almond Couscous
  1. Toast almonds in a small fry pan until golden brown, be careful not to burn them.
  2. Add the cooked couscous, toasted almonds, orange zest, orange segments, scallions, parsley and dill into a bowl.
  3. Add the juice of one orange, drizzle of olive oil and season with salt to taste. Stir and fluff with a fork to combine.
  4. Serve with the meatballs and lime whipped yogurt.
The small size of these meatballs gives you more control and less of a chance to overcook them. Remember, they’ll continue to cook once they’re out of the pan. They should be juicy but not raw inside. Test one. Some will cook faster than others. Take them out of the pan as they’re done and place on a plate.
A chili pepper gives a spicy kick. The sweet/spicy combo is always a winner in my book. Honey helps to caramelize and brown the outside of the meatballs. Herbs and lime lend freshness and tang. Grated onion lends more moisture helping to keep them from drying out.
I like to serve them with my Persian Salad and Orange Almond Couscous (recipe below)
Recipe by Honest Cooking at https://honestcooking.com/middle-eastern-meatballs-lime-yogurt-orange-almond-couscous/