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+ servings

Spiced Turkey and Zucchini Meatballs with Basil Yogurt Sauce

Author - Serena Wolf
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yields: 18 meatballs


  • 1 pound lean ground turkey I suggest 93% lean. You need that little bit of fat, you know?
  • 2 cups grated zucchini about 1½ medium zucchini grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions whites and light green parts only
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds preferably white chia seeds for aesthetic purposes

For the Basil Yogurt Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 6- ounce container non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt


  • Place all the ingredients for the meatballs in a medium mixing bowl. Mix with your hands until the ingredients are well combined. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to let the chia seeds work their gelling magic.
  • Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spray a rack with cooking spray and place it on top of the baking sheet.
  • Gently roll the meat mixture into 18 balls, roughly 2-inches in diameter, and place the balls on the prepared rack. Bake for 22-23 minutes until lightly brown and cooked through. (Or until the balls register an internal temperature of 160 degrees.)
  • While those balls are baking, get going on the yogurt sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini and warm water until smooth. Transfer the tahini mixture to the bowl of a food processor and add the yogurt, basil leaves, garlic, lemon juice, and a good pinch of kosher salt. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times if necessary. (Yes, you can do this in a blender if you don’t have a food processor.)
  • Serve the meatballs warm with plenty of yogurt sauce.