Chicken Shawarma Meatballs

By now, I’m sure you’re all aware of what a meatball aficionado I am. Not like “I know everything about meatballs” type of aficionado, but the “I will make and eat them any way I can get them” type. I’m always in search for new ways to reinvent the meatball and I often ask myself, “Will it meatball?” Almost always the answer is yes, it will meatball. Some of my favorites are these Tikka Masala Meatballs and Orange Chicken Meatballs, but that’s just a taste of what’s to offer…there are so many in the archives to try! This time around, I’m bringing you these Chicken Shawarma Meatballs, and I’m very excited about them because I love shawarma so much! These are great for dinner, either served in pita as a sandwich or with basmati rice and a cucumber and tomato salad for a lighter take on a classic.

In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, garlic, salt, black pepper, cumin, paprika, turmeric, Aleppo pepper, and cinnamon until smooth.

**Note: Make sure you add just a pinch of cinnamon because you don’t want it to over power everything. With that being said, make sure you do add it though, even if you’re skeptical because it really makes the entire dish.**

Add the chicken, eggs, bread crumbs, and parsley until just combined. Do not over mix at this stage. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.

**Tip: Any amount of marinating time will suffice and make a difference, but if you want a really well rounded flavor, it’s best if it marinates overnight.**

Preheat oven to 400°F. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil onto a large baking sheet and brush evenly. Set aside. Shape the chilled chicken mixture into meatballs the size of a golfball and place onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them out evenly. Arrange the sliced red onions among the meatballs, making sure everything is in a single layer.

Bake until golden and slightly crispy, 25 to 30 minutes. You can rotate and flip the meatballs halfway though cooking if you’d like, but it’s not necessary.

Once done, serve with basmati rice, hummus, tzatziki, tahini sauce, cucumber and tomato salad and/or warm pita (or even lavash would be great too).

**Note: I want these to be as quick and easy as possible, so you can serve them with store bought hummus, tzatziki and tahini to make things convenient. Of course, homemade is great too!**

These meatballs would also be great stuffed into pita pockets (filled with all sorts of other toppings) to make delicious sandwiches or wraps! It’s a great prep ahead meal because you can keep them in the fridge and rewarm as needed.

I hope you’ll give these a try soon and be sure to let me know what you think below. If you make them (or any other recipe from the blog) snap a pic and share it on IG and tag me (@jonjon33) because I love to see it! Thank you for reading and following along!

Chicken Shawarma Meatballs
5 from 1 vote

Chicken Shawarma Meatballs

Chicken Shawarma Meatballs are a fun take on a classic Middle Eastern dish. Serve with rice, hummus and a tomato cucumber salad for dinner!
Servings 8
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins

Equipment

  • Mixing Bowls
  • Baking Sheet

Ingredients

  • 2 lemons juiced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil plus 2 tablespoons
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Aleppo peppers
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 2 lbs ground chicken
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 2 small red onions peeled and sliced thick

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, garlic, salt, black pepper, cumin, paprika, turmeric, Aleppo pepper, and cinnamon until smooth. Add the chicken, eggs, bread crumbs, and parsley until just combined. Do not over mix at this stage. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil onto a large baking sheet and brush evenly. Set aside.
  • Shape the chilled chicken mixture into meatballs the size of a golfball and place onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them out evenly. Arrange the sliced red onions among the meatballs, making sure everything is in a single layer.
  • Bake until golden and slightly crispy, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve with basmati rice, hummus, tzatziki, tahini sauce, cucumber and tomato salad and/or warm pita. Enjoy!

Notes

Adapted from NYT Cooking.
Course: Main Course, Main Dishes
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: Chicken, Dinner, Main Dishes, Meatballs

Join the Conversation

  1. These were absolutely delicious. Family approved

  2. Love your blog. We were a little disappointed that the three plus hour wait in the fridge wasn’t listed in the time reference in the recipe. We were going to have it for dinner tonight but I guess that will be tomorrow.

  3. 5 stars
    These meatballs are the real deal. So flavorful and a huge hit at dinner.

  4. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe! I’ve had regular chicken shawarma before, but this one is very different. First, I must say that chicken shawarma meatballs are a creative variation on a famous Middle Eastern cuisine. For dinner, I serve it with rice and a tomato-cucumber salad.

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