Mediterranean Meatballs made with flavorful ground turkey meatballs served over Israeli couscous and a bright, lemony cucumber tomato salad. Make them in the air fryer or oven!
Mediterranean Turkey Meatballs
I love meatballs, Mediterranean flavors, and pearl couscous, so putting them all together in a one-bowl meal seemed natural. The meatballs brown beautifully in the air fryer, and the appliance is great during the warmer months, so you don’t heat up your kitchen. If you don’t have an air fryer, you can make them in the oven. The couscous cooks quickly and is an excellent base for fresh Israeli salad and lemon juice. This dish is great to meal prep for lunch or make for a quick weeknight family dinner. More ground turkey meatball recipes to try are these Greek Turkey Meatballs, Italian Turkey Meatballs, and Sheet Pan Turkey Meatballs.
What is the secret to meatballs?
Here are a few tips for delicious meatballs:
- Binding Ingredients: To prevent turkey meatballs from falling apart, you need something to keep them together. That’s why we have the egg and panko.
- Don’t Overmix: You want to mix the meatball ingredients until just combined without overdoing them. It’ll make the meatballs too tough.
- Don’t Overbake: Make sure not to bake (or air fry) the meatballs for longer than needed, which will dry them out.
Mediterranean Turkey Meatball Ingredients
- Binders: Egg and panko breadcrumbs bind the meat together.
- Herbs: Fresh dill and Italian parsley
- Salt, Pepper, and Fresh Garlic flavor the meatballs.
- Turkey: Buy 93% lean ground turkey.
What to serve with Mediterranean Meatballs:
- Couscous: I used whole-wheat pearl couscous, also called Israeli couscous, which is actually a pasta. If you can’t find whole-wheat, regular is fine.
- Salad: Tomato, Persian or English cucumber, red onion, Italian parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper
- Mediterranean Meatball Sauce: Serve the bowls with lemon wedges, a dollop of tzatziki or nonfat plain Greek yogurt, and a drizzle of olive oil if desired.
How to Make Mediterranean Meatballs
- Make the Meatballs: Crack the egg in a medium bowl and beat with a fork. Add the herbs, panko, garlic, salt, and pepper and mix. Add the turkey and mix with a fork until everything is combined. Be careful not to overmix. Roll the meat into 16 one-ounce balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Air Fryer Meatballs: Spray the air fryer basket with olive oil and place the meatballs in an even layer. Cook at 400°F for eight to 10 minutes, turning halfway through.
- Or Baked Meatballs: If you don’t have an air fryer, bake the turkey meatballs at 400°F for 20 minutes.
- Cook Couscous: Sauté the dry pasta in olive oil in a small pot. Pour in the broth, bring it to a boil, and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Add a pinch of salt if needed.
- Make the Salad: Combine all the salad ingredients in a small bowl.
- Assemble the Bowls: Put the couscous in each of the four bowls with the salad, meatballs, and lemon wedges. Top the Mediterranean bowls with tzatziki or yogurt and olive oil if desired.
How to Meal Prep Mediterranean Meatball Bowls
These easy Mediterranean bowls are fantastic for meal prep. All the ingredients will keep for up to four days in the fridge. To pack them for later:
- Store the meatballs and couscous in one container, the salad and lemon wedges in another, and the tzatziki in a small container.
- To reheat, microwave the meatball dish for about a minute and top it with the other ingredients.
- Couscous: Substitute regular couscous with pearl.
- Grain Bowl: Swap couscous with brown rice, barley, or quinoa.
- Gluten-free: Use gluten-free panko and brown rice.
- Protein: Make ground chicken meatballs instead of ground turkey.
- Extra Veggies: Add diced bell pepper or zucchini.
- Cheese: Top with feta.
More Ground Turkey Recipes You’ll Love
- Naked Greek Feta-Zucchini Turkey Burgers
- Escarole Soup with Turkey Meatballs
- Turkey Picadillo
- Southwest Turkey Meatballs
- The Best Turkey Meatloaf
Mediterranean Meatball Bowl
For the meatballs:
For the bowl:
- 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 1/3 cup dry pearl Israeli couscous, I used whole wheat
- 1 ¾ cup reduced-sodium chicken, or vegetable broth
- 1 cup diced tomato
- 2 cups Persian or English cucumber, diced
- ¼ cup red onion, diced
- 3 tablespoons Italian parsley, fresh chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from 1/2 lemon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- ½ cup tzatziki or nonfat plain Greek yogurt, optional, for serving
For the turkey meatballs:
- Crack the egg into a medium mixing bowl and beat with a fork. Add the herbs, panko, garlic, salt and pepper and mix to combine.
- Add the turkey and with the fork, mix to combine, being careful not to over-mix. Roll mixture into 16 evenly sized meatballs, about 1 ounce each, place on a parchment lined sheet pan and set aside until ready to cook. (Thoroughly wash your hands and work surface.)
- To air fry: Spray the air fryer basket generously with olive oil. Add the meatballs in an even layer, cooking in batches if needed, and cook at 400 degrees F for 8- 10 minutes, turning halfway through cook time.
- To bake in the oven, bake on a sheet pan 400F 20 minutes, no need to turn.
- Meanwhile, heat a small sauce pot over medium heat.
- Add ½ tablespoon olive oil and the dry couscous and sauté to toast the grains for about 3 minutes. Add the hot broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Add a pinch of salt, if needed.
- While meatballs and couscous are cooking, make the salad. In a small bowl, combine the tomato, cucumber, red onion, 3 tablespoons parsley, 1 tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper, to taste.
- To assemble bowls: Add ¾ cup each of couscous to 4 bowls. Top with 3/4 cup salad and 4 meatballs. Serve with a lemon wedge, a dollop of tzatziki or yogurt (if desired) and drizzle of oil, if using.