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Chef Megan Mitchell

Online Cookbook

Za'atar and Feta Turkey Meatballs over Turmeric Quinoa

  • Serves: 4
  • Complexity: medium
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Za'atar and Feta Turkey Meatballs over Turmeric Quinoa


  • Olive oil
  • 1 pound ground dark meat turkey, preferably organic
  • 3 green onions, finely minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3-ounce block feta cheese
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. Za’atar seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed under cold water
  • 1 Meyer lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Drizzle a sheet pan with a little olive oil to prevent the meatballs from sticking.

  2. In a large bowl combine the ground turkey, green onions, garlic, egg, feta, Za’atar, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Using your hands gently mix everything together until fully combined.

  3. Using a medium sized ice cream scoop or a large spoon, form the mixture into medium sized meatballs, slightly smaller than a golf ball, and set aside on a plate or sheet pan.

    Lightly wet your hands with water to help prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands.

  4. Bring a medium sized nonstick skillet up to heat on medium. Drizzle in 1-2 tbsp. olive oil so the meatballs don’t stick to the pan.

  5. Add the meatballs to the heated pan, working in batches if needed. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown. Remove the partially cooked meatballs and place on the prepared sheet pan. Continue with remaining.

    Place in the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.

  6. Meanwhile cook the quinoa. In a medium sized sauce pot combine the quinoa, lemon zest and juice, chicken stock, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and turmeric. Stir together.

    Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover and cook until all of the water has absorbed, about 10-15 minutes, removing the lid the last 5 minutes of cooking. 

  7. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Add in the chopped cilantro and check for seasoning, adding more salt if needed. It should look done when the germ is visible around the grain and it is soft but still lightly chewy.

  8. To serve mound up the quinoa onto a large platter then place the cooked meatballs on top. Garnish with extra cilantro and feta cheese.

    Recipe Courtesy of Megan Mitchell

Comments (1)

  • Joseph Mathew

    12 March 2014 at 00:25 |
    As a man of South Indian heritage, I must admit that turmeric is not an easy ingredient to infuse into dishes. But it seems like you did it flawlessly. Kudos! I am looking forward to trying this, but truthfully, I may screw this recipe up!


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