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Grilled Lamb Meatballs with Za'atar
and couscous with feta / zucchini ribbons

Active: 45 Total: 45

These Turkish-style meatballs on skewers are inspired by a recipe from our early archives but include a new mix of spices and a colorful couscous on the side.
Smarts: Be sure to check out the video linked in the recipe for tips on assembling these unique skewers.



Grilled Lamb Meatballs with Za'atar:
  • Skewers, wooden or metal - 12
  • Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
  • Mint - 1 Tbsp , chopped
  • Cumin - 1 tsp
  • Za'atar - 1 tsp
  • Chili powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Ground lamb - 1 lb (sub any ground meat)
  • Yogurt, plain or Greek - 1/2 cup
Couscous with Feta:
  • Stock, any type - 3/4 cup (sub water)
  • Salt - 1/4 tsp
  • Butter - 1 Tbsp
  • Couscous, uncooked - 1/2 cup
  • Bell peppers, from a jar of roasted red peppers - 1 , chopped
  • Cheese, feta - 2 oz
  • Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Zucchini Ribbons:
  • Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
  • Zucchini - 12 oz , sliced into ribbons with a peeler, spiralized, or diced
  • Vinegar, red or white wine - 2 tsp
  • Oil, olive - 2 tsp
  • Oregano, dried - 1/2 tsp


  1. Skewers - If using wooden skewers, soak in water for 15 minutes to prevent burning.

  2. Make couscous - Combine stock, salt (portion for couscous), and butter in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in couscous and cover with lid. Let stand for ~5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)

  3. Garlic (for meatballs and zucchini) / Bell peppers - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  4. Zucchini - Slice zucchini into ribbons, spiralize, or dice. (Note: We like keeping the zucchini raw in this recipe, but if you think you'd prefer it cooked, saute the zucchini in some olive oil for a minute or two until just tender.) (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)

  5. Meatballs - Chop mint. Mix together mint, garlic (portion for meatballs), cumin, za’atar, chili powder, salt (portion for meatballs), and lamb. Roll into long meatballs. Skewer if desired. (Can be done 1 day ahead)

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  1. If cooking on a grill: Heat grill to 400F / 204C degrees.

  2. If cooking in the oven: Heat oven to 425F / 232C degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil. Brush with some oil or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place meatballs on sheet pan.

  3. While grill / oven heats, toss zucchini with garlic (portion for zucchini), vinegar, olive oil, and oregano. Season with some salt and pepper. Set aside.

  4. {grill}: When grill is hot, brush grates with some oil. Grill meatballs on all sides over direct heat until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes total.

  5. {oven}: Bake meatballs, turning halfway through cooking, until cooked through, 12 to 16 minutes.

  6. If couscous was made ahead, you can reheat in the microwave (you can also serve the couscous chilled or room temperature). Toss with bell peppers, crumbled feta, and lemon juice. Season with some salt and pepper. If couscous seems dry, add some olive oil.

  7. Serve meatballs over couscous with yogurt. Enjoy with zucchini on the side.



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