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Aleppo Blend Meatballs & Lemon Artichoke


This recipe is a heartfelt tribute to the lovely Pat herself. The Aleppo Blend is one of her favorites, and every time I use it, I can't help but smile at the warm notes of cardamom and Aleppo pepper that fill the air, and think of her. In my opinion, meatballs are incredibly versatile – they can go into sandwiches, pasta, soups, and, as shown here, shine as the star of the dish. Nestled on a bed of quick lemony tzatziki sauce and topped with fresh dill, these Aleppo Blend meatballs are absolutely delicious. 



For the meatballs

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • 1/2 cup quick oats (or bread crumbs- but I like the oats!)
  • 1/4 crumbled feta
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp 1 tsp Aleppo Blend
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp for the mixture and 2 tbsp for cooking

For the sauce

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cucumber, finely grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped (or 1 tsp dried dill)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

From the Pantry:


  • Fresh chopped dill
  • Flake salt

How To Make The Meatballs

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). You can either line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it OR heat your cast iron skillet and use the cast iron. I like using cast iron for a little extra crisp on the bottom.

  2. Sauté the Onions and Garlic: Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the finely diced onion and sauté until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

  3. Mix the Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken and turkey. Add the sautéed onion and garlic, chopped parsley, breadcrumbs (or oats), crumbled feta, egg, salt, pepper, dried oregano, dried basil, Aleppo Blend, and olive oil.

  4. Combine Well: Use your hands to mix everything thoroughly until all the ingredients are well combined. If that grosses you out, use a good ol' spatula.

  5. Form the Meatballs: Roll the mixture into golf ball-sized meatballs, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place them on the prepared baking sheet or cast iron, spacing them evenly apart. 

  6. Bake: Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the meatballs are golden brown and cooked through (internal temperature should reach 165°F or 74°C).

  7. Optional: Pan-Fry for Extra Crispiness: If you prefer your meatballs with a crispy exterior, heat the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the baked meatballs and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy.

  8. Serve: Once cooked, remove the meatballs from the skillet and let them rest for a few minutes. Serve warm on top of the tzatziki sauce. Top with fresh dill and flake salt, chefs kiss.  

How To Make The Tzatziki Sauce:

  1. Prepare the Cucumber: Grate the cucumber using a box grater or food processor. Place the grated cucumber in a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth and squeeze out as much excess water as possible. This step is important to prevent the tzatziki from becoming too watery.

  2. Mix the Ingredients: In a medium bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, grated cucumber, minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and chopped dill.

  3. Season: Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.

  4. Chill: For the best flavor, cover the bowl and let the tzatziki sit in the refrigerator for at least 15-30 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together.

  5. Serve: Place a generous amount in the bottom of your bowl for your meatballs to go on top of. Save the rest in a container in the fridge for future use. 

Enjoying these juicy and flavorful Aleppo Blend chicken&turkey meatballs with a quick lemony tzatziki sauce is so refreshing and perfect for these warm Spring days upon us. The warm notes of Aleppo spices in the meatballs pair perfectly with the refreshing tang of the tzatziki, creating a harmonious blend of flavors. For a well-rounded meal, serve the meatballs and sauce alongside tender, steamed artichokes. The artichokes, with their delicate, nutty flavor, complement the rich and savory meatballs, adding a touch of elegance to your plate. Together, they create a satisfying and delicious dinner that's sure to leave your tummy feeling happy.

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