Hummus with Turkey and Zucchini Meatballs ~ I made a meal out of my favorite creamy hummus appetizer simply by topping it with tender turkey meatballs lightened up with fresh shredded zucchini.
It doesn’t get any better than hummus. Unless of course you top it with skewers of juicy turkey zucchini meatballs and drizzle it all with a lemony yogurt sauce. Just writing about it makes me hungry all over again. Add some fluffy HOMEMADE PITA BREAD and a jug of wine and you’ve got a feast.
We eat plain hummus for dinner all the time, but these skewers give the dish a little extra ‘main course’ gravitas. The meatball recipe is adapted from my Turkey and Zucchini Burgers, which comes from the great Yotam Ottolenghi. The zucchini makes the meatballs super light and juicy. If you like, the hummus can be made ahead of time, and the meatballs can be formed, but I always think meatballs are best cooked at the last minute. It only takes a few minutes, so it’s well worth it.
If you’re intrigued by the idea of making a meal out of hummus, try my Hummus and Spiced Lamb, it’s absolutely luscious.
I have lots of other recipes on the blog either directly from, or inspired by, Yotam Ottolenghi, the Israeli/British chef who’s creative recipes have inspired me more than any other single person ~ you can see them all here. Some of my favorites are:
Hummus with Turkey & Zucchini Meatballs
- 2 cans chickpeas, drained and WELL rinsed
- 2 cloves garlic
- juice of 2 lemons
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup tahini
- toasted pine nuts and olive oil for garnish
- 1 lb ground turkey, i used white meat
- 2 cups grated zucchini, about two small
- 3 green onions, very thinly sliced
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 4 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
- 4 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- oil for browning
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 4 Tbsp tahini
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- water to thin
- Make the hummus first. Put the chickpeas in a food processor, along with the garlic and lemon juice, and puree until very smooth. You will have to scrape down the sides of the machine occasionally. Let the machine to its work for several minutes to get a smooth puree.
- Add the tahini and salt and puree again. I add water at this point to thin the hummus down a bit, maybe 1/2 cup. Taste to adjust the seasonings. Refrigerate until needed.
- For the meatballs put the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl. Break it apart as you put it in.
- Wrap the shredded zucchini in paper towels and squeeze the moisture out. Add it to the bowl, along with the rest of the ingredients. Mix with your fingers until well combined, but don't over work the meat.
- I use a 1 1/2 inch scoop to scoop each meatball and then roll it lightly with my hands. Set on a platter while you finish them all. The mixture will be very wet and loose, but will firm up as it cooks, so don't worry. I like the cover and chill the meatballs for about an hour, but that's optional. You can proceed right away if you like.
- Heat oven to 400F
- Coat the bottom of a skillet with oil and heat until quite hot. Brown the meatballs, in batches, for a few minutes so that all sides get brown.
- Transfer the meatballs to a baking pan and carefully thread about 3-4 meatballs each onto skewers. Set the pan in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through. You can check with a thermometer if you like, the interior should be at or close to 165F.
- Serve the meatballs warm on top of the hummus, and drizzle with sauce.
- For the sauce, mix the ingredients together and add enough water to thin it to a drizzling consistency. Taste to adjust the flavors if you like.
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