Turkish Meatballs with a Cucumber-Yogurt Dipping Sauce

Total Time
52 min
20 min
32 min
Lean ground beef is combined with fiber-rich bulgur and fragrant spices in this easy appetizer—perfect for a New Year's bash.


uncooked bulgur

½ cup(s)

cooking spray

1 spray(s)

uncooked 93% lean ground beef

½ pound(s)

uncooked scallion(s)

¼ cup(s), sliced


3 Tbsp, fresh, chopped, divided

minced garlic

1¼ tsp, divided

ground cumin

1¼ tsp

table salt

¾ tsp, divided


½ tsp

ground cinnamon

¼ tsp

Plain fat free yogurt

1 cup(s)


¼ cup(s), finely diced

fresh radish(es)

2 Tbsp, sliced, finely diced


1 Tbsp, fresh, chopped


  1. Cook or soak bulgur according to package directions; drain any excess water and let cool.
  2. Place oven rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 425ºF. Coat baking pan with cooking spray.
  3. Put beef, scallions, 2 tablespoons of cilantro, 1 teaspoon each of garlic and cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, paprika, cinnamon and drained bulgur in a large bowl; combine ingredients with your hands until well-mixed.
  4. Roll meatball mixture into twenty-four 1 1/4-inch balls; place on prepared pan. Bake until lightly browned and cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, to make dipping sauce, in a small bowl, combine yogurt, cucumber, radish, dill, remaining tablespoon of cilantro, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon each of garlic, cumin and salt; mix well.
  6. To serve, place meatballs on a serving platter with toothpicks and spoon sauce into a small bowl. Yields 2 meatballs and about 1 1/2 tablespoons of sauce per serving.


You can form the meatballs up to 6 hours before cooking this recipe and keep them refrigerated until you're ready to cook them. The dipping sauce can be made up to 6 hours ahead, too, but stir in the cucumber and radish just before serving.This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for larger gatherings.

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