Turkey-Chickpea-Walnut Meatballs with Walnut Yogurt Sauce

Summary: A super-simple, healthy meatball that's good both unadorned or slathered in yogurt sauce! In place of the usual binding/filling agents of eggs and breadcrumbs, I use a combo of ground chickpeas and walnuts! You'll likely have leftover yogurt sauce- cheers to that! This makes about two dozen meatballs.

Yield: serves 4


  • 3/4 cup chickpeas (canned is fine; just drain and rinse)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions (from about 1)
  • 3/4 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or put through a press
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon walnut oil


In the bowl of a food processor, put the chickpeas, 1/2 teaspoon salt, lemon zest, olive oil and parsley. Process until most of the chickpeas are finely chopped with a few larger chunks studding the mix.

Using a spatula, transfer the chickpea mixture to a larger mixing bowl. Add the turkey, scallions, honey, mustard and walnuts. Stir gently to combine very well.

Heat a griddle over medium heat and brush with sunflower oil (or the like). When hot, place balls of the turkey mixture - roughly 1.5" balls- onto the griddle, an inch apart from one another.

Turn regularly so that all sides brown and the meatballs cook through. When done, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, the pressed garlic, lemon juice and walnut oil. Serve the meatballs and yogurt together along with some pita and endive leaves if you like.