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Chicken Shawarma Meatballs

Well, friends. It’s been at least 15 minutes since we last shared a meatball recipe, and so it’s time for yet another incredibly delicious meatball recipe! Meet chicken shawarma meatballs!


chicken shawarma meatballs on a blue plate shown with roasted red peppers, onions, cucumbers, tahini and tzatziki sauce.

Ode To Meatballs

There are so many reasons to love meatballs, and we’ve probably covered them all more than a few times here on TMP because we’ve shared so many meatball recipes. Because we love meatballs! But forgive us, OK, because we’re going to go over a few of the reasons we love meatballs again. We love them because:

  1. They’re the ideal way to pile tons of flavor into a single bite. Cross referencing our Meatball Shakshuka recipe as proof.
  2. Meatballs are so easy to make ahead and freeze (and we’ll walk you through how to freeze these ground chicken meatballs later).
  3. Meatballs are fun to eat! That means that the kids in our lives and yours will be (sometimes) more willing to eat them!
  4. Meatballs—especially chicken meatballs like these—are pretty darn healthy. Paired with a couple of veggie side dishes, they make for a simple, flavorful, healthy dinner that is easy to love.
ingredients for chicken meatballs including ground chicken, red onions, bread crumbs, eggs, bell peppers, onions and spices.

What’s In Chicken Shawarma Meatballs?

These tender, generously-spiced chicken meatballs are seasoned within an inch of their life. That means they’re not even close to being in danger of being the dreaded ground chicken thing: bland. Nope. Fragrant and savory, they’re anything but bland. Serve with Falafel and you’re in for a real treat. Here’s what’s in our baked chicken meatball recipe:

  • Ground chicken
  • Bread crumbs
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Cumin
  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
ground meat, bread crumbs, eggs and spices in a bowl for chicken shawarma meatballs
ground meat with spices in a glass bowl for chicken shawarma meatballs
raw chicken shawarma meatballs shown on a baking sheet
raw chicken shawarma meatballs with red onions and bell peppers on a baking sheet

How To Make Chicken Meatballs

The best chicken meatballs start with good quality ground chicken, and from there your main job is to add lots of flavor (see: all the spices) and a few other ingredients to help them stay moist and tender. Here’s how to work some chicken meatball magic:

  1. Start with what we affectionately refer to as “the onion trick”. Grate an onion to a pulp using a cheese grater (laborious) or food processor (much easier), then plop the onion pulp in a kitchen towel and squeeze out all the liquid.
  2. Use your hands to gently mix the ground chicken, eggs, bread crumbs, milk, spices and squeezed-out onion pulp. Mix until it’s just combined, and try to have a light touch. Overmixing is the path to tough meatballs.
  3. Time for the “water trick”! Place a little bowl full of water next to you, and wet your hands as you roll the meatballs. It’ll help keep the meat from sticking to your palms.
  4. Pop the chicken meatballs in the oven to bake—400°F for 25 minutes and....
  5. Dinner is done! We love to make a Middle Eastern feast of it and serve these chicken shawarma meatballs with hummus, tzatziki sauce and / or tahini sauce.
Baked chicken shawarma meatballs shown on a baking sheet with bell peppers and red onions.

Tools You’ll Need:

chicken shawarma meatballs shown on a blue plate with herbs and vegetables
chicken shawarma meatballs shown on a plate drizzled with tahini sauce

More Chicken Meatball Recipes to Try

We’re chicken meatball fanatics, and you should be one, too! Here are a few more of the very best chicken meatball recipes, ever:

chicken shawarma meatballs on a blue plate with small bowls of tzatziki, tahini and cucumbers.

Don’t Chicken Out!

If you try these chicken shawarma meatballs, let us know how it goes, OK? Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

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Chicken Shawarma Meatballs

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  25 min
  • Calories: 375


  • 2 lbs ground chicken
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk optional
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 onion grated, juices squeezed out with kitchen towel
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 red onion, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • parsley
  • hummus, for serving
  • tzatziki, for serving
  • tahini sauce, for serving
  • pita, for serving
  • cucumbers, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl combine ground chicken, eggs, bread crumbs, milk garlic, grated onions, salt, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, garlic, and onion powder until fully mixed.
  3. Using your hands form meatballs the size of golf balls, about 2 tablespoons each, and arrange on an oiled rimmed baking sheet pan.
  4. Arrange the onion and bell peppers on the sheet pan in between the meatballs and brush the meatballs and veggies with olive oil.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. When finished top with fresh parsley.

*Made 24 large meatballs.

Freezer Instructions: Meatballs can be frozen raw or cooked. Simply spread raw or cooked meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in freezer for an hour. Transfer frozen meatballs to a freezer bag. Remove air before sealing and store flat in freezer for up to 3 months.

When Ready to Bake From Frozen:

From frozen (either raw or cooked): Run frozen bag under warm water just long enough to break up meatballs.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a baking sheet with oil or use parchment paper. Arrange meatballs on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

Note: cook time for raw and pre cooked meatballs are the same, however, precooked meatballs will have a deeper golden outside.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories375
  • Protein35 g
  • Carbohydrates22 g
  • Total Fat16 g
  • Dietary Fiber2 g
  • Cholesterol182 mg
  • sodium668 mg
  • Total Sugars4 g

Chicken Shawarma Meatballs

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Sera

    I see that the milk is optional. What does it do to the consistency of the meatball using it versus not? Thank you!

    The milk adds more moisture so you will end up with moister meatballs but for those with milk allergies or lactose intolerant the meatballs will cook up just fine without the milk. Hope you enjoy Sera!

  • Nick

    Delicious and easy to make. Didn’t use milk and they were still moist and tender. Thanks for another great recipe!

    Thanks Nick, so happy you loved them!

  • Ashley

    AMAZING. We were pleasantly surprised with how yummy these meatballs were! The sauces were great and the meatballs were light and filling!

    Thanks Ashley, we are so happy you loved them!

  • L

    SO delicious and easy!! I left the milk out for a friend’s diet and they were still very moist. I used ground turkey which was on sale and would do that again. I’m going to stock these in the freezer for a quick meal. This summer I’ve been cooking most of our dinner from your website and your cookbook, and they’ve ALL been great! Thank you!

    Thank you L! That is so wonderful to hear, we are so happy you are enjoying our recipes!

  • Mark

    I liked them, however, I think the next time I will use less cumin. It definitely needed the milk. I did them on the grill

    Thanks Mark, we are glad you enjoyed them!

  • Shay

    Delicious and low fuss

    Thanks Shay, so glad you enjoyed this one!