Limon's Turkish Meatballs with Espelette Mustard Yogurt Sauce

  • Prep Time:
  • 15 mins
  • Cook Time:
  • 45 mins
  • Total Time:
  • 1 hour(s)

This traditional recipe for Turkish meatballs comes from chef Zuhal Suryel Lambrugo of Limon Authentic Turkish Kebap House in Hellertown, Pennsylvania. Her secret to succulent, mouth-watering meatballs? An 85/15 blend of ground lamb (15% fat equals flavor), a handful of breadcrumbs and an overnight rest. The resting period allows the flavors to meld and the breadcrumbs to absorb some of the moisture from the meat.

Our friend Kitty Keller, founder of KL Keller Foodways, pairs these flame-kissed meatballs with a simple, tangy sauce of yogurt and Espelette Pepper Mustard. The bright acidity and gentle spice of the sauce perfectly balances the rich, spiced lamb. And don't forget an ice cold beer to go alongside too!

Recipe courtesy of KL Keller Foodways, Food styling and photography by Asha Loupy

Serves 4


For the meatballs

For the yogurt sauce


Place the onion wedges in a blender or food processor and blend until the onion is puréed. Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl. Transfer the onion purée to the strainer and gently press, stirring occasionally and then pressing again, so the juices strain into the bowl. Discard the onion pulp, or save for another use.

Add the remaining ingredients, except the olive oil, to the bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours to overnight, allowing the meat to rest and the flavors to meld. Remove the meatball mixture from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking to let it come to room temperature.

While the meat is coming to room temperature, make the yogurt sauce. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and the mustard and whisk until smooth. Taste the sauce and season with salt, if necessary. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Divide the meat mixture into 12 pieces. To form the meatballs, take one piece and roll it into an oval-shaped ball. Gently flatten the meatball into a patty, about a 3/4-inch thick. Transfer the finished meatball to a baking sheet or plate and repeat with the remaining balls. When finished, brush the meatballs on both sides with olive oil.

To cook the meatballs, heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Grill the meatballs until cooked through, about 3 1/2-4 minutes per side (alternatively, these can be pan-fried in a skillet using the same cook time). Transfer the cooked meatballs to a platter and serve alongside the reserved yogurt sauce.

Get Treats In Your Inbox
Share More Great Food
© Market Hall Foods. All rights reserved.