Chicken Shawarma Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Chicken Shawarma Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
Anita Schecter
  • Total: 70 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Yield: 4 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
653 Calories
31g Fat
51g Carbs
45g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 Servings
Amount per serving
Calories 653
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 39%
Saturated Fat 9g 43%
Cholesterol 159mg 53%
Sodium 966mg 42%
Total Carbohydrate 51g 18%
Dietary Fiber 7g 24%
Protein 45g
Calcium 294mg 23%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

I've really enjoyed watching my beloved childhood shawarma become more popular and introduce new people to the spices and flavors of Middle Eastern cooking. And that popularity has bred fabulous variations. Once a seasoning for roasted meats served on a sandwich, it's now used to season beans, vegetables and anything else you can think of. I totally approve.

And since I make large batches of shawarma seasoning and keep it in a jar in my cupboard, it's easy to reach for it when I'm testing recipes. Chicken meatballs are frequently in rotation on my dinner table but shawarma spice and a seasoned tomato sauce gave them a whole new flavor and another recipe for my dinner roster. Enjoy!


  • For the Meatballs:
  • 1 pound chicken breast (ground)
  • 1 onion (peeled and small diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons shawarma spice (recipe below)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup parsley (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • For the Tomato Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil (divided)
  • 1 small onion (peeled and small diced)
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup milk (or yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon shawarma spice (recipe below)
  • 2 tablespoons parsley (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese (crumbled)
  • salt to taste
  • For the Shawarma Spice Mix:
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Optional: pinch cayenne pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.

  2. Make the spice mixture by combining the cumin, coriander, garlic powder, cinnamon, turmeric, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. You can make extra and keep in a covered jar along with your other spices.

  3. In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, small diced onion, minced garlic, egg, shawarma spice, salt, parsley, and breadcrumbs.

  4. Using a one-ounce scoop (approximately), scoop out meatballs onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You should get about 24 meatballs. 

  5. Bake for 30 minutes.

  6. While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce by adding one tablespoon of the olive oil and the diced onion to a large skillet.

  7. Saute for a few minutes until the onion becomes translucent.

  8. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and whisk in the flour until combined.

  9. Whisk in the chicken stock.

  10. Then stir in the tomato paste and shawarma spice.

  11. Stir in the milk or yogurt and the chopped parsley.

  12. Season with additional salt if needed.

  13. When the meatballs are cooked, add them to the sauce and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

  14. Add the crumbled feta cheese and serve warm.