Turkey Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki

5 from 1 vote
35 minutes
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Turkey Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki are healthful, light, easy, fun and so flavorful!  It’s the perfect summer dinner full of fresh ingredients! For another delicious turkey meatball recipe, don’t miss my Asian Turkey Meatballs!

Photo of Turkish Turkey Meatball Wraps with Tzatziki on gray background garnished with lemon wedges and pistachios.

The inspiration behind this recipe:

I’ve never been to Turkey but do have a little knowledge of Turkish cuisine.  Proteins most often found in Turkish cuisine include seafood, lamb, beef and chicken.  When I searched my Turkish cookbooks for turkey as an ingredient in a recipe, I wasn’t able to find any.

Whereas meatballs such as these would be made with lamb in Turkey, not everyone in this country is big on lamb.  Ground lamb can also be quite fatty.  In addition, ground lamb is often twice the price.  This recipe is similar to my Turkish Ground Lamb Kebabs but the meatballs are baked rather than grilled.

How to make Turkey Meatball Lettuce Wraps:

This Turkish Turkey Meatball Lettuce Wraps recipe is so easy but tastes so exotic!  The most exotic part of this recipe is the “baharat.”  Don’t worry.  It’s only a combination of herbs and spices you probably already have in your kitchen, much like Cajun or jerk seasoning is a combination of herbs and spices.

  • For these wraps, basically, all you do is:
    • Combine much of the meatball ingredients in a food processor or blender and process away.
    • Add an egg…
    • The turkey…
    • Form into meatballs…
    • Bake…
    • Serve with lots of fresh ingredients and you’ve got a healthy meatball wrap meal!
Photo of ingredients for meatballs in mini food processor before blending.

Tips for making meatballs:

  • When I make meatballs, I combine all the ingredients except for the meat.  The other ingredients will be better distributed IN the meat if they’re combined first.  I then add the meat, put on disposable gloves and mix everything together with my hands.
  • The best way I have found to portion and form meatballs is with a cookie dough scoop.  I have several sizes and for these, I use my 1-inch scoop.
  • Grab a handful of the meat mixture in one hand and the scoop in the other.
  • Use the heel of the hand holding the meat mixture to level off the scoop.  Empty the scoop on a baking sheet.  After portioning the meat mixture, press the cheese into the center and roll into neat balls.
  • Mix up the tzatziki while the meatballs bake.
Photo of tzatziki sauce in glass bowl.

Beautiful fresh lettuce and other fresh ingredients like tomatoes, red onion, fresh herbs….

Close-up photo of fresh lettuce that has been freshly washed.

…For a wonderful exotic summer dinner!

Photo of Turkish Turkey Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki in clay dish with all the garnishes: Tomatoes, onion slices, lemon wedges, pistachios, mint leaves.
Photo of Turkish Turkey Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki in clay dish with all the garnishes.

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Turkish Turkey Meatball Wraps and all the accompaniments in brown ceramic bowl.

Turkey Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki

5 from 1 vote

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Turkey Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki are healthful, light, easy, fun and so flavorful!  It's the perfect summer dinner full of fresh ingredients!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Chicken and Turkey
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 4
Calories 430 kcal

Ingredients
  

Meatballs

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1 small onion - or 1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic - coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley - preferably flat-leaf
  • 1 tablespoon baharat* - See note
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes - or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper - or to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large egg - beaten
  • 1 pound ground turkey

Tzatziki

  • 2 medium cucumbers - peeled, seeded and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 large lemon - juiced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • Salt - to taste

For Serving

  • 16 large Boston lettuce leaves
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Tomato wedges
  • Pistachios
  • Mint leaves

Instructions
 

Meatballs

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray. Alternately, line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil and spray.
  • Combine the next 8 ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and mix in egg.
  • Add the turkey and mix well. Form into 1-inch meatballs and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Tzatziki

  • Combine tzatziki ingredients in a bowl.

For Serving

  • Top lettuce leaves with tzatziki, top with 2 or 3 meatballs, onion slices, a tomato wedge, pistachios and mint leaves. Roll up and enjoy!

Notes

BAHARAT RECIPE: 1 1/2 tablespoons dried mint, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoons each of ground cinnamon, ground coriander, ground cumin and ground nutmeg.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 430kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 114mg | Sodium: 1013mg | Potassium: 1260mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3446IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 232mg | Iron: 4mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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9 Comments

  1. Carol, these look absolutely delicious! I made my first homemade tzatziki last week and I was surprised by how easy it was. Mine was a tad different (grated cucumber and dill, no mint), but yours looks fabulous. I have pinned this to my “must-try” board for the upcoming week!

  2. I had purchased Ground Turkey with the intent of making meatballs to eat in some awesome Pita Bread when I read this recipe. I had the Baharat spice blend that I had purchased at a local Kosher grocer when I was recipe testing for an Israeli cookbook. I made the meatballs exactly as written, I added feta into my Tzatziki and we loved the Pita with Turkish Meatballs and Tzatziki! Next time will go with the lettuce wraps. Delicious meal either way! As always, good job Chef Carol!

  3. Ive see often Bahrat called for in recipes and didn’t realize it was made of things I already had! I love when I learn new things that are so simply made! Beautiful photography too!