Dinner

July 11, 2022

Harissa Meatballs with Whipped Feta

Harissa has quickly become one of my favourite ingredients to use over the past few years. It's super flavourful and works in SO many different applications. And these deliciously easy harissa meatballs are no exception. Made with ground dark turkey meat, it's moist, flavourful and a quick weeknight dinner to whip up. Don't skip on the whipped feta, it cools everything down and makes the perfect dip to these fiery harissa turkey meatballs.

harissa meatballs, harissa turkey meatballs

Why You'll Love These Harissa Meatballs

  • super quick and easy to make for a weeknight dinner.
  • great for leftovers and meal prep.
  • delicious served to guests as an appetizer
  • packed with flavour
  • they are the perfect vehicle for dipping into the whipped feta!
harissa meatballs, harissa turkey meatballs

Ingredients

To make these easy and flavourful harissa meatballs, here's what you'll need.

For the whipped feta dip, you only need three ingredients!

  • feta cheese
  • ricotta cheese
  • Greek yogurt

So although this harissa meatball recipe is low on ingredients, it's packed with flavour, and that really comes down to using harissa paste.

harissa meatballs, harissa turkey meatballs

What is Harissa?

Harissa is a blend of hot peppers, oil and various spices. It's a flavor base for curries and stews, as well as a condiment, in Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, according to Middle Eastern food expert Paula Wolfert. The ingredients in harissa vary by neighbourhood, country, and ethnicity. The basic recipe calls for hot peppers, garlic, salt and lots of olive oil. Can you see why it's so tasty now?!

Is Harissa Spicy?

It depends on the brand. Some will be mild and some will be spicy, each jar will state if it's mild or spicy.

Personally, I love spice and have used this one for this recipe and it tastes SO good. I highly recommend it!

When using harissa, feel free to start with a smaller amount and see how it works. Depending on your taste and spice preference, add more.

How to Make Harissa Turkey Meatballs

Making these harissa meatballs couldn't be easier. From start to finish, they should take just over 30 minutes total, this also includes making the whipped feta!

Preheat the oven to 400℉ and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix together all of the turkey ingredients until just combined, don't over mix.

meatball mixture in bowl

Form into small golf-ball sized meatballs and place on the baking sheet.

meatballs on baking sheet

Transfer to the oven and bake for 14 minutes. Remove the tray and turn the oven to a high broil and return the baking sheet to the oven. Broil on high for eight to ten minutes, until browned and cooked through.

harissa turkey meatballs

How to make Whipped Feta Dip

The other good news with this recipe is that the whipped feta takes only minutes to make, thanks to the food processor.

Once you've made this batch, you'll definitely have leftovers, which IS NOT a bad thing! It's so good served with crackers, veggies, pita or bread.

In a food processor, combine all ingredients and turn on high. Process on high until very smooth and creamy, about two minutes. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides as needed.

whipped feta in food processor

What to do with Leftover Whipped Feta

  • serve it with veggies, crackers, on bread, toast, or serve with pita.
  • jazz it up with a drizzle of olive oil, scallions and honey (see my recipe for that over on Instagram!) and the photo below.
  • keep leftovers in the fridge in a sealed container for about a week or so (check the expiration date on your products to be sure).
whipped feta dip

Tips

When it comes to making these harissa meatballs and whipped feta dip, here are a few tips to make things extra easy and delicious

  • Always use room temperature feta and ricotta cheese: this makes the dip creamier and a better consistency.
  • Don't over mix the meatball mixture: mix until everything is just combined to avoid over working the meat, which could make it tougher.
  • Use a mix of dark and light meat: this will result in more flavour.
  • Make the whipped feta dip ahead of time: this can save extra time and dishes to clean. Let it sit out and come to room temperature before serving.
  • Make the meatballs ahead of time: if serving at a party, form them into balls ahead of time and then cook them when you're ready to eat.
  • How to serve: I love serving these harissa meatballs with a nice big salad, or extra grilled or baked veggies, such as grilled cabbage.
harissa meatballs, harissa turkey meatballs

Substitutions

  • No turkey: use ground chicken instead, ground lamb would also work.
  • Less spice: use a mild harissa, such as this one. Or use less of the harissa if you have a spicy one.
  • No sumac: omit
  • No dill: use parsley as a garnish
  • No dairy: omit the whipped feta dip and serve with a plain dairy-free yogurt to cool things down, or a tahini sauce.

More Harissa Recipes

If you're looking for more ways to enjoy harissa, check these ones out!

More Appetizer Recipes

Looking for more appetizers, check these ones out!

Ready to make this? Let's get to it!

If you make these harissa meatballs please share with me, by tagging me on Instagram or leave a comment and/or review below. I truly love seeing and hearing form you!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only share products and services I have personally used and love. Disclosure here.

Harissa Meatballs with Whipped Feta

These delicious and easy sheet pan harissa meatballs are made with ground turkey and served with creamy whipped feta for dipping.

Prep:
15
min
cook:
22
min
total:
37
min
servings:
4
Author:

Jaclyn

Ingredients

For the meatballs:

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup harissa paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 tsp sumac
  • zest from half a lemon
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt

For the whipped feta:

  • 7 ozs feta cheese, room temperature
  • 5 ozs ricotta, room temperature
  • 4 ozs Greek yogurt
  • pinch of kosher salt, to taste

For serving:

  • 1/3 cucumber, chopped
  • fresh dill, for serving
  • lemon wedges, for serving
  • sumac, for serving
Instructions

For the meatballs:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400℉ and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all of the turkey ingredients until just combined, don't over mix.
  3. Form into small golf-ball sized meatballs and place on the baking sheet.
  4. Transfer to the oven and bake for 14 minutes. Remove the tray and turn the oven to a high broil and return the baking sheet to the oven. Broil on high for eight to ten minutes, until browned and cooked through.

For the whipped feta:

  1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients and turn on high. Process on high until very smooth and creamy, about two minutes. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides as needed.

To serve: 

  1. Dollop the whipped feta on a plate and drizzle with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Place the turkey meatballs on top and garnish with cucumber, dill, lemon wedges and a pinch of sumac. Enjoy!

Notes

Be sure to use room temperature feta cheese and ricotta for the best texture.

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Jaclyn
July 23, 2022
Hi Roxanne! So for the meatballs photos with feta, I just used regular olive oil. But for the one photo with the red looking oil, that was olive oil mixed with fried green onions and Aleppo pepper. I have that recipe in full on my Instagram account - if you head over there, you'll see it - https://www.instagram.com/p/CbQXM2IlH4L/.
Roxanne
July 21, 2022
Hi! The topping on your whipped feta looked delicious. It appeared to be more than olive oil. Or maybe an infused olive oil? Do you mind sharing that recipe? I can’t wait to make this recipe. Appreciate the tip on room temp feta.