Middle Eastern Meatballs Recipe for Juicy Meatballs Spiced with Baharat. Most popular recipes of July 2023. Copyright © 2023 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Easy Baked Meatballs Recipe with Middle Eastern Baharat Seven Spices

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This easy baked meatballs recipe with Middle Eastern baharat or seven spice blend makes moist, melt-in-the-mouth, tender meatballs. Gently spiced with the classic Arabic baharat or seven spice mix, these meatballs are fragrant and flavourful. The small size ensures they cook quickly and baking instead of frying makes them healthier.

My easy baked meatballs recipe will make you tender juicy meatballs flavoured with the Middle Eastern spice blend called baharat or seven spices. It’s one of my favourite Middle Eastern recipes, one of our best meatball recipes, and one of our most popular recipes.

If you enjoyed our beef kofta recipe but find squeezing the mince around a skewer fiddly (some do), you’ll love these little meatballs. Formed in minutes, due to their small size the meatballs bake quickly in the oven, remaining moist.

They’re also versatile. Serve them with toothpicks at a social gathering or eat them as an appetiser or a main with Middle Eastern dips hummus and baba ganoush and salads such as fattoush and tabbouleh.

I love to roll the meatballs up in soft warm pita bread spread with carrot ‘hummus’ or beetroot ‘hummus’ and sprinkled with loads of fresh mint and parsley. They’re also fantastic stuffed into crispy baguettes on layers of hummus, shredded lettuce and pickles for a Middle Eastern style banh mi.

Now before I tell you more about my easy baked meatballs recipe, I have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-funded. If you’ve cooked our recipes and enjoyed them, please consider supporting Grantourismo. One way is by making a donation to our epic Cambodian cuisine history and cookbook on Patreon, which you can do for as little as the price of a coffee. Or you could buy us a coffee and we’ll use our coffee money to buy cooking ingredients for recipe testing.

Another option is to use links to the products below on Amazon or buy something else, such as these cookbooks for culinary travellersJames Beard award-winning cookbookscookbooks by Australian chefsclassic cookbooks for serious cooks, and gifts for Asian food lovers and picnic lovers. We may earn a small commission but you won’t pay any extra.

Alternatively, you could use these links to buy travel insurancerent a car, book accommodation, or book a tour on Get Your Guide. You could browse our Grantourismo store for gifts for food lovers, including jigsaw puzzles designed with Terence’s images. Now let me tell you all about this Middle Eastern baked meatballs recipe.

Baked Meatballs Recipe with Middle Eastern Baharat Seven Spices

My easy baked meatballs recipe will make you a baked meatball version of the traditional grilled beef kofta that we used to eat regularly when we lived in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and travelled the Middle East.

While it might seem strange for two people who love to cook so much, when we lived in the UAE, Terence and I barely cooked Middle Eastern food. In fact, I barely cooked at all during those years as I worked long hours, so Terence did most of the cooking – and I did most of the eating!

It made no sense to cook Arabic food at home, because there were so many Middle Eastern restaurants within a few minutes’ stroll from our apartment. We’d often get home delivery or pick up take-away on our way back from our early evening walks or we’d go out to eat as it was all so incredibly delicious and affordable.

Weird as it may seem, we only began cooking Middle Eastern food after we settled in Southeast Asia and found ourselves continually disappointed by the quality of Arabic food on offer. Just because someone was born in Beirut, doesn’t mean they’re qualified to open a Lebanese restaurant.

Middle Eastern Meatballs Recipe for Juicy Meatballs Spiced with Baharat. Copyright © 2023 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

 

So after a decade of living and travelling in the Middle East, and writing on the food of the region, it wasn’t until we moved to Cambodia and were so desperately missing the cuisines of the Middle East that we finally began cooking our favourite Middle Eastern dishes.

All of that is to explain why we’ve been sharing our favourite Middle Eastern recipes here – along with our re-interpretations of old favourites, such as this easy baked meatballs recipe, which will essentially make you a meatball version of a traditional grilled beef kofta.

I bake these babies in a compact toaster oven and they take just minutes to cook. While they’re baking, I quickly whip up a hummus and toss together a fattoush, and within less than an hour I have one of our favourite Middle Eastern meals on the table.

Just a few tips to how to make my easy baked meatballs recipe, which I know you’re going to love if you’re a fan of Middle Eastern cuisines.

Middle Eastern Meatballs Recipe for Juicy Meatballs Spiced with Baharat. Copyright © 2023 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Tips to Making this Baked Meatballs Recipe with Middle Eastern Baharat Seven Spices

I only have a few tips to making this easy baked meatballs recipe, as it couldn’t be simpler, and it comes together quickly. Firstly, kofta is typically made with either ground beef or lamb mince in the Middle East. But as we live in Cambodia, we use a combination of lean ground beef and fatty pork mince. Use what you prefer but note that it must have some fat so it’s nice and juicy.

Click through to my beef kofta recipe to learn more about the Middle Eastern spice blend called baharat or seven spices. ‘Baharat’ simply means ‘spices’ in Arabic, but it’s also the name given to the quintessential Middle Eastern spice mix known as ‘seven spices’.

If you’re not familiar with this spice mix, I recommend blending the dried spices in a glass jar with lid first, and perhaps using just half the amount with your minced meat mixture at first. Test a small ball by baking it in the oven or zapping it in the microwave then taste it to see if it’s to your liking.

If you love it as much as we do, you can then add the rest of the spice mix to the mince mixture – or not. Pop the jar on the spice rack and use the remainder another time.

This is also your chance to season the meatball mixture to your palate, adding more salt or pepper if you prefer. It’s also an opportunity to add a little more extra virgin olive oil, which is one of the elements that makes these meatballs so moist – along with the fact that we just cook them in the oven.

And if you don’t like baharat, you could even use another spice mix, such as ras el hanout or keep the seasoning simple, and go for some sumac or Aleppo pepper.

Another thing I should mention here is that I use garlic powder rather than minced garlic, as these are tiny meatballs and they don’t take long to cook and you don’t want to munch into pieces of uncooked garlic. Well, I don’t mind munching into garlic, but you probably do.

Baked Meatballs Recipe with Middle Eastern Baharat Seven Spices

Middle Eastern Meatballs Recipe for Juicy Meatballs Spiced with Baharat. Most popular recipes of July 2023. Copyright © 2023 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Middle Eastern Meatballs Recipe with Baharat Arabic Seven Spice

This easy baked meatballs recipe with Middle Eastern baharat or seven spice blend will make you moist, melt-in-the-mouth, tender meatballs. Fragrant and flavourful, the meatballs cook quickly thanks to their small size, while baking instead of frying makes them healthier. Super versatile, they can be wrapped in pita bread, stuffed into baguettes, or eaten with hummus or salads.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course lunch, dinner, snack
Cuisine Arabic, Lebanese, Middle Eastern
Servings made with recipe40 meatballs
Calories 56 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil - divided
  • 200 g onions - finely diced
  • 400 g ground beef – can be lean
  • 400 g pork mince – needs fat content
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp curly parsley - finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp mint - finely chopped

Instructions
 

  • In a frying pan or round flat-bottomed wok, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high then fry the finely diced onion until soft and translucent; turn the heat off, transfer the onion to a dish, and set aside to cool.
  • In a small jar or dish, make the baharat or seven spice blend by combining the ground cumin, allspice, cinnamon, coriander, cloves, white pepper, black pepper, and salt.
  • To a large mixing bowl, add the ground beef and pork (if using pork), cooked onion, garlic powder, baharat spice mix, tablespoon of olive oil, parsley and mint, and stir together with a spoon or hands until everything has been incorporated; don’t over-combine.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/390°F. Cover a large rimmed baking tray with foil, and lightly brush olive oil onto the tray.
  • Using a teaspoon to scoop out the meatball mixture and digital kitchen scales to check the weight, roll 15g of meatball mixture a few times between your hands to form a meatball; transfer it to the tray and repeat until you’ve finished the mixture, ensuring they’re evenly spaced apart.
  • Slide the tray into the oven onto the top shelf and set a timer for 5 minutes to check the meatballs. If sizzling and starting to brown, use small tongs to gently turn the meatballs over, one at a time, to brown the other side. If they’re not browning, bake them for another minute or two. Once turned over, the meatballs should only take a few more minutes. Taste one, and remove as soon as they’re done.
  • Transfer the meatballs to a platter of oven-warmed pita bread with sliced radishes, pickles and lemon wedges, and serve at the centre of the table with sides of dips such as hummus and baba ghanoush and salads such as tabbouleh and fattoush.

Nutrition

Calories: 56kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 4gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 42mgPotassium: 73mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 29IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 0.4mg

Please do let us know in the comments below if you make any of our best Middle Eastern recipes as we love to hear how our recipes turn out for you.

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A travel and food writer who has experienced over 70 countries and written for The Guardian, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Feast, Delicious, National Geographic Traveller, Conde Nast Traveller, Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia, DestinAsian, TIME, CNN, The Independent, The Telegraph, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, AFAR, Wanderlust, International Traveller, Get Lost, Four Seasons Magazine, Fah Thai, Sawasdee, and more, as well as authored more than 40 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, DK, Footprint, Rough Guides, Fodors, Thomas Cook, and AA Guides.

2 thoughts on “Easy Baked Meatballs Recipe with Middle Eastern Baharat Seven Spices”

  1. These were so easy to make and so juicy and we all loved the spice mix. It was new to us. Will definitely make again.5 stars

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