Middle Eastern Meatballs in a Spiced Tomato Sauce

Meatballs are versatile, fast and easy. You can change up the protein, using ground chicken or turkey breast, lean ground beef, tofu, whole grains, nuts, seeds or beans. The mix of seasonings you choose creates a specific flavor profile; Mexican inspired with chili powder, cumin and cilantro; Italian using Parmesan cheese, garlic, oregano and basil or for today’s post, warm and earthy spices like curry, ginger and cinnamon for Middle Eastern influenced meatballs cooked in a simple, cinnamon spiced tomato sauce. The best part is that the meatballs are mixed, shaped and cooked in under 30 minutes so they are the perfect choice for a mid-week meal. You can serve them over brown rice, whole grain couscous, vegetable noodles or tucked inside whole wheat pita bread. I served them with hummus, green salad and whole grain pita wedges.






Middle Eastern Meatballs in a Spiced Tomato Sauce



  • 1 pound ground chicken or turkey breast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (minced) or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt and pepper

Tomato sauce:

  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes or sauce
  • 1 cinnamon stick


Set oven to 400 degrees. Saute onion and garlic in pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil until softened. Add ginger, curry powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Set aside to cool slightly. In a medium bowl, mix ground chicken or turkey breast, 1 tablespoon olive oil and slightly cooled onion mixture. Form into meatballs. Place them on a baking sheet (sprayed with cooking spray) and bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes, turn and bake an additional 5 minutes (until meatballs are browned). While the meatballs are browning, add crushed tomatoes and cinnamon stick to a pan and cook over medium heat. Add browned meatballs to the tomato sauce, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, turning meatballs occasionally.



I found these tomatoes at Acme. I used them for the sauce and they were delicious.



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