Grilled Meatballs with Mint and Za'atar


Pass crisp lettuce leaves and tangy yogurt with these cumin-spiced patties and assemble them at the table. 

Grilled Middle Eastern Meatballs
Photo: © Iain Bagwell. Food styling by Simon Andrews.
Total Time:
25 mins


  • 1 pound ground chuck

  • ½ small onion, finely chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, minced

  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh mint, minced

  • 1 ½ teaspoons za'atar (see note)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 4 leaves Bibb lettuce and plain yogurt, for serving


  1. Light a grill. In a medium bowl, gently mix the chuck with the onion, garlic, parsley, mint, za'atar, salt, cumin and pepper. Form the meat into 1 1/2-inch balls and flatten them to 3/4 inch thick patties.

  2. Grill the meatballs over moderately high heat until pink in the center, about 2 minutes per side. Wrap the grilled meatballs in lettuce leaves and serve with yogurt.


Za'atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend made with sesame seeds, thyme and sumac, a tart seasoning made from ground dried berries.

Related Articles