spiced turkey meatballs with herbed couscous

Spiced Turkey Meatballs with Herbed Couscous Recipe

By Dana Angelo White, R.D.N.
July 11, 2024

This healthier spin on pasta and meatballs will quickly become a family favorite. Lean turkey and delicate couscous cook up quickly, making it an ideal recipe for a busy weeknight dinner.

The couscous is flavored with vibrant herbs, crunchy nuts, and a hint of natural sweetness from raisins. These ingredients also add plenty of tummy-pleasing fiber and inflammation-fighting antioxidants. Plus, eating protein and healthy carbs together like in this simple meal can help keep blood sugar levels stable and hunger at bay.

This recipe is: dairy free

Start to finish: 25 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients for the meatballs:

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided into 3 teaspoons
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Ingredients for the couscous:

  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup whole-grain couscous
  • ¼ cup golden raisins*
  • ½ cup cashews
  • 2 medium green onions, chopped*
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped*

To make meatballs: Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs, 1 teaspoon olive oil, cumin, paprika, ginger, oregano, and salt. Mix well to combine.

plate of spices

Form the turkey mixture into 16 evenly sized meatballs and place them on the prepared sheet pan. Drizzle the meatballs with the reserved 2 teaspoons of olive oil.

uncooked meatballs on a sheet pan

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 F on a meat thermometer. While meatballs are cooking, prepare the couscous.

various ingredients on a table

To make couscous: In a small saucepan, bring the broth and olive oil to a boil. Then, stir in the couscous, cover, and remove the pan from the heat. Allow it to sit covered for 5 minutes.

couscous in a saucepan

After, remove the lid and fluff the cooked couscous with a fork. Add raisins, cashews, green onions, and parsley and stir gently to combine.

Top the couscous with meatballs and serve.

spiced turkey meatballs and couscous in a bowl

Nutrition per serving: 509 calories; 17 g fat (3 g saturated fat); 62 mg cholesterol; 113 mg sodium; 53 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 6 g sugar (0 g added sugar); 38 g protein.

Price per serving: About $3.50

*WIC-eligible ingredient