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Zesty meatballs with couscous salad recipe

Zesty meatballs with couscous salad recipe

25 ratings

Try this meatball recipe with a difference for an easy family dinner idea. This recipe uses turkey thigh mince, lemon zest and chilli to make the meatballs, and is served with a summery couscous salad and quick garlic and mint yogurt. To save time, you can make the meatballs ahead and freeze until ready to use. See method

  • Serves 4
  • 20 mins to prepare and 30 mins to cook, plus chilling
  • 482 calories / serving
  • Freezable
  • Healthy


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp crushed chillies
  • 3½ garlic cloves, 3 finely chopped, ½ grated
  • 500g pack turkey thigh mince 7% fat
  • 20g fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 200g pot 0% fat natural yogurt

For the couscous salad

  • 200g couscous, plus 1 tbsp
  • ½ vegetable or chicken stock cube, made up to 250ml
  • 200g frozen peas
  • 50g spinach, finely shredded
  • 1 x 240g pack radishes, finely sliced
If you don't have mince, cut open some sausages instead

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    14g 21%
  • Saturates

    3g 16%
  • Sugars

    6g 7%
  • Salt

    1.6g 26%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 51.1g Protein 40.2g Fibre 6.5g


  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a low heat, add the onion and fry for 10 mins. Stir in the chillies and chopped garlic; cook for 1 min. Transfer to a bowl; leave to cool for 5 mins. Add the mince, one-third of the mint, half the lemon zest and 1 tbsp couscous to the bowl. Season, mix well, then shape into 16 balls. Chill for 30 mins, or freeze for 15 mins.
  2. Meanwhile, put 200g couscous in a heatproof bowl with the remaining lemon zest. Pour over the stock, cover and set aside for 15 mins.
  3. Boil the peas for 2 mins. Drain and rinse under cold water; set aside. Mix the yogurt, grated garlic, half the remaining mint and half the lemon juice in a bowl. Season and set aside.
  4. Fluff up the couscous with a fork, then mix in the remaining lemon juice, the spinach, peas, radishes and remaining mint. Season to taste.
  5. Put 1 tbsp oil in a lidded frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the meatballs for 10 mins, turning, until browned all over. Cover and cook over a low heat for 5 mins until cooked through. Serve with the couscous and yogurt.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines

Freeze meatballs only. In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.

See more Family favourites

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

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