Chelsea Winter

Chelsea’s Lebanese Style Meatballs with BBQ’d Bread and Yoghurt Dressing

| October 9, 2012 | 0 Comments

by Chelsea Winter

There are so many ways to use a plain old packet of mince, and turning it into meatballs has to be one of my favourites. I wanted to create something a little exotic, something different to the usual Italian style meatballs we all know and love. This is my take on a Lebanese style dish – loads of fantastic robust flavours such as garlic, lemon and olive oil infused with soft herbs and spices. The little flatbreads are so easy to make (no need for yeast or rising); just mix the dough, roll it and whack it on the BBQ to cook. Little hands-on things like making your own dough is a fun way to get the kids involved with dinner as well. Here I’ve served my meatballs with a simple salad of cucumber ribbons, spring onions and coriander drizzled in lemon juice and olive oil, as well as a fresh tomato, chopped parsley and red onion salsa. You can make whatever inspires you or whatever fresh seasonal salad ingredients you have in the fridge. It’s a healthy and flavour-some meal just begging to be enjoyed alfresco with a cold beer!



500g beef or lamb mince (I use standard mince, not premium – it has more flavour)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 egg, lightly beaten

Zest of 1 lemon

½ onion, finely chopped

1 tsp ground allspice

½ tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp ginger

½ cup fresh processed breadcrumbs

¼ cup finely chopped parsley

¼ cup chopped mint leaves

1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled

½ tsp salt

Cracked black pepper


Yoghurt dressing

¾ cup unsweetened yoghurt (plain or greek)

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp lemon juice

½ cup chopped mint/parsley/coriander – one or all


Flatbreads (or use bought pita bread/ souvlaki)

500g self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

½ cup unsweetened yoghurt

¼ cup olive oil

Warm water

Chopped fresh herbs



To make the meatballs, combine all the ingredients except the feta into a large bowl and mix well with clean hands. Gently combine the feta at the end. Shape into golf ball sized rounds, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until needed (can make a day ahead).

To make the dressing, combine all ingredients and mix well. Taste and season with salt and pepper and more lemon juice if you wish. You can add some chilli if you like a bit of a kick. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

To make the flatbreads, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Make a well in the centre and add the yoghurt and oil. Mix, adding water  gradually until it forms a soft dough. Turn the dough out on to a clean surface and knead for a couple of minutes until smooth (you may need to add a little more flour). Divide into 8 balls, then roll each piece on out thinly in a floured benchtop into a rough circle or whatever shape you like.

Cook meatballs on a heated oiled BBQ plate or grill until medium-well.

Cook the flatbreads on the BBQ grill (or in a very hot frying pan) for a few minutes each side until cooked through, crispy and golden. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and chopped herbs.

Serve the meatballs drizzled in the yoghurt sauce, and garnish with a little extra herbs and some paprika if you wish.


For MasterChef NZ winner Chelsea Winter, cooking and sharing great food goes hand in hand with spending quality time with family and friends – as well as nourishing body and soul. Her approach to food is to relax, have fun, be creative, eat everything in moderation and use quality, seasonal produce. See more of Chelsea’s recipes on her website here, and be part of her food journey on Facebook here.


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Category: Food & Drink, Recipes

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