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Chicken Shawarma Meatballs with Tahini Sauce

These Chicken Shawarma Meatballs with Tahini Sauce have the warm flavors of classic chicken shawarma but with all the convenience of a bite-sized meatball.

To make these low-carb, I used almond flour and flaxseed meal in place of breadcrumbs and served them on a bed of my Kaizen lupin rice. They come out wonderfully moist and have the BEST flavor. You’re going to love ’em!

Chicken shawarma meatballs in a light blue bowl with sides.

Incredibly Delicious Shawarma Meatballs

You haven’t had meatballs like these before! A fusion of two beloved dishes, these chicken shawarma meatballs are delicious, easy, and a great way to switch up your normal dinner routine.

The warm shawarma spice blend combined with the bright and creamy tahini sauce creates a mouthwatering flavor profile that is comforting and satisfying on all levels. For more delicious Middle Eastern-inspired dishes, check out these 7 Low Carb Middle Eastern Recipes!

To make this chicken meatball recipe a healthier option, I decided to bake the meatballs instead of frying them. With my foolproof low-carb breadcrumb substitute, these meatballs still come out perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. They’re so good that even the carb-eaters in your family won’t be able to resist!

Close up of chicken shawarma meatballs in a light blue bowl.

Why You’ll Love It

  • The best way to enjoy meatballs while on a low-carb or keto diet.
  • A crowd-pleasing appetizer or main dish for any occasion.
  • Easy to prepare in advance and reheat for a quick meal.
  • A flavorful twist on traditional meatballs that will spice up your dinner routine.

Featured Ingredients

(Note: This is the recipe’s starring ingredients. To get the complete list of ingredients and their measurements, check out the recipe card below!)

  • Ground chicken: A lean protein that is lower in calories and fat than ground beef.
  • Blanched almond flour: A perfect keto, gluten-free alternative to bread crumbs.
  • Ground flaxseed meal: Flaxseed meal adds a healthy dose of omega-3s and moisture to the meat mixture.
  • Egg: Helps bind the meatballs together and adds moisture.
  • Fresh lemon juice: Brightens up the dish and balances out the richness of the tahini sauce.
  • Shawarma seasoning blend: I used a blend of fine sea salt, black pepper, granulated garlic, smoked paprika, turmeric, cumin, cardamom powder, and cinnamon.
  • Veggies: I paired the meatballs with bell pepper (preferably red, orange, or yellow), zucchini, and grape/cherry tomatoes.
  • Kaizen riceMade with lupini beans, this low-carb rice alternative is a great option for those on a keto or low-carb diet. (Use Code SHREDHAPPENS to save 20% on any purchase!) You don’t have to serve this dish with low-carb rice, but it’s a great way to add extra protein to the meal and enjoy it power bowl-style!
  • Tahini: The base of the sauce, Tahini adds a delicious nutty flavor to the dish.
  • Optional toppings: Fresh parsley, pepperoncini (or banana peppers), and crushed red pepper are my go-to toppings for extra flavor and heat.

Substitutions

Ground chicken: This shawarma meatballs recipe would also taste great with ground turkey or lamb meatballs.

Tahini sauce: While I love these meatballs with tahini, a tzatziki sauce, feta sauce, or yogurt sauce would be fantastic too.

Add fresh herbs: To add more flavor and freshness to the dish, you can also mix in some chopped fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, or mint into the meatball mixture.

How to Make Easy Chicken Shawarma Meatballs

The steps are simple, and I’m outlining them below, but be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to view the full, printable recipe card.

Ingredients for chicken shawarma meatballs.

STEP 1 – PREHEAT OVEN

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat. 

STEP 2 – MAKE MEATBALL MIXTURE

Next, add the ground chicken, almond flour, flaxseed meal, egg, and lemon juice to a large bowl. 

Grate ¼ of the red onion into the bowl with the meatball ingredients. Set aside the rest of the onion for later. 

Add the spices to a small dish and set aside 1 teaspoon (for later). Add the rest of the spices to the meatball mixture, then mix well with your hands. 

STEP 3 – SCOOP MEATBALLS

Use a medium cookie dough scoop (or a spoon) to scoop out portions of the meat, about 1-½ tablespoons in size, and roll and place them on the baking sheet. You can crowd them a bit, as long as they are 1 inch apart. 

Transfer to the oven and bake the meatballs for 15-18 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

STEP 4 – ROAST VEGGIES

Slice the remaining red onion into wedges and place it on a separate sheet pan. Add the zucchini and bell pepper, and drizzle all of the vegetables with the olive oil. Season with the reserved shawarma seasoning

During the last 10 minutes of bake time, add the vegetables to the oven to roast.

STEP 5 – COOK RICE

While the vegetables and meatballs cook, make the low-carb Kaizen rice and prepare according to package directions. 

STEP 6 – MAKE TAHINI SAUCE

Next, whisk together the tahini ingredients in a small bowl. Start with 2 tablespoons of water and gradually add 1 tablespoon at a time, adding more water if needed.

STEP 7 – SERVE & ENJOY

When the meatballs and vegetables are done, serve them on top of the rice with a drizzle of tahini sauce, banana peppers, and fresh parsley.

ENJOY!

Pro Tips for Best Results

  • Make sure to use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor in the meatballs and tahini sauce.
  • For a quicker option, you can also use pre-made shawarma seasoning instead of making your own blend.
  • To ensure even cooking, make sure to roll the meatballs into similar sizes.
A bowl of chicken shawarma meatballs with fork and sides.

Storage

These shawarma meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months and reheated in the oven, air fryer, or microwave.

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Yield: 4-6 servings

Chicken Shawarma Meatballs with Tahini Sauce

A bowl of chicken shawarma meatballs with fork and sides.

These chicken shawarma meatballs feature a warm shawarma spice blend and a bright and creamy tahini sauce that is comforting and satisfying on all levels.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/3 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced into strips (preferably red, orange or yellow)
  • 1 zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups prepared Kaizen rice
  • ½ cup grape tomatoes

Optional Toppings

  • Fresh parsley, pepperoncini or banana peppers, crushed red pepper

Tahini sauce

  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3-4 tablespoons warm water
  • Fine sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat. 
  2. Add the ground chicken, almond flour, flaxseed meal, egg, and lemon juice to a large bowl. Cut the red onion in half, then cut in half again. Grate ¼ of the red onion into the bowl with the meatball ingredients. Set aside the rest of the onion for later. 
  3. Add the spices to a small dish and set aside 1 teaspoon (for later). Add the rest of the spices to the meatball mixture, then mix well with your hands. 
  4. Use a medium cookie dough scoop (or a spoon) to scoop out portions of the meat, about 1-½ tablespoons in size. Roll and place them on the baking sheet. You can crowd them a bit, as long as they are 1 inch apart. Transfer to the oven and bake the meatballs for 15-18 minutes or until the tops are browned slightly.
  5. Slice the remaining red onion into wedges and place it on a separate sheet pan. Add the zucchini and bell pepper, and drizzle all of the vegetables with the olive oil. Season with the reserved shawarma seasoning. During the last 10 minutes of bake time, add the vegetables to the oven to roast.
  6. While the vegetables and meatballs cook, make the low-carb rice and the tahini sauce. Prepare the rice according to package directions. 
  7. To make the tahini sauce, whisk together the ingredients in a small bowl. Start with 2 tablespoons of water and gradually add 1 tablespoon at a time, adding more water if needed.
  8. When the meatballs and vegetables are done, serve them on top of the rice with a drizzle of tahini sauce, banana peppers, and fresh parsley.

Notes

These shawarma meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months and reheated in the oven, air fryer, or microwave.

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