This delicious one-pot za’atar meatball and quinoa dish is flavorful, packed with veggies, and has a whopping 26 grams of protein per serving. Don’t skip the lemony yogurt topping, it is to die for!
The Best One Pot Meal
Say hello to our new favorite skillet meal! This one pot za’atar meatballs and quinoa skillet is made with our homemade za’atar seasoning, turkey and pork meatballs, and our favorite veggies.
Why you’ll love it!
Reasons why you’ll love it.
It’s a one pot (skillet) meal that is perfect for a weeknight dinner.
This meal ha 26 grams of protein per serving.
You will have delicious leftovers for the week. It really is better the next day after all of the ingredients have sat together overnight.
- Za’atar seasoning. This recipe uses are homemade za’atar seasoning. We were inspired by a local Minneapolis restaurant, Restaurant Alma. They make an amazing homemade za’atar seasoning that they sprinkle on soft scrambled eggs.
We put a twist on our own seasoning and have been sprinkling it on every meal.
- Quinoa. We use white quinoa for this dish, but any type of quinoa will do the trick.
- Ground meat. Our za’atar meatballs are half turkey and half pork. We wanted to pair a leaner meat with a fatty meat for the perfect combination of flavor and texture. You can use ground chicken in place of turkey if you would like.
- Bread crumbs. Plain breadcrumbs worked great for this recipe, but feel free to use a gluten free bread crumb.
- Fresh herbs. The fresh herbs for this dish bring it to the next level. Fresh mint and fresh parsley are our favorites. Don’t skip them.
- Broth. Chicken broth is a great option for this dish. Any broth will do.
How do I add more flavor do this dish? There are a few ways you can add extra flavor to this dish. You can use beef broth instead of chicken broth. You can also use a bread crumb that has added garlic, salt, or dried herbs.
Whip up a batch of this za’atar seasoning and use it in this one pot skillet. Then? Store the rest of the seasoning in a cool and dark place to use on scrambled eggs and other delicious dishes.
Below is a quick glance of how to whip up this skillet meal! For full and detailed directions, head to the recipe card.
Brown the meatballs
First things, first, is mixing up the meatballs. Add all the ingredients together for the meatballs until they are combined and then form them into golfballs sized balls (~1.5 tablespoons). Sometimes wetting your hands will help you form meatballs with less of a mess.
After all the meatballs are formed brown them on the outside in a cast iron skillet. In this step you don’t want to cook the meatballs fully. They will continue to cook later in the recipe. Remove the meatballs from the skillet when done.
Saute the the veggies
When the meatballs are browned, deglaze the pan with some chicken broth. This loosens any brown bits from the skillet from the meatballs. Scrape the skillet with a spatula to loosen those bits up.
Sauté the onion in the chicken broth for a few minutes before adding the rest of the veggies! You want to just slightly sauté the carrots and cauliflower to flavor them up before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Add quinoa + Broth
Add the quinoa to the vegetables and toast it a bit. Then, add the broth to the skillet. Mix all the ingredients together. Add the meatballs back into the skillet and cover. Cook all the ingredients together for about 10 minutes or until the quinoa is fully cooked.
Top with yogurt sauce
Once the quinoa is cooked top the whole dish with the lemon garlic yogurt sauce, fresh herbs, and more salt (if needed). Enjoy immediately!
When you are browning meatballs, remember to move them around a bit in the pan right when you add them to the skillet to be sure they don’t stick to the pan. When you add cold meat to a hot pan, sometimes it can get sticky.
If your quinoa isn’t cooked all the way and there is not more liquid in the skillet, add a few more tablespoons of broth the to pan and let it absorb into the skillet a bit longer.
Don’t skip the fresh herbs or yogurt! These final additions to the recipe round the whole dish out!
Let this meal cool completely before adding it to an air tight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To reheat: You can reheat this dish on the stove top or in the microwave. Heat in over low heat with a bit of broth on the stove top or in 30 second increments in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds.
One-Pot Za’atar Meatballs and Quinoa
- ½ lb. Ground turkey
- ½ lb. Ground pork
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1 large egg
- 1 medium carrot grated
- ¼ large white onion grated
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoons za’atar seasoning from above
- 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon za’atar seasoning for garnish
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons minced red onion
- First, prepare the za’atar seasoning. Place fennel seeds, cumin seeds, and coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle and grind until fragrant and until the seeds are no longer whole.
- Add the thyme, oregano, marjoram, sumac, kosher salt, garlic, and brown sugar to mortar and pestle and gently combine.
- Finally, toss the sesame seeds with the rest of the spices. Do not use the pestle to grind the sesame seeds, those should remain whole.
- Transfer the za’atar seasoning into a jar with a cover and set aside.
- Place all of the ingredients for the meatballs (except for the olive oil) into a large bowl.
- Then, use a large wooden spoon or your hands to thoroughly mix, combining all ingredients. We recommend using your hands as it’s faster and easier.
- When all of the ingredients are combined, use your hands to form golf ball-sized meatballs (~1.5 tablespoons).
- Heat a large skillet with sides (this is important) over medium/high heat. Add olive oil.
- When the olive oil is fragrant add all of the meatballs to the skillet.
- Brown the meatballs for 5-7 minutes, turning the meatballs until most of the meatball is browned. Remove the meatballs from the skillet. Don’t worry if they aren’t fully cooked on the inside, they will continue to cook later. Set aside.
- Deglaze the pan with ½ cup of the chicken broth. Scrape the brown bits from the pan with a spatula.
- Add the onions to the skillet and sauté for 1 minute. Then, add the garlic and salt to the onions and sauté for an additional minute.
- Next, add the chopped carrots, cauliflower, and za’atar seasoning to the pan and toss everything together. Cook all of the vegetables together for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the quinoa to the pan, toss with the vegetables and toast the quinoa for 1 minute.
- Finally, add 2 cups of broth and lemon juice to the skillet and bring to a boil.
- Turn the heat to low and add the meatballs to the skillet. Cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked.
- While the quinoa skillet is cooking add the Greek yogurt, lemon zest, and garlic to a bowl and mix. Set aside.
- When the quinoa is cooked, remove from heat and uncover the skillet. Let the skillet rest for 5-10 minutes to allow the rest of the moisture to absorb into the quinoa.
- Top the skillet with the Greek yogurt sauce. Drizzle the greek yogurt with the olive oil, za’atar seasoning, fresh parsley, and onion.
Tips & Notes
- This recipe will make extra za’atar seasoning so store the rest for later use.
Photography: photos taken in this post are by Erin from The Wooden Skillet.