Build-Your-Own Mediterranean-Inspired Turkey Meatball Bowls

Please note that I only work with companies and products that I feel passionately about and that align with The Defined Dish’s views and that this Mediterranean-Inspired Turkey Meatball post contains sponsored content for Shady Brook Farms Turkey.  While I am compensated for the work I do, my opinions are always 100% my own.

One of my favorite ways to keep family dinners easy and exciting, especially during the busiest of times, is to do a build-your-own dinner night. Here, I’ve made an absolutely delicious Mediterranean-Inspired Turkey Meatball rendition of build-your-own bowl night that is certain to excite your family!

Mediterranean-Inspired Bowls

At busy times, making time to slow down and reconnect around the dinner table is so important, and I find that build-your-own bowl nights are a game-changer for our family when it comes to overcoming picky palates and bringing excitement around the table. Here, my children have the freedom to decide what they eat and customize their own plates. I serve up our entire spread family-style on the dinner table and it always surprises me what the kids decide to put on top of their bowls—and they do it with enthusiasm!

Mediterranean-Inspired Bowls

Here, I’ve used Shady Brook Farms 93% Lean/7% Fat Ground Turkey to bring my family around the table with a fun, interactive, delicious AND nutritious dinner that we are all excited about. Inspired by Mediterranean flavors, I created a fantastic turkey meatball that is loaded with beautiful spices and herbs, plus a touch of tahini and sesame. They are simply baked in the oven which is SO perfect, because while they are baking you can prepare all of your beautiful toppings for the bowls and the tahini drizzle!Mediterranean-Inspired Bowls

Mediterranean-Inspired Bowls

Build-your-own bowl night is not only a fun way to get everyone around the table and enjoy dinner, but it’s also super easy to do and pretty stress-free in my opinion. The meatballs and rice come together quickly—but they can also be easily prepped ahead of time. That way, all you need to do is reheat when it’s time to serve and set out all of your toppings!

I know my family loves making their own unique creations when we have this for dinner, and I can’t wait to see what your family comes up with.

Mediterranean-Inspired Bowls

Build-Your-Own Mediterranean-Inspired Bowls

Mediterranean-Inspired Bowls
Serves: 6 People
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins


Lemon-Turmeric Rice:

  • 1 tbsp butter or avocado oil
  • ¼ cup minced shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon about 1 tbsp
  • 1.5 cups white basmati rice
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 3 cups chicken broth

For the Turkey Meatballs:

  • 2 lbs Shady Brook Farms 93% Lean / 7% Fat Ground Turkey
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped dill fronds
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley leaves

For the Tahini Drizzle:

  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 tbsp warm water

Optional Toppings for the Bowls:

  • 1 lemon cut into wedges
  • Crumbled feta cheese
  • Pitted and halved green olives
  • Baby arugula
  • Fresh dill fronds
  • Halved cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumber cut into the half moons
  • Pita Bread
  • Toasted sesame seeds


Make the Rice:

  • Heat a saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring, until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest, rice, salt and turmeric and continue to cook, toasting the rice until fragrant and lightly browned, about 4 more minutes. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir and reduce the heat to a light simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep covered for 10 more minutes to allow it to continue to steam.

Meanwhile, Make the Meatballs:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, coriander, cumin, allspice, paprika, sesame seeds, tahini, dill and parsley. Mix until well combined.
  • Roll into 1-inch meatballs and place on the prepared baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake until cooked through and golden brown on the top, 15 to 18 minutes.

Meanwhile, Make the Tahini Drizzle:

  • To make the tahini drizzle simply combine the tahini and lemon juice in a bowl. Add 1 tbsp of warm water at a time and whisk until it reaches your desired consistency.
  • Build your own bowls:
  • Serve the lemon-turmeric rice, meatballs, and tahini drizzle with your desired toppings and build your own bowl!


  • Reply
    Lauren R.
    May 22, 2022 at 11:30 pm

    5 stars
    Reviewing the Tumeric rice which has become a staple in my house! Easy, great flavor and perfect for dinner or lunch prep for the office with a protein and veggie! Delicious as always, Alex!

  • Reply
    Amy Johnson
    April 7, 2022 at 3:32 pm

    I am obsessed with this recipe. I’ve made it every other week for a few months now. My family loves it too. For the tahini drizzle I take it up a notch and grate some garlic into it and season with a pinch or so of salt. Really whatever tastes right.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2022 at 3:23 am

    5 stars
    So tasty! The rice came out perfectly and the meatballs were very flavorful!

  • Reply
    February 14, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    5 stars
    Recipe makes a ton of meatballs! Great for when you’re hosting or want to double a meal. Loved the flavors.

  • Reply
    Lacey Sprague
    January 27, 2022 at 11:07 pm

    Loved this meal!! Great for kids, they loved putting their own bowls together. Thanks!!!

  • Reply
    January 24, 2022 at 1:27 am

    This was great but I kept messing up the tahini drizzle. It was getting clumpy/tops thick. What did I do wrong?

  • Reply
    Cari Pulse
    January 8, 2022 at 12:30 am

    5 stars
    New favorite

  • Reply
    January 7, 2022 at 2:15 pm

    5 stars
    This was yummy! Used ground chicken instead of turkey – tasted great!

  • Reply
    January 7, 2022 at 11:18 am

    5 stars
    This was SO good!!! A huge hit in my house!! Thank you for another delicious, easy weeknight meal recipe Alex!!

  • Reply
    January 6, 2022 at 10:37 pm

    I wanna make this looks amazing but I don’t have dill fronds I only have the dill seasoning in the bottles! Help!

  • Reply
    January 5, 2022 at 8:00 pm

    5 stars
    This is DELICIOUS and came together so quickly! Definitely adding it to my rotation in meal prep! I made a garlic sauce (Mayo, grated garlic, & lemon juice) instead of the tahini sauce, and it goes so well with it!

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