Indian Meatball Naanwiches

I’m back and feeling ready to post! To be honest, I had lost a bit of my blogging mojo over the past several weeks. I was plagued by writer’s block and couldn’t motivate myself to even get into the kitchen. But, I felt a lot of pressure to keep posting on a regular schedule, which is sort of silly because my blog is my creative outlet and is supposed to be fun – I never want blogging to start feeling like a second job. Anyway, I’m going to try and stop being so hard on myself and just take a break if I need it from now on!

I’m definitely feeling very refreshed and ready to cook now. I’ll post recaps of our trip to Portland and my college reunion soon, but first I wanted to share these Indian Meatball Naanwiches. When I returned from my conference in Newport, our fridge was pretty bare, but I did manage to find some ground turkey and naan in the freezer, which served as the inspiration for this dish.

These naanwiches are a fun twist on traditional meatball subs. The spiced meatballs contain a hefty amount of garlic and ginger, and are packed with cumin, ground fennel seeds (don’t leave these out – they really elevate the meatballs in my opinion!), and cayenne pepper. Since I wanted the tomato sauce to compliment the meatballs but not overpower them, I kept it pretty mild by only stirring in a touch of garam masala. I also added golden raisins for a bit of sweetness and Greek yogurt for some creaminess. These naanwiches were really tasty, but I think they would have been even better with some fresh cilantro on top to bright them up. So, I went ahead and added the cilantro to the recipe below and already can’t wait to make them again with it!

Indian Meatball Naanwiches
Printable Recipe


6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced ginger
4 teaspoons ground cumin
4 teaspoons ground fennel seeds
2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt
3 pounds ground turkey

Tomato Sauce:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon salt

7 pieces of naan, warmed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

To make the meatballs, heat oven to 375˚F. Place the garlic, ginger, cumin, ground fennel seeds, cayenne pepper, and salt in a large bowl. Gently but thoroughly mix in the ground turkey and shape the mixture into 21 meatballs. Place meatballs on a large cookie sheet and bake at 375˚F for 20 minutes or until cooked through and no longer pink in the center.

Meanwhile, to make the tomato sauce, heat canola oil over medium high heat in a nonstick skillet. Sauté red onion for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender; mix in garlic and garam masala and sauté for 1 additional minute or until fragrant. Stir in golden raisins and tomatoes and cook 1 more minute. Place mixture in a food processor and pulse for a minute or until smooth. Stir in Greek yogurt and salt.

To assemble the naanwiches, top half of each piece of naan with three meatballs. Evenly spread sauce and cilantro on top. Fold naan over and serve. Makes 7 naanwiches.

Nutrition: 460 calories, 17.0g fat, 2.1g fiber, 33.7g protein per naanwich
Cost: $2.19 per naanwich

29 Responses to Indian Meatball Naanwiches

  1. Whoa…what a creative recipe! I’ve never heard of anything even similar. Very intrigued. I totally hear what you’re saying about putting pressure to remain consistent with blogging even when “the mojo” is not there. I agree that taking the pressure off ourselves makes it remain fun!

  2. These sound wonderful – I especially love the raisins in the sauce. I can totally relate on feeling pressured to blog at times, it’s a really tough spot to be in – but when I’m on a roll, I do love it!

  3. I go through phases with blogging where I feel exactly the same way. I used to blog whenever I had something to write about but then about a year ago, I started posting a blog every day. Now that I’ve started a new job, there is less time and I felt disappointed in myself for not blogging everyday but I soon realized that this is supposed to be FUN! So, I’m blogging when I feel like it…and about what I want to write about – food-related or not! I hope you’ll find what works for you!

  4. Aww I’m glad you’re back Kerstin! But seriously blogging should be fun, and if you need a break then take it! We’ll still be here (salivating) when you do!

    These naanwiches are fantastic! I love the sound of those spiced meatballs!

  5. It’s hard not to let blogging take on a life of its own. I am hard on myself when I post less frequently, but I try not to be. Like you, I just have to remind myself that it’s my creative outlet and shouldn’t be stressful! I have been wanting to make your other naanwiches, and now I’m adding these to the list too.

  6. I know how you’re feeling and I decided I’m giving myself a little bit of a blogging break this summer. I have been trying so hard to get posts up every day, but now I’m going to just post 2 to 3 times a week through the summer and see how that goes.

  7. I can’t wait to make this!!! What is garam marsala?

    And don’t ever feel bad about taking a break. I’m guilty of the same thing, turning everything into an obligation instead of fun!

  8. Mojo stinks. I’ve lost mine for the day right now and still have SO much to do as we’re travelling tomorrow–cleaning, folding laundry, packing, writing a blog post. I’m ready to just go to bed. 😉 Glad you’re back.

  9. Oh my my kids would go crazy for those. For blogging you don’t have to feel the pressure to do so. We all take breaks and it feels so good.

  10. Glad to hear you’re back in the kitchen! I definitely feel the same way at times, especially if my day job is already keeping me busy. I agree with you, I try to stick to a schedule as well, but there is nothing worse than posting when I don’t feel like it. I’m trying to learn to be more relaxed about it.

  11. I always love trying different takes on meatballs! This looks especially awesome. That sauce? yum! I have definitely felt overwhelmed with blogging before. Its definitely good to take time away, take a step back and remember whey you started blogging in the first place! Hope you’re having a good week

  12. These look great! I actually had an idea recently to do Middle Eastern style meatball sandwiches, so we are kind of on the same page with the twists. :) I lost my blogging mojo this week, too. I just couldn’t bring myself to post anything but I let myself take a break too!

  13. naanwich? I make sandwiches using this bread whenever I can. The bread is so soft and delicious. Can’t wait to try your meatball sub version. Sounds awesome!

  14. Thanks everyone! I’m glad I’m not the only one that feels this way sometimes. I love blogging and I’m so happy that I’m feeling inspired in the kitchen again.

    Dawn – Yum, will do, thanks for the recommendation!

    Blond Duck – It’s a spice mixture. I buy it at our local Indian market, but I’m pretty sure they sell it at regular grocery stores too.

    Jackie – Naanwich is my own little name :)

  15. I had kinda lost my blogging mojo too over the last couple of months. The good thing is that you came back. And you came back with something super super delicious.

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