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Simple Greek Meatballs Recipe

Unearth the culinary traditions of Greece with these simple Greek meatballs. A flavorful combination of lean ground beef and lamb, these meatballs are made even more delectable with the addition of aromatic herbs and spices. Perfect for an appetizer or main course, they're easy to prepare and sure to impress.

Simple Greek Meatballs Recipe
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Most ingredients in this recipe are easy to find in your local supermarket. However, you may want to pay extra attention when sourcing the lamb, as not all stores carry it. Fresh herbs like mint and parsley can be found in the produce section, and for the most flavorful result, opt for fresh over dried. The recipe also calls for panko bread crumbs, which are a Japanese style of bread crumbs that have a coarser texture than the traditional type, adding a nice crunch to the meatballs.

Ingredients for Simple Greek Meatballs

Ground beef: Lean ground beef forms the base of this recipe, providing a rich, meaty flavor.

Lamb: Adds a distinctive taste and richness to the meatballs.

Panko bread crumbs: Gives the meatballs a bit of crunch and helps hold them together.

Red onion: Adds a slightly sweet, tangy flavor.

Garlic: Adds a kick of bold flavor.

Oregano: A classic Greek herb that gives a warm, aromatic flavor.

Cumin: Adds warmth and a hint of spice.

Lemon zest: Brings a touch of refreshing, tangy flavor.

Fresh mint: Infuses the meatballs with a bright, herbaceous note.

Parsley: Adds a touch of freshness.

Salt: Enhances the other flavors in the dish.

Egg: Helps bind the ingredients together.

Optional garnishes: such as feta and tomatoes add more layers of flavor and texture.

One reader, Elisha Kimmel says:

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I recently tried the simple Greek meatballs recipe and it was a hit! The blend of lamb and beef with the herbs and spices created an explosion of flavors. The meatballs were juicy and tender, and the garnishes added a refreshing touch. It's now a family favorite!

Elisha Kimmel

Techniques Required for Simple Greek Meatballs Recipe

How to prepare the meatball mixture: Combine the ground beef, lamb, panko bread crumbs, milk, red onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, lemon zest, mint, parsley, salt, and egg in a large mixing bowl. Mix until all the ingredients are well combined.

How to roll the meatballs: Take a portion of the meatball mixture and roll it between your palms to form a smooth, round meatball. Repeat with the remaining mixture, making approximately 20 meatballs.

How to bake the meatballs: Place the meatballs on a prepared pan lined with foil and a rack. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees F for 20 to 22 minutes or until the meatballs are browned and cooked through.

How to garnish the meatballs: Once the meatballs are cooked, you can garnish them with crumbled feta, diced red onion, chopped mint, and sliced tomatoes for added flavor and presentation.

How To Make How To Make Greek Meatballs

A wonderful and simple recipe for Greek meatballs that’ll sure to be a hit among your guests! A delightful dish that’s simple enough to be a weekday staple.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 22 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total: 42 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • ½lblean ground beef
  • ½lblamb(or pork)
  • cuppanko bread crumbs
  • 2tbspmilk
  • ¼cupred onionfinely chopped
  • 2clovesgarlicminced
  • ½tsporeganodried
  • ½tspcumin
  • 1tsplemon zest
  • 3tbspfresh mintchopped
  • 2tbspparsleychopped
  • ½tspsalt
  • 1egg

Optional Garnishes

  • feta
  • red onion
  • mintchopped
  • tomatoesdiced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Then Line a pan with foil and place a rack on top of the foil.

  2. Combine milk and panko bread crumbs. Let sit for 5 minutes.

  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix until combined. Divide mixture into 20 meatballs.

  4. Roll and place on prepared pan. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until browned and meatballs are cooked through.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 559.22kcal
  • Fat: 51.94g
  • Saturated Fat: 24.84g
  • Trans Fat: 0.67g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 21.38g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.16g
  • Carbohydrates: 6.13g
  • Fiber: 0.85g
  • Sugar: 1.07g
  • Protein: 15.82g
  • Cholesterol: 124.65mg
  • Sodium: 360.94mg
  • Calcium: 66.45mg
  • Potassium: 299.17mg
  • Iron: 2.60mg
  • Vitamin A: 39.88µg
  • Vitamin C: 4.97mg

Technique Tip for Perfect Simple Greek Meatballs

When forming your meatballs, try not to overwork the mixture. Overmixing can result in tough, dense meatballs. Instead, gently combine the ingredients until they are just mixed together. This will help to keep your Greek meatballs tender and juicy. Also, to ensure even cooking, make sure all the meatballs are the same size. You can use a cookie scoop or a tablespoon to help achieve uniform size.

Time-Saving Tips for Simple Greek Meatballs Recipe

Prep ahead: Prepare and measure out all the ingredients in advance to streamline the cooking process.

Use a food processor: Save time by using a food processor to finely chop the onions, garlic, and herbs for the meatball mixture.

Double the batch: Make a larger batch of meatballs and freeze the extras for a quick and easy meal in the future.

Organize your workspace: Keep your kitchen organized and clean as you cook to avoid wasting time searching for utensils and ingredients.

Invest in quality tools: Quality kitchen tools such as sharp knives and efficient mixing bowls can help speed up the cooking process.

Preheat the oven: Always preheat the oven while preparing the meatball mixture to save time during the cooking process.

Clean as you go: Wash and put away dishes and utensils as you cook to minimize the cleanup time after the meal.

Substitute Ingredients For Simple Greek Meatballs Recipe

  • lean ground beef - Substitute with ground turkey: Ground turkey is a lean and healthy alternative to ground beef, and it will work well in this recipe while reducing the overall fat content.

  • lamb - Substitute with ground veal: Ground veal has a similar texture and flavor profile to lamb, making it a suitable substitute in this recipe.

  • panko bread crumbs - Substitute with regular bread crumbs: Regular bread crumbs can be used as a substitute for panko bread crumbs, providing a similar texture and binding properties to the meatballs.

  • milk - Substitute with unsweetened almond milk: Unsweetened almond milk can be used as a dairy-free alternative to milk, providing moisture and richness to the meatball mixture.

  • red onion - Substitute with yellow onion: Yellow onion can be used as a substitute for red onion, providing a slightly milder flavor while still adding depth to the meatball mixture.

  • garlic - Substitute with garlic powder: If fresh garlic is not available, garlic powder can be used as a substitute to provide the desired garlic flavor to the meatballs.

  • oregano - Substitute with dried marjoram: Dried marjoram can be used as a substitute for oregano, providing a similar earthy and slightly sweet flavor to the meatball mixture.

  • cumin - Substitute with coriander: Coriander can be used as a substitute for cumin, offering a warm and citrusy flavor to the meatballs.

  • lemon zest - Substitute with orange zest: Orange zest can be used as a substitute for lemon zest, providing a bright citrus flavor to the meatball mixture.

  • fresh mint - Substitute with fresh basil: Fresh basil can be used as a substitute for mint, adding a fresh and aromatic flavor to the meatballs.

  • parsley - Substitute with cilantro: Cilantro can be used as a substitute for parsley, providing a fresh and slightly citrusy flavor to the meatball mixture.

  • salt - Substitute with sea salt: Sea salt can be used as a substitute for regular salt, providing a similar level of salinity to the meatball mixture.

  • egg - Substitute with flaxseed egg: A flaxseed egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons water) can be used as a vegan substitute for eggs, providing binding properties to the meatball mixture.

Presenting Simple Greek Meatballs

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the meatballs, consider using a combination of feta and mint as a garnish. This will add a pop of color and freshness to the dish, enhancing its visual appeal.

  2. Create a stunning display: Arrange the meatballs on a serving platter in a circular pattern, with thinly sliced red onions and tomatoes placed strategically between the meatballs. This will create a visually appealing and appetizing display.

  3. Incorporate artistic elements: Drizzle a light lemon zest and olive oil dressing over the meatballs just before serving. This will add a touch of elegance and elevate the overall presentation.

  4. Consider portion control: Serve the meatballs in individual small plates or tapas-style dishes to create an intimate and refined dining experience for the judges.

  5. Focus on precision: Pay attention to the placement of each element on the plate, ensuring that the presentation is meticulous and visually captivating. Every detail counts in creating a dish worthy of three Michelin stars.

Essential Tools for Making Greek Meatballs

  • Food processor: A food processor is a versatile kitchen appliance that can be used for chopping, slicing, shredding, and pureeing ingredients. It's great for quickly and efficiently mixing the meatball ingredients.
  • Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is essential for combining the meatball ingredients thoroughly and evenly. It allows for easy mixing and ensures all the flavors are well incorporated.
  • Baking pan: A baking pan is used to hold the meatballs while they are being baked in the oven. It provides a flat surface for even cooking and prevents the meatballs from sticking to the oven rack.
  • Foil: Foil is used to line the baking pan, making for easy cleanup and preventing the meatballs from sticking to the pan.
  • Rack: A rack is placed on top of the foil-lined pan to elevate the meatballs while they bake, allowing for even heat distribution and ensuring they cook evenly.

Storing and Freezing Simple Greek Meatballs

  • Once the meatballs have cooled to room temperature, place them in an airtight container or zip-top bag. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • To freeze the meatballs, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 2 hours, or until the meatballs are frozen solid. This process, known as flash freezing, prevents the meatballs from sticking together when stored.
  • After flash freezing, transfer the meatballs to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag, removing as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Label the container with the date and contents for easy reference.
  • Frozen meatballs can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat frozen meatballs, place them on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through. Alternatively, you can microwave them on high for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through. Be sure to check the internal temperature of the meatballs to ensure they have reached 165°F (74°C) before serving.
  • Pro tip: When storing meatballs in the freezer, consider portioning them into serving sizes before freezing. This way, you can easily thaw and reheat only the amount you need, without having to defrost the entire batch.

How To Reheat Leftover Simple Greek Meatballs

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through. This method helps retain the meatballs' shape and texture while ensuring even heating.

  • For a quicker option, use the microwave. Arrange the meatballs in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate. Cover the plate with a damp paper towel to prevent the meatballs from drying out. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through. The exact time may vary depending on the number of meatballs and your microwave's power.

  • If you want to infuse extra flavor into your leftover meatballs, consider reheating them in a tomato-based sauce or broth. Place the meatballs in a saucepan, add the sauce or broth, and simmer over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes, or until the meatballs are heated through and the sauce is warm.

  • For a crispy exterior, reheat the meatballs in a skillet. Add a small amount of olive oil or butter to the skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until they are heated through and the exterior is slightly crispy. This method works well if you plan to serve the meatballs as an appetizer or in a sandwich.

  • If you have a lot of leftover meatballs, consider using a slow cooker to reheat them. Place the meatballs in the slow cooker, add a small amount of broth or water to prevent them from drying out, and cook on low for 1-2 hours, or until heated through. This method is ideal for large gatherings or potlucks.

Interesting Fact About Simple Greek Meatballs

Greek meatballs, also known as Keftedes, are a popular dish in Greece and are often served as a meze or appetizer. They are typically made with a combination of ground beef and lamb, seasoned with herbs such as oregano, cumin, and mint, giving them a distinct Mediterranean flavor. These meatballs are often enjoyed with a side of tzatziki sauce, which complements their rich and savory taste. Additionally, the use of lemon zest in the recipe adds a refreshing citrusy aroma to the dish, enhancing its overall flavor profile. Enjoying these meatballs with a sprinkle of feta, red onion, and fresh mint can further elevate the dining experience.

Is This Greek Meatballs Recipe Budget-Friendly?

This Greek meatballs recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The use of affordable ingredients like ground beef and lamb, along with pantry staples like bread crumbs and eggs, makes it budget-friendly. The addition of fresh herbs and spices elevates the flavors without significantly increasing the cost. For a family of four, the approximate cost would be around $15-$20, making it a reasonable option for a satisfying meal. The overall verdict for this recipe would be 8/10, considering its affordability and delicious outcome.

Are Simple Greek Meatballs Healthy or Unhealthy?

The Greek meatballs recipe is a relatively healthy dish, thanks to the use of lean ground beef and lamb, which provide a good source of protein. The inclusion of herbs and spices like oregano, cumin, lemon zest, mint, and parsley adds flavor without relying on excessive salt or unhealthy fats. The recipe also incorporates some vegetables, such as red onion and garlic, which offer additional nutrients and antioxidants.

However, there are a few areas where the recipe could be improved to make it even healthier:

  • Opt for whole wheat or gluten-free panko breadcrumbs to increase the fiber content and make the dish more suitable for those with gluten sensitivities
  • Reduce the amount of breadcrumbs and milk used to bind the meatballs, as this will lower the overall carbohydrate and calorie content
  • Increase the proportion of vegetables in the recipe by adding finely chopped or grated zucchini, carrots, or spinach to the meatball mixture
  • Use a mixture of lean ground turkey and lamb instead of beef to further reduce the fat content
  • Serve the meatballs with a side salad or roasted vegetables to boost the nutrient density of the meal

By making these simple adjustments, you can enhance the nutritional value of the Greek meatballs while still maintaining their delicious flavor and texture. The key is to strike a balance between lean proteins, healthy fats, and nutrient-rich vegetables to create a well-rounded and satisfying dish.

Editor's Opinion on Simple Greek Meatballs Recipe

This simple Greek meatball recipe is a delightful blend of flavors and textures. The combination of lean ground beef and lamb creates a rich and savory base, while the aromatic blend of herbs and spices infuses each bite with Mediterranean flair. The addition of lemon zest adds a refreshing zing, and the optional garnishes of feta, red onion, mint, and tomatoes provide a burst of freshness. These meatballs are perfect for a quick and flavorful meal, whether served as an appetizer, in a pita, or alongside a vibrant Greek salad. Enjoy the taste of Greece in every bite!

Enhance Your Simple Greek Meatballs Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Greek Salad: A refreshing mix of cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, and feta cheese tossed in a tangy vinaigrette.
Roasted Vegetables: Colorful bell peppers, zucchini, and red onions roasted to perfection with a sprinkle of herbs and olive oil.
Tzatziki Dip: Creamy yogurt mixed with cucumbers, garlic, and dill, perfect for dipping the meatballs in.

Alternative Recipes to Simple Greek Meatballs

Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers: Use a mixture of ground beef, rice, tomatoes, and spices to stuff bell peppers, then bake until tender.
Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken: Marinate chicken in a mixture of lemon, garlic, and herbs, then roast until golden and juicy.
Greek Salad with Homemade Dressing: Toss together fresh lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and feta cheese, then drizzle with a homemade Greek dressing.
Baklava: Layer phyllo dough with a sweet nut mixture, then bake and drizzle with a honey syrup for a delicious dessert.

Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Simple Greek Meatballs Recipe

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: For a delicious and savory appetizer, try making stuffed mushrooms filled with a flavorful mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs. These bite-sized treats are perfect for any gathering and are sure to impress your guests.
Bruschetta: Create a refreshing and light appetizer by serving bruschetta topped with a vibrant mixture of diced tomatoes, basil, and balsamic glaze. The combination of flavors and textures will tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth!
Berry Parfait: Layer juicy mixed berries with creamy Greek yogurt and crunchy granola for a refreshing and light dessert. Top it off with a drizzle of honey for a touch of sweetness.

Why trust this Simple Greek Meatballs Recipe:

This recipe for Greek meatballs is a testament to the rich and authentic flavors of Greek cuisine. The combination of lean ground beef and succulent lamb creates a harmonious blend of textures and tastes. The addition of fresh mint and parsley infuses the meatballs with vibrant aromas, while the hint of cumin and oregano adds depth to the seasoning. The use of panko bread crumbs soaked in milk ensures a tender and moist texture. With a touch of lemon zest for brightness, these meatballs promise to deliver an authentic taste of Greece to your table.

Share your thoughts on this Simple Greek Meatballs Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum section.
FAQ:
How can I make the meatballs more tender?
To make the meatballs more tender, you can add a little more milk to the panko bread crumbs mixture. The milk helps to keep the meatballs moist and tender.
Can I substitute the lamb with another type of meat?
Yes, you can substitute the lamb with ground pork or ground chicken if you prefer. The flavors will be slightly different, but the meatballs will still be delicious.
Can I prepare the meatballs ahead of time?
Absolutely! You can prepare the meatball mixture ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until you're ready to bake them. This is a great time-saving option for busy days.
What can I serve with the Greek meatballs?
These Greek meatballs are versatile and can be served in various ways. You can serve them with pita bread, tzatziki sauce, and a Greek salad for a complete meal. They also make a great appetizer when served with a side of hummus and fresh vegetables.
Can I freeze the meatballs?
Yes, you can freeze the meatballs after baking them. Once they have cooled, place them in an airtight container or freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you're ready to enjoy them, simply reheat them in the oven or microwave until heated through.

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