When I was vacationing in Greece a few years ago, I discovered Greek chicken meatballs - a delicious and authentic dish that combines the flavors of Greece with juicy ground chicken, aromatic herbs, and tangy feta cheese.
Drawing from my extensive research and experience in the kitchen, I have crafted a Greek chicken meatball recipe that is sure to impress your taste buds and transport you to the sun-kissed shores of the Mediterranean.
Recipe: Greek Chicken Meatballs
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Servings: 4
For the Greek Chicken Meatballs
- 1 lb (450g) lean ground chicken
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Olive oil (for pan-frying or air-frying)
For the Homemade Tzatziki Sauce
- 1 cup Greek yogurt (dairy-free if preferred)
- 1/2 cup grated cucumber, squeezed to remove excess water
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Chopped romaine lettuce
- Sliced red onion
- Cherry tomatoes
- Kalamata olives
- Red wine vinegar
- Pita bread or cauliflower rice
- Fresh lemon wedges
- In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, crumbled feta cheese, fresh parsley, minced garlic, dried oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, lemon zest, red pepper flakes (if using), kosher salt, black pepper, almond flour, and beaten egg. Mix well until all ingredients are evenly incorporated into the meatball mixture.
- Form the ground chicken mixture into meatballs, about 1.5 inches in diameter, and place them back in the large bowl. Depending on your preference, you can bake, pan-fry or air-fry the meatballs.
- For baking, preheat your oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet or baking dish with parchment paper. Place the sheet pan or parchment-lined baking sheet of meatballs in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Bake meatballs until they are golden brown and cooked through. You can also check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer, which should read 160°F .
- For pan frying, heat a little oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs to the skillet. Cook the meatballs until they are golden brown on all sides and cooked through. Use a thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 160°F.
- If using an air fryer, preheat it to 400°F. Place the meatballs in the air fryer basket lined with parchment paper, leaving some space between them. Air fry the meatballs for about 12-15 minutes or until they are golden brown and cooked through.
- While the Greek meatballs are cooking, prepare the homemade Tzatziki sauce. In a small bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, grated cucumber, minced garlic, fresh dill, lemon juice, lemon zest, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Mix well, and adjust the seasoning to taste.
- Serve the Greek chicken meatballs on a bed of chopped romaine lettuce, and add sliced red onion, cherry tomatoes, a little red wine vinegar, and kalamata olives for a Greek salad-inspired presentation. You can also serve the meatballs with pita or cauliflower rice, and don't forget to provide the Tzatziki sauce and fresh lemon wedges on the side.
Also Read: Healthy Turkey Meatballs Recipe
- For this recipe, the ground meat can come from ground chicken thighs or chicken breast. You also can use ground turkey or lean ground beef instead of ground chicken.
- You may choose dairy-free feta cheese and Greek yogurt for a dairy-free Tzatziki sauce to go on these Mediterranean meatballs.
- You can rest and chill the meatballs for 30 min in the refrigerator before cooking. Chilling ground chicken meatballs before cooking helps them hold their shape better during the cooking process. The cold temperature allows the flavors to meld, resulting in more flavorful meatballs. This resting time allows the ingredients to bind together, so you can make Greek chicken meatballs less likely to fall apart during cooking.
- Leftover meatballs can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. They also freeze well for up to 2-3 months , which makes them suitable for meal prep.
- Like in most meatball recipes, you can add fresh mint, dill, or other fresh herbs to the meatball mixture for added flavor. You can substitute 1-2 tablespoons of dried parsley for fresh parsley and substitute 1 teaspoon of dried mint for fresh mint.
- This recipe is perfect for meal prep. Prepare the ground chicken meatballs ahead of time and store them in the fridge for easy and quick meals during the week.
- You can add a tablespoon of fresh lemon zest to the fresh herbs and meat mixture for extra moist meatballs. The acidity from the lemon helps to tenderize the meat and adds a bright, citrusy flavor to the cooked meatballs.
- If you want to cut down on carbs, you can serve the Greek meatballs over a bed of cauliflower rice instead of pita. It's a delicious and low-carb alternative that complements the flavors of the meatball ingredients and salad perfectly.
- To make this recipe even more Mediterranean-inspired, you can include some chopped Kalamata olives in the meatball mixture. The olives add a briny and savory element to the delicious meatballs, enhancing their Greek flavors.
- If you don't have almond flour on hand, you can use breadcrumbs or crushed pork rinds as a substitute. These alternatives will still help the juicy meatballs stick together and provide a nice texture.
What to Serve With Greek Chicken Meatballs?
Here are a few ideas for dishes or sides that would pair well with healthy Greek chicken meatballs:
- Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables: Fresh veggies like bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and cherry tomatoes seasoned with olive oil, garlic, and herbs bring a medley of colors and flavors to the plate. The sweetness and caramelization of the vegetables provide a great contrast to the flavor of feta cheese in the meatballs.
- Tabbouleh: A Middle Eastern parsley salad made with chopped fresh herbs, tomatoes, cucumber, bulgur wheat (optional), lemon, and a little olive oil. Tabbouleh is a vibrant and herbaceous side dish that pairs beautifully with delicious Greek chicken meatballs, adding brightness and freshness to the meal.
- Hummus: Creamy and flavorful hummus is a wonderful dip for the meatballs. It provides a rich and nutty taste that complements the chicken meatball's texture and flavors, and it can also be served as a dip for pita or vegetables.
- Greek Lemon Rice: This zesty and tangy side dish is made with rice, lemon, and fresh herbs like dill or parsley. The lemon rice is a great accompaniment to Greek salad and lean chicken meatballs, enhancing the overall Mediterranean flavor profile of this delicious recipe.
- Greek Roasted Potatoes: Crispy and golden roasted potatoes made with garlic, oregano, and lemon. The potatoes add a comforting and hearty element to the meal, making it a well-rounded and satisfying dinner.
- Couscous: Light and fluffy couscous is a versatile, easy-to-make side dish that goes well with Mediterranean chicken meatballs. Its neutral flavor allows the flavors of the meatballs to shine while providing a satisfying base for the meal.
Read More: Italian Meatballs Recipe
Why Are My Greek Chicken Meatballs Tough?
Greek chicken meatballs can be tough if they are overcooked. To avoid this, make sure not to cook them for too long and consider using a meat thermometer to ensure they reach the proper internal temperature without overcooking.
Is It Better to Freeze Meatballs With or Without Sauce?
It's generally better to freeze meatballs without sauce. The sauce can change in texture and consistency when frozen and thawed. Instead, freeze the meatballs separately and add the sauce after reheating.
Concluding Our Culinary Adventure
These Greek chicken meatballs are a healthy dinner and delicious meal that will transport your taste buds to the shores of Greece.
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