Greek Meatball Bowls

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These Greek Meatball Bowls make a delicious and satisfying meal! Featuring juicy meatballs seasoned with a blend of spices and herbs, paired with refreshing cucumber and tomato salad, fluffy couscous, and a zesty lemon-herb sauce, these bowls burst with flavor and so much texture in every single bite. Whether you’re cooking for your family, meal prepping for the week, or hosting a dinner party, Greek Meatball Bowls are sure to impress. 

Overhead image of Greek Meatball Bowls Greek Meatball Bowls Are A Dish To Impress!

Looking to impress your guests or indulge in a truly spectacular meal? Look no further than this recipe! While the recipe card may seem daunting at first glance, I promise it’s easier than it looks. This recipe is perfect for relaxed weekend cooking or entertaining foodie friends you’d like to impress. That said, if you’d like to enjoy this on a busy weeknight (don’t blame you there!), a lot of the components can be made ahead of time. I’ll share more on this later! 

Greek Meatball Bowls feature juicy meatballs seasoned with a blend of herbs and spices, paired with zesty lemon-herb sauce, spiced couscous, and a refreshing cucumber-tomato salad, this dish is a flavor explosion in every bite. Add in some charred pita for dipping, and you’ll want to make this meal a regular part of your rotation. It is unbelievably delicious!

This dish is as impressive as it is delicious and is sure to become a favorite. It’s definitely won a spot at my house!

Process shots-- images of all the meatball ingredients being combined in a bowl and kneaded together

Let’s break down each component in these Greek Meatball Bowls, starting with the star of the show: the meatballs!

Greek Meatballs

Greek meatballs, also known as keftedes, are among my top favorites on this website! In fact, we make them often and serve them in charred pita — they’re a family favorite. The last time I made them, I was out of pita–and that’s how this dish came about.

Greek meatballs boast bold flavors and an incredible texture, featuring juicy insides and crispy, well-browned exteriors. This recipe for Greek meatballs is unbelievable! Obviously, using ground beef (80/20) is going to yield more flavor, but we have made the recipe with lean (93/7) ground turkey, too, as a healthier option. Both are delicious! If you use ground turkey, add one more tablespoon of oil to the meatballs and bake for slightly longer. Turkey meatballs take about 25-30 minutes while beef meatballs take about 20-22 minutes.

A few notes:

  • Panko breadcrumbs are a Japanese-style crumb that adds softness and juiciness to meatballs while serving as an excellent binder. It is typically found in the Asian food aisle or near other breadcrumbs at your local store.
  • Mint is an aromatic herb that adds a hint of freshness and a subtle, unique flavor that we love in these meatballs. The mint complements the other herbs and spices in the recipe, creating a more complex and well-rounded flavor profile.
  • Although it might not be a conventional ingredient in meatballs, adding some beef bouillon powder brings a robust salty and meaty flavor to the meatballs. 

Process shots of Greek Meatball Bowls-- images of each meatball being rolled in flour then sprayed with cooking spray and baked

Couscous

Couscous is the perfect base for these Greek meatball bowls. It’s quick and easy to prepare, offers a great complimentary texture to the meatballs, and tastes delicious.

When it comes to couscous, there are different varieties available, but we’re using small-grain or Moroccan couscous for this recipe. (Small-grain couscous has a fine texture and is the perfect size for steaming, which allows it to cook very quickly.) The recipe method outlined only works with this type of couscous. (It won’t work with larger pearl couscous or any other type of grain.)

To infuse the couscous with loads of flavor, we add in some lemon juice, salt, pepper, a touch of oil, and some of the lemon-herb sauce. You’ll be amazed at how much flavor this small grain packs in! 

Process shots-- images of the sauce being made

Lemon-Herb Sauce

Now, let’s talk about the lemon-herb sauce! This sauce is packed with robust flavors and adds the perfect zing to the Greek meatball bowls. It comes together quickly and can be made ahead of time for added convenience. If you’re not a fan of the ingredients in this sauce, make this Tzatziki Sauce instead and drizzle over the meatballs.

A few notes on this sauce:

  • Make sure to use flat-leaf Italian parsley in this sauce instead of curly parsley. Flat-leaf parsley has a more robust flavor that works well with the other ingredients in the sauce.
  • Although there is 1/3 cup of jalapeños in this sauce, it’s actually quite mild, depending on the jalapeños used. For a milder sauce, look for large, not wrinkly jalapeños, and carefully cut out all of the ribs and seeds before chopping them. If you prefer a spicier sauce, you can leave in some of the ribs and seeds.
  • It’s important not to over-blend the oil into the sauce, or it can end up with a metallic flavor. Pulse the sauce until the ingredients are evenly chopped, then stir in the oil and pulse briefly to emulsify. 

Process shots of Greek Meatball Bowls-- images of the Greek yogurt being layered on a plate with fresh sea salt

Finishing Touches on Greek Meatball Bowls

With the meatballs, couscous, and sauce ready, we’re ready to add the finishing touches to your bowls. First, add a dollop of full-fat plain Greek yogurt to the base of your bowl or plate and use the back of a spoon to smooth it over the base of your dish. We recommend using Greek Gods® plain traditional Greek yogurt for the perfect creamy texture and rich flavor.

Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the yogurt, then add the couscous, meatballs, and sauce on top.

For the veggie salad, chop some cucumbers, red onion, and cherry tomatoes and toss them together with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. If you have any leftover herbs, feel free to chop and add them to the salad for extra flavor.

For the perfect finishing touch on these Greek Meatball Bowls, drizzle some lemon juice over the top and sprinkle on some crumbled feta cheese.

Image of the couscous being made Process shots of greek meatball bowls-- images of the dressing being added to the couscous and the couscous and veggies being layered into the bowl

How To Enjoy Greek Meatball Bowls

Greek Meatball Bowls are a fun and interactive dish to serve at a dinner party. Guests can assemble their own bowls using as much or as little of the various components as they wish. 

For an even more elaborate spread, consider adding some of the following elements to your serving table:

Overhead image of Greek Meatball Bowls ready to be enjoyed

STORAGE

Make-Ahead or Meal Prep Greek Meatball Bowls

If you’re a fan of meal prepping, this recipe is perfect for you! I like to prepare the lemon-herb sauce, meatballs, and couscous ahead of time, dividing the couscous and meatballs evenly between four containers and storing them in the fridge. I store the sauce in a covered jar in the fridge.

When it’s time to enjoy the meal, I simply reheat the meatballs and couscous, chop up some fresh veggies, and assemble the bowl. This makes for a delicious and easy meal prep option that’s perfect for busy weeknights or lunches on the go.

Up-close image of the dish

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Greek Meatball Bowls

5 from 5 votes
Heads-up: A bunch of ingredients overlap but have been written out twice to be more clear!
These Greek Meatball Bowls make a delicious and satisfying meal! Featuring juicy meatballs seasoned with a blend of spices and herbs, paired with refreshing cucumber-tomato salad, fluffy couscous, and a zesty lemon-herb sauce, this meal bursts with flavor and so much texture in every single bite. Whether you're cooking for your family, meal prepping for the week, or hosting a dinner party, these Greek Meatball Bowls are sure to impress. 
Print Recipe

Greek Meatball Bowls

5 from 5 votes
Heads-up: A bunch of ingredients overlap but have been written out twice to be more clear!
These Greek Meatball Bowls make a delicious and satisfying meal! Featuring juicy meatballs seasoned with a blend of spices and herbs, paired with refreshing cucumber-tomato salad, fluffy couscous, and a zesty lemon-herb sauce, this meal bursts with flavor and so much texture in every single bite. Whether you're cooking for your family, meal prepping for the week, or hosting a dinner party, these Greek Meatball Bowls are sure to impress. 
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Greek, Healthy
Keyword greek meatball bowls
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 bowls
Chelsea Lords
Calories 796kcal

Equipment

  • Olive oil cooking spray

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • cup white all-purpose flour
  • 1 large red onion, separated
  • 1 pound 80/20 ground beef (or use 93/7 ground turkey for lighter option)
  • cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint, optional
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon each: dried oregano, ground cumin, beef bouillon powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Fine sea salt & pepper

Herb Sauce OR make this Tzatziki sauce instead

  • ½ cup parsley leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves (or mint) and tender stems, roughly chopped
  • cup jalapeños roughly chopped (leave seeds and ribs for heat, remove for mild)
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • tablespoons each: fresh lemon juice and water
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil

Veggies/Serving

  • 2 cups each: thinly sliced cucumbers and halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup small couscous, plus 1 cup water
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt whole-milk, plain
  • Optional: additional lemon wedges, feta, charred/toasted pita (Note 2)

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Generously grease a dark-colored rimmed sheet pan with cooking spray and set aside. Add flour to a small bowl and set aside.
  • MEATBALLS: Peel the onion and cut in half, saving one half for later. Grate the other half on the large holes of a cheese grater until you have a completely filled ½ cup measure of grated onion. Add onion to a large bowl. Add remaining meatball ingredients (except for the flour). Season to taste with salt and pepper (I add ¼ tsp pepper and ¾ tsp salt). Gently knead the ingredients until they are integrated.
  • MEATBALLS, CONT.: Use a tablespoon measuring spoon to scoop a heaping spoonful of the meat mixture and roll it into an evenly-sized ball. Repeat with the remaining meat mixture to make around 25 meatballs. Working with one meatball at a time, roll to lightly coat in the flour, shaking off the excess. Arrange the meatballs, spaced apart, on the sheet pan.
  • BAKE: Generously spray the meatballs with cooking spray and bake for 15 minutes. Then use a metal spatula and your fingers (careful, they're hot!) to gently flip the meatballs over to the other side. Bake for another 5-8 minutes, or until nicely golden brown and baked through. (If using turkey, bake for 18 minutes, flip, and bake for 5-8 more minutes.)
  • LEMON-HERB SAUCE: Meanwhile, place the parsley, cilantro, jalapeños, garlic, lemon juice, water, cumin, plus salt (to taste, I add ½ tsp) in a mini blender or food processor. Pulse until mixture is evenly chopped, scraping down the sides as necessary. Stir in the oil and pulse just until emulsified (don't over-blend!). Taste and add more salt or lemon juice as desired.
  • COUSCOUS: Meanwhile, pour 1 cup water into a small pot. Add in 1 teaspoon olive oil and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove the pot from heat. Stir in the uncooked couscous and cover the pot with a lid. After about 2-4 minutes the liquid should be absorbed; fluff couscous with a fork. Stir in ¼ cup of the lemon-herb sauce, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and about ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper (again, to personal preference).
  • VEGGIES: Very thinly slice the reserved half of the red onion. Add to a bowl with the cucumber and tomato. Season with salt and pepper (just a pinch) and toss to combine. Optional: If you have some leftover herbs, chop 'em up and stir them in here too.
  • SERVE: Set out four plates. Use the back of a spoon to spread ¼ of the Greek yogurt across the bottom of each plate. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Divide the couscous evenly between plates. Divide cucumber-tomato salad evenly between plates. Divide meatballs evenly between plates. Optional: drizzle a touch of olive oil over everything. Spoon the remaining lemon-herb sauce evenly on top and enjoy immediately. Charred/toasted pita for dipping is also so good!

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Couscous: When it comes to couscous, there are different varieties available, but we're using small-grain or Moroccan couscous for this recipe. (Small-grain couscous has a fine texture and is the perfect size for steaming, which allows it to cook very quickly.) The recipe method outlined only works with this type of couscous. (It won't work with larger pearl couscous or any other type of grain.)
Note 2: Toasting pitas: To toast the pitas, spray both sides of the pita with olive oil cooking spray and char directly over the gas flames (at medium to medium-low heat) for a few seconds. Use tongs to flip until pitas are lightly charred.
Note 3: Calories above are for the entire recipe, for just a serving of meatballs it is 278 calories.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 796kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 26g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 130mg | Sodium: 359mg | Potassium: 971mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1571IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 173mg | Iron: 5mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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5 Comments

  1. Hi Chelsea,
    I was going to make this for dinner and had a quick question. If using turkey instead of meat, should I still use beef bouillon powder or sub out with Worcestershire sauce for the meatballs? For some reason got stumped on that one. As always, thanks Chelsea!!

        1. Awe you’re the best Eva! Thanks so much for making so many of my recipes and letting me know what you think; it means the world to me! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious! I decided to use turkey (85/15) just to see how the meatballs would turn out when prepared that way, and they were so scrumptious that we didn’t miss the beef at all! We couldn’t get enough of them. I almost left out the Greek yogurt base, but the creaminess it added was well worth it. I also added the optional feta to the salad because cheese makes everything better. My only issue is that, try as we might, my husband and I just don’t like cilantro. Without it the sauce just tasted like parsley, which wasn’t too exciting. (Maybe I should have added the optional mint.) I ended up adding some fresh basil, lemon zest, and just a sprinkle of dried oregano, and it turned out ok. I’m thinking of trying the Tzatziki sauce next time instead, but if I do that what would I add to the couscous? I would also like to mention that this meal was a lot of work. I suggest preparing some of it ahead of time or cooking with a partner. My kitchen was a mess when I was finished!! BUT, the meal was so good that it’s definitely worth the effort. Fresh and delicious, this is a winner.

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