Greek Meatballs

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Deliciously flavored and perfectly seasoned Greek Meatballs are served in a warm pita with fresh vegetables and an incredible lemon-herb sauce.

Pair these flavorful beef/lamb meatballs with a simple Greek salad or easy cucumber salad.

 

Image of Greek Meatballs being served in a pita with toppings and sauce.

I am so excited to be sharing this easy-to-prepare, fresh, nutritious, and tasty meal with you today. It’s a great recipe to have on hand when you’re not sure what to make for entertaining during the holidays — Greek Meatballs are perfect for holiday meals!

While this recipe is loaded with nutrients, it’s equally loaded with flavor. From the toasted pita bread to the perfectly seasoned and Mediterranean-inspired meatballs, to the crisp veggies and the herb-packed lemon sauce — this is a game-changer meal. It’s one of those recipes that’s easy enough for a quick weeknight dinner, but impressive enough to serve (and wow) at a large dinner party this holiday season.

So what’s in these magical meatballs? Read on!

Process shots-- images of the sauce being made for Greek Meatballs.

What’s in these delicious meatballs?

  • Ground lamb: Ground lamb is a bit more authentic and the healthiest red meat, plus it offers a real dimensional flavor– but it’s sometimes hard to find. Feel free to substitute ground beef if that’s the case. You can use either in this recipe.
  • Panko breadcrumbs: I love using panko in meatballs; it makes them soft and juicer, while acting as a great binder. Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb and is usually found near other breadcrumbs or in the Asian food aisle of your store.
  • Parsley: This herb adds so much freshness to these meatballs. Be sure to get the flat-leaf Italian parsley from the grocery store produce section.
  • Red onion: While you can use any type of onion, red onion contributes a beautiful mild flavor to these Greek Meatballs.
  • Egg: The egg helps bind the meatballs and also contributes to the overall flavor.
  • Oregano, garlic, salt and pepper: All these ingredients help amp up the flavor.
  • Oyster Sauce: Read all about this “secret” ingredient for these Greek meatballs below!

Image of the oyster sauce used in this recipe.

Process shots-- images of the Greek Meatballs being made.

Serving suggestions

Greek Meatballs can be enjoyed in myriad ways, but I’m sharing our favorite today: loaded in a pita with fresh veggies, and a lemon-herb sauce.

And here are a few other ideas:

  • Serve meatballs with a side of tzatziki sauce and toasted pita bread.
  • Add meatballs in or alongside a big salad, like this Greek Quinoa Salad.
  • Serve meatballs over rice with a cucumberyogurt sauce and feta cheese.

Overhead image of Greek Meatballs in a pita with toppings and the fresh sauce.

Greek Meatball tips

  • Keep the lamb (or ground beef) as cold as possible. Take it out of the fridge right when you need it and be careful to not overwork it (which will also warm it up). This will ensure the meatballs are tender and juicy, and that the meat rolls easily into balls.
  • Grate the red onion. While grating onions is (admittedly) annoying, it gives these meatballs the best-possible taste and texture. You won’t find large chunks of uncooked onions, and all the great flavor dispersed throughout.
  • Use a microplane. I recommend grating the garlic on a microplane; this allows for a great even dispersion of garlic throughout the meatballs.
  • Grease the pan. We broil these meatballs to cook them through (it’s SO quick and easy). But make sure the pan is well greased so the meat doesn’t stick. 
  • Roll small, even-sized meatballs. In order for these meatballs to cook through in time and evenly, be sure they’re roughly the same size. This batch should make 30-32 meatballs so they’re about 1 and 1/4th inch wide. Use a mini cookie scoop, if you have one, to make the process of rolling balls easier.

Overhead image of Greek Meatballs served on a plate.

Storing leftover Greek Meatballs

Store Greek Meatballs (without the sauce) in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the fridge.

To freeze: Cook the meatballs according to the directions in the recipe card and allow them to completely cool. Place on a parchment-paper-lined sheet pan, uncovered, in the freezer, and freeze for an hour (or until frozen solid). Then transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container and make sure to label and date the meatballs. (Meatballs can be frozen for up to 3 months).

To reheat: Remove the container from the freezer and place meatballs on a foil-lined sheet pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 300 degrees F or until meatballs are fully thawed and heated through.

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Greek Meatballs

5 from 2 votes
Deliciously flavored and perfectly seasoned Greek Meatballs are served in pita bread with fresh vegetables and an incredible lemon-herb sauce.
Print Recipe

Greek Meatballs

5 from 2 votes
Deliciously flavored and perfectly seasoned Greek Meatballs are served in pita bread with fresh vegetables and an incredible lemon-herb sauce.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Greek
Keyword greek meatballs
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 36 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings
Calories 420kcal
Author Chelsea Lords
Cost $7.79

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground beef (85/15% fat) (or ground lamb)
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup freshly minced flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 1/4 packed cup coarsely grated red onion and its juices (from about 1/2 onion)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (~2 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For serving

  • 6-8 pitas breads, cut in half
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt whole-milk
  • 3 to 4 Persian cucumbers, sliced thinly lengthwise
  • lettuce leaves
  • Optional: pickled red onions Note 1

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped (or substitute mint)
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped jalapeños, (leave seeds for heat, remove for mild)
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  • PREP: Heat broiler with rack 4 inches from heating element. Lightly grease a sheet pan with nonstick olive oil spray.
  • MEATBALLS: In a large bowl, combine the ground meat, breadcrumbs, parsley, onion, egg, oyster sauce, pepper, salt, oregano, and garlic. Mix until just combined, making sure not to overwork the meat. Roll meatballs into 1 and 1/4th inch meatballs (about 30-32 total meatballs). Place on the prepared sheet pan and drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil. Place in the oven and broil, shaking pan and flipping meatballs over every 2 minutes until cooked through (until thermometer reads 160 degrees F for beef). This takes anywhere from 4-8 minutes. Start checking the temperature after broiling for 4 minutes.
  • LEMON-HERB SAUCE: Meanwhile, place the parsley, cilantro, jalapeños, garlic, lemon juice, salt, cumin, and 1 tablespoon water in a mini food processor or blender. Pulse until mixture is evenly chopped, scraping down sides as necessary. Stir in the oil. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice as desired.
  • SERVE: Lightly toast pita bread (Note 2). Spread 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt inside each pita and sprinkle with salt to taste. Layer in lettuce, meatballs, and cucumber slices. If desired, add in pickled red onions (Note 1). Drizzle lots of sauce over the pitas and enjoy immediately.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Pickled onions: We love pickled red onions on these, and here's my super-simple version: Slice half a red onion and place it in a bowl. Top with 1 teaspoon fine sea salt and 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar. Toss every 3-5 minutes or so until softened (about 20-30 minutes). I usually start these first and stir throughout the process.
Note 2: Toasting pitas: To toast the pita bread, 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.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 8servings | Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 45.9g | Protein: 22.1g | Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 553.7mg | Fiber: 5.1g | Sugar: 5.1g

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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6 Comments

  1. I’m guessing it’s straightforward, but can you give more detail on the greek salad that is pictured – it is drool worthy and I want to recreate it!

  2. Hey Chelsea,
    I really like what I see w/ your recipe.
    I’d love to have your full post for the Greek salad dressing.
    Greek dressing as simple as it may seem, can be difficult for someone like me, to replicate from wonderful restaurant quality recipes.
    I’m hoping you could now give a complete list of ingredients & directions to complete a meal w/in one post.
    Thanks a million,
    Diane

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