My mom and step dad were visiting over the weekend and requested that I make my Mediterranean Quinoa Stuffed Peppers for dinner while they were here. I love those stuffed peppers, but wanted to add something to the meal to make it a little more substantial for the manly men that would be at the dinner table. I thought a Greek style meatball would be an nice pair with the peppers. My Asian Chicken Meatballs were such a hit with the family that I decided to do another chicken meatball and just change the flavor profile. These are loaded with a really flavorful mix of herbs that include mint, dill, oregano and parsley. Finely chopped onion and garlic add great flavor and I added lemon zest for a little zip.
I served the meatballs with a tzatziki sauce. It was cool and creamy and really made the dish! The tzatziki is also great on the peppers. I bought my tzatziki at Trader Joes, but it is really simple to make your own. I basically follow this recipe from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook that I have (and LOVE). I don’t even strain the yogurt when I make it. Most of the Greek yogurts you buy are already so thick and yummy. I was hoping to have some of these meatballs leftover because I thought they would be great sliced in half in some pita bread with some tzatziki…but no such luck. My family gobbled up every last one.
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup of whole milk
- 2 pounds ground chicken (preferably organic)
- 1 small onion, chopped very small
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bunch of fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves (about a handful of leaves)
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- zest of one lemon
- 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- a few turns of fresh ground pepper
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
Pour the milk over the panko bread crumbs in a large bowl and stir until liquid is absorbed. Add ground chicken, chopped onion, minced garlic, all of the herbs, the beaten eggs, olive oil, lemon zest & juice, and salt & pepper. Mix well until all of the ingredients are combined. Shape about 3 tablespoons of the chicken into a balls (this is a messy process – a little water on your hands helps the chicken from sticking) and put on a baking sheet lined with foil and coated with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, turning them over half way through (test at 20 min to see if they are done on the inside). A minute under the broiler gives them a little more golden color…just don’t walk away! Serve with tzatziki sauce.