Saturday, March 08, 2008

Recipe Favorites: Greek Meatballs

Greek Meatballs(Updated March 2008) This recipe for Greek Meatballs was the first thing I tried from the The South Beach Diet Quick and Easy Cookbook back in 2005, and I'm finally getting around to updating the photo and including it as one of my Recipe Favorites. I love all the Greek flavors like Feta cheese, oregano, and red wine vinegar, and those ingredients really bump up the taste of these meatballs. However, I do want to warn you that the meatballs look like a mess for about 2/3 of the time they're cooking because some of the cheese and vinegar oozes out during the cooking process. If you're patient and keep browning them, all those things nicely carmelize and the finished meatballs are delicious.

The cookbook calls these Mini Greek Meatballs, but I think mine are not-quite-mini Greek Meatballs. I use a plastic tablespoon to scoop up just enough meat to make each meatball, and I get 24 meatballs from a pound of ground beef, not 40 like the recipe says. I'm also cooking mine quite a lot longer. If you like Greek flavors, be open minded about the cooking mess, and give the meatballs a try.

Looks are a bit deceiving in this photo, but each of my meatballs is about 1 1/2 tablespoons of meat. If you'd like them a bit smaller, the recipe says to make each meatball about a tablespoon.


Mini Greek Meatballs
(Makes about 24 small meatballs, recipe adapted slightly from The South Beach Diet Quick and Easy Cookbook.)

Ingredients:
1 pound lean ground beef (I use ground beef with less than 10% fat)
1/2 small onion, minced
1/2 cup very finely crumbled feta cheese (measure after crumbling finely with a fork)
2 cloves garlic, minced (I used 2 tsp. minced garlic from a jar)
1 large egg
1 T extra virgin olive oil, plus more for baking dish
1 T dried Greek oregano
4 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt (optional, I used a tiny bit of Vege-Sal)
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp. Greek seasoning (optional, I used Penzeys)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400. Use a food processor to chop the onion very finely, then drain if it seems like there is a lot of liquid. (In the photo I used red onion, but any onion will work.)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, then use your hands to mix ingredients.

Lightly oil a 9 X 13 baking dish. Shape meat into 1 tablespoon size meatballs and place on baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes, after which time you will see some liquid oozing out. Turn meatballs and bake 10 more minutes. Turn again, and bakd 5-10 more minutes, until meatballs are well-browned and cooked through.

Meatballs are delicious served with Tzatziki Sauce.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Served with Tzatziki Sauce, and American Greek Salad, this would be a great dish for phase one of the South Beach Diet. Be sure to use lean ground beef for South Beach. For phase two, they would taste great inside 100% whole wheat pita bread.

More Tasty Meatballs to Try:
(Recipes from other blogs may or may not be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
Beef and Sausage Meatballs with Tomato Sauce
Baked Swedish Meatballs
Chipotle Meatballs from Simply Recipes
Falafel-Turkey Meatballs with Pasta from The Perfect Pantry
Grilled Chicken Meatballs from Rasa Malaysia
Finnish Meatballs from The Wednesday Chef
Pork and Ricotta Meatballs in Tomato Sauce from What Did You Eat
Greek Meatballs from Nook and Pantry
Turkey Meatballs with Cilantro from FamilyStyle Food
Lamb Meatballs in Curry from Anne's Food

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51 comments:

Mona said...

Those do sound wonderful. Can't wait to try. Had no idea the South Beach cookbook had such a diverse recipe index.

jcsjcs said...

So tasty! We had this with the lemon garlic cauliflower. Thanks for making Phase 1 taste great.

Kalyn said...

These first two comments were from November 2005 when I first posted this recipe.

Christine said...

These look delicious. I'm saving the recipe right now!

Lore said...

These meatballs look delicious! Too bad I'm in a meatless period...but since they really tempt me anything could happen :). Less than 10% fat meat sounds great too.

RecipeGirl said...

Wow, these do sound terrific! I love the idea of putting feta inside the meatball, and with a little tzaziki sauce... yum!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

A very interesting recipe indeed. Looks can be deceiving and it is always best to keep an open mind. All these ingredients are on my list of excellent so I'd be very inclined to believe I'd love these.

AnticiPlate said...

Yum! I love meatballs! And the addition of feta is very interesting. I bet that adds a subtle saltiness. Also, tzatziki sauce would work VERY well with these. Thanks for the recipe!

Michelle said...

These sound wonderful. Can't wait to try!

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

Looks delicious! I bet it would make a really good meatball sandwich!

Deborah Dowd said...

These sound delicious, and just reading about them made me hungry! Thanks for continually coming up with great and healthy dishes that won't make me sorry when I get on the scale!

Indonesia-Eats said...

Absolutely, I will love these meatballs, I love any style of meatballs from the Eastern to Western cuisine

Helen said...

Those meatballs sound delicious Kalyn, I love Greek flavours so the feta really appeals to me. I've never tried it in a meatball. I think I will try adding some olives to the meatballs and then eat them with tzatziki and tomatoes - they would be like Greek salad meatballs! They look really delicious.

Ruth Daniels said...

And seriously, if you don't want to take the time to make meatballs, wouldn't they be great as patties!?!

Thanks for sharing the recipe again.

Kevin said...

Those meatballs do look good and sound really tasty. Dipping them in Tzatziki Sauce would be great.

BookingAlong said...

I wonder if I could adapt these for ground turkey? Your thoughts? I'd use ground beef but we have major snow, ice and no ground beef. I'm not usually a fan of changing recipes but..I'm a bit desperate today.

Kalyn said...

I think ground turkey would work just fine here. The tablespoon of olive oil should help keep the turkey moist and I think all these flavors would work well with turkey. Let us know how it turns out!

Lyn said...

I found this recipe on your blog about 3 weeks ago. I made this recipe using lean ground turkey and reduced fat feta cheese, and they were fantastic!! I absolutely loved them. I had several meatballs and a greek salad on the side (with kalamata olives and greek dressing). What a great meal! My 2 year old even liked these!

Kalyn said...

Lyn, thanks so much for sharing that. (And I'm glad you weren't turned off by the previous photo, which was admittedly not too great!)

maninas said...

mmm this sounds great!

btw, I love your new header! new to me, I mean, I haven't visited foro a while now.

Karina said...

Hi Kalyn- Now I am jonesing for some Greek-inspired meatballs. Hmmm. Think I'll try this using ground buffalo.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kalyn, as I don't have an oven. Can I pan fry the meatballs? foodlover

Kalyn said...

Anonymous, I'm guessing it will work, but be prepared for the liquid that will be released. I think it will evaporate in the pan like it does in the oven, but can't say for sure.

Jessica said...

I just made these meatballs and they're really, really good. I made 48 of them and I think that next time I'll make 24 of them, like you recommended, because they were a little bit dry...any suggestions for me? By the way, the tzatziki sauce turned out perfectly. Thanks for making the South Beach sooooo tasty and beautiful!

Kalyn said...

Jessica, just cook slightly longer for the bigger meatballs, and I do think the larger size will make them more moist. Glad you liked them.

Anonymous said...

Kalyn, I absolutely love your recipes. I've lost 7 lbs on Phase I, largely because I'm making delicious food from your blog. The only, only thing I could wish for is that you would include weight measurements either in addition to or instead of volume measurements, since weight measurements are so much more accurate. Thanks for everything!

Kalyn said...

Anonymous, I'm working a full time job besides writing the blog, so I can't promise that I will start weighing all ingredients besides giving the volume amount, but thanks for letting me know you would like it. I do it now on some things where there might be a question, but time is always at a premium around here.

MakeUpJunkie said...

The meatballs were divine.
My boyfriend is on South Beach now (phase 1) and he loved them so much he demanded another batch after only 3 days.
Thanks for the recipe!

Kalyn said...

Glad to hear they were a hit!

CiaoRoma said...

Ciao Kalyn! I have made SO many of your recipes-- i just have never posted a comment before. I just wanted to that i just love your Blog and your recipes. I made the Greek Meatballs last nite and they were awesome! I used Ground Turkey Breast and they came out just great. I made them to eat with my salads at lunch each day-- everyone wanted to know what i was having! :)

Kalyn said...

Ciao Roma, I'm so happy to hear you're enjoying the blog. Thanks for taking the time to let me know.

tracy said...

These were really, really good. Thank you for the recipe and your wonderful site. I am on SB and the recipes here are fab :p

I will say that I didnt use LF Feta which is more SB, I like the fresh feta and its sooo much better!! Regular feta isnt particularly high in fat to begin with...So I used a little less than called for, but these were still great. I paired them with Tzatziki made with 0% Fage yogurt...mmm good.

Kalyn said...

Tracy, I never find the low-fat Feta either, so I agree with the idea of just using a bit less. Feta us such a flavorful cheese that you don't need that much!

Cyndy said...

I love greek flavors, so I thought these sounded great. They are in the oven now. I am going to use romaine lettuce and serve them as a lettuce wrap with Tzatiki sauce, onion and tomato, my version of a Gyro.

Kalyn said...

Cyndy, I think that's a brilliant idea. Now I want to try them that way myself.

Nagel family blog said...

YUMMY YUMMY! I made these last night with tzatziki sauce (your recipe also), and made mashed cauliflower so I could pretend I was having mashed potatoes. DEElicious! I love your blog. Your recipes have been a life saver during Phase 1. I seriously don't think I would have made it through those 2 weeks without u!
Thanks, Jenn. :)

Kalyn said...

Jenn, so glad you liked it. Hang in there on the diet, you can do it!

Chelsea said...

Kalyn, just ran across your blog and have only had time to read a little of it, but do you have a post about portion sizes? I am just starting Phase 1 as soon as I go to the grocery store and plan my meals, and I have found the list of OK foods and foods to avoid, but what are the limits? Thanks for the hard work on this blog!

Kalyn said...

Chelsea, South Beach doesn't limit portion sizes on most foods. The only limits are on things that are high in fats, such as nuts or avocados. I recommend buy one of the books for that information. Now that they've been out so long, you can buy the original book, The South Beach Diet, for only a couple of dollars at Amazon.com or a thrift store. I definitely recommend reading the book before you start on the diet.

sunsetgirl424 said...

Hi Kalyn! These sound yum-o! I'm new to SB & just starting phase 1. I was wondering if I could use lamb here or a combo of lamb and ground turkey? just want to get in a somewhat authentic Greek taste.

Love your site and the blog! Found your site while searching for SB recipes and you by far have the best recipes that I have come across....THANK YOU!!

Kalyn said...

Sunsetgirl, lamb is allowed for South Beach, but the guidelines for South Beach are to use meat that's less than 10% fat, so you would have to look for very lean ground lamb.

Cristie said...

Kalyn, I just made these for dinner and they were wonderful. Thank you for posting this recipe!

Kalyn said...

Cristie, so glad you liked them.

MCH said...

This was a great recipe. I did the sauce too but my husband isn't a fan of cucumbers so I'll have to find something else next time. I thought the sauce was great!

luvalab said...

I made these as patties and threw them on the grill pan with some zucchini slices and red bell pepper. I used turkey instead of beef since that's what I had in the freezer. Added some of your tzatziki sauce. . . Fantastic meal, every bit of it!! My husband and I are having such fun eating our way through your blog! Thank you, especially for the SB recipes!

Anonymous said...

Just made these for dinner....YUM! I used fresh Greek Basil (about 1 1/2 T)Put them in a grill pan on my AGA (the hotter side) to sear in all the flavor. They were fabulous...skipped the sauce...served with sauteed Savoy cabbage! Perfect combo!:) Thank you for the recipe!

Ritters said...

Had this tonight with the sauce you you mentioned so yummy! My kids loved it too. You have made my phase one journey so much better. We have only disliked one thing and it was in the SBD book. All your recipes have been wonderful. Can't wait to enjoy some of your phase II recipes.

Kalyn said...

Ritters, so glad you're enjoying the recipes.

KnittingLizzie said...

These were SOOOO good! I used 1 lb of ground lamb and 2/3 pound beef, which yielded 35 meatballs. I did not have Greek Seasoning, so I added a little extra oregano, and just a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon (which are two ingredients in greek seasoning). I made tzatziki with 10 oz greek yogurt, 2/3 C. of peeled and seeded cucumber, 2 garlic cloves minced, 1TBSP olive oil, 2 TBSP red wine vinegar, 1.5 TBSP fresh dill chopped, and a sprinkling of salt. Served it with more chopped cucumber and shaved red onions (and put it on Nan bread for my skinny husband). This took care of my cravings for gyros, but it was low carb and low-GI. DELICIOUS! Thanks for the recipes...17 pounds down and counting!

Kalyn said...

Sounds like a great dinner! Glad you are enjoying the recipes.

I just saw a recipe somewhere for Gyro meatballs that sounded very similar to what you did.

Michelle W. said...

Hi! I made these tonight and served them in lettuce wraps and topped with your Tzatziki sauce that you suggested. Wonderful, light and delicious! The family ate them as well, but added some white rice to their lettuce wraps. I will definitely be making this one again :)

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