Rich ground lamb and ground beef and mixed with fresh parsley, garlic, feta cheese, breadcrumbs, and other herbs and spices to make these fantastic Baked Greek Feta Meatballs that go perfectly with some tangy, homemade tzatziki sauce, thinly sliced red onions and tomatoes, and a soft, grilled pita to create a meatball gyro sandwich.
Baked Greek Feta Meatballs
Baked Greek Feta Meatballs (or Keftedes) are a great way of changing up your meatball game and can be served as an appetizer or main course.
It’s pretty well-documented on this blog that I love the flavors of Mediterranean food. The robust spices, the tangy, salty feta cheese, smooth, rich olive oil, bright lemon juice, and fresh, bold garlic and onions and herbs all work some kind of magic together to create some of the best dishes ever.
These baked Greek feta meatballs are no exception. And they go perfectly with Greek Tzatziki Sauce, some sliced tomatoes and onions, and a soft, grilled pita to create a wonderful meatball sandwich. Which you can serve with a side of Baked Greek Feta Fries for an epic dinner of homemade Mediterranean deliciousness!
Or just serve up the meatballs with toothpicks and tzatziki for dipping as an appetizer on game day or for a party. Because who doesn’t love meatballs or basically anything that you get to eat by spearing it with little toothpicks?
For these baked Greek feta meatballs, you can use pretty much any ground meat you like. All ground lamb or pork or beef work work really well and create wonderful meatballs with traditional Greek flavors. Ground turkey or ground chicken would even work for a lighter version. But I really, really love the combination of half ground lamb or pork and half ground beef.
If you have a hard time finding ground lamb or pork, you could always go to a local butcher or a Whole Foods, which carries it. To me, the ground lamb is so much richer and flavorful than the other options and it is used more frequently in Greek food than in American food. The taste is just so good, especially once the meat gets mixed together with some fresh parsley, garlic and onion and cumin and coriander and oregano, and standard meatball additions like eggs, breadcrumbs, and salt & pepper.
I always work the ingredients together with my hands, squishing it until the spices are evenly distributed. Just be careful not to work the meat and spices too hard by mashing them too much or too hard because you don’t want to end up with tough meatballs.
This recipe makes 20 small meatballs, which is enough for 4-5 meatball sandwiches if you decide to go that route. I find that the best way to get consistent sized meatballs is to either use a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon to measure out the meat before rolling it into balls, or to divide the meatball mixture by half, then by half again, then pinching off equal-sized portions to end up with exactly 20, even-sized meatballs. And if you are like me and like to have leftovers, you might want to double the recipe to get 40 meatballs so you can have enough left over for lunches later in the week.
- 1/2 lb. ground beef
- 1/2 lb. ground lamb or pork
- 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
- 3 tablespoons grated onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 eggs
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- 4-5 pita bread
- 2 Roma tomato, sliced
- 1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
- Greek Tzatziki sauce
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, gently using your hands to mix everything together until the meat is uniformly seasoned.
Divide the mixture in half, then in half again so you have 4 equal parts. From there, divide each portion of the meatball mixture into 5 meatballs so you end up with 20 equal-sized meatballs. Roll each meatball between your hands to shape it and then arrange them on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven from 10-14 minutes, until they are nicely brown and cooked through.
To assemble gyros, warm the pitas on a grill or in the oven, just until soft.
Place a few slices of tomato and some of the red onions onto each pita bread, then top with 4 or 5 meatballs. Add a couple dollops of tzatziki sauce and serve with Greek feta fries.
Meatballs adapted from Recipe Runner.
These meatballs freeze really well and can be frozen either cooked or uncooked. If you want to freeze them uncooked, just roll them into meatballs and place on a baking sheet, making sure they aren't touching each other. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 2-3 hours until the meatballs are frozen, then you can move them to a plastic freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months When ready to cook, just transfer the meatballs to a single layer on a baking sheet and thaw in the fridge, then bake according to the regular recipe directions.
To freeze cooked meatballs, use the same method of placing them on a baking sheet in a single layer and freezing for a couple of hours, then transferring them to a large freezer safe plastic bag and sticking them back in the freezer for up to 1 month. To reheat, space the frozen meatballs out on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees until warmed through, about 20-25 minutes.
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