Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Crispy Greek Meatballs with Tzatziki and Feta

Recipe for crispy baked chicken meatballs with oregano, tzatziki sauce and marinated feta cheese.

Sometimes a single ingredient in my fridge or pantry inspires an entire meal. And that's exactly how this dinner of Mediterranean flavors came together. What was the ingredient this time? Some leftover feta cheese from another recipe.

Recipe for crispy baked chicken meatballs with oregano, tzatziki sauce and marinated feta cheese.

I cubed the remaining cheese, piled it into a jar along with some extra virgin olive oil and a generous amount of oregano and stashed it in the fridge. I was actually planning to make a big Greek salad, toast some crusty bread and slather it with the marinated feta. But, as delicious as that sounded, I started to think of something larger and more entrée sized.

Recipe for crispy baked chicken meatballs with oregano, tzatziki sauce and marinated feta cheese.

Ground lamb meatballs would be totally in keeping with the Greek theme I had going but there was ground chicken in my freezer and I do love making meatballs with it. They got a generous dose of oregano and I made them crispy by rolling them in breadcrumbs and spraying with olive oil before baking. You can fry these, of course, but I love just being able to stick them in the oven while I finish the other ingredients.

Recipe for crispy baked chicken meatballs with oregano, tzatziki sauce and marinated feta cheese.

And that brings us to one of my favorite sauces in the whole world - tzatziki. It's a yogurt and cucumber sauce and I'm happy to eat it with pretty much anything. I know some of you are going to be tempted to use low fat or fat free yogurt but it won't have the same fullness of flavor. Go for the full fat stuff here and you won't regret it. Enjoy!

Yield: 6 Servings
Author: Anita Schecter
Recipe for crispy baked chicken meatballs with oregano, tzatziki sauce and marinated feta cheese.

Crispy Greek Meatballs with Tzatziki and Feta

Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 30 MinTotal time: 1 Hour
Recipe for crispy baked chicken meatballs with oregano, tzatziki sauce and marinated feta cheese.

Ingredients

For the Crispy Chicken Meatballs:
  • 1 lb. Ground chicken breast
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Small onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 Cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 Cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 Cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 Teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 Cup seasoned breadcrumbs for topping
  • Olive oil spray for topping
For the Tzatziki Sauce:
  • 1 Cup full fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 Small clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1/2 English (seedless) cucumber, grated
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
For the Marinated Feta Cheese:
  • 1 8 oz. Block fresh feta cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Teaspoon dried oregano
For the Assembly:
  • Naan or pita bread
  • 1 Pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Seedless cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 Red onion, peeled and sliced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. To make the marinated feta, combine the cubed cheese, olive oil and dried oregano in a lidded jar. It can be used right away but will taste better if it sits in the refrigerator for at least a day. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before serving for the best taste.
  2. To make the meatballs, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Combine the ground chicken, egg, diced onion, minced garlic, chopped parsley, dried oregano, salt, pepper and the 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs in a large bowl until thoroughly incorporated.
  4. Add the 1/2 cup of seasoned breadcrumbs to a shallow bowl.
  5. Using your hands or a scoop (I used a 1 oz. scoop) form meatballs and roll in the seasoned breadcrumbs. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spray generously with olive oil.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. To make the tzatziki sauce, stir together the Greek yogurt, minced garlic, lemon juice, dill, grated cucumber, salt and pepper.
  8. To assemble, combine the halved cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, sliced red onion and marinated feta in a bowl with the lemon juice. Serve the meatballs on naan or pita bread slathered with the tzatziki sauce and vegetables.