This Sheet Pan Greek Meatballs recipe with super easy homemade tzatziki sauce is a no-mess, quick-to-make, flavor-packed meal guaranteed to transport you to the Mediterranean on any random weeknight like it’s no big deal.
We are meatball lovers around here. You too? Then you are in good company. There are few things I love more than meatballs baked in marinara sauce, but making them is more of a Sunday afternoon project than a quick weeknight meal.
This Greek meatball recipe is the quick weeknight variety but still so super juicy and flavor-packed. Baking meatballs on a sheet pan in the oven means no frying mess and they cook in about 10 minutes.
Pile them into bowls with Tzatziki sauce, marinated artichoke hearts, and tomato and cucumber salad for a quick, fresh-tasting meal that’s full of the bold flavors Greek food is famous for.
- Ingredients Needed to Prepare this Recipe
- Step by Step Photos and Instructions
- How to Taste Meatballs for Seasoning Before Baking
- How to Cook Greek Meatballs on the Stovetop Instead of in the Oven
- Greek Meatballs Make a Great Camping Recipe
- Make Ahead and Storage Tips
- More Popular Ground Beef Recipes
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Ingredients Needed to Prepare this Recipe
Here's everything you need to make a pan of juicy Greek Meatballs:
- Cooked long grain white rice. Any kind of long-grain white rice will do here and these meatballs are a fantastic way to use up any leftover rice from earlier in the week. If you've just cooked the rice, let it cool to room temperature before mixing it into the other ingredients.
- A couple slices of hearty white bread. Cut the bread into small pieces which will make it easier to mix them into the meatballs. Bread acts as a binder, keeping the meatballs tender while holding them together.
- Buttermilk adds flavor, a bit of tenderizing acidity, and works with the bread to help hold everything together. No buttermilk? No problem. DIY Buttermilk: How to make your own
- 1 large egg yolk. Also works with the buttermilk and bread to bind everything together.
- Worcestershire Sauce. Just a few dashes adds a remarkable amount of umami to these meatballs.
- Fresh dill, garlic, oregano, coriander, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. So many bold flavors in these little meatballs.
- 85% lean ground beef is just the right amount of fat to keep these meatballs juicy without being greasy.
And here's what you'll need to throw together the tomato and cucumber salad:
- Cherry tomatoes and cucumber, of course.
- Plenty of chopped fresh parsley to keep it fresh.
- The zest and juice from one large lemon to add some zing.
- Extra virgin olive oil.
- A pinch of sugar elevates the natural sweetness in the veggies.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
The little extras that make this Greek meatball recipe EXTRA in every good way:
- Tzatziki sauce! If you have a favorite brand of prepared Tzatziki that you'd like to use, that's great. But making tzatziki only takes a few minutes and is infinitely better than anything you can purchase.
- Marinated artichoke hearts, plunked straight from the jar into the bowl.
- A bit more extra virgin olive oil to drizzle over the top of everything.
- A handful of chopped fresh parsley for even more fresh flavor.
- A few lemon slices so anyone who wants to can squeeze a few more drops of bright fresh flavor over their meatballs.
- Crusty bread to help sop up every last drop of all that deliciousness.
Step by Step Photos and Instructions
Making sheet pan Greek meatballs is really quite simple:
- Mix up and shape the meatballs then toss together the tomato and cucumber salad while they bake.
- To serve, add a generous scoop of Tzatziki to bowls and top it with a few marinated artichokes, several Greek meatballs, and a huge scoop of cucumber and tomato salad. Drizzle the whole thing with olive oil and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.
Use a fork to mash the rice into a chunky paste.
Add all the ingredients except the ground beef to the rice and use your hands (or a spoon) to mash everything together.
Mix in the ground beef.
Form the mixture into 20 meatballs and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake the meatballs for 10-12 minutes.
While the meatballs bake, mix up the cucumber and tomato salad. Toss the chopped tomatoes, cucumber, and parsley in a bowl.
Put the the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, sugar, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper into a small bowl, whisk to combine, and then pour it over the vegetables.
Toss the veggies in the dressing to coat, taste, and sprinkle in a bit more salt and pepper if you like.
To test that the meatballs are baked through, remove one meatball from the oven and cut it in half. If the inside is pink, the meatballs need a few more minutes in the oven. If there is no pink, the meatballs are done and can be removed from the oven.
To serve Greek Meatballs, add a generous scoop of Tzatziki sauce to 4 bowls and toss in a few marinated artichoke hearts. Add 4 or 5 meatballs to one side of the bowl and a big scoop of cucumber and tomato salad to the other side.
Drizzle everything with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of chopped, fresh parsley. Serve the meatballs with lemon wedges and hunks of crusty bread.
How to Taste Meatballs for Seasoning Before Baking
Raw meatballs are not something you'd want to taste for seasoning before cooking them. So how do you know if the seasoning is right? Here's a great way to test the meatball seasoning before cooking the whole batch:
- Heat a teaspoon or two of oil over medium-high heat in a small skillet or saucepan until hot and shimmery.
- Shape a small amount of meatball mixture into a small patty and set it into the hot oil.
- Cook on one side until brown then flip and cook on the other side. Remove from the pan and taste it. Add more salt, pepper, or other seasonings to the meatball mixture if you like, according to taste.
How to Cook Greek Meatballs on the Stovetop Instead of in the Oven
Cooking Greek meatballs on the stovetop is just as simple as baking them in the oven, albeit a bit messier.
- Add a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to a 12-inch skillet. You can use a non-stick, carbon steel, or cast iron skillet.
- Set the pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot and shimmery, add the meatballs. It's important to not overcrowd the pan and leave an inch or so in-between the meatballs. You will most likely need to cook the meatballs in 2 batches, 10 meatballs at a time.
- When the bottom of the meatballs are dark brown, turn them over. Continue to cook, turning them in the skillet so that they brown on all sides. To test that the meatballs are done, cut into one. If there is no visible pink, they are cooked through.
Greek Meatballs Make a Great Camping Recipe
Greek meatballs can be cooked over pretty much any heat source - in the oven, on a stovetop, on a camp stove, on a Blackstone griddle, or even over an open flame. This makes them the perfect camping recipe.
- To cook the meatballs on a camp stove: Follow the instructions above for cooking the meatballs on a stovetop.
- To cook the meatballs on a Blackstone griddle: Heat the griddle to medium-high and brush the griddle surface with olive or vegetable oil. Add the meatballs directly to the griddle surface and let them cook until they are dark brown on the bottom. Use metal tongs to turn the meatballs over and allow them to cook until brown on the other side. Continue to cook, turning them every so often, so that they are brown on all sides. Cut one open to test for doneness; the meatballs are done when there is no visible pink inside.
- To cook the meatballs over an open flame: Place a cast iron skillet on a grill rack that's set over an open flame. Follow the instructions above for cooking the meatballs on a stovetop. Monitor the heat of the pan, placing the pan slightly on the side of the flame to better control the heat.
The tzatziki sauce and tomato and cucumber salad can be prepared up to 3 days in advance. Keep refrigerated, or in a cooler, until ready to serve.
And if you love Greek flavors, try these grilled Greek chicken kabobs. Another great camping recipe, the kabobs can be grilled on a gas or charcoal grill or seared on a Blackstone griddle.
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
Raw Greek meatballs can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before cooking them. Shape the meatballs and then store them in an airtight container or zip-top bag in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
Homemade tzatziki sauce and the tomato and cucumber salad will keep well in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to 3 days.
After the meatballs are cooked, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave, oven, or in a hot skillet with a little bit of oil.
You can also freeze raw or cooked meatballs:
- To freeze raw meatballs, shape the meatball mix into balls and lay them in a single layer on a flat surface (like a plate or a small tray). Cover the meatballs and place in the freezer until they are frozen through. Once frozen, you can pile them into a ziptop bag or other container and then put back in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, lay the meatballs on a plate in a single layer, cover, and let them sit in the refrigerator overnight.
- To freeze cooked meatballs, place them in an airtight container and place in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow the meatballs to thaw in the refrigerator overnight then reheat in the microwave, oven, or in a hot skillet on the stovetop with a bit of oil.
For the Greek Meatballs:
- 1 cup (170 grams) cooked long grain white rice, at room temperature
- 3 - 4 ounces of hearty white bread, cut into small pieces; after cutting them into cubes, you should have about 2 cups/ 175 grams
- ¼ cup (2 ounces/ 57 grams) buttermilk
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 2 finely chopped garlic cloves; about 2 teaspoons
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ - 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, to taste (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound 85% lean ground beef
For the Cucumber and Tomato Salad:
- 2 cups (10 ounces) chopped cherry tomatoes
- 2 cups chopped Cucumber (1 large cucumber)
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- The zest and juice from one large lemon
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- A pinch of sugar (about ¼ teaspoon)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 ½ cups (12 ounces) Tzatziki Sauce
- 12 ounces marinated artichoke hearts
- Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- About ½ cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- Lemon slices (optional)
- Crusty bread
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C).
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Spray the foil or parchment with a little bit of non-stick baking spray or brush with a thin layer of oil. This will keep the meatballs from sticking.
- Dump the cooked rice into a large bowl and use a fork to mash it into a thick, chunky paste.
- Add the bread, buttermilk, egg yolk, Worcestershire, dill, garlic, oregano, coriander, crushed red pepper (if using), salt, and pepper to the bowl with the rice. Use your hands to mash the ingredients to a paste.
- Add ground beef to the bowl and use your hands to mix it with the other ingredients.
- Taste for seasoning: Heat a teaspoon or two of oil over medium-high heat in a small skillet or saucepan until hot and shimmery. Shape a small amount of meatball mixture into a small patty and set it into the hot oil. Cook on one side until brown then flip and cook on the other side. Remove from the pan and taste it. Add more salt, pepper, or other seasonings to the meatball mixture if you like, according to taste.
- Divide and shape the mixture into 20 balls and set them on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake the meatballs until cooked through, 10-12 minutes. To test whether they are done, remove one meatball from the oven and cut it in half. The meatballs are done when there is no visible pink inside.
- While the meatballs cook, prepare the cucumber and tomato salad. Add the chopped tomatoes, cucumber, and parsley to a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, add the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, sugar, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Whisk to combine and pour it over the tomato and cucumber mixture. Toss to coat the vegetables in the dressing then taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.
- To serve: Distribute the tzatziki sauce amongst 4 bowls and toss in a few artichoke hearts. Place 5 meatballs on one side of the bowl and a large scoop of cucumber and tomato salad on the other side of the bowl. Drizzle each bowl with about 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley (if desired) and serve with slices of lemon and hunks of crusty bread.
No buttermilk? No problem. DIY Buttermilk: How to make your own
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 653Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 201mgSodium: 1024mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 8gSugar: 9gProtein: 43g