Greek Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce are a delicious dinner or appetizer! Loaded with flavorful spices, lemon zest and feta cheese. They’re sure to please anyone who loves Greek food!
If you love these Greek meatballs, then you have to try my popular Greek meatballs and orzo skillet recipe!
This post has been updated since it was originally published on 4/15/2016.
Why you’ll love them
Baked in the oven – These Greek meatballs are baked on a sheet pan in the oven rather than fried in oil in a skillet. You don’t have to worry about oil splattering and if you line your baking sheet with parchment paper or foil, there won’t be any cleanup.
Freezable – Meatballs freeze beautifully. I often make a double batch and stick half of them in the freezer to pull out on a night when I don’t have time to cook or if you meal prep.
Serve as an appetizer or dinner – Greek meatballs also called keftedes, are a delicious appetizer that can be served with the tzatziki sauce as part of a mezze platter for entertaining or you can serve them with this Greek orzo salad as a main dish for dinner.
What is tzatziki?
Tzatziki is a dip or sauce that is found in Southern Europe and the Middle East cuisines. It’s made of strained yogurt (or Greek yogurt), cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, sometimes lemon juice, and herbs such as dill, mint, or parsley.
- Ground beef – Lean ground beef works great for the meatballs. Alternatively you could use ground turkey, chicken, or lamb.
- Panko – I generally use panko as a binder in my meatballs, but you can use breadcrumbs if you prefer.
- Onion – White, yellow, or red onion can be used. I like to grate the onion so you don’t bite into any big chunks.
- Garlic – Grate the garlic on a microplane zester or finely mince it.
- Flat leaf parsley – If you can’t find fresh parsley substitute with a teaspoon of dried.
- Lemon – Adds a bright fresh flavor to the meatballs and tzatziki. Be sure to zest the lemon before juicing it.
- Egg – Acts as a binder for the meatballs.
- Oregano, coriander, cumin, cinnamon – The spice blend for the meatballs.
- Feta – If possible, buy a block of feta and crumble it yourself for the best flavor.
- Cucumber – English or Persian cucumbers are recommended for the the tzatziki.
- Greek yogurt – Plain Greek yogurt is the base of the tzatziki sauce.
- Fresh dill – If you can’t find fresh dill substitute with 1/2 – 1 teaspoon dried dill depending on your tastes.
- Garlic powder – Personally I don’t like raw garlic so I use garlic powder in the tzatziki. If you want to use fresh use a 1/2 teaspoon grated or minced.
How to make Greek meatballs
Preheat the oven to 450° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil for easy cleanup. If using foil, spray it with cooking oil so the meatballs don’t stick to it.
Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl and use your hands to mix everything together. Be careful not to over mix or the meatballs will be tough.
Use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to scoop out the meat mixture. Roll them into balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Spray the tops of the meatballs with cooking oil or brush them with olive oil.
You should have between 20-24 meatballs depending on how big you make them. Bake the meatballs for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
How to make tzatziki sauce
Shred the cucumber on a box grater with the largest holes. Place the shredded cucumber into a clean dish towel or several paper towels. Gather up the towel and squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can from the cucumber.
In a bowl combine all of the ingredients for the tzatziki and stir them together. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper or lemon juice if needed. Refrigerate until the meatballs are ready to be served.
Greek meatballs FAQ
Yes. Ground turkey, chicken, or lamb can all be used in place of the ground beef. You can also use a 50/50 combination of beef and lamb if you’d like.
Lightly wet your hands with water or spray them with cooking oil to keep the meat mixture from sticking to your hands.
Use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to scoop out the meat mixture. This will ensure that they are the same size and bake evenly in the oven.
Plain whole milk or 2% Greek yogurt has the best flavor and consistency for tzatziki. The higher fat content gives it a richer flavor and thicker and creamier texture. You can of course use non-fat if you prefer.
More Meatball Recipes
- Skillet Enchilada Meatballs
- Turkey Meatballs in Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
- Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
- Sesame Chicken Meatball Bowls
- Asian Turkey Meatball Bowls
Did you make these Greek meatballs with tzatziki sauce? I’d love if you’d leave a recipe rating and review below.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs or gluten-free breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- 3 tablespoons grated onion
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- Zest of a lemon
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup shredded cucumber, liquid squeezed out
- 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 1/2 teaspoon grated garlic or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (I used 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt)
- Preheat oven to 450° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Spray it with cooking oil.
- In a large bowl whisk together the panko, parsley, grated onion, garlic, lemon zest and juice, egg, spices, salt and pepper, and feta.
- Add the ground beef to the mixture and combine with your hands being careful not to over-work the meat mixture. Form approximately tablespoon sized meatballs.
- Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet and spray or brush the tops with olive oil. Place the baking sheet on the center rack of the oven and bake for approximately 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
- Make the tzatziki sauce while the meatballs are baking by combining all of the ingredient in a medium sized bowl and stirring together until combined.
- Remove the meatballs from the oven and serve with the tzatziki sauce.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 362Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 150mgSodium: 192mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 41g