Greek Meatballs With Orzo Pilaf

Greek_meatballs_with_Orzo_pilaf

Yiayia’s Greek Meatballs (Keftedes)

A delicious savory meatball full of garlic, mint and oregano makes up Yiayia’s Greek Meatballs.  Serve over an orzo pilaf for an easy weeknight meal the whole family will love!

I grew up eating Greek meatballs, otherwise known as Keftedes weekly.  Mom, now known as yiayia, (grandmother in Greek), would make a batch on Sundays and we would have meatballs in the fridge for snacks after school, or easy dinners when mom didn’t want to cook. 

Keftedes are super easy to make, and while there are hundreds of recipes online, this one comes from my Greek mother, who was born and raised in Greece, so it is as authentic as it gets. 

In fact – it even has Ouzo, which is a Greek liquor that tastes like anise, or black licorice.  Don’t worry the meatballs do not taste like anise, the alcohol burns off and the result is a super flavorful and moist meatball.   

Pick up 93% lean ground beef on sale for $3.97/lb. at Safeway this week to make Greek meatballs.  You can serve with a Greek Chickpea salad, with the orzo pilaf shown below, with a rice pilaf or with Tzaziki sauce. 

The meatballs can be served warm, but my family also enjoys them cold with hard boiled eggs, salted tomatoes and crunchy cucumber. 

Kids and adults love Greek meatballs.  They are not at all like Italian meatballs and do not require a sauce. They are flavorful on their own. 

Authentic Greek Meatballs Ingredient List

  • 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Ouzo (optional)
  • 1/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Greek oregano
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

greek_meatball_ingredients

Spinach Orzo Pilaf Ingredients

  • 8 oz orzo pasta
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups O Organics Vegetable or Chicken Broth
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup O Organics Kalamata Olives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

 

How to Make Greek Meatballs

Preheat the oven to 400° F. 

Layer a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray the parchment with olive oil spray. 

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, grated onion, minced garlic, red wine vinegar, ouzo (if using), breadcrumbs, egg, cumin, oregano,  salt and pepper.  Mix with clean hands gently until all the ingredients are combined. 

Shape and form the meatballs and place them onto the lined baking sheet. 

Spray with olive oil cooking spray and cook for 25 to 30 minutes until the meatballs are brown and cooked through.  

Greek_meatballs_recipe

Meanwhile, prepare the orzo pilaf while the meatballs cook. 

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil.  

Saute diced onions and minced garlic for a few minutes, until soft. 

Add the orzo and stir to mix.  Add the broth, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pan for about 10 minutes until the orzo is cooked through.   

Add the chopped spinach, dill, olives and feta cheese to the skillet and stir to combine.  Pour the lemon juice on top and top with the meatballs and serve. 

 

Additional Greek-Inspired Recipes:

Grilled Greek Pita Burger

Greek Grilled Shrimp Skewers

Greek Chicken Gyros Recipe With Tzatziki Sauce

Authentic Greek Tzatziki Sauce Recipe

Authentic Greek Salad Featuring NEW O Organics Kalamata Olives

One Pot Greek Skillet Chicken and Orzo

 

Greek_meatballs_with_Orzo_pilaf

Greek Meatballs With Orzo Pilaf

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Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: Greek Meatballs, Greek Meatballs with Orzo
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Calories:
Author: Eva Fry

Ingredients

Greek Meatball Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1 onion grated (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Ouzo optional
  • 1/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Greek oregano
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

Spinach Orzo Pilaf Ingredients

  • 8 oz orzo pasta
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 1/2 cups O Organics Vegetable or Chicken Broth
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup O Organics Kalamata Olives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  • Layer a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray the parchment with olive oil spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, grated onion, minced garlic, red wine vinegar, ouzo (if using), breadcrumbs, egg, cumin, oregano,  salt and pepper.  Mix with clean hands gently until all the ingredients are combined.
  • Shape and form the meatballs and place them onto the lined baking sheet.
  • Spray with olive oil cooking spray and cook for 25 to 30 minutes until the meatballs are brown and cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the orzo pilaf
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  • Saute diced onions and minced garlic for a few minutes, until soft.
  • Add the orzo and stir to mix.  Add the broth, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pan for about 10 minutes until the orzo is cooked through.   Add the chopped spinach, dill, olives and feta cheese to the skillet and stir to combine.  Pour the lemon juice on top and top with the meatballs and serve.

greek_meatballs_With_Orzo_skillet

 

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