HomeAppetizerMediterranean Chicken Meatballs Recipe

Mediterranean Chicken Meatballs Recipe

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Mediterranean Chicken Meatballs Recipe

Introduction

Mediterranean cuisine is celebrated for its fresh, flavorful, and healthy ingredients. This recipe for Mediterranean Chicken Meatballs brings together lean ground chicken, vibrant herbs, and aromatic spices, creating a dish that’s not only delicious but also nutritious. Perfect for a weeknight dinner or as an appetizer for a gathering, these meatballs are versatile and can be served with a variety of accompaniments.

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Ingredients

For the Meatballs:

  • Ground chicken: 1 pound (preferably thigh meat for juiciness)
  • Breadcrumbs: 1/2 cup (panko or regular)
  • Egg: 1 large
  • Garlic: 3 cloves, minced
  • Red onion: 1/4 cup, finely chopped
  • Fresh parsley: 1/4 cup, finely chopped
  • Fresh mint: 2 tablespoons, finely chopped
  • Feta cheese: 1/4 cup, crumbled
  • Sun-dried tomatoes: 1/4 cup, finely chopped (oil-packed, drained)
  • Ground cumin: 1 teaspoon
  • Ground coriander: 1 teaspoon
  • Dried oregano: 1 teaspoon
  • Salt: 1 teaspoon
  • Black pepper: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Olive oil: 2 tablespoons (for frying)

For the Tzatziki Sauce:

  • Greek yogurt: 1 cup
  • Cucumber: 1/2 cup, grated and drained
  • Garlic: 1 clove, minced
  • Fresh dill: 2 tablespoons, chopped
  • Lemon juice: 1 tablespoon
  • Olive oil: 1 tablespoon
  • Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Black pepper: 1/4 teaspoon

Instructions

Preparing the Meatballs:

  1. Mix the Ingredients:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken, breadcrumbs, and egg. Mix until just combined.
    • Add the minced garlic, chopped red onion, parsley, mint, feta cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes to the mixture.
    • Sprinkle in the cumin, coriander, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper.
    • Using your hands or a spoon, gently mix the ingredients until well incorporated. Be careful not to overmix as this can make the meatballs tough.
  2. Shape the Meatballs:
    • With slightly wet hands, form the mixture into meatballs, about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. This should yield around 20-24 meatballs.
    • Place the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Cook the Meatballs:
    • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
    • Once the oil is hot, add the meatballs in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.
    • Cook each meatball for about 4-5 minutes on each side, turning them carefully to ensure they brown evenly and are cooked through.
    • Alternatively, you can bake the meatballs. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown.

Preparing the Tzatziki Sauce:

  1. Prepare the Cucumber:
    • Grate the cucumber using a box grater.
    • Place the grated cucumber in a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth and squeeze out as much excess moisture as possible.
  2. Mix the Sauce:
    • In a medium bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, grated cucumber, minced garlic, chopped dill, lemon juice, and olive oil.
    • Season with salt and black pepper.
    • Stir until well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Serving Suggestions

  1. Plating:
    • Serve the Mediterranean Chicken Meatballs warm, arranged on a platter with a bowl of tzatziki sauce in the center.
    • Garnish with additional chopped parsley and a sprinkle of crumbled feta for a touch of color and flavor.
  2. Accompaniments:
    • Pita Bread: Warm pita bread is perfect for wrapping around the meatballs with a dollop of tzatziki.
    • Salad: A simple cucumber, tomato, and red onion salad dressed with olive oil and lemon juice complements the flavors of the meatballs.
    • Rice or Couscous: Serve the meatballs over a bed of fluffy rice or couscous for a more filling meal.
    • Roasted Vegetables: Mediterranean roasted vegetables such as zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers make a great side dish.

Tips and Variations

  1. Make Ahead: You can prepare the meatballs mixture a day in advance and refrigerate it. When ready to cook, shape and cook the meatballs as directed.
  2. Freezing: The uncooked meatballs can be frozen. Place them on a baking sheet to freeze individually, then transfer to a freezer bag. Cook from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the cooking time.
  3. Herbs: If you can’t find fresh mint, you can substitute with additional parsley or use dried mint (reduce the amount to 1 teaspoon).
  4. Spicy Variation: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a finely chopped chili pepper to the meatball mixture for a spicy kick.

Nutritional Information

This recipe makes approximately 24 meatballs. Per meatball, the nutritional information is as follows:

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  • Calories: 60
  • Protein: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 2g
  • Fat: 4g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Sugar: 0.5g

Conclusion

Mediterranean Chicken Meatballs are a delightful fusion of flavors and textures. They are easy to make, healthy, and incredibly versatile. Whether served as an appetizer or main course, these meatballs are sure to be a hit at any meal. Paired with the creamy, tangy tzatziki sauce, they offer a taste of the Mediterranean that will transport your taste buds to sunnier climes. Enjoy!

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Source: eatyourselfskinny.com

Yield: 6

Mediterranean Chicken Meatballs Recipe

Mediterranean Chicken Meatballs Recipe

Mediterranean cuisine is celebrated for its fresh, flavorful, and healthy ingredients. This recipe for Mediterranean Chicken Meatballs brings together lean ground chicken, vibrant herbs, and aromatic spices, creating a dish that's not only delicious but also nutritious. Perfect for a weeknight dinner or as an appetizer for a gathering, these meatballs are versatile and can be served with a variety of accompaniments.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground chicken, or ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
  • Squeeze of lemon, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray.

  • In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, breadcrumbs, egg, sun dried tomatoes, feta and parmesan cheeses, garlic, green onions, parsley and season with salt and pepper.  Mix everything together using a spoon, or your hands, until all combined.

  • Using a small to medium cookie scoop (I used this 1.2 tablespoon size scoop), make 2-inch sized balls and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or sprayed with non-stick spray).  You should get about 18 meatballs.

  • Pop the sheet pan in the oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly browned and cooked through.

  • Squeeze a little lemon juice over top (if desired) and serve alongside a Mediterranean salad or make bowls with brown rice, homemade tzatziki sauce and fresh veggies!

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