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When my husband and I first started dating (after walking across the country together… really), we had the chance to travel around Europe a little. While we were there, we tried as many new cuisines as we could. One of the best meals we had was at a delicious Greek restaurant in downtown Brussels. I’ve never been able to find Greek food that good since then, so I’ve been experimenting with recipes. These Greek meatballs are a result of those experiments.
Keftedes with Tzatziki (Greek Meatballs With Cucumber Sauce)
If you’re ever at a Greek restaurant or festival and see keftedes and tzatziki on the menu it’s talking about meatballs with a cucumber yogurt sauce. The meatballs have a subtle, herby flavor from fennel and mint and a little brightness from lemon.
The tzatziki is just plain delicious on everything. I made it for the first time to go with the meatballs, but it also makes an awesome veggie dip and salad dressing. I like to make it in a little food processor or with an immersion blender to make everything really smooth, but you can also just chop the garlic and cucumber finely and whisk everything together.
This meal is delicious any time of year, but we especially love it during the summer when cucumber, fennel, and mint are fresh and available at the farmers’ markets.
Make It Ahead!
The tzatziki can be used immediately after making it, but the flavors really become more pronounced if you refrigerate it for an hour or so before serving. Making ahead is always handy!
While you’re at it, the meatballs can be rolled into balls and refrigerated until cooking time too. I just put them on a baking sheet and put the whole sheet in the fridge. Sometimes I make a double batch and freeze some for another meal.
Usually, I serve the meatballs alongside Greek salad or tossed on a romaine salad with tomatoes and cucumber. And if I’m headed to a potluck, these Greek meatballs make an awesome appetizer. I stick them on skewers with grape tomatoes, chunks of cucumber, and cubes of feta. This baked feta recipe is also a delicious result of my travels.
If you’d like a bigger version, I also have a Greek meatloaf recipe with similar flavors. Maybe next time we have a Greek night I’ll try these baklava-inspired shortbread cookies for dessert.
Greek Meatballs Recipe
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 large onion (grated)
- ¼ cup almond flour
- 1 TBSP fennel greens (finely chopped)
- 1 TBSP fennel bulb (finely chopped)
- 2 eggs
- 1 TBSP lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- ¼ tsp fresh mint (finely diced)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt (to taste)
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 cucumber (finely chopped)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs and mix with hands. Add any extra almond flour if needed to make thick enough to form into meat balls.
- Form into 1 inch meatballs and place on an oiled baking sheet or in a large baking dish.
- Bake in the oven for approximately 30-40 minutes or until cooked through.
- While baking, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce or use an immersion blender to make it smooth.
- Serve meatballs with the yogurt sauce.
Do you enjoy Greek food? What’s your favorite recipe? Share below!
Discussion (34 Comments)
Penzey’s Spices makes a great Greek seasoning blend. I just got a new jar of it, so your recipe is inspiring me to make some meatballs! Thanks Katie.
These look yummy, but is that really enough fennel and mint to taste them?
Dumb question – what size cucumber? I usually have long english cucumbers in the house – but that is A LOT of cucumber! Looking forward to trying this recipe – thanks!
I made these into patties (cook faster) and used lamb and grass fed beef. I also used Fennel powder instead of fresh fennel. They were spectacular! I paired it with your greek dressing on a salad and put a spoonfull of the tzatziki on the patty. This is going to be one of my core recipes!
Despise fennel–please suggest alternate!! Looks so delicious!!
You can just omit it completely or add more onion instead…
any type of flour will sub, just adjust the amount to get the right consistency if you sub it.
What’s the right consistency? I have standard all-purpose flour, cake flour (I think), and bread flour in the house. I don’t want to buy another one and this recipe looks interesting.
What would you serve them with?
I served them as appetizers on toothpicks and also on Mediterranean salads with feta and cucumbers and tomatoes
This sounds great! I make turkey burgers with some of the same ingredients, but not the fennel – which I love! And
Tzatziki so yummy. Pinning to try soon.
Wow! Sounds delish! We love greek food as well! Thanks for sharing.