Mediterranean Meatballs

There must have been fifty of them steaming on the tray that my mother pulled out of the oven! She loved to cook in bulk–some for now and some to save in the freezer for later. 

And every time I make a batch of homemade meatballs, I flashback to my mother pulling trays out of the oven laden with meatballs. With only one pound of meat, it’s easy to squeeze dozens of them onto a baking sheet. Imagine the wealth from pounds of meat!

But this isn’t your grandma’s classic meatloaf recipe. This is a modern twist that adds Mediterranean flavors of gyros to your meatballs. Same easy meal, even better taste than before.

The trick is an abundance of herbs: salt, pepper, paprika, parsley, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin. In fact, don’t hesitate to add an extra shake or two of each seasoning to enhance the flavor. 

Also, ground turkey lets the herbs and seasonings really shine, but ground beef stays true to the original flavor of meatballs. Either work well for this recipe.

Don’t love breadcrumbs or need a gluten free option? Use instant oatmeal instead. It adds a bit of texture and fiber while fulfilling the same purpose of keeping your meatballs, well, as meatballs! 

And, if you’re like my mother, double this recipe: some for now, some to put in the freezer for later. (Cook the meatballs first, let them fully cook, then flash freeze on a baking sheet before storing in a freezer bag or container–this lets you pull out just a few instead of having a solid block of stuck-together meatballs.)

Mediterranean Meatballs

Mediterranean Meatballs

Classic meatballs with the aromatic flavors of gyros from the Mediterranean.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ - ½ cup bread crumbs or instant oatmeal
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1½ tsp oregano
  • 1½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the egg. Add all of the herbs: salt, pepper, paprika, parsley, oregano, garlic, onion, and cumin. Stir to combine.
  3. Add in the meat and combine. (Hint: it’s best to use your hands for this step!)
  4. Add in ¼ cup bread crumbs and stir. If needed, add the remaining ¼ cup of breadcrumbs a little at a time. You want the mixture to hold together in a ball.
  5. Using your hands, form into balls approximately one inch in diameter.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until fully cooked.

Notes

Make these gluten free by using instant oats instead of breadcrumbs.

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 349Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 143mgSodium: 625mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 34g

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