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meatballs and orzo in a black bowl
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5 from 1 vote

Greek Turkey Meatballs with Orzo and Tzatziki

Fresh and flavorful, Greek Turkey Meatballs with Orzo and Tzatziki has layers of flavors with warm meatballs, crisp fresh cucumber and creamy Tzatziki sauce.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: easy dinner, easy, weeknight-friendly, make ahead, meatball
Servings: 4
Calories: 627kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $10.00

Equipment

  • Mixing Bowls
  • Stockpot
  • Skillet or Dutch Oven

Ingredients

Greek Turkey Meatballs:

  • 1/2 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp Milk, any type
  • 20 oz Ground Turkey (see note)
  • 2 Tbsp grated White Onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • Pinch Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Chicken Stock or Water

For the Tzatziki:

  • 1/2 cup finely grated Cucumber
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt (for the creamiest result, use 2% or higher)
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tsp chopped Fresh Dill
  • 2 tsp chopped Fresh Mint
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt

For the Orzo and Garnish:

  • 2 cups Orzo Pasta (about 12 oz)
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Cucumber, sliced or chopped (preferably a seedless variety like Persian cucumber)
  • Dill, for garnish

Instructions

  • Make meatballs: Combine bread crumbs and milk in a large mixing bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow bread crumbs to soak up the liquid. Add turkey, onion, dried oregano, salt, pinch of cinnamon, and egg. Use your hands to gently combine all of the ingredients. (Note: If the mixture sticks to your hands, try wetting your hands with some water or a bit of oil which should make them easier to shape.) Form into meatballs that are about 1.5 inches in diameter. Line the formed meatballs up on a sheet pan or plate. Refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes while preparing other ingredients (this will help them to hold their shape).
  • Make Tzatziki: Place grated cucumber on a clean dish towel or paper towel and squeeze gently to remove excess moisture. Combine cucumber, garlic, yogurt, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, dill, mint, and 1/2 tsp salt. Set aside.
  • Cook orzo: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add orzo and cook according to package directions. Drain and toss with 2 tsp lemon juice.
  • Cook meatballs: Heat a skillet or Dutch Oven (use any pan that has a lid) over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and when it begins to shimmer, carefully add meatballs. Let meatballs cook on one side until golden brown, then gently turn meatballs until evenly golden brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Pour stock down the side of the pan and cover with a lid. Steam meatballs until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes more.
  • Serve meatballs over orzo with Tzatziki, cucumbers, and dill.

Notes

Ground Turkey - We tested this recipe with lean ground turkey (white meat). It will also work dark meat ground turkey, but the higher fat content may make the meatballs more difficult to form. If using dark meat ground turkey, you may need to add extra panko bread crumbs (about 2-3 Tablespoons) if the mixture is difficult to roll into balls.

Nutrition

Calories: 627kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 1044mg | Potassium: 848mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 194IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 132mg | Iron: 3mg