Try this fresh take on chicken meatballs with our Greek-inspired version. These Greek chicken meatballs are made with ground chicken, feta cheese, breadcrumbs panade, lemon, and a variety of aromatic herbs.
These Greek meatballs are packed with the most delicious Mediterranean flavors, thanks to a blend of fresh mint, fresh parsley, fresh dill, green onions, lemon, and some tangy feta cheese.
Chicken meatballs can be quite plain on their own and often they do not pair well with tomato sauce.
But these chicken meatballs are so flavorful and moist, they do not even need a sauce. They remain tender and juicy even the next day after reheating.
We are making them with the bread crumbs panade to achieve the best texture.
If you decide to make a traditional panade with bread, the mixture will be too runny but still possible to work with (speaking from experience!).
I made them with fresh white bread the first time and while they were delicious, it was hard to shape them into a ball shape.
That's why I switched to bread crumbs instead and the results were amazing.
As an addition, the recipe card includes an easy recipe for tzatziki sauce to go with the meatballs.
Please, see the recipe card for the quantities at the end of this post.
- Ground chicken: I recommend using a combination of dark and white meat for juicy and tender meatballs. You can make ground chicken at home or find it at the grocery store. If buying it, check on the package for at least 7% fat content.
- Bread crumbs: I used plain bread crumbs. Italian or Panko work as well.
- Whole milk: some milk to soften the breadcrumbs that will make the meatballs juicy.
- Egg: to bind and hold the meatballs in shape.
- Feta cheese: crumbled feta cheese will add tanginess to the dish.
- Fresh herbs: I always use fresh parsley, fresh mint, fresh dill, and green onions. You can skip mint or dill or use dry herbs instead. For the best flavor, recommend fresh herbs.
- Lemon: you will need some for the juice and zest. Save the rest of the lemon for tzatziki sauce (recipe included in the recipe card)
- Seasonings: I used salt, garlic powder, and black pepper.
- Olive oil: to coat the pan. You can also use a cooking spray oil.
Chop fresh herbs: rinse and dry mint, parsley, dill, and green onions. Chop all the herbs very finely.
Make panade. In a large bowl, add bread crumbs and pour the milk over. Mix briefly and let the breadcrumbs absorb the milk for a few minutes. The panade will not look soggy like the one you make with bread.
Add remaining ingredients: Add ground chicken, egg, crumbled feta cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper to the moist bread crumbs. Mix the meatball mixture until well combined. You can use a spatula or clean hands.
Form the meatballs: Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spread a thin layer of olive oil on top. Olive oil will brown the meatballs better. Using a cookie dough scoop or a spoon, scoop about 1-1.5 tablespoons of the meat mixture and form the balls. The cookie dough scoop makes the process much faster with guaranteed even-size meatballs. I usually have 22 meatballs. Arrange the meatballs in a prepared pan.
Bake: Bake the meatballs at 400°F for about 20-25 minutes, flipping them one time for even browning. They are ready when the internal temperature reaches at least 165°F.
Quick note: the cooking time may slightly vary depending on the size of the meatballs.
Here are my best tips to help you achieve juicy, tender meatballs with authentic Greek flavors:
- Use fresh herbs: for authentic Greek flavor, use fresh mint, dill, and parsley. Fresh herbs will infuse the meatballs with Mediterranean flavors.
- Don't overmix: use hands or a spatula to mix the ingredients just until well combined. Overmixing can make the meatballs tough.
- Serve with Tzatziki: Greek yogurt creamy sauce complements the rich flavors of the meatballs.
- Consistent size: make sure the meatballs are the same size, this way they will cook evenly. To achieve this, I use a cookie scoop.
- Grains: Mediterranean-style rice is a perfect side dish for these meatballs. You can also enjoy them with pasta, quinoa, or buckwheat.
- Salads: for a light meal, enjoy them with a Greek salad, arugula and beet salad, or any other green salad.
- Pita pocket sandwich: stuff the meatballs in pita bread with some fresh tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, and diced red onion, all drizzled with tzatziki sauce
- Appetizer plate (mezze platter): include the meatballs in a Mediterranean-style appetizer plate with a variety of small dishes like flatbread, chicken kebabs, hummus, tzatziki sauce, kalamata olives, dolmas and fresh vegetables.
Homemade tzatziki sauce
You can buy store-bought tzatziki or other Greek-style yogurt sauce, but I love to make making it myself. Especially, I already have herbs and lemon leftovers after making the meatballs.
You can find the quantities for each ingredient in the recipe card below.
Grate the cucumber using the fine side (not the star) of a box grater. Squeeze as much liquid as possible with clean hands, so the cucumber liquid does not make the sauce watery.
Mince garlic and chop fresh dill finely. You can also add fresh mint and parsley.
In a medium bowl, mix full-fat Greek yogurt, grated cucumber, minced garlic, chopped dill, lemon juice, and olive oil. Now, add some salt to taste.
While the meatballs are cooking, chill the sauce for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Note: you can use one Persian cucumber or ⅓ of an English cucumber to make the sauce.
These delicious Greek chicken meatballs make the best leftovers. After reheating, they remain tender and juicy without the sauce.
That's why I often make a large batch and use them for meal prep.
To store: store them in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
To reheat: pop them in a microwave for about 1 minute or until fully warmed up. But my favorite way is to reheat them in my air fryer because they brown even more and taste as good as fresh.
How to make ground chicken at home
If you have a food processor, it is very easy to make ground chicken by yourself.
Check out our other 3 methods to make ground chicken at home if you do not have a food processor.
Choose the chicken meat that is boneless and skinless. I recommend using both chicken breast and chicken thighs.
Cube the chicken into 1-inch cubes and place it on a tray lined with parchment paper. Place the tray in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes.
It needs to be firm but not frozen. This step will help the food processor blades work easily without overheating raw meat.
Once the meat is firm, place the chicken cubes in a food processor and process for about 30-40 seconds or until the chicken pieces are finely minced. Do not overfill the food processor and work it in batches if needed.
Use ground meat immediately to make the meatballs or place it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Make sure to wrap it in parchment paper and place it in an airtight bag for storage in the fridge. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.
Frequently asked questions
Our Greek chicken meatballs stand out from traditional ones mainly because of their unique flavor profile, which comes from added ingredients like fresh parsley, dill, mint, feta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
Yes, you can use ground turkey to make these meatballs. Just like with chicken, opt for turkey which has a higher fat content to avoid dry meatballs.
It is important not to over mix the meat and not to overcook the meatballs to prevent them from being tough and dry. It is also important to avoid making them with very lean meat.
es, you can freeze cooked meatballs for up to 3 months. Let them cool down completely first. Then, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or a container, label and place them in the freezer until ready to enjoy them again.
More favorite meatball recipes to try
Greek Chicken Meatballs
- 1 large bowl
- 1 Baking pan
- 1 pound ground chicken
- ½ cup bread crumbs, plain
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup feta cheese, finely crumbled
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
- ½ tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
- ½ tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, or more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, for the pan
Easy Tzatziki Sauce
- ½ cup Greek yogurt, plain, full fat
- ¼ medium cucumber
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped or parsley
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 pinches salt, to taste
- 1 pinch black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and grease it with a thin layer of love oil or a cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, add ½ cup bread crumbs and 3 tablespoons of milk. Stir it briefly so the crumbs absorb the milk.
- Add 1 lb ground chicken, 1 egg, ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese, 2 finely chopped scallions, 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley, 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill, ½ tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint, 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, ½ teaspoon lemon zest, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper to the bowl with bread crumbs. Mix with a spatula or hands to combine. Do not over mix it.
- Using hands or the cookie dough scoop (preferred for even size balls), form the meatballs and orange them on a prepared baking pan.
- Bake the meatballs for about 20-25 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165°F. I like to flip them half way through the cooking time for even browning. Sprinkle cooked meatballs with fresh dill and parsley on top. Serve with pita bread and tzatziki sauce.
Easy Tzatziki Sauce
- Using the fine side of a grater box, grate the cucumber and squeeze as much liquid as possible.
- In a small bowl, combined grated cucumber, ½ cup Greek yogurt, minced garlic clove, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill, salt and pepper to taste.
- For best results, chill it in the fridge while the meatballs are baking. Serve as a dip for your Greek meatballs.
- This recipe makes 22 meatballs when using a medium cookie dough scoop.
- Skip the dill or other herbs you do not like.
- The cooking time may slightly vary, depending on the the of the meatballs.
- You can also fry them instead of baking.