Greek Meatballs for Your Favorite Dish
Have you ever opened the fridge to find a package of meat that needed to be cooked, like yesterday? That happened to me recently with a package of hamburger. The quickest, easiest thing I could think of was meatballs. However, the weather in Kansas City has been very hot (like 2 billion degrees), so I wasn’t super excited about the idea of spaghetti. On hot summer days, I really just want light meals with lots of veggies. Then, I had an amazing idea…what if I made Greek meatballs and put them with some kind of cucumber salad??!!
I am absolutely obsessed with Greek Seasoning from Penzey’s Spices. Please, do yourself a favor and buy it! (Not a sponsored statement) It makes a delicious salad dressing and a flavorful sauce for pasta. I knew that the seasoning would work well, but I wanted to make sure to add enough pizzazz to make these meatballs memorable. Mr. Delish is known for incredible traditional meatballs, so giving him some competition requires thinking outside the box! Luckily, we had pepperoncini peppers, feta, lemon juice, and spinach in the fridge. I chopped them up and added it to the hamburger meat.
Even though, I was pretty certain the Greek meatballs were on target, I wasn’t quite sure about what to do with cucumbers to make it fit with my light meal. In the summer, my grandma seemed to always have sliced cucumbers in vinegar. Since I LOVE anything in vinegar (pickled veggies, coleslaw, whatever) and had just purchased some lemon infused white balsamic vinegar from a specialty shop in my town, I decided this type of a side dish was worth an attempt.
Cucumber Salad (Not a Real Recipe)
I’m going to test this side dish a few more times before making a legitimate “recipe box.” I’m just going to explain how I made it because I didn’t measure or write anything down while making it (oops!). I also did not add any seasonings. I want to try some salt or pepper or something just to see how it turns out.
Instead of slicing my cucumbers, I used a Veggetti to make noodles. This spiralizes the cucumber, making really long noodles. I ended up rough chopping them to shorten the “noodle”, because I didn’t want a Lady and the Tramp style noodle situation. Sadly, this was a failed attempt to distract my picky eight year-old into eating cucumbers without complaining. Despite the total fail for one kid, the baby and my six year-old son loved these cucumber noodles, both before and after I added the vinegar. I’m going to call that a huge success!
Here is a picture of the Vegetti making zucchini noodles:
Many people serve my grandma’s dish with sliced onions, but I don’t really care for raw onion. It wouldn’t be sitting in vinegar long enough to change that raw onion flavor, so I wondered if sauteing a red onion could add that distinct, savory onion flavor without it being too strong. It couldn’t hurt to add them, right? Mr. Delish always tells me not to be afraid to fail when cooking. To make this side dish, I mixed about 1/2 cup of chopped, sauteed red onion; spiralized “noodles” from 1 and 1/2 large cucumbers; and 1/4-1/3 cup lemon infused white balsamic vineger in a medium bowl and refrigerated until ready to serve.
How to Serve
We ate these meatballs with the cucumber salad, warmed pita bread slices, and lemon garlic hummus. I bought some tzatziki sauce at the store, but I just couldn’t eat it. My favorite KC Greek restaurant has outstanding tzatziki sauce, and it’s ruined all others for me. In truth, you can serve these Greek meatballs any way you want! I bet they would be good with traditional pasta noodles with a Greek dressing, on top of a lettuce salad, or in a pita pocket!
A well-flavored take on a meatball for your favorite Greek-inspired dishes!
- 1 lb Lean Beef
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp greek dressing seasoning Penzey's Spices
- 1/8 cup chopped spinach
- 1/8 cup pepperoncini peppers chopped
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 oz crumbled feta
- 2 tsp minced garlic
Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray regular muffin cups with cooking spray.
In mixing bowl, mix all ingredients.
Form meatballs into desired size. I made approximately 1 oz meatballs.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit.