One of my favorite food bloggers, Gina from Skinnytaste just got back from a Mediterranean cruise where she ate a lot Greek food. We get to reap the benefits of her travels because she was inspired to create a handful of Greek inspired recipes since her return. As soon as these meatballs showed up on her blog, I was salivating. I don’t know about you but I love tzatziki sauce and Greek inspired spice combinations.
These babies have the added bonus of being filled with hidden veggies. Because of the zucchini, these meatballs stay nice and moist. I didn’t have any bread so I just used a little more breadcrumbs. On the night that I decided to make these, I didn’t have any pita bread to stuff them in either and probably wouldn’t have anyway because it would just be too filling. I served them with a heaping pile of broccoli for the hubs and sliced tomatoes for myself. This made a huge batch of meatballs. We each had 2 and there were plenty left for lunches!
The tzatzki sauce was a little thick but, I didn’t mind that at all. It tasted fabulous. Cool and garlicky and filled with fresh dill! Yum! I suspect the texture of the sauce differs depending on which Greek Yogurt you use, how long you let it drain, and how well you drain your cucumber. I used Dannon Oikos Triple Zero Greek Yogurt and strained it overnight. I also drained my cucumber within an inch of it’s life. I think this added to the thickness of my sauce. I didn’t think of it as a negative at all. It was absolutely delicious.
You can grill these or saute them in a pan on the stovetop. I baked mine in the oven. It was just easiest I felt.
- 1.25 lbs 93% lean ground turkey
- 1 cup grated zucchini, liquid squeezed out well
- 2 slices whole wheat bread
- 1/4 cup seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 red onion, grated (I used my mini food processor)
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped (less if using dry)
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh spearmint, chopped
- kosher salt and fresh pepper
- about 1 tsp worth of olive oil cooking spray
Wet bread with water, squeezing excess out. Tear into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Combine with turkey, egg, zucchini, breadcrumbs, garlic, onion, mint, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper.
Using a 1/4 cup measure, form each meatball 1/4 cup in size. For best results, refrigerate before cooking to help hold their shape.
In a pan: spray olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan and cook over very low heat (or you can make 350F 20-25 minutes)
On the grill: clean grill well before cooking and spray grate with oil. Cook on low until cooked through. Makes about 17 meatballs.
- 8 oz fat-free Greek yogurt (I used Fage)
- 1 small cucumber, peeled and seeded (1 cup grated and drained)
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
- kosher salt and fresh pepper
Strain the yogurt using a metal strainer or a coffee filter for a few hours to remove as much liquid as possible. Set aside.
Scoop seeds out of the cucumber with a small spoon. Place cucumber in a mini food processor or grate with a box grater.
Drain the liquid from the cucumber in a metal strainer or a clean kitchen towel and sprinkle with a little salt (this helps release the liquid). You may want to use the back of a spoon to help squeeze out any excess liquid.
Combine strained cucumber, garlic, yogurt, salt, pepper, lemon juice, dill, chives and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.
Makes about 2 cups. Store in refrigerator for about a week.