This recipe combines many of the delicious Greek flavors I love and results in a healthy, tasty meal.  I served it with greek oregano baked fries and a big greek salad.  You could use beef for the meatballs if you prefer, but chicken lightens up the meal.  The tsatsiki is a wonderful complement to the chicken meatballs.  It is not hard to make, but make sure you strain the liquid out of your yogurt and your cucumbers for best results.

Yield about 16 meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup panko 
  • 1 slice Italian bread
  • 2 tablespoons milk for soaking bread
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
  • 1 pint san Marzano or cherry tomatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons greek seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste

for tsatsiki:

  • 1 35 oz container whole yogurt, strained
  • 1 grated English cucumber (or 5-6 Persian cucumbers), peeled, grated, excess liquid squeezed out
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

for tsatsiki:

To strain yogurt, get a sieve and cheese cloth, or just use a few layers of paper towel to let all liquid strain out of yogurt. Place yogurt in cheesecloth and sieve over a bowl and allow water to drain in fridge for several hours.  After grating cucumber, squeeze out as much liquid as possible. In a small bowl, stir together the oil, garlic powder, strained yogurt, strained cucumber, salt and pepper. Set aside or make ahead and place in refrigerator until the rest of the meal is ready.  Tsatsiki will hold for several days.

for meatballs and chickpeas:

Preheat oven on 400.  Place bread and milk in a small bowl until bread absorbs all the liquid.  In a food processor, pulse together onion, garlic and parsley until finely chopped.  Add soaked bread and pulse several times until combined.  In a large bowl, add chicken, egg, soaked bread, panko and seasonings.  Using your hands, combine all ingredients until seasonings are well distributed.  Take a heaping tablespoon or so of meatball mixture and roll chicken meatballs in the palm of your hand.  Place meatballs on a parchment line baking sheet about an inch apart. Bake meatballs for aBout 30 minutes, rotating baking sheet about halfway thru until meatballs are cooked thru or until internal temperature reaches 160.

On a separate baking sheet, place tomatoes and chickpeas on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil and spices until evenly coated.  Place the pan in preheated oven and cook for about 15 minutes until tomatoes begin to burst and chickpeas begin to become golden.  Place the chickpea mixture on a platter.  Place meatballs on top, garnish with fresh parsley and serve with prepared tsatsiki.  Enjoy!