Greek Meatballs with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce and Rice Recipe


This easy recipe makes enough meatballs for two meals – one comforting supper of meatballs and hot rice, and another meal of meatball pitas with cucumber-yogurt sauce. You may also make a batch of meatballs and freeze them, reheating as many as you need for a meal. The cucumber-yogurt sauce is a hard-working multi-tasker, flavorful enough to be used for a dip with cut vegetables, or drizzled over baked chicken or fish. Cook the rice while you prepare the meatballs and mix the cucumber-yogurt sauce, and you can have a satisfying meal on the table in just 40 minutes – perfect for a busy weeknight supper. The use of budget-friendly ground chuck makes this recipe a good family meal option, providing four people with two hearty meals. Greek Meatballs is also a great option if you are taking a dish for a party on game day. Serve them as appetizers or part of the main course. If you need to transport them, keep them warm in a slow cooker.

Greek Meatballs with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce and Rice
Photo: Greg DuPree
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
Serves 4 (serving size: 5 meatballs, 1/2 cup rice, 1/4 cup sauce)


  • 2 pounds ground chuck

  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk Greek yogurt (about 12 oz.)

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and grated (about 1/2 cup)

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest plus 1 Tbsp. fresh juice

  • 2 cups cooked basmati rice


  1. Preheat broiler with oven rack 6 inches from heat. Place ground chuck, feta cheese, oregano, parsley, crushed red pepper, egg, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper in large bowl, and gently combine.

  2. Shape mixture into 32 meatballs, and place on a large aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Broil until meatballs are no longer pink in centers, 8 to 10 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, stir together yogurt, cucumber, mint, dill, lemon zest, lemon juice, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl.

  4. Reserve 12 meatballs and 1 cup cucumber-yogurt sauce for stuffed pitas (see below). Serve remaining meatballs and cucumber-yogurt sauce with hot cooked rice.


Reheat 12 meatballs; stuff 3 meatballs into each of 4 warm pita bread halves. Add lettuce, tomato, and red onion; top with 1 cup cucumber-yogurt sauce.

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