These Greek Chicken Meatballs with herby yogurt dipping sauce are a recipe that can do double duty as a healthy dinner, or as a party bite that can be kept warm in a slow cooker!
Ground Chicken Meatballs
Now that I’m my 40’s and ever-so-predictably watching my cholesterol, ground beef, pork and lamb recipes are happening in our house less and less (lamb bolognese is saved for a special occasion).
In red meat’s place, I’m definitely turning to ground turkey and chicken wherever possible. Meatballs are one recipe where I don’t feel like they NEED to be beef to be delicious.
In fact, these Greek chicken meatballs are not only one of my favorite New Year’s Eve snacks (along with ham and turkey sliders), but I make them just about every other week as a quick dinner by adding a few side dishes.
So grab a rosemary gin cocktail, and let’s chat about these delicious Mediterranean meatballs. They can be baked or air fried, and served with things like feta, orzo and tzatziki to make them extra special.
“I have made this recipe so many times in the last year, I don’t even need to look at it anymore. The meatballs are so tasty, and when I was trying to lose weight, these were one dish I could enjoy guilt free. The whole family enjoys them too; you can throw them in a marinara sauce and use them in a meatball sub, or with pasta, or even cold leftovers out of the fridge!”—Sharon
Why you’ll love Mediterranean Meatballs
To me, it’s not a party without some meatballs.
And when I want to use ground chicken, these Greek chicken meatballs are what I turn to.
With their simple list of ingredients (most things you may already have in your fridge or pantry), and easy cooking method, these ground chicken meatballs are truly so simple to whip up and pop into the oven as party guests are on their way to your house.
And once baked, these Mediterranean meatballs are easily kept warm in a slow cooker on “low” or “warm” setting with a bit of chicken broth or water in the bottom.
You can also make them a little bit smaller and thread them onto bloody mary skewers at brunch!
Greek Chicken Meatballs Ingredients
- ground chicken – this is the main ingredient for these meatballs, and a great source of protein!
- egg – you’ll need 1 egg, which will act as a binder that helps the meatballs hold together.
- breadcrumbs – these add texture and again, help bind the meatballs together. I like panko breadcrumbs (and they’re amazing for buttermilk chicken tenders), but whatever you have on hand will work.
- garlic – this adds lots of flavor to these meatballs.
- onion – adds even more flavor!
- dill – you can use fresh or dried dill for these meatballs, and their yogurt sauce, to add a bright, herbaceous flavor. Use the rest of the bunch of dill to make pepe pasta salad later in the week.
- oregano – this adds an earthy, savory note to the meatball mixture. I usually use dried oregano, but if you happen to have fresh oregano on hand, you can use that, too. Just double the amount if you’re using fresh.
- parsley – this will be used in the yogurt sauce, as well as to garnish the finished dish.
- salt and pepper – I wouldn’t dream of making meatballs without seasoning them well.
- Greek yogurt – this is the main ingredient in the dipping sauce for these Mediterranean chicken meatballs.
- feta cheese – this is an optional ingredient, but I like to garnish the finished meatballs with a sprinkle of crumbled feta cheese. Feta lovers won’t want to miss my feta dressing and watermelon feta salad.
How to make Chicken Meatballs
- Prep: Preheat the oven and spray a rimmed baking pan with cooking spray.
- Mix: Stir together the egg, garlic, onion, breadcrumbs, dill, oregano, salt and pepper, and then add the ground chicken to make the meatball mixture.
- Roll: Form the meatballs using your hands. They should be about the size of golf balls, and the mixture will be a bit soft, so don’t worry if they’re not perfect. Place them on the baking pan.
- Bake: Transfer the meatballs to the oven and cook 16 to 18 minutes or until they reach 165 degrees F in the middle.
- Broil: If you want, you can brown the meatballs under the broiler once they’ve finished baking. Broil 2 to 4 minutes or until they’re browned, being sure to watch them very carefully.
- Sauce: Make the yogurt sauce by stirring together yogurt, parsley, dill and pepper.
- Serve: Garnish the meatballs with feta and fresh herbs, and serve them with the yogurt sauce.
Chicken Meatballs Recipe Variations
Can I make greek chicken meatballs with a different type of ground meat?
Absolutely. You are not required to make these Mediterranean meatballs with chicken.
Feel free to make this Greek meatball recipe with ground beef, pork, or turkey.
You could even use a combination of several different types of meat in this Mediterranean meatball recipe. Whatever you prefer is what you should use for these meatballs.
Air fried Greek Meatballs
Just like my turkey meatball recipe air fryer, these Greek chicken meatballs can be air fried, too!
- If necessary, preheat or set your air fryer to 400 degrees F. Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray.
- In batches, transfer the ground chicken meatballs to the air fryer basket and cook 10 to 15 minutes (exact timing will depend on your model of air fryer).
- You’re looking to cook them until they are lightly browned and the internal temperature of the meatballs reaches 165 degrees F.
- Turn them once about halfway through cooking so that they brown evenly.
Greek Yogurt Sauce for Mediterranean Meatballs
The tangy, herby Greek yogurt dipping sauce I serve with these Greek chicken meatballs is so simple, but my favorite part of this recipe. I love a yogurt sauce for my Chilean sea bass recipe and kafta, too.
Simply stir together creamy Greek yogurt (which can also be used for a lemon smoothie or even healthy buffalo chicken dip), parsley, dill and ground black pepper. I used fresh herbs here because I had them on hand, but dried herbs work great too.
If using dried herbs, use half the amount of fresh herbs called for in this Greek yogurt sauce for meatballs, since dried herbs have a stronger flavor than fresh herbs.
So, you’d need 1 tablespoon dried parsley and 1-1/2 teaspoons dried dill for the yogurt sauce recipe below. You can also use fresh or dried dill for the herb mayo for my salmon sandwich recipe and in my pimento mac and cheese.
If you have a cucumber on hand and you’d prefer to serve these Greek chicken meatballs with tzatziki, that would also be great.
Or, if you wanted to change things up, you could make spaghetti with Greek yogurt pasta sauce and put these meatballs on top!
What to serve with Chicken Meatballs:
I don’t only serve these baked chicken meatballs as a party appetizer. In fact, more often than not, I serve them for dinner, with a side of Greek yogurt mashed potatoes or a potato cake (both also great with pistachio crusted chicken).
I also love Mediterranean chicken meatballs paired with warm pita bread and orzo.
They’re even great as a meal prep recipe for weekday lunches, served with a simple side of fruit salad.
Ground Chicken Meatballs Storage
- STORE. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- REHEAT. You can reheat these meatballs either in the air fryer again, the oven, or the microwave, until they are warmed through.
- FREEZE. To freeze, transfer leftovers to airtight container or freezer bag and freeze up to 3 months.
These Mediterranean chicken meatballs are award winning!
This ground chicken meatball recipe was chosen as a Community Pick in a chicken recipe contest at Food52. This Greek chicken meatball recipe was deemed “as refreshing as it is easy to pull together.” I toasted with a grapefruit vodka cocktail to celebrate the contest win.
Greek Chicken Meatballs FAQs
Chicken meatballs can become tough if you overmix and overwork the meat mixture. Stir everything together until just combined, and gently form them into meatballs while handling them the least amount possible. Also, avoid overcooking.
Chicken meatballs might fall apart if the mixture lacks a binding agent. In this recipe, we’re using both egg and breadcrumbs to keep the meatballs from falling apart.
If you prefer not to use eggs, you can use an egg alternative like a flaxseed egg to help bind the meatball mixture.
For the Meatballs:
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 egg
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup minced white onion
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound ground chicken
For the Yogurt Sauce:
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
For Garnish (optional):
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Chopped fresh parsley and dill
- Prepare Meatballs: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray rimmed baking pan with cooking spray. Place egg in large bowl and whisk until smooth. Add garlic, onion, breadcrumbs, dill, oregano, salt and pepper; stir until well combined.
- Add chicken and stir (or mix with hands) until just combined. Do not overmix. Using hands, gently form into balls that are just a bit smaller than golf balls (you should get about 16 to 18) and place on prepared baking pan. Mixture will be soft, so don't worry if the meatballs aren't perfect balls.
- Transfer to oven and bake 16 to 18 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
- If desired, brown meatballs by setting broiler to HIGH and placing meatballs about 3 inches from broiler. Broil 2 to 4 minutes or until meatballs are browned, watching carefully.
- Meanwhile, prepare Yogurt Sauce: In small bowl, stir together yogurt, parsley, dill and pepper.
- Serve meatballs garnished with feta and fresh herbs, if using, and Yogurt Sauce for dipping.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 307Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 171mgSodium: 490mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 35g
Recipe as written makes 16 meatballs. Nutrition information above is for an entree portion of 4 meatballs with 1/4 of dipping sauce.