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4.91 from 10 votes

Greek Meatballs

These delicious meatballs are positively PACKED with flavor!
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 499kcal
Author: Kimberly Killebrew

Ingredients

  • For the Meatballs:
  • 1 pound ground beef or pork, lamb, chicken, turkey (or combination of beef and pork)
  • 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs (paleo: omit, gluten free - use GF breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic ,minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Kalamata olives (I used Lindsay Naturals Kalamata Olives)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon thyme
  • For the Roasted Vegetables:
  • 1 medium eggplant ,choose one that isn't too fat but more slender to avoid too many bitter seeds, peeled and diced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 5 cloves garlic ,peels left intact
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 medium red onion ,chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red bell pepper ,seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine ,or use white if using chicken or turkey
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (I recommend certified San Marzano's from Italy)
  • 1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil ,drained
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 cup whole Kalamata olives ,drained (I use and recommend Lindsay Naturals Kalamata Olives)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • First get the roasted eggplant and garlic going. Toss them with a little salt and the olive oil and spread them out single-layer on a lined cookie sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned, turning once with a spatula after about 10 minutes. Remove Set aside. Once cool, peel and mince the roasted garlic.
  • Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Use your hands or a food processor to incorporate the ingredients. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls (you can make them larger if you prefer).
  • Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown the meatballs on all sides (See NOTE for oven baking method). Transfer the meatballs to a plate and set aside.
  • Add the red onions and the oil if more is needed and cook them until soft and caramelized, about 6-8 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and cook for another couple of minutes until softened. Add the wine and bring it to a rapid boil. Boil for 2 minutes.
  • Add the roasted eggplant, roasted garlic and all of the sauce ingredients, except for the olives, parsley and mint, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover and simmer for another 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the whole Kalamata olives, cover and simmer for another 5 minutes then stir in the chopped parsley and mint.
  • Garnish with some extra parsley and mint and serve with crusty bread, rice or orzo and a Greek or leafy green salad. You can also served the meatballs sprinkled with some crumbled feta cheese.
  • NOTE: These meatballs taste even better the next day after the flavors have had time to meld. So this makes a perfect make-ahead dish.

Notes

I prefer the seared flavor that frying gives the meat, but if you prefer you can also bake them by laying the meatballs on a lined baking sheet an baking them in an oven preheated to 400 F for about 17-20 minutes.
Calories: 499kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 1992mg | Potassium: 1191mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 2075IU | Vitamin C: 55.7mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 5.6mg