Greek-ish Turkey, Feta and Spinach Meatballs with Garlickly Yogurt Sauce
Tender, flavourful and juicy, these turkey meatballs are everyone's favourite. Baked, not fried means they are big-batch and meal-prep friendly – healthier too! Packed with fresh spinach and feta cheese, and served with a delicious garlicky yogurt sauce, spiked with lemon and fresh dill.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Servings: 40 1.5" meatballs (approx)
For the Meatballs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- pinch red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 5 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach (1 x 227g / 8 oz package)
- 2 lbs ground turkey thighs
- ⅔ cup crumbled feta cheese (plus more for serving)
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 eggs
- zest of one lemon
For the Garlicky Yogurt Sauce
- 1 cup full-fat greek yogurt
- 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced (about 2 tsp minced)
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
- ½ tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed (about 1 small lemon)
- 4 pita or naan
- ½ medium red onion
- 2 large roma tomatoes
- 1 english cucumber
- kalamata olives
Place a rack in the top half on the oven and preheat to 400ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly-greased foil, and warm a large skillet over moderate heat.
Finely dice the onions, then add olive oil and diced onions to the skillet. Sauté gently to soften. Finely mince the garlic and add to the skillet once the onions are translucent. Add the salt, oregano, and red pepper flakes then cook until fragrant – about 30 seconds.
Add the Worcestershire sauce to the skillet, stir and reduce heat to low. Coarsely chop the spinach then add to the skillet and cook until the spinach is wilted and all of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
While the onion mixture is cooling, prepare the yogurt sauce. Zest the lemon before juicing and reserve for the meatball mixture. Stir together the ingredients for the yogurt sauce and season to taste with additional salt if needed, and freshly ground pepper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the cooled onion mixture with the ground turkey, feta cheese, bread crumbs, eggs, and lemon zest. Try not to over mix. Using a 3 tbsp capacity cookie scoop or your hands, form golf-ball-sized meatballs and place on the prepared baking sheet(s). Bake for 20 minutes.
While the meatballs are baking, dice or thinly slice the red onion, chop the tomatoes and cucumber into bite-sized pieces. Wrap the pita in foil and place in the oven to warm for the last 5 minutes of cooking time on the meatballs.
Once the meatballs are cooked, broil for a few minutes if a little more colour is desired, and serve with the warmed pita, garlicky yogurt sauce, and prepared veggies. Dress with a drizzle of olive oil and more feta cheese for an extra special presentation.
If raw onions are not your thing, try soaking the sliced onions in ice water for 15 minutes to remove some of the bite.
This recipe will make about 40 x 1½" meatballs (measured with a 3 tbsp capacity cookie scoop). If you make larger or smaller meatballs, adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Don't get too hung up on the weight when purchasing the ground turkey. If the packages are not even pounds (454 g), get as close as you can, and err on the side of generous, rather than conservative.
For a family of four, bake one tray to enjoy immediately (20 meatballs is plenty for one meal) then freeze the rest. Once frozen, pop them into an appropriate container and stash them away for an even quicker meal or lunch on another day. Bake as directed, adding an extra few minutes if needed.
Adapted over the years from homecookingmemories.com.
* Nutrition facts are an estimate and always calculated without the optional ingredients.