Baked meatballs loaded with feta cheese, roasted red peppers, Greek yogurt, onions, garlic and Parmesan cheese with a no-cook couscous freckled with spinach and a bright tzatziki sauce for serving.
The delectable meatballs come together quickly in one bowl and bake up nicely on an olive oil greased baking sheet. They brown and take on a little crispiness with tender, flavorful insides that stay moist thanks to the Greek yogurt and onion.
You can’t taste the Greek yogurt in the final product and you can substitute with sour cream or milk if you like. While they’re baking you can throw together the couscous, tiny orbs of pasta that cook in mere minutes.
The couscous is one of the easiest sides in existence to make using just one-bowl and ten minutes of time to prepare including prep.
It’s made by combining finely chopped baby spinach, red onions and couscous in a bowl then pouring hot water over it. Cover the bowl and five, magic minutes later you can fluff it up, mix in a little Parmesan, give it a squirt of fresh lemon and a drizzle of olive oil for a side dish that’s ready to serve with just about anything.
It’s good in a pinch and tastes like you went to more trouble than you really did.
Tzatziki is a cucumber sauce traditionally made with Greek yogurt. For a richer sauce, I make mine with sour cream or sometimes a mix of both, plus dill, garlic, and lemon.
It’s cool, creamy, tangy, and a little sweet from the dill weed. You should make the sauce first so the flavors have a little time to marry.
You can serve these layered in bowls the way I did – and loved – or stuff them into pita pockets or wraps.
You can just make the meatballs (or use the leftovers) and drop them into your favorite tomato sauce to serve with pasta.
They would make great appetizers too! Stick a toothpick in them with the sauce on the side for dipping and you’re good to go.
Expect them to disappear fast no matter how you chose to serve them.
Like all tasty things, it’s hard to eat just one.
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach
- 2 tablespoons minced red onion
- 1 + ½ cups couscous (like this )
- 1 + ¾ cups boiling water.
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- coarse salt and fresh black pepper
- a handful of pine nuts, sliced almonds or chopped walnuts, optional
- Make stacks of the spinach leaves and cut them into thin strips lengthwise then cut the strips across into tiny pieces.
- Add them to a heat-safe large bowl with the onion and couscous.
- Pour in the boiling water, stir and cover tightly with a plate or a piece of aluminum foil. Let sit five minutes.
- After five minutes fluff up the couscous with a fork.
- Add the parmesan, lemon, and oil and work it in with a fork until it's evenly combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Garnish with nuts if desired.
- 1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
- ½ cucumber, peeled and diced, remove the seeds
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon dill weed
- 1 - 2 teaspoon
freshsqueezed lemon juice
- a couple pinches each salt and pepper
- olive oil, for greasing pan
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt, sour cream or milk
- 1 + ½ pounds ground beef (85% lean)
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 roasted red pepper, diced
- ⅓ cup minced yellow onion
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed between fingertips
- 1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- couple pinches of nutmeg or cinnamon
- 1 cup crumbled feta
- Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a large roasting pan or baking sheet with sides generously with olive oil.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs and yogurt together. Add the remaining meatball and use a fork or your hands to combine. Form into balls one to one and a half inches wide. Place on baking sheet, close together but not touching. Bake 12 - 18 minutes until cooked in the middle. Break one open to check.
- Meanwhile, make the couscous.