Greek Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

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Sometimes I need a Friday night to look like this. Tender, lamb meatballs filled with feta, pine nuts, mint, and cinnamon, bubbling in a bath of tomato sauce. Meatballs are a family favorite for a reason, and this Greek-style variation adds just a little twist to keep things interesting. The oregano and cinnamon gives them a summery, Mediterranean flavor, and the tomato sauce (not pre-made sauce, I’m talking pure canned tomatoes) adds that rich, savory-sweet taste. There’s the tiniest hint of lemon, to brighten up the flavors and perfume the meatballs. Use some warmed pita bread to scoop a big bite of meatball and a spoonful of sauce. I may or may not have wolfed one down straight off the pan. 

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I had a feeling this would go great with a big glass of red, and I was right.

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Start by mixing all of the meatball ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Work the mixture with your hands until everything is nicely combined.

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Roll the mixture into 12 large meatballs and set aside on a plate. Chill the meatballs in the fridge until you’re ready to add them to the sauce.

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Find your large cast iron skillet and heat over medium heat. Add in some olive oil to coat the pan. Saute some chopped onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes until fragrant and translucent, 2-3 minutes. If you like a little more kick in your sauce, add another 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.

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Pour in a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and give everything as nice stir. Bring the sauce to a boil.

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Once boiling, carefully add in the meatballs. Spoon some sauce over the tops of the meatballs and reduce the heat slightly to bring to a stead simmer. Let simmer for 25-30 minutes, flipping the meatballs halfway through and spooning with more sauce.

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Serve with warm pita bread and a big glass of red wine.

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These Greek meatballs are so tender they fall apart at the first bite.

Greek Meatballs with Tomato Sauce
Tender lamb meatballs with feta, pine nuts, mint, and cinnamon.
Servings Prep Time
12 meatballs 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 meatballs 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Greek Meatballs with Tomato Sauce
Tender lamb meatballs with feta, pine nuts, mint, and cinnamon.
Servings Prep Time
12 meatballs 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 meatballs 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
Meatballs
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 2 shallots chopped
  • 3/4 cup feta crumbled
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp mint freshly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp oregano dried
  • 1/2 lemon zested
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
Tomato Sauce
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine all meatball ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Work the mixture with your hands until evenly combined. Roll into 12 meatballs, and chill in the fridge until ready to use.
  2. Heat a large cast iron over medium heat. Add olive oil and coat bottom of the pan. Add in onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Saute until translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add in the crushed tomatoes, season to taste with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, carefully add in the meatballs and spoon the sauce over the top of them.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 25-30 minutes, turning the meatballs over halfway through and re-covering with sauce. Serve with spoonfuls of sauce and pita bread.
Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Chew Town.

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