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Mediterranean Meatballs with Tzatziki

June 22, 2024

These tender Mediterranean Meatballs are served with our favorite simple tzatziki sauce and make for a delicious and unexpected weeknight dinner.


mediterranean meatballs with tzatziki served over rice pita bread, tomatoes, cucumbers and olives
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Meatballs for Dinner Again? You Betcha!

Loaded with classic Greek spices and herbs, these tender, beefy Mediterranean meatballs with tzatziki sauce don’t skimp on flavor. Quick, easy and a refreshing change of pace, this beef meatball recipe deserves a spot on your weekly meal plan (P.S. isn’t meal planning just a game changer?!).. They also provide for the most wonderful leftovers afterwards. Even better? These babies can be prepped ahead or frozen in advance until you’re ready to eat, so you’ll always have a hearty and healthy dinner on hand in a pinch. For more meatball recipe ideas, check out our favorite Meatball Recipes!

ground beef, onion, spices, parsley, eggs, bread crumbs, greek yogurt, cucumber and lemon juice in prep bowls

How Do You Make Homemade Meatballs?

You essentially just dump everything in a bowl, mix, and then roll the meatballs. BUT, there are a few things to keep in mind when making homemade meatballs that will help ensure that your recipe is successful:

  1. We like to use a classic “80/20” ground beef mixture for meatballs, which means 80 percent lean beef to 20 percent beef fat. Having some fat in the mix ensures that your meatballs stay nice and moist.
  2. This recipe comes together easily by combining all the ingredients into a bowl, then using a bowl of water to wet your hands as you roll the mixture into meatballs. This step is key to creating a smooth and uniform meatball and having wet hands as you roll the meatballs keeps the meatball mixture from sticking to your hands.
  3. Next, be sure to use a rimmed baking pan, because you don’t want any meatballs falling off the pan as they bake.

What Makes These Meatballs Mediterranean?

We love Greek food, and we’ve added all of our favorite classically-Greek herbs and spices to this meatball recipe. These Mediterranean meatballs are generously spiced with:

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Oregano
  • Cumin
  • Cinnamon
  • Parsley

We also added some eggs and panko breadcrumbs to bring it all together.

ground beef, onion, spices, parsley, eggs and bread crumbs being combined in a large bowl
mediterranean meatballs made with ground beef, onion, spices, parsley, eggs & bread crumbs on a parchment lined baking sheet
Greek yogurt, cucumber, dill, za'atar, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper being mixed in a bowl
a bowl of tzatziki made with Greek yogurt, cucumber, dill, za'atar, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper

Tips For Making The Perfect Meatball.

  • For a meatball with great texture use eggs and breadcrumbs. We opted for panko in this recipe.
  • Use a small frying pan to cook off a little of your seasoned meatball mixture for taste testing. There’s nothing worse than a bland meatball. Fix your mistakes before it’s too late.
  • Use a cookie scoop or a (heaping) tablespoon to ensure all the meatballs stay the same size. They will cook more evenly this way

How Should You Serve These Mediterranean Meatballs?

We serve these Greek-inspired meatballs with a big bowl of creamy homemade tzatziki for dipping. Even homemade, this delicious yogurt sauce accompaniment comes together in a flash! These meatballs make a great comforting family dinner, a fun, out-of-the-box dinner for company, or just a flavor-packed appetizer for your next party. You could also serve them…

  1. Straight up with the tzatziki sauce and a Mediterranean Wedge Salad
  2. With more meatballs! Alongside our Fig Jam Meatballs.
  3. As a meaty addition to this Roasted Cauliflower and Hummus Bowl
  4. Wrapped in pita bread alongside onions, cucumber, tomatoes and a large dollop of Classic Creamy Hummus
  5. As a main dish alongside this delicious Mediterranean Couscous Salad
a bowl of mediterranean meatballs made with ground beef, onion, spices, parsley, eggs and bread crumbs
mediterranean meatballs with tzatziki served over rice pita bread, tomatoes, cucumbers and olives

Tools You’ll Need:

More Scrumptious Meatballs!

a bowl of mediterranean meatballs made with ground beef, onion, spices, parsley, eggs and bread crumbs
mediterranean meatballs with tzatziki served over rice pita bread, tomatoes, cucumbers and olives

Meatballs With Tzatziki Sauce For Dinner!

If you make these baked Mediterranean meatballs with tzatziki we’d love to hear about it! Be sure to snap a photo, add it to your Instagram feed or stories and tag @themodernproper and #themodernproper if you do. Also, feel free to leave a comment on the post and tell your friends where you discovered the recipe!

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Mediterranean Meatballs with Tzatziki

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  25 min
  • Calories: 264


  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano, dried
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup flat leaf parsley, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup panko or gluten free bread crumbs

Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 small cucumber, grated
  • 1 tbsp dried dill
  • 2 tsp za'atar (optional)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


* This recipe makes 30 (golf ball) sized meatballs.

  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Place onion in a food processor or grate by hand.
  2. In a stand mixer or using your hands, mix the ground beef, onion, garlic, pepper, salt, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, eggs, panko and parsley until fully incorporated. Using a cookie scoop or heaping tablespoon, measure out roughly 30 meatballs. * Dipping your hand into a bowl of water before rolling them will make the meatball surface smooth. Transfer the meatballs to 2 lightly oiled parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets.
  3. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pans half way through.
  4. Meanwhile, make the tzatziki sauce. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and place in the fridge for a 1 hour to allow flavors to meld.

To Freeze:

Allow meatballs to cool completely before freezing. Lay meatballs in a single layer in a freezer bag and seal, removing as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use, preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories264
  • Protein27 g
  • Carbohydrates9 g
  • Total Fat14 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol117 mg
  • sodium888 mg
  • Total Sugars2 g

Mediterranean Meatballs with Tzatziki

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Alexis

    Made it with ground beef and the fam loved it!! Would ground turkey work? We are obsessed with meatballs but always looking for ‘lighter’ options :)

    Yes! should work great!

  • donna

    Would ground pork work as well ?

    Yep, should work fine! Hope you enjoy Donna!

  • Becca

    When reheating the cooked meatballs from frozen, do you thaw the meatballs first? Or do you reheat them as described, straight from the freezer?

    Either way will work fine!

  • Jen

    I make these with ground moose or caribou. YUM!


  • Monica

    Could this be made as a meatloaf?

    WE haven't tried but probably!

  • tess

    This recipe is the best!! Sometimes I use ground turkey and they come out amazing as well. I crave these weekly and they are amazing to eat throughout the week. Highly rec this recipe!!

    Thanks Tess, so glad you enjoyed it!

  • KJ

    family loved it, served it with Mediterranean rice and Naan.

    Thanks KJ, we are so happy your family loved it!

  • Laura

    Made these for dinner the other night and they were great! I cooked them in a skillet before baking and I really liked that texture. The tzatziki was delicious!

    Thanks Laura, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Lauren

    Hands down favorite modern proper recipe! Absolutely fantastic! Rave reviews from all! I use cilantro instead of parsley, only light sprinkle of cinnamon, and sprinkle pomegranate seeds on top when I serve. Soooo good!!!! Thank you!

    Thanks Lauren! We are so happy you loved these!

  • Eric

    You knocked it out of the park with this one. The combination of spices was delicious and reminded me of kefta or kibbeh. My family absolutely loved it. I ended up cooking it at 400 F for 28 minutes and it still came out perfectly, I might just stick with 25 like the recipe but my thermometer was giving me bad readings this time. Thank you!

    Thanks Eric, so happy you loved it!