Greek Meatballs

Meatballs can also be cooked ahead, refrigerated and reheated in the microwave on high for 2 minutes.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 20 meatballs


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 hot chili pepper (jalapeño, serrano, or other hot chili pepper), seeded and minced
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 4 ounces salt pork or bacon, ground or finely minced
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Greek yogurt for dipping


1 Soften shallots, chili pepper, garlic: Heat a small pan over medium heat and add oil, minced garlic, chili pepper, and shallot, and cook for 1 minute, then let cool.

fresh minced shallots, jalapeño, garlic in hot frying pan

2 Make meatball mixture: Meanwhile, crumble lamb into a large bowl. Evenly scatter the salt pork (or bacon), orange zest and mint over lamb, and season with pepper. Sprinkle the cooled garlic mixture over lamb. Gently mix until just combined

greek meatball ingredients in large mixing bowl

3 Form the meatball mixture into 1 1/4-inch balls: Transfer to a plate or sheet pan.

Raw greek meatballs pepared on a cooking sheet

4 Cook the meatballs: Heat a large cast iron pan over medium to medium high heat. Working in batches if necessary to prevent crowding, cook meatballs on all sides until browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.

raw greek meetballs cooking in cast iron frying pan seared greek meatballs in frying pan

5 Serve warm with toothpicks or skewers with Greek yogurt.