Baked to golden perfection and packed with flavor these Greek chicken meatballs are amazing alongside a zesty Greek salad, in a pita with tzatziki sauce or on a mezze platter. Using fresh ingredients like lean ground chicken, dill, lemon zest, cumin, and oregano, makes it impossible to stop eating them!
Table of Contents
Easy and Flavorful Greek Meatballs
These Greek chicken meatballs are a Mediterranean-style version of my healthy turkey meatballs, loaded with herbs and spices like fresh dill, red onion, and garlic, cumin, oregano, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes. They’re light, flavorful, and baked until golden!
They can be served on their own as an appetizer as part of a mezze platter, but I love them as part of a complete meal for dinner even more. I normally serve them with rice pilaf or this easy couscous recipe and a classic Greek salad with a drizzle of an easy homemade tzatziki sauce. However, you can even replace the chicken in most Greek-inspired recipes with Greek meatballs, like using them in Greek salad with chicken for a twist.
These Greek meatballs (Keftedes) have been an instant hit around here and you’re about to find out why!
Why This Recipe Works
- Light and healthy. Using ground chicken makes them leaner than traditional ground beef meatballs. Greek chicken meatballs are also baked, not fried, and use fresh ingredients without any artificial fillers.
- Flavorful. Thanks to the perfect blend of herbs and spices, there are tons of flavors to enjoy. They’re baked until golden on the outside to lock in the flavor while keeping the inside nice and moist. This isn’t always easy to do with lean meat, but we’ve done it here!
- Easily doubled. There’s no limit to how many you can make. If you need more for a larger crowd, double or triple the recipe. They freeze well, so if nothing else, keep some for later.
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Ground chicken: 80% lean ground chicken is what I use. If you can find a combination of ground breasts and thighs, it’ll help with the moisture.
- Large egg: This is what helps to bind the Greek chicken meatballs together and keep them moist.
- Olive oil: A bit of fat is needed to help with moisture since lean meat contains far less fat. It’s also what helps brown the outsides.
- Panko breadcrumbs: To help absorb excess moisture so the Greek meatballs don’t become too moist and fall apart!
- Aromatics & fresh herbs: Fresh dill, finely chopped red onion, minced garlic, lemon zest, ground or dried oregano. Save some dill for garnish too.
- Spices & seasoning: Red pepper flakes, cumin, salt, and pepper.
There are a few ways to tweak this Greek meatball recipe if there are a few ingredients you may be missing, or would rather use. I often substitute the seasonings for this Greek seasoning blend.
Feel free to swap the ground chicken for ground turkey. You can also play around with the herbs. If dill isn’t your thing, you can use basil or fresh parsley instead.
Onion powder will do if you don’t have fresh red onions to throw in there and the same goes for garlic powder if no fresh garlic. No zest? Use lemon juice instead.
Last, to make them gluten-free, swap the Panko breadcrumbs for almond flour instead.
How to Make Greek Chicken Meatballs
- Combine ingredients. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients including ground chicken, egg, olive oil, breadcrumbs, dill, onion, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper. Use your hands to mix until just combined. It’s important to not overmix.
- Scoop the mixture. Use a small cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop out the meat mixture and use your hands to roll them into 1 1/2” balls. Place them onto a foil-lined and greased baking sheet. Arrange them in a single layer, not too close together. You want to make sure to leave enough room between each one to brown evenly.
- Bake uncovered. In a preheated 400°F oven, bake for 16-20 minutes or until the center of your Greek chicken meatball is no longer pink. Flip halfway if you want to brown both sides. I would suggest using a thermometer for accuracy without having to break open a meatball. It should have an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Serve. Enjoy it with Romaine lettuce, feta cheese, chopped cucumbers, and tomatoes, in a rice bowl. Drizzle with Tzatziki sauce if desired. See below for other ways to serve them.
- Do not overmix. This goes for any time you make meatballs. Overworking the meat makes it tough and dry.
- If you only have dried herbs on hand, that’s ok! Just use 1 teaspoon of dry for every tablespoon of fresh.
- Adjust the size of the balls. If you’re serving them as appetizers feel free to use a smaller scoop. As a main meal, you may want to make them a bit larger. You’ll also need to account for the change in cooking time.
- Wet your hands. When rolling the Greek chicken meatballs you may notice they are a bit stickier than regular beef meatballs with higher fat content. Get your hands wet first!
- You can also sear the meatballs in a skillet to brown them first, if you’d like, before putting them in the oven. You can also do this at the end, or place them under the broiler.
Yes, you can cook these in a pan or cast iron skillet in about 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Cook for about 7-10 minutes until cooked through.
Definitely! Add the Greek chicken meatballs to the air fryer basket and cook at 400°F for about 10-12 minutes, pausing to shake halfway.
This Greek chicken meatballs recipe is great for meal prep. There’s not much to this simple recipe, but there is a bit of prep work in terms of chopping onions, mincing garlic, that sort of thing. You can prepare the ingredients ahead of time and combine them when ready.
You can also form the meatballs, place them on a baking sheet, cover them and refrigerate them until you’re ready to bake them. So easy!
Yes and no. Keftedes are Greek meatballs, however, they’re usually made with ground beef and ground lamb. Sometimes even ground pork. Ours is a lighter version!
Serve them with rice, and a Greek salad, complete with kalamata olives and feta!
Use them in pita bread and wrap them up with lettuce, red onions, tomatoes, and hummus.
You can even enjoy them with nothing but a fork. They’re just so good!
Storing + Freezing
Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To freeze uncooked meatballs: Place raw meatballs on a baking sheet and freeze them for about 4 hours until solid. Transfer to a freezer-friendly bag and freeze for up to 4 months. Thaw overnight then bake as directed.
Freeze cooked meatballs: Once completely cooled, flash-freeze the cooked meatballs on a baking sheet until solid. This is just so they don’t all freeze together in a lump. Then, keep them stored in a freezer bag for up to 4 months. You can thaw them or reheat them straight from frozen.
Reheating frozen meatballs: Place your Greek chicken meatballs in a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake at 300°F degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until completely warmed through. You can also let the meatballs defrost in the fridge and reheat them in the microwave.
More Mediterranean Recipes to TryBrowse all
Greek Chicken Meatballs
- 1 pound 80% lean ground chicken
- 1 large egg (beaten)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup panko crumbs
- 2-3 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
- 3 Tablespoons finely chopped red onion
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic , about 3 cloves
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon ground oregano
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
For serving (optional): Chopped romaine lettuce, Feta, Cucumber, Tomato, Rice, and Tzatziki sauce
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, mix by hand the chicken, egg, olive oil, breadcrumbs, dill, onion, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper just until combined, being careful not to over mix.
- Using a small cookie scoop or a Tablespoon, portion the mixture onto the baking sheet. Using your hands, form each portion into 1 1/2-inch balls and return to the baking sheet.
- Bake uncovered 16 to 20 minutes, or until the center of a meatball is no longer pink. Turn halfway through, if desired, to achieve an even browning. You can also broil the last minute or saute them in a skillet for a minute to brown them more.
- Serve with romaine lettuce, feta, cucumber, tomato, rice, and/or tzatziki sauce, if desired.
- Freeze the uncooked meatballs: Make the mixture and roll out the meatballs. Place on a baking sheet and freeze until solid, about 4 hours. Transfer to a freezer-safe storage bag and store in the freezer up to 4 months. Let thaw overnight and bake as directed above.
- Freeze cooked meatballs: Make the mixture and roll out the meatballs. Place on a baking sheet and freeze until solid, about 4 hours. Transfer to a freezer-safe storage bag and store in the freezer up to 4 months.
- Reheat the frozen cooked meatball: Place meatballs in a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake at 300°F degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until completely warmed through. You can also let the meatballs defrost in the fridge and reheat in the microwave.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!