Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Spanikopita Chicken Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce

I love meatballs, they are so versatile. You can change up the meat, the seasonings and even sneak in some chopped up veggies for the picky eater. I especially love Rachel Ray's take on meatballs because the girl comes up with endless possibilities. I love Greek food and when I found these meatballs, I knew I had to try them. They are so quick to pull together. You can cook up some rice while they're in the oven and chop up a quick Greek salad and this is less than a 30 minute meal!

For the meatballs
1/2 onion, finely chopped (about 1/4-1/2 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
*1 box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 lb. ground chicken
2-3 tsp. grill seasoning (I used McCormick Montreal Seasoning)

For the yogurt sauce
**1 1/2 cups Greek style plain yogurt (try it, it's worth it)
1/3 seedless cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fresh dill (or a couple tsp. dried dill)
1/2 lemon, juiced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a bowl combine onion and garlic. Squeeze the water out of the spinach until completely dry (put it in a kitchen towel, but one you don't care if it gets a little stained). Separate the spinach as you add it to garlic and onion. Add feta, chicken and grill seasoning to the bowl. Mix the meat with veggies and feta and form 18 (1 1/2-inch) meatballs. I used a small scoop and got exactly 18 meatballs. Place the meatballs on a nonstick cookie sheet and bake 10 to 12 minutes until they are golden and juices run clear.

Place yogurt, garlic, cucumber, dill, lemon juice, and a little salt in food processor and process until smooth. Adjust seasonings and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve meatballs alongside sauce.

*I had a bag of chopped spinach in my freezer and I just grabbed about a cup in my hands and thawed it out.

**If you cannot find Greek yogurt, you can use regular yogurt and let it sit in a dish towel over a strainer for a few hours to get some liquid out. It will still be a little runny though.

1 serving=4 meatballs and 1/4 cup sauce
4-6 servings
Calories per serving:238

Serve with:
Rice pilaf-Saute some garlic and onion in olive oil then add some thyme and the rice (and pine nuts if you like) to toast it up for about a minute. Add chicken broth instead of water; bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to simmer for about 18 minutes. Remove from heat and squeeze some fresh lemon juice in the rice and fluff with a fork.

Chopped Greek Salad-Roughly chop some cucumbers and tomatoes and pour some Greek salad dressing or balsamic vinaigrette over it and crumble feta on top.


  1. This sounds absolutely delicious! I'm a sucker for Greek food as well. Thanks for the inspiration, I've been in a rut lately. And I like the beginning picture.

  2. love, love, loved this recipe. my entire family loved it, and it's going on our regular rotation.


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