Greek Beef Meatballs

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If there is one herb that is underutilized in my herb bed, it has to be oregano.  Which is so sad, because oregano grows like mad.  Seriously.  It grows and spreads like mint.  It might even be in the mint family.  If I wasn’t so lazy, I would open up another window and Google it and find out for you, but I am, so I will just leave you wondering.  Unless one of you fine readers want to look and leave it in the comments. 

So, anyway, my point is, that when I find a recipe with fresh oregano, I make it.  No questions asked.  And since I bought a side of beef last year and got,  I kid you not, 61 pounds of ground beef, if the recipe calls for ground beef, I make it.   (By the way, I am down to 29 pounds of ground beef!)  So, you can imagine my utter delight when I find a recipe that calls for ground beef, fresh oregano and fresh mint, it is the trifecta of my overflowing ingredients!

Greek Meatballs

What I found was Greek Meatballs in The Whole Foods Market Cookbook: A Guide to Natural Foods with 350 Recipes .  What I love about this recipe, besides the taste, is that it uses roasted red peppers to make the ground beef go further.  At first it seemed like a really large amount of peppers, but trust me it was balanced.  These were so good.  I served them in a pita with some lettuce and a little yogurt drizzled over them.  These would be great to keep in the freezer and take out for lunch or a quick dinner.  I also imagine that if you didn’t have 29 pounds of ground beef in your freezer, you could substitute ground chicken and make it even lower in fat.

Greek Beef Meatballs

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/8 cup chopped fresh oregano, leaves only
  • 1/8 cup chopped fresh mint, leaves only
  • 1/2 cup finely minced parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic minced (1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained, patted dry, and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon pepper (I just used regular pepper)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350.  Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl.  You want to blend until the cheese has no large crumbles left.  Using a 2-ounce scoop (1/8 cup) roll into 16 balls and place on a large baking sheet.  Bake for 25 minutes or until the meatballs are browned and cooked through.



This will be my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Chris from Mele Cotte.

Cookbook Used:

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  1. says

    This looks and sounds delicious. How have I missed the Whole Foods cookbook? It must be the only cookbook in publication that I don’t have! I’m going to spend some time, later, on your photo blog. I am ready for a better camera and am making a list.


  2. says

    It’s exactly the same for me! Oregano is one of the only herbs that still goes strong in Winter and the one I use the least – can always use another fresh oregano recipe :))

  3. says

    Mmm, this sounds wonderful! We have loads of oregano in the garden and yes, it does grow like mad! We would sub lamb for the beef, but I think we might be making these soon – yummy!

  4. says

    Guess we’re both in a Greek frame of mind, Pam!
    This looks like a marvelous recipe. I love the oregano/mint combo, don’t you? (And I think oregano is in the mint family, although it sure doesn’t taste anything like mint.)
    Yum on those roasted red peppers too. Super meatball recipe. We can’t have enough of those!

  5. says

    Bookmarked! I have fresh oregano in my garden also, so I’m excited about this recipe. these meatballs look yummy and I have everything but the mint on hand!

  6. says

    Wow – this looks delicious! I love mint and oregano together…61 pounds of ground beef? Holy cow! Was your butcher in a particularly bad mood that day?

  7. says

    Okay, you win Pam!

    It is a bit after 9AM and I’m salivating over your Greek Meatballs in pita.These will be on the menu soon, for sure.

    The Oregano is nearly taking over my herb garden here, and ‘volunteer’ sprigs are popping up everywhere… I recently discovered it is a member of the mint family, so no wonder. *roll eyes* I should have known!

    Thank you for sharing the recipe and for the heads up about the Whole Foods cookbook. I’m off to check that out right now. 😀


    P.S. Gorgeous photos, as always!

  8. says

    Oregano is in the mint family, which is why it spreads like that. It’s also why I am afraid of it and don’t plant it (or mint), for fear it will eat my garden and maybe my entire house! Your meatballs look just great!

    Are you having a good summer? Lots of time to read, and not having to deal with middle scholars – what’s not to enjoy?

  9. says

    I have both oregano and mint in my herb garden. These are definitely on my “to try” list.

    I use my oregano in a lot of my Mexican cooking.

  10. says

    These sound great, Pam, especially since our oregano is going nuts this year (same plan produced nothing last year, weird).

    Another hint for using oregano is in Mexican dishes or mixed with mint for Italian dishes, specifically Tuscan ones.

    I have saved this one to try. I also have a big jar of roasted red peppers:)

  11. says

    I can relate! Oregano is so fragile I want to use it immediately in something wonderful and worthy! Greek flavors are of course, perfect! Thanks for a great post!

  12. says

    that’s a lot of ground beef, my friend. wowza. this is a neat new way to use it, and involving fresh oregano is quite the draw. lovely goods.

  13. says

    I can’t remember the last time I used fresh oregano – it’s one I didn’t plant this year. I do use a lot of it dried. These meatballs are crave worthy! Especially the way you served them!

  14. says

    I really should use fresh oregano! I always go for dried, not nearly as good. I love these meatballs! You should send them over to Joanne for Regional Recipes. She’s doing Greece this month. 😉

  15. says

    I’ve now earmarked a ton of your recipe suggestions that I am going to have to try. Here’s another. I need to stop doing other stuff and take a few days to really cook something.

  16. says

    I really love that the peppers are mixed into the meatballs. And what I can’t believe is that you’ve made it through 32 pounds of ground beef. That must be a world record of some kind.

    You should submit this to Regional Recipes since we’re in Greece for this month!

  17. says

    My garden oregano is like the ugly step sister to basil. It’s always there yet I don’t use it much. Great recipe to change that.

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