Spanakopita Chicken Meatballs with Tzatziki

Spanakopita Chicken Meatballs with Tzatziki

Inspired by the flavors of the classic Greek spanakopita, we added spinach, feta, and garlic to these easy chicken meatballs. They make a great main course served with salad or tuck them inside a pita for a sandwich. We love to make ½-inch round meatballs and pile them on a platter with the tzatziki in a bowl alongside to serve as an appetizer at a party, just be sure to reduce the cooking time by about half so that they don’t overcook. 

Spanakopita Chicken Meatballs with Tzatziki Recipe

Serves 4 as a main course (or 8 to 10 as an appetizer)

Shopping List
For meatballs:
½ pound frozen spinach, defrosted and thawed
2 or 3 cloves organic fresh garlic
1 small bunch organic scallions
1 small bunch organic fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 organic lemon
1 organic egg, lightly beaten
1 cup crumbled feta
1 pound ground chicken 
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For tzatziki dipping sauce:
1 small organic cucumber
1 organic lemon
1 or 2 sprigs organic fresh dill
2 cloves organic garlic
1 cup organic Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Tools
Garlic press, optional, fine-toothed grater, peeler, optional, box grater, large bowl, medium bowl, large frying pan, sheet pan 

1 Prep the meatballs

Heat the oven to 400°F

  • Using a clean kitchen towel, squeeze the excess water from the thawed spinach; coarsely chop the spinach. 
  • Finely chop, grate, or press enough garlic to measure 2 teaspoons. 
  • Trim the root ends from the scallions; finely chop the scallions crosswise. 
  • Strip the parsley leaves from the stems and coarsely chop enough leaves to measure ¼ cup. 
  • Zest the lemon, then cut the lemon into wedges.

2 Make the meatballs

In a large bowl, using a fork or whisk, blend the egg with the spinach, garlic, scallions, parsley, feta, lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon oil. Add the ground chicken, season generously with salt and pepper, and mix until just combined. Using wet hands, form the mixture into 1-inch meatballs.  (Makes about 20 meatballs.)
In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Working in batches if needed, add the meatballs and cook, turning once, until lightly browned but not yet cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the browned meatballs to a sheet pan and when all the meatballs are browned, roast until cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. 

While the meatballs cook, prepare the tzatziki.

3 Make the tzatziki

  • Peel the cucumber, if desired, and trim the ends; using the large holes of a box grater, coarsely grate the cucumber. 
  • Juice the lemon.
  • Coarsely chop enough dill leaves to measure 1 tablespoon and set aside a few fronds for garnish.
  • Finely chop, grate, or press enough garlic to measure 2 teaspoons.

In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumber, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, chopped dill, garlic, and oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and mix to combine.

4 Serve
Transfer the meatballs and tzatziki to separate serving bowls, garnish the tzatziki with the reserved dill fronds, and serve with the lemon wedges on the side.

Chef’s tip: For leaner meatballs, you can roast them entirely in the oven. On a sheet pan, place the meatballs about 1 inch apart. Roast, stirring once halfway through, until lightly browned and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. 

 

Nutrition per serving: Calories: 480, Protein: 36g (72% DV), Fiber: 4g (16% DV), Total Fat: 34g (52% DV), Monounsaturated Fat: 17g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 11g (55% DV), Cholesterol: 175mg (58% DV), Sodium: 500mg (21% DV), Carbohydrates: 13g (4% DV), Total Sugars: 6g, Added Sugars: 0g (0% DV). Not a significant source of trans fat.

Bonus recipe—ingredients not included in box.  

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