These greek chicken meatballs are incredibly tender, packed with mediterranean-inspired flavor, and perfectly paired with soft orzo dressed in zesty lemon and a sprinkle of feta. Add a side of lemon garlic yogurt sauce for extra dipping, trust me you won't regret it. The entire dish is made in one skillet for an easy and delicious weeknight meal.
If you're a lover of mediterranean food like me, you'll love this one skillet greek chicken meatball dish. It's loaded with fresh dill and mint, hints of citrusy lemon, and crumbles of feta.
- Made in one skillet
- Prepared with fresh ingredients
- Perfect for a weeknight meal
- Packed with flavor
Ingredients and notes
- Ground chicken - Anything from 94 - 99% lean will work. I like to use 94% which helps the meatballs remain tender when cooked.
- Egg - This is used in the meatballs and helps to bind everything together. If you can't go eggs, substitute with 3 Tbsp greek yogurt.
- Feta - Sprinkled over the warm orzo where it softens and melts into the pasta. Substitute with goat cheese if desired or a dairy free cheese.
- Lemon - Fresh lemon juice is always better but feel free to use the kind in the bottle if you need to.
- Orzo - This is the grain used in the dish to give it some bulk. You can swap with any grain you want like quinoa, brown rice, couscous, etc.
- Greek yogurt - For the sauce. I like to use anything from 0 - 5% fat for optimal consistency. Make sure to use plain and unsweetened. Swap with a dairy free greek yogurt if needed.
Step by step directions
This greek chicken meatball dish is super easy to make! You will need a large skillet, I prefer cast iron but non-stick will work too, a bowl to make the meatballs, and a small cookie scoop or spoon.
Step 1 : Make the yogurt sauce
First, heat the olive oil and garlic in a large skillet and cook until the garlic has browned. Pour the garlic and olive oil mixture into a a bowl with the yogurt and stir together with a spoon. The yogurt will thin out as you stir in the oil.
Set the bowl aside while you prepare the rest of the dish.
Step 2 : Prepare the meatballs
This part is simple. Add all the meatball ingredients to a medium-sized bowl and mix well with a spoon or spatula until well mixed. The egg should be broken up and the spices evenly distributed.
Step 3 : Cook the meatballs
Next, use a small cookie scoop or a spoon to scoop the meat into balls and roll in between the palms of your hands. I recommend putting a tiny bit of olive oil on your hands before you dive into this step. It helps prevent the meat from sticking to your hands.
Place each meatball inside the skillet heated with olive oil. You should have enough meatballs to completely cover the bottom of the skillet so it's okay if they touch a little.
Allow the meatballs to cool until semi-firm on one side, about 3 - 4 minutes, before flipping them over to cook on the other side for another 3 - 4 minutes. The meatballs are done with they are firm to the touch and have golden brown crispy edges.
Remove the meatballs from the skillet and place them on a separate place off to the side. Keep the skillet heated over medium heat.
Step 4 : Heat the orzo
In the same skillet, add the orzo along with the water. Stir the orzo around to make sure each little grain is coated in water. Bring the orzo to a simmer where it will soak up the liquid and become soft and fluffy.
Be sure to stir continuously here as the orzo can stick to the bottom of the pan if not stirred often.
Reduce the heat to low and stir in the feta. The feta should soften almost immediately as it's stirred into the orzo.
Step 5 : Add the meatballs back and garnish
Place the meatballs back into the skillet to warm up again. It's easiest to make little wells in the orzo to place each meatball back into the dish.
Sprinkle some extra feta over top in addition to some fresh dill and mint leaves. Top with a few spoonfuls of the yogurt sauce, serve, and enjoy!
Frequently asked questions
Yes, the greek chicken meatballs are meal prep friendly. Make the meatball portion of the recipe as directed and allow them to cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
This recipe can be made dairy free with a few simple swaps. Use a dairy free feta like this one and swap the greek yogurt with a plain plant based version.
To reheat on the stove, add a splash of water to the skillet and warm up the dish over medium heat until the orzo has soaked up the water. You can also microwave a portion of the dish in a bowl with a splash of water to keep the orzo soft and moist.
For more fun dinner ideas, check out my:
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One Skillet Greek Chicken Meatballs with Lemon Feta Orzo
For the yogurt sauce
- 1 clove garlic - finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- ⅓ cup greek yogurt - plain and unsweetened
- ¼ tsp sea salt
For the meatballs
- 1 lb ground chicken - 94-99% lean
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup red onion - chopped
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp oregano
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp drill - finely chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1 tsp mint - finely chopped, plus more for garnish
- 3 Tbsp olive oil - to cook the meatballs in
For the orzo
- 1 cup orzo
- 1 ½ cup water
- ⅓ cup feta - plus more for garnish
- ½ lemon - for juice
- Heat the chopped garlic in a large skillet with the olive oil over medium heat. Cook until the garlic has browned. Pour the garlic and olive oil into a bowl with the yogurt and stir well. The yogurt will thin as the oil is incorporated. Set the bowl aside while you prepare the rest of the dish.
- Place all chicken meatball ingredients, except the olive oil. in a medium bowl and mix well with a spoon or a spatula. The egg should be broken up and the spices well blended into the chicken. At this time, heat the skillet back up over medium heat with the olive oil. Use a small cookie scoop or spoon to scoop the meat into balls and roll in between the palms of your hands. I like to rub a little olive oil on my hands before diving into this step which helps prevent the meat from sticking to your hands. Place each meatball back into the warm skillet to cook. Allow the meatballs to cook for 3 - 4 minutes on one side until they are semi-firm to the touch. Then flip them over with tongs or a spatula so they can cook on the other side for another 3 - 4 minutes. You will know the meatballs are done with they are firm to the touch and have a golden brown crispy outer layer.
- Remove the meatballs from the skillet and place on a plate. Set aside. Pour the orzo into the skillet along with the water and keep the skillet heated over medium heat. Continuously stir the orzo until it reaches a simmer where it will soak up the liquid and become soft and fluffy. Sprinkle the feta over the orzo and stir to distribute. The feta should melt into the orzo as it’s incorporated.
- Turn the heat off the skillet and make little wells in the orzo and place the meatballs back into the skillet to warm up again. Garnish with extra feta, dill, and mint and spoon a few spoonfuls of the yogurt sauce over top. Serve the dish with the rest of the yogurt sauce and enjoy!