These Mediterranean Meatballs flavored with oregano, lemon, and mint make some killer gyro sandwiches. Have it for dinner tonight and pack it in your lunch box tomorrow!
Last week, the flood of first day of school pictures began. I always love to see the difference between the newbies and the veterans. Kindergarteners stand tall and straight, proudly clasping their Barbie backpacks and grinning ear to ear. Meanwhile, their middle school siblings shlump in the door frame, backpack slung carelessly over one shoulder, with an expression that can only say, “Really, mom? This is so embarrassing.”
I have to say, I’m more on the side of the middle schoolers on this one. I’m not quite ready to leave behind the warm nights, patio dinners, and lazy pool days of summer. I love the fall, but trading in the relaxed schedules of summer can be tough. One thing that makes it easier? Having easy make-ahead lunches ready for the whole family.
That’s where these Mediterranean Meatballs come in. Meatballs are one of my favorite meals to have on hand. They’re quick and easy to make, and we can eat them for dinner one night and have leftovers for lunch the following day. Cooked meatballs also freeze beautifully, so you can pull them out right when you need them.
These Mediterranean Meatballs packed with oregano, lemon juice, and fresh mint, taste like beef souvlaki in meatball form. I like to serve them in a pita sandwich with spinach, tomatoes, feta, and a quick dill yogurt sauce. The meatball pita sandwiches can be eaten hot or cold, making them perfect for packed lunches. I like to pack a big portion of the yogurt sauce along with some fresh cut veggies to round out the meal. The dill yogurt sauce is fabulous for dunking and drizzling. Even my yogurt-averse husband raved about it.
This year, thousands of Ohio families will buy beef for quick weeknight meals, but it’s also great for lunches! A 3 ounce serving of beef provides half the amount of daily recommended protein and 10 essential nutrients. Protein and B Vitamins can help keep kids focused and energized throughout the school day. These meatballs are a fabulous way to fuel the whole family. Both my big and little guys loved these, and I feel great serving them a healthy and protein packed meal.
If you’re looking for more way to incorporate easy beef recipes into your school routines, I also recommend checking out these Frozen Breakfast Burritos, Slow Cooker Asian Honey Sesame Beef, or Cheesy Ground Beef and Pasta Casserole. The 17,000 beef farmers here in Ohio are committed to providing excellent care of their animals, protecting the environment for future generations and to producing safe, healthy beef. Meet Ohio beef farmers who may live near you at OhioBeef.org and find more recipes and nutrition facts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- 1/2 cup pita bread crumbs
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 3/4 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 egg
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
For the sauce
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- Squeeze lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 Tablespoon fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the sandwiches
- 4 pita breads
- Feta Cheese
- Spinach or Lettuce
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a cooling rack on top.
- In a small measuring cup or bowl, combine the bread crumbs and milk. Allow the crumbs to soak while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- In a mixing bowl, use your hands to combine the beef, lemon juice, oregano, mint, onion, garlic, eggs, salt, and pepper. Work in the soaked bread crumbs.
- Use a cookie scoop to portion the meatballs, then place them on the cooling rack. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
- While the meatballs bake, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce.
- Serve the meatballs with the yogurt sauce or make pita sandwiches by slicing them in half and placing them in a pita with spinach, feta cheese, and a slice of tomato.
This post is sponsored by the lovely people at Ohio Beef. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting NeighborFood and the brands I love!