Herby chicken meatballs meet juicy roasted veggies in this one-pan recipe rife with Mediterranean culinary gems.
No Mediterranean-inspired meal would be complete without copious amounts of extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO). That’s why we turn to this polyphenol-rich cooking oil to lend softness to our chicken meatballs. In Mediterranean history, this essential ingredient dates back to antiquity. Today, we celebrate EVOO as being the healthiest oil in the world. Studies show that EVOO’s fatty acids and potent antioxidants may contribute to the better rates of heart health seen in Mediterranean populations. These components are linked to powerful health benefits such as reduced risk of heart disease. One notable study from the New England Journal of Medicine found that the Med diet, plentiful in EVOO, was associated with lower rates of heart attacks, strokes and death by 30%.
We also incorporate our favorite standard Mediterranean herb and aromatic combo to lend intense flavor to the chicken meatballs: oregano and garlic. The former contains compounds found to have potent antibacterial properties. A study from the Medical University of Łódź in Poland found that oregano essential oil could help block growth of two strains of infection-causing bacteria. In the Mediterranean region, oregano was vastly popular. But garlic was famous worldwide. Historians find mention of garlic in ancient medicine from many cultures: the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Chinese, Romans, Greeks, Indians and more.
To keep things simple, the chicken meatballs and veggies bake at the same time in the same pan. We use vibrant bell peppers, red onions, cherry tomatoes and Kalamata olives. We finish the dish off with a simple, classic tzatziki recipe. Once you whip up this super-easy sauce, you’ll never go back.
Chicken Meatballs with Roasted Vegetables & Tzatziki
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, oregano, garlic and one-half of the salt and pepper. Form into 16 meatballs, each about the size of a golf ball, and place on the baking sheet.
- In a separate bowl, combine the oil, bell peppers, onion, tomatoes, pepper flakes and remaining half of salt and pepper. Add to the baking sheet around meatballs.
- Bake for 25 minutes, stirring mixture halfway through, until the meatballs are firm and cooked through and the peppers are blistered. Sprinkle with the olives and parsley.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together all tzatziki ingredients. Serve meatballs and vegetables with sauce and warm pita wedges, if desired.
MAKE AHEAD: If making ahead, simply refrigerate meatball-veg mixture and tzatziki separately. Reheat meat-ball veg mixture and serve with tzatziki and freshly toasted pita.
- Serving Size ¼ of recipe
- Calories 406
- Carbohydrate Content 19 g
- Cholesterol Content 132 mg
- Fat Content 26 g
- Fiber Content 3.5 g
- Protein Content 26 g
- Saturated Fat Content 6 g
- Sodium Content 565 mg
- Sugar Content 10 g
- Trans Fat Content 0 g
- Monounsaturated Fat Content 15 g
- Polyunsaturated Fat Content 3 g