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Here is a recipe for tender meatballs, served with a simple tzatziki sauce. They are easy to make and are absolutely delicious. While loaded with different Greek herbs and spices, the Mediterranean meatballs are toddler-friendly, being easy to eat as finger food for them, and are a great way to introduce your family to new flavours.

You can also make an extra batch of these meatballs and freeze them for a quick dinner during the week! The leftovers are also great for making different meals as well, such as spaghetti and meatballs or pita wraps.

Ingredients

(For 30 medium meatballs)

  • 900g ground beef
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano dried
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup parsley, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup panko or bread crumbs

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200°
  2. Grate the onion, or place it into a food processor.
  3. In a large bowl, use your hands to mix the ground beef, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, oregano, eggs, panko or bread crumbs, and parsley. Mix well until all fully incorporated.
  4. Use a heaping tablespoon to measure out around 30 meatballs. You can dip your hand into a bowl of warm water to roll the meatballs out. This will make the surface of the meatballs smoother and will stop the meatballs from sticking to your hand.
  5. Transfer the meatballs to 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, which have been lightly oiled.
  6. Bake the meatballs in the oven for 20 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through.

While your meatballs are in the oven and cooking, you can start making the tzatziki sauce. The tzatziki sauce has a mild, fresh flavour, and is great for your toddler to dip their meatballs into!

Toddler-Friendly Mediterranean Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • Small cucumber, grated fine
  • 1 tbsp dried dill
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Pinch sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients into a small bowl.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge for the flavours to meld, while the meatballs cook.

Tzatziki

Freezing The Meatballs

Plan ahead and make some extra meatballs to freeze. You can either double up the recipe or keep half of the meatballs aside to enjoy for a dinner later on.

The meatballs need to be cooked before freezing, you shouldn’t try to freeze them raw.

Allow the meatballs to cool down completely before placing them in the freezer. Lay them in a single layer in a freezer bag or a plastic freezer container and seal. If freezing in a plastic freezer bag, remove as much air as possible before sealing.

Label the container or freezer bag with the date of freezing, and use the meatballs within 3 months. They will be safe to eat after this, but the quality will being to decline.

When it is time to enjoy the meatballs, preheat the oven to 200°C and arrange the meatballs on an oiled baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes and serve!

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