Mediterranean oven-roasted chicken meatballs with mashed potatoes and topped with sun-dried tomato sauce.
Lean white meat mixed with vegetables, spices, and herbs will give you a light dish packed full of flavor. So easy to throw together, so many ways to serve it, and one of the best freeze meals to save you the trouble on those crazy weeknights.
Drooling already? Bet you do! Who could ever possibly resist a dish like that?
For this post, I chose my favorite family’s version. My Mediterranean oven-roasted chicken meatballs (kids’ obsession) with mashed potatoes (hubby’s favorite) and topped with spicy sun-dried tomato marinara sauce (here I am, give me a bucket, please!). Every family member is satisfied and we enjoy a fuss-whine-free dinner, at last!
WHY YOU ARE GONNA LOVE THIS DISH – THE INGREDIENTS
First of all, it’s all about oven-roasted ground chicken. Following the Mediterranean way of eating, white meat (like chicken and turkey) is consumed 1-2 times weekly. Just to give you an idea about the portion for each serving, it’s about 5 ounces (140g) of cooked meat. Healthy, lean meat, checked!
VEGETABLES – THE SECRET INGREDIENT
Let’s step up to another healthy part of the recipe and add generous amounts of veggies. By far the best way to increase daily vegetable intake for your picky eaters, meat & potatoes /mac & cheese lovers.
Apart from the healthy and flavor aspect of the added vegetables, they prevent the meatballs from turning tough and dry.
THE SUN-DRIED TOMATO SAUCE
In Greece, we love sun-dried tomatoes and we lavishly use this ingredient in many recipes.
To be honest, my oven-roasted chicken meatballs are so delicious that you eat them without any addition BUT do yourself and your family a favor and make this sun-dried tomato sauce. Bath the meatballs in it for a few minutes and give this extra kick that makes a tasteful dish divine.
MASHED POTATOES WITH FETA CHEESE
Last but not least, it’s the mashed potatoes addiction. Not the one you know with heavy cream and a ton of butter and cheeses. Only olive oil and feta cheese, a Mediterranean Greek version! De-li-cioussss!!!
You see? We like chicken in the Mediterranean and we definitely know how to cook it!
HOW TO MAKE MEDITERRANEAN OVEN ROASTED CHICKEN MEATBALLS
See below how the magic happens:
Take all the above ingredients and combine them in a bowl. No reason to overmix. Keep it in the fridge for half an hour. It is optional but I prefer to let my mixture rest and cool for a while, especially during summer.
Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven.
Shape into 1 1/2″ balls. Place them individually on the pan, leaving a bit of room in between.
Bake uncovered for 10 minutes, turn them over, and bake for another 10 minutes.
MAKE THE SUN-DRIED TOMATO SAUCE
While the meatballs bake up in the oven, go straight to your pantry. Grab a can of sun-dried tomatoes, a can of chopped tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes), the usual onion-garlic combo, and herbs like thyme or oregano (fresh or dried). Don’t forget the white wine and the spices. Put it all together in a pan for a few minutes. So easy.
THE MASHED POTATOES WITH FETA CHEESE
At this point, the chicken meatballs are simmering in the pan. Great. Now, use a pot to boil the potatoes. A medium potato needs no more than 20 minutes to be ready. In order to peel the potatoes, you have to let them cool a bit. Save time and let them under running water for a few minutes. Peel, add the garlic (optional) and the milk. Mass, and finally, add feta cheese crumbles. Ready.
HOW TO SERVE – MEAL PREP & ENJOY LEFTOVERS
Meal prep becomes so easy because these Mediterranean oven-roasted chicken meatballs are the perfect freezer meal. Prepare and bake them in big batches (double and even triple the recipe) so that you pull them out on busy weeknights and/or lazy weekends. No better than an “almost ready” meal waiting for you at home. Keep the chicken meatballs in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container and you will enjoy leftovers for days.
I am telling you, this recipe covers all the bases. Healthy, delicious, easy/fast, meal prep, and left-over friendly. All you have to do is to choose the way that suits your needs.
I will gladly share my method consisting of 4 different meals with one bunch of oven-roasted chicken meatballs. For smart and time-saving cooking, see below:
Meal #1 –This Recipe
Double (or even triple according to your needs) the recipe for chicken meatballs. Keep the quantity you want to make the post’s recipe. Keep leftovers or/and freeze the rest of them in 3 separate freezer bags.
Meal #2 – Serve with Grains
Maybe you crave pasta tonight. Well, this is my kid’s favorite combo: Meatballs and pasta. I guess no surprise here. Name a kid that doesn’t like this combo. I usually prefer serving whole wheat pasta which is a much healthier ingredient according to the Mediterranean way of eating.
However, don’t hesitate to serve them up with any kind of grain of choice. Brown rice, farro, quinoa, bulgur, and whole-wheat couscous just to name a few. All excellent choices!
Meal #3 – Veggies & Greens
My favorite no-fuss meal. You don’t have the time or energy to make my tomato sauce or any kind of sauce. No worries. It happens to all of us, all the time. Serve your Mediterranean oven-roasted chicken meatballs over fresh (preferably organic) veggies and greens topped with olive oil, lemon, or a splash of vinaigrette or balsamico. Ta daaah, your meal is ready! Delicious, light, and healthy.
Meal #4 – Bread – The crowd-pleaser
Serve them over whole-wheat pita bread or make a sandwich with your homemade whole-wheat bread or any kind of bread you have available in your pantry or fridge. Serve ideally with veggies too (see meal #3 above).
My favorite way: STRAIGHT FROM THE PAN
While they are still hot and so juicy! You don’t need instructions here. Dear cooks, go on and enjoy the fruit of your labor straight from the pan or bake sheet. Serve with a glass of your favorite wine. I would propose a Syrah or Pinot Noir. You deserve it!
FREEZE & REHEAT
You have two options here.
1. Freeze cooked meatballs
If you have leftovers, you may freeze them and consume up to 3 months. However, I would recommend using them no later than a month because they may lack flavor and moisture. The best way to freeze is to place them on a baking tray first and freeze them for an hour or so. Then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag. Otherwise, they stick together and it will be a mess and difficult to reheat.
Reheat them in a 400 °F (200 °C) heated oven for about 10-15 minutes
2. Freeze uncooked meatballs
You have this big party in a few days and you are meal prepping like a maniac. Good! The secret for a successful get-together along with glorious food!
Make ahead those Mediterranean oven-roasted chicken meatballs just by shaping the mixture into balls and arranging them on a baking sheet. Place in the freezer for about an hour. When the meatballs are solid enough, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container. Preferably consume them in a month or so.
Note that it may take more time to cook.
If you make this recipe, you have to let me know! I absolutely love your feedback. This is a huge motivation for me and it keeps 30daysofgreekfood’s kitchen alive. Bookmark this recipe and leave your rate and comment below, or take a photo with your Mediterranean oven-roasted chicken meatballs and tag me on Instagram with #30daysofgreekfood and Facebook with @30daysofgreekfood.
Thank you for your support!
Mediterranean Oven Roasted Chicken Meatballs
FOR THE CHICKEN MEATBALLS
- 1.7 pounds (800g) ground chicken breast (or turkey) meat
- 1 cup (110g) breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat
- 2 raw eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 big carrots (or 3 small), grated
- 1 big onion, minced
- 1 red pepper, minced
- ½ green or yellow pepper, minced
- 1 fresh tomato, grated
- 2 zucchinis, grated
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Olive oil for coating
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint or ½ tablespoon dried mint
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano or ½ tablespoon dried oregano
FOR THE SUN-DRIED TOMATO SAUCE
- 2 cups (1 pound/500g) chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
- 1/2 cup (60g) marinated oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, oil drained and chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup (120ml) dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano or thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cumin (optional)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder (optional)
FOR THE MASHED POTATOES WITH FETA
- 4 medium russets or Yukon gold potatoes, washed well, skins left on
- 1 garlic clove, minced (optional)
- 2 cups (300g) Greek feta cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup (12ml) whole milk
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin Greek olive oil
- Salt and pepper
BAKE THE MEATBALLS
- Preheat the oven to 200° C (392°F).
- Add all the ingredients in a big bowl. Coat your hands with olive oil, and roll the meat into about 1 ½″ balls (it will make 18-20 meatballs).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the meatballs individually, leaving a bit of room in between and transfer them to the oven.
- Roast uncovered for 10 minutes, turn them over and roast for another 10 minutes. The meatballs are crisp on the outside, but not yet cooked through on the inside.
MAKE THE SUN-DRIED TOMATO SAUCE
- While the meatballs are in the oven, set a large pot (or pan) over medium heat. Add the olive oil until lightly shimmering (not smoking).
- Add the onion and cook over medium heat. Stir regularly, until golden (4-5 minutes). Add the garlic and stir for a minute.
- Add oregano or thyme, paprika, cumin (optional) and cinnamon (optional). Pour in the white wine and stir until absorbed about 3 minutes.
- Finally, add the chopped tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in immediately the half-baked chicken meatballs.
ASSEMBLE CHICKEN MEATBALLS & SUN-DRIED TOMATO SAUCE
- Stir the half-cooked meatballs in the tomato sauce. Cook stirring occasionally over low heat, until the sauce thickens slightly and the meatballs are cooked through. About 15 minutes for smaller sized meatballs and 20-25 minutes for bigger ones.*
FOR THE FETA MASHED POTATOES
- While the meatballs are in the oven, add the potatoes in a pot with cold salted water and cover. Bring the water to a boil and cook until they are fork-tender. Drain and cool slightly.
- Peel the potatoes skin away and add them to a bowl with the milk. Add the garlic (optional). Mash the potatoes (a potato masher will save time and trouble) and then add feta cheese crumbles and olive oil. Mix well and season with salt and pepper.