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Greek Meatballs with Brown Rice, Greek Salad, and Tzatziki: A Mediterranean Feast

Experience the essence of Mediterranean cuisine with a dish that brings together Greek meatballs, brown rice, a traditional Greek salad, and tzatziki sauce. The meatballs, a mix of beef and lamb seasoned with garlic, herbs, and spices, are baked to achieve a crispy outside and juicy inside. The cool, creamy tzatziki sauce, made with cucumber, Greek yoghurt, labneh, dill, and garlic, complements the meatballs. Alongside, a fresh Greek salad with tomato, capsicum, cucumber, onion, Feta cheese, and olives, dressed in lemon and olive oil, adds freshness and flavour. Served over brown rice, this meal is a vibrant, nutritious option perfect for any occasion, appealing to both avid fans of Greek cuisine and those eager to explore new flavours.

Diabetes-Friendly Features

Low Glycemic Ingredients: Brown rice is a whole grain with a lower glycemic index (GI) than white rice, meaning it causes a slower rise in blood glucose levels. This is beneficial for managing diabetes.

High Fiber Content: The vegetables in the Greek salad and the whole grains increase the meal’s fiber content, which helps slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, aiding in blood sugar control.

Healthy Fats: The olive oil in the salad and tzatziki sauce provides monounsaturated fats, which are known to improve insulin sensitivity.

Lean Proteins: The combination of beef and lamb used in the meatballs offers a good source of protein, which has minimal impact on blood sugar levels, making it ideal for maintaining muscle mass and managing hunger.

Thyroid-Friendly elements

Selenium and Zinc: Beef and lamb are good sources of selenium and zinc, two minerals essential for thyroid function. Selenium is involved in the conversion of thyroid hormones from the inactive to the active form, while zinc helps with hormone production.

Anti-inflammatory Properties: Ingredients like olive oil, garlic, and herbs (parsley, dill, mint) have anti-inflammatory properties, which can support thyroid health by reducing inflammation.

Low in Goitrogens: Goitrogens are substances that can interfere with thyroid function. This meal is primarily made of ingredients low in goitrogens, making it suitable for those with thyroid conditions.

Rich in Antioxidants: The vegetables in the Greek salad provide antioxidants that can help reduce oxidative stress and support overall thyroid health.

Balanced Macronutrient Profile

Calories: Approximately 250 kcal per serving. The calorie content is moderate, making it a suitable option for those seeking a fulfilling yet health-conscious meal.

Protein: Each serving delivers around 20g of protein sourced from the beef and lamb.

Carbohydrates: With approximately 2g of carbohydrates per serving.

Fat: The meatballs contain about 18g of fats per serving.

Ingredients and Their Health Benefits

For the Meatballs:

Minced Beef and Lamb: The combination of beef and lamb provides a rich flavour and tender texture to the meatballs. Beef offers a deep, meaty taste, while lamb adds a unique, slightly gamey flavour that is traditional in Greek cuisine.

Garlic, Parsley, Dill, Mint: These herbs and garlic add freshness, depth, and aromatic qualities to the meatballs, enhancing the overall flavour profile.

Red Onion: Adds sweetness and texture to the meatballs, contributing to the complexity of flavours.

Ground Cumin, Oregano, Chilli Flakes, Black Pepper, and Salt: These spices provide warmth, earthiness, and a slight kick (from the chilli flakes) that complements the meat and herbs beautifully.

For the Tzatziki Sauce:

Cucumbers: Offer a crisp, refreshing base for the sauce, balancing the rich flavors of the meatballs.

Garlic, Dill: These ingredients add sharpness and a fresh, herbaceous quality to the tzatziki.

Greek Yogurt, Labneh: Provide a creamy, tangy base for the sauce, enhancing its richness and flavour.

Lemon Juice: Adds brightness and acidity, cutting through the creaminess of the yoghurt and labneh.

Paprika, Salt: Paprika adds a subtle warmth, while salt enhances all the flavours.

For the Greek Salad:

Tomato, Capsicum, Cucumbers, Onion: These vegetables offer a variety of textures and fresh flavours, providing a refreshing contrast to the meatballs.

Feta Cheese: Adds a creamy, salty element that pairs well with the fresh vegetables and dressing.

Green Olives: Offer a briny depth, complementing the salad’s freshness.

Lemon Juice, Olive Oil, and Dried Oregano: The dressing combines acidity, richness, and herbaceous notes, tying the salad components together beautifully.

alternative ingredients

For Meatballs: Use turkey or chicken mince for a lighter option. For a vegetarian alternative, consider lentils or chickpeas mixed with breadcrumbs.

For Tzatziki: Use coconut yoghurt or almond yoghurt for a dairy-free version.

For Greek Salad: Avocado can add creaminess in place of Feta for a dairy-free option. Use any seasonal vegetables as alternatives.

Preparation Tips for Greek Meatballs with Brown Rice, Greek Salad, and Tzatziki

  • Meatballs: Ensure not to overmix the meat to keep the meatballs tender. Chill the mixture before forming balls for easier handling.
  • Tzatziki Sauce: Really squeeze the grated cucumber to remove as much water as possible, preventing a watery sauce.
  • Greek Salad: Cut the vegetables into uniform sizes for a balanced texture and presentation.

Serving Tips for Greek Meatballs with Brown Rice, Greek Salad, and Tzatziki

  • Present the meal on a large platter for a family-style serving. Garnish with extra herbs and a drizzle of olive oil for added flavor and a vibrant presentation.
  • Serve the meatballs and salad at room temperature to enhance their flavors, with the tzatziki sauce chilled.

storage tips

Meatballs: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Tzatziki Sauce: Best consumed within 1-2 days due to the fresh ingredients. Store in a tight-lid container in the refrigerator.

Greek Salad: Best enjoyed fresh. However, store the dressing separately and add just before serving if you need to prepare in advance.

Greek Meatballs Served with Brown Rice, Greek Salad and Tzatziki Sauce

Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes



  • 500 g beef, minced
  • 500 g lamb, minced
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp cumin, ground
  • 1 tsp oregano, ground
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes, (optional)
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt

Tzatziki Sauce

  • 4 cucumbers
  • ½ tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cup full-fat Greek yoghurt
  • ½ cup labneh
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • salt, to taste

Greek Salad

  • 1 large tomato, cut into large cubes
  • 1 capsicum, cut into large cubes
  • 4 small cucumbers, cut into large chunks
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 200 g feta cheese
  • green olives, whole
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • pink salt
  • freshly ground black pepper



  • Preheat your oven to 220°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the minced beef, minced lamb, parsley, dill, mint leaves, red onion, garlic, ground cumin, ground oregano, chilli flakes (if using), salt, and black pepper. Mix everything together until well combined
  • Use a cookie dough scoop or your hands to form the mixture into meatballs, then roll them into balls and place them on the baking sheet.
  • Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until they are cooked through and browned on the outside. Alternatively, pan-fry for 5 to 10 minutes until browned and cooked through.

Tzatziki Sauce

  • Begin by grating the cucumber. You can use a box grater or a food processor with a grating attachment. Once grated, place the cucumber in a clean kitchen towel or paper towel and squeeze out any excess moisture.
  • In a bowl, combine the grated cucumber, garlic, dill, Greek yogurt, labneh, lemon juice, paprika powder, and salt. Mix everything together until well combined. Adjust the seasoning to suit your taste.

Greek Salad

  • Prepare the dressing: mix lemon juice, olive oil, and dried oregano powder. Season with salt and pepper.
  • In a large serving plate, layer the gem lettuce, tomatoes, capsicum, cucumbers, and onions. Crumble the Feta cheese over the salad.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and serve.

Brown Rice

  • Soak rice for 30 minutes. In a pot, add two cups of rice and two cups of water. Bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce heat, cover the pot, and let it simmer for 20 minutes.

To Serve

  • Serve the brown rice at the base of the bowl, add the Greek meatballs, a serving of Greek salad, and a dollop of tzatziki sauce. Enjoy your delicious Greek meal!

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