Greek - Style Beef Meatballs- (Soutzoukakia)

The Black Cat Kitchen
by The Black Cat Kitchen
6 servings
2 hr

Take your taste buds to the Mediterranean and delight in these tangy, sweet, and savory beef meatballs. Don't be confused by the spices- yes, this recipe includes CINNAMON which adds such a cozy, warming sensation to the dish. Cinnamon and nutmeg are actually a rather common ingredient in Mediterranean beef dishes. Moussaka anyone? I will have to make that recipe another time once my eggplant in the garden grows!

Anyway, this dish - Soutzoukakia - with its interesting oblong meatballs is believed to have originated in Turkey and then into Greece. There are a few different ways to prepare it as well.

Be sure to use a box grater as a quick method to integrating onions seamlessly into your tomato sauce without having big chunks of onion in the final dish. It takes a bit more time, but I promise you will enjoy it!

They are wonderful and such a great freezer-friendly meal to pull out at any time. I never liked meatloaf as a kid growing up, and I still do not necessarily care for it. But I must say these, are a knock-out, spice- forward, little meat loaves. I like to eat mine with basmati rice and maybe a small salad on the side.


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Greek - Style Beef Meatballs- (Soutzoukakia)
Recipe details
  • 6  servings
  • Prep time: 1 Hours Cook time: 1 Hours Total time: 2 hr
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  • 1.5 lb ground beef (15-20% fat)
  • 2 medium onions, grated on box grater
  • 7 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 C water
  • 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz can tomatoes whole/peeled (like San Marzano), drained and diced roughly
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon, divided
  • 1 C panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 C whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 C fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1.5 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • Basmati rice-optional side
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Grate onions and cook with oil, garlic and pinch of salt in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir until onions are soft but not brown about 15-20 minutes.
Transfer half of the onions to large bowl and set aside
Stir flour into remaining onion and cook on medium heat about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Whisk in water and whisk constantly about 1 minute-mixture will thicken
Stir in tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon and bring to simmer.
Remove from heat and keep warm.
Bring out your reserved bowl of onions and add milk and panko to it and stir to combine. Let settle until panko is softened about 1 minute. Stir in parsley, eggs, cumin, pepper, remaining 1 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Stir all together.
Add beef and knead with hands or wooden spoon-easier with hands
Divide meat into about 16 - 20 even portions and shape into football shape to keep the traditional look.
Place meatballs into 9x13 or other oven safe baking dish.
Top with tomato sauce and cover with aluminum foil
Bake for about 1 hour until meatballs cooked through. Let rest about 20 minutes. Then discard bay leaves and serve with rice.
The Black Cat Kitchen
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