Gyro Meatballs & Lemon Feta Orzo

Is there anything better than Mediterranean food? Is there anything more comforting than meatballs and pasta? No! My husband and I are big fans of Gyros, so I decided to try a sort of deconstructed version. This dish is very summery, very light, and very tasty, and the lemon makes it a perfect dinner for a hot day. If you like Mediterranean flavors, give this a try – you won’t regret it. It comes together very quickly and would make a great weeknight meal.

What You’ll Need

For the meatballs, you’ll need ground beef and lamb (if you’re not a fan of lamb, substitute with ground pork or turkey), panko breadcrumbs, an egg, lemon, onion, feta, parsley, oregano, cumin, garlic and some salt and pepper.

For the pasta, you’ll need orzo, feta, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper, a lemon, and some extra virgin olive oil.

For garnish, use lemon wedges, fresh parsley, and fresh mint.

Getting Started

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Mix the ground beef and lamb, panko breadcrumbs, an egg, zest of one lemon, minced onion, feta, chpopped parsley, oregano, cumin, minced garlic and some salt and pepper.

Form Meatballs

Roll the mixture into 1/2″ meatballs and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until meatballs are starting to crisp on the top and cooked all the way through, with a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F. While the meatballs are cooking, make the pasta and sauce.

Make Orzo & Sauce

Bring a salted pot of boiled water to a rolling boil and add orzo. Cook until al dente, about 7-10 minutes, drain.

In a food processor, add the feta, zest and juice of one lemon, chopped parsley, minced garlic, dried oregano, salt and pepper.

Puree, then add olive oil, a tablespoon at a time, and puree again. Repeat until the mixture becomes “saucy”, but not too thin.

Add sauce to cooked pasta and mix thoroughly.

Plate the Pasta & Meatballs

Divide the pasta between bowls, then add meatballs. Garnish with chopped parsley, fresh mint, and a lemon.

Gyro Meatballs with Lemon Feta Orzo

Servings: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lbs ground lamb (can be substituted with ground turkey or pork)
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • zest of a lemon
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Pasta & Sauce

  • 1 lb orzo pasta
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • 16 oz feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, amount will vary

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.U
  3. Using clean hands, mix the meatball ingredients throughly.
  4. Roll the mixture into 1/2″ meatballs, place on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the meatballs are beginning to crisp and reach a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
  6. Meanwhile, make the pasta and sauce.
  7. Bring a salted pot of boiled water to a rolling boil and add orzo. Cook until al dente, about 7-10 minutes, drain.
  8. In a food processor, add the feta, zest and juice of one lemon, chopped parsley, minced garlic, dried oregano, salt and pepper.
  9. Puree, then add olive oil, a tablespoon at a time, and puree again. Repeat until the mixture becomes “saucy”, but not too thin.
  10. Divide the pasta between bowls, then add meatballs. Garnish with chopped parsley, fresh mint, and a lemon.

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