This is my yiayia’s recipe that we have been lucky enough to enjoy for all these decades. You can make them with ground beef or turkey or chicken. I typically serve this with a simple green salad or a horiatiki greek salad with feta.
The secret to this recipe is the shape of the “meat balls” because they are larger than a ball but smaller than a patty. It really keeps the meat juicy and doesn’t dry them out. Also, very important here is the slow baking process. This is intricate in providing that tender texture that just melts in your mouth.
Traditionally this dish is prepared with tomato sauce but for me, this method is SO much better. You really get to enjoy the flavors and spices used here without the sauce taking center stage. I am and always will be loving these for the little kick the chili pepper flakes provide. Feel free to amp up the dose if you like them really spicy. I always try to keep it tame for the readers that are more conservative with that or may have children.
The olive oil and lemon marinade is the greatest sauce and pretty much the basis for most Greek recipes. And of course, if you are LEMON obsessed, you should add a second lemon to this recipe. We are middle-of-the-road Lemon Obsessed so this recipe does the trick for us.
For us, the most important aspect of this dish is dunking the meat and potatoes in the juices/marinade. You definitely want to pour it onto your food when consuming. It’s the BEST part of the whole meal. In Greece, we take some fresh bread and dunk it in the juices as well. Chefs Kiss.
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Baked Greek Meatballs and Potatoes (Soutzoukakia)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 large lemon juiced
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped oregano
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 3 lbs gold potatoes peeled + cut into small chunks
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 eggs
- 1 small onion
- 1 bunch fresh mint
- 1 large clove garlic crushed
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp chili pepper flakes
- Optional garnish: fresh oregano
- Preheat your oven to 450 F.
- Whisk together the first 5 ingredients. Then toss 80% of this marinade with the potato chunks in a large bowl. Reserve the remaining 20% of the marinade.
- For the onion and mint, chop in a food processor to get nice and small pieces – you can also chop with a knife.
- In a large bowl, using your hands, combine the ground meats, eggs, onion, mint, garlic, breadcrumbs, 3 tbs olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, cumin and chili pepper flakes. Next, form large meatballs and then shape them into sausage oblongs. Place them in a 9×13” baking dish spaced apart as best as possible. Then add the potatoes to the dish.
- Now take the remaining marinade from before and drizzle it on the soutzoukakia tops.
- Tightly cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- After the 30 minutes, decrease the temperature of the oven to 425° F. After 15 minutes, remove the dish from the oven and uncover. Place back in the oven for 15 more minutes. If they are not yet golden brown, pop on your broiler and broil for a few minutes.