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Meatballs with Lemon-Garlic Orzo Recipe

Here, a little of the lemon-garlic vinaigrette used to season the orzo also gets stirred into yogurt for a flavorful and creamy topping. 

The lean protein from ground lamb or beef, combined with the egg and fresh herbs, provides essential amino acids and vitamins, supporting muscle repair and overall health. Whole-wheat orzo adds fiber and complex carbohydrates for sustained energy, while the olive oil and feta cheese contribute heart-healthy fats and calcium. The yogurt sauce offers probiotics for gut health, and the addition of cucumbers provides hydration and vitamins. With its rich flavors and nutritious ingredients, this dish is not only satisfying, but also nourishing for the body.

Active Time: 35 mins | Total Time: 40 mins | Servings: 4


  • 1 pound ground lamb or beef
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 3 teaspoons finely grated garlic, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole-wheat orzo
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup whole-milk plain yogurt
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
  • 1 cup thinly sliced cucumbers


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Mix lamb (or beef), egg, 2 tablespoons parsley, mint, 1 teaspoon garlic and salt in a medium bowl. Form into 12 balls and place on the prepared pan. Bake until browned and cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain and let cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Mix oil, dill, lemon zest and lemon juice along with the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley and 2 teaspoons garlic in a medium bowl. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the herb mixture to a small bowl and stir in yogurt and 1/4 cup feta.
  5. Add the orzo to the medium bowl and stir in the remaining 3/4 cup feta. Serve the meatballs with the orzo, yogurt sauce and cucumbers.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

586 Calories

35g Fat

37g Carbs 

32g Protein

Recipe by Adam Dolge / EatingWell

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