Easy Greek Lamb Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce Dressing

by Kaitlynn Fenley

These Greek lamb meatballs only take 20 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cook and pair perfectly with freshly cooked rice, tzatziki sauce dressing, and vegetables. We made these easy Greek meatballs with ground lamb, nutritious lean meat perfect for a gut-healthy dinner.

Greek Lamb Meatballs

Eating for gut health doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. This recipe is easy on the stomach and good for digestion. Even though we include meat in this recipe, it’s still full of nutritious plant fiber for gut health. Here are all the gut-healthy ingredients you need for this recipe:

Ingredients for the Greek lamb meatballs:

  • ground lamb
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • cumin
  • oregano
  • red pepper
  • fresh parsley
  • fresh mint
  • dill
  • red onion
  • black pepper
  • garlic

Ingredients for tzatziki sauce dressing:

  • Fermented pickles
  • kefir or yogurt
  • lemon
  • fresh dill
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • your choice of vegetables
someone piercing a cooked greek meatball with a silver fork

Is Lamb Red Meat? and Are Greek Lamb Meatballs Healthy?

Yes, lamb meat is considered red meat, but healthy and lean. Any meat from ruminant animals such as cows, bison, lamb, and elk is considered red meat. Red meat is healthier when used in a recipe like this and turned into Greek meatballs. The herbs, spices, and onions add a lot of nutritional benefits.

If you can’t find ground lamb, a great substitute is ground bison. Lamb and bison are nutrient-rich protein sources containing iron, B vitamins, selenium, and zinc.

Raw Greek lamb meatballs on a parchment paper lined baking sheet

Is Red Meat Good for Gut Health?

The answer to this question is not so simple. Most scientific studies are skewed and not applicable to natural, healthy lifestyles.

For instance, here’s an excerpt from a study: “To figure out how diet influences the microbiome, scientists put volunteers on two extreme diets: one that included only meat, egg, and cheese and one that contained only grains, vegetables, and legumes.” Of course, a study so polarized will have vastly different effects on the gut microbiome. We should not look at these things in a vacuum. We are robust ecosystems that thrive on having various quality and natural foods in our diets.

Eating a lot of plants right away boosts the types of gut bacteria associated with good gut health and lower levels of inflammation. However, diets that do not include animal-based foods lack many nutrients, minerals, and vitamins and can lead to poor thyroid and metabolic function.

In comparison, if someone cuts out all fiber and vegetables from their diet, they also cut out sources of essential minerals and vitamins like potassium and vitamin C. This will impact the microbiome negatively.

Where to source quality lamb

It is foolish to conclude that meat is “bad” from such extreme dietary studies like this. If you want a steak, eat a small portion with some grilled asparagus and a beet greens salad. It’s about balance, and more than that, it is about the source of your animal-based food.

When you are wondering if red meat is good for gut health, it is essential to ask yourself a few questions:

All of these things are important because meat being “good for gut health” or not comes down to the quality of the meat. How the meat was raised and farmed also impacts gut health because it impacts the earth.

If we want food to be good for us and remain good for us, we must care for the lands and soil we consume from. The best way to do this is to support regenerative agriculture.

Greek Lamb Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce

My favorite thing to eat tzatziki sauce with is Greek rice bowls. I make Greek rice bowls with all sorts of ingredients, and one of my favorites is these Greek lamb meatballs.

The tzatziki sauce is easy to make, and you have options. I used milk kefir to make it thinner and more like a salad dressing for this recipe. Traditionally you use Greek yogurt to make tzatziki, and it’s thick. Feel free to use either one in this recipe. Both turn out delicious, with slightly different flavors.

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Easy Greek Lamb Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce Dressing

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These Greek lamb meatballs only take 20 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cook and pair perfectly with freshly cooked rice, tzatziki sauce dressing, and vegetables. We made these easy Greek meatballs with ground lamb, nutritious lean meat perfect for a gut-healthy dinner.

  • Author: Kaitlynn Fenley
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Greek
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Greek Meatballs

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 5 fresh garlic cloves minced 

Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1/4 cup finely minced fermented pickles
  • 1/4 cup fermented milk kefir or Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • the juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425° F and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Add all of the meatball ingredients to a bowl and use your hands to mix everything together until it is well combined.
  3. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of meat mixture and roll in between the palm of your hands to form a ball.
  4. Place the meatballs on the parchment paper-lined pan.
  5. After you have rolled all the meatballs, bake them at 425° F for about 30 minutes until they are slightly browned on the top and cooked all the way through.
  6. While the meatballs cook, make the tzatziki sauce dressing and prepare some rice and vegetables.  For the tzatziki sauce, add all of the sauce ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine. Add salt to taste and keep the sauce in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
  7. Serve the meatballs with rice, vegetables, and tzatziki sauce. Enjoy! 

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Kaitlynn Fenley Author, Educator, Food Microbiologist
Kaitlynn is a food microbiologist and fermentation expert teaching people how to ferment foods and drinks at home.

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