Sweet Baked Meatballs (Soutzoukakia)

Makes: 16 pieces

If you have not tried these grilled Greek meatballs in red sauce, here is a gift for you! These are known as soutzoukakia or Izmir kofta, and they are the best! These roasted meatballs have lots of flavor, with fresh parsley and a special blend of spices, including ground cumin, baked in a special red sauce. Plus, when you soak the bread in milk, it makes these Greek meatballs even juicier.




2 slices whole-wheat or gluten-free bread, toasted to a medium-brown
¼ –⅓ cup milk or water
1.5 lb. lean ground beef
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium eggs
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. black pepper
drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the baking dish


2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup dry red wine
2 (15-oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 bay leaf
⅓ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. sugar
salt and black pepper, to taste



1. Place the toasted bread in a small bowl, cover with the milk or water and set aside to soak. When bread is soft and well-soaked, squeeze the liquid out completely and discard any remaining milk.
2. Transfer the bread to a large mixing bowl. Add the ground beef, onion, garlic, eggs, cumin, cinnamon, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper. Knead until the mixture is well combined. Cover the meat mixture and let rest in the fridge while you continue on to the next step.
3. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
4. In a saucepan or large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the onions and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring regularly. Add the red wine and cook to reduce by about half, about 10– 12 minutes. Then add the tomato sauce, bay leaf, cumin, cinnamon, sugar, and salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, lightly grease the bottom of a large baking dish with extra-virgin olive oil.
6. Take the meat mixture out of the fridge. Wet your hands and scoop out about 2½ tablespoons of the meat mixture, then form it into a large, football-shaped meatball. Repeat with the remaining meat mixture to create 15 to 16 elongated meatballs.
7. Arrange the meatballs in the prepared baking dish. Remove the bay leaf from the sauce and top the meatballs with the sauce.
8. Place the baking dish on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the meatballs are well cooked all the way through (check halfway through to make sure the baking dish is not dry; if needed, add a little bit of water to the bottom of the dish).
9. Remove from the oven and add another drizzle of olive oil. Garnish with parsley and serve over rice or orzo if desired.



Calories 64kcal
Total Carbohydrate 7g
Protein 2g
Total Fat 3g
Saturated Fat 5g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Trans Fat 2g
Cholesterol 29mg
Sodium 178mg
Potassium 96mg
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 3g
Vitamin A 2% Daily Value
Vitamin C 5% Daily Value
Calcium 25% Daily Value
Iron 16% Daily Value


This AMAZING Recipe can be found in my Mediterranean Refresh Meal Plan Cookbook here 

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