Meatballs with Lemon-Garlic Orzo

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

Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
40 mins


  • 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
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size 3 meatballs, 1/2 cup orzo, 2 Tbsp. sauce & 1/4 cup cucumbers
Calories 586
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 8g 29%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 32g 64%
Total Fat 35g 45%
Saturated Fat 13g 65%
Cholesterol 151mg 50%
Vitamin A 648IU 13%
Sodium 649mg 28%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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