Baked Chicken and Feta Meatballs
Filled with feta, yogurt and oats to keep the chicken tender and flavorful, these meatballs lean Mediterranean, but they’re subtle enough to play well with others. Though they anchor any meal as the main character, they welcome a wide range of supporting cast members. You could roast broccoli, asparagus or other vegetables with a similar cooking time in another sheet pan in the oven, or add heartier vegetables like delicata squash to the oven first, since they take a bit longer to cook. Serving the meatballs in a bowl of leftover tomato sauce or your favorite marinara would be a winning combination, too. Use them to add heft to salad, or (gently) drop them into a brothy soup just until warmed.
- Serves: 4 persons
- ¾cup finely crumbled feta
- ¼packed cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
- ¼cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1tablespoon plain thick yogurt (such as labneh) or Greek or Icelandic yogurt
- 1teaspoon dried oregano
- ½to 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- Kosher salt
- 1pound ground chicken or turkey (preferably dark meat)
- 2tablespoons olive oil
- 1lemon, halved
Step 1Heat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, mix 1/2 cup feta with half the chopped mint, plus the oats, yogurt, oregano, red-pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon salt, breaking up any lingering feta chunks with your hands. Add the chicken, gently combining until it’s lightly speckled with green dots.
Step 2Drizzle the oil on a sheet pan and use your hands to spread it around. Use your oiled palms to shape the chicken into 1- to 1 1/4-inch loosely firm but not compact balls; lightly roll them in the oil on the sheet pan when shaping to coat them and prevent them from sticking. You should have 18 to 20 meatballs. Once the meatballs have all been rolled out, spread them out evenly on the sheet pan.
Step 3Cook meatballs until the bottoms are browned and the centers are no longer pink, 15 to 18 minutes.
Step 4Squeeze half of the lemon over the pan, then use a wooden spoon to move the meatballs around, turning the browned side up, and scraping up any browned bits on the pan. Transfer to a bowl or leave in the pan and top with the remaining feta and mint. Cut the remaining lemon half into quarters and serve at the table for squeezing on top.