Greek Meatballs With 24-Hour Yogurt Tzatziki Sauce

Greek Meatballs With 24-Hour Yogurt Tzatziki Sauce

Here’s what looks like an easy and delicious recipe that uses the 24 hour yogurt talked about in a different article. My family enjoys meatballs, and recently I introduced them to tzatziki, a Greek dish made from yogurt and spices that is super tasty. When food is delicious and nutritious it’s a total win win!

Greek Meatballs With 24-Hour Yogurt Tzatziki Sauce

Most of us know we should eat more 24-hour yogurt. After all, it’s one of the most powerful gut healing foods: each tablespoon of properly prepared yogurt contains 700 BILLION CFUs per cup.

That’s a lot of probiotics.

With that in mind, I challenged myself to come up with some new ways to eat 24-hour yogurt. (I also had a freezer full of ground meat from hunting over the fall and winter.) The result? Gut-Healing Greek Meatballs with 24-Hour Yogurt Tzatziki sauce.

This recipe sounds fancy, but even my kids ate it. (Maybe because they like anything you can dip!)

When I created this recipe, I built it around what I had on hand and what I can tolerate. That means this recipe is really versatile:

  • Use whatever ground meat you have around or like best (just avoid extra-lean ground turkey or chicken, or the meatballs will be very dry!)
  • Use fresh or dried herbs. If you’re using dried where fresh is called for, cut the amount in half. If using fresh when dried is call for, double the amount.
  • If you don’t tolerate eggs, just omit the egg. The meatballs will still come together – they may just crumble a bit more. You could also add a gelatin egg, but it probably isn’t necessary.
  • Garlic, coconut aminos, and a little tomato paste build depth of flavor. If you can’t tolerate any of these ingredients, just leave them out.
  • The grated onion is a great source of prebiotics and helps keep the meatballs moist. If you can’t tolerate onions, sub in ½ cup grated zucchini with the moisture wrung out instead.

And if you need to make some other modification – or have an idea of something else to add in – don’t be afraid to try it out.

These meatballs are inspired by Keftedes or traditional greek meatballs. However, traditional keftedes use milk-soaked bread to thicken the meatballs, and these meatballs are grain-free.

I’m no chef and don’t want to offend any Greek cuisine purists – so let’s just call these Greek meatballs

How To Drip Your Own 24-Hour Yogurt (It’s Easy)

Have you ever wondered what makes “Greek” yogurt different from regular yogurt? The difference is that Greek yogurt has been “dripped” to remove the liquid whey and results in a  thicker yogurt.

You can easily drip your own homemade 24-hour animal milk yogurt to create Greek yogurt. Here’s how:

Ingredients & Tools

  • Prepared 24-hour animal milk yogurt
  • Clean cheesecloth
  • Twine or rubber band
  • Pitcher or bowl
  • Wooden spoon that is longer than the opening of your pitcher or bowl (so it can lay flat across the top)

Method For Dripping Yogurt

  1. Prepare animal milk yogurt following directions here.
  2. Lay out cheesecloth over the top of bowl or pitcher.
  3. Spoon or pour yogurt into the center of the cheesecloth.
  4. Use twine or rubber band to tie up the corners of the cloth with yogurt contained in the middle.
  5. Hang the cheesecloth bundle over the wooden spoon and lay the spoon across the top of the bowl so that the whey can drip away freely.
  6. Don’t squeeze the cheesecloth or wring the moisture out – allow it to drip out slowly into the bowl.
  7. The longer you allow the yogurt to drip, the thicker it will become. Dripping for 30 minutes – 1 hour will result in a greek yogurt consistency. You can leave the yogurt to drip overnight for a cream cheese consistency.

Greek Meatballs With 24-Hour Yogurt Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients For Meatballs

  • 1.5 lbs ground meat (turkey, chicken, grass-fed beef)
  • 1 medium onion, grated or minced
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • ½ tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste (omit if avoiding nightshades)
  • 3 dashes coconut aminos
  • 2 cloves minced or crushed garlic
  • Salt & Pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix gently to combine. Avoid over mixing or meatballs will be dense and dry. Gently shape into golf-ball size balls. Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes, or until cooked through.

Ingredients For Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 cup 24-hour yogurt (goat, sheep, or cow), dripped (see above)
  • Juice of half lemon
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • Salt & Pepper

Grate cucumber on box grater. Wring out extra moisture using cheesecloth. Combine with all other ingredients and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with Greek meatballs or as a dip for crudites.


That sounds delicious! And a great way to get some more prebiotics into us.

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