You may have not yet travelled to Greece, but our friend, Heather from @fitmamarealfood, has shared her Greek Chicken Meatball Bowl recipe with us and the flavors will leave you feeling as though you are on the beautiful Mediterranean shores! Featuring Uno Bites™ Nano Cucumbers as the main ingredient, it is fresh and delicious. After the first bite, your family will be blurting out OPA and then asking for more!
One way to appreciate other cultures is through food. Exploring new flavors and making recipes from around the world is a great way to expand your family’s tastes and help them learn something about other cultures The ingredients used are unique and can help to expand your family’s tastes beyond what they are used to. This Greek Chicken Meatball Bowl recipe is a fantastic introduction to Greek flavors. With fresh greenhouse grown Uno Bites™ Nano Cucumbers adding a pop of fresh flavor in the tzatziki sauce, along with the chicken meatballs, your crew may just add this to the family favorites list.
GREEK CHICKEN MEATBALL BOWL
Mediterranean cuisine is often created with plenty of fresh ingredients and packed with flavors from a variety of herbs and spices. Greek Chicken Meatballs are quick and easy to prepare, and they pair perfectly with tangy tzatziki and fresh crisp veggies! This healthy, balanced, and nourishing bowl brings fun and fresh new Greek flavors to your weeknight dinner. The best part about serving up a bowl-style meal is that everyone can customize their bowl to their liking, meaning yes, your kids may actually finish their meal!
To be honest, bowls are my favorite kind of meal. You get to pile on all kinds of flavorful components, go heavy on the veggies, and there is always a sauce involved. Sauces make all the components of a bowl work together. Because of the flexibility of bowl ingredients, it is easy to try new flavor combinations inspired from different cultures while still customizing it to your family’s liking, which to me is a win-win.
START WITH KEY INGREDIENTS
Uno Bites™ Nano Cucumbers are the cutest cucumber you’ve ever seen, and they bring this bowl recipe to life! Not only are they the star in our tzatziki sauce, but they also bring crispy freshness as veggies in the bowl.
Every time my kids see these cucumbers they keep reaching for more and more. Even though I need a certain amount to make the recipe, it is hard to say ‘no more’ as it is lovely to see my children so excited about eating such healthy snacks. These little cucumbers are addictive, but in a good way! Because this bowl is cucumber heavy, there is no complaint out of my kids when Greek Chicken Meatball Bowl is on the menu for dinner. They actually get excited for this meal which makes it another mom win in my books!
GREEK CHICKEN MEATBALLS
Preparing the Greek Chicken Meatball Bowl recipe is simple and quick, making it time-friendly for busy schedules and weeknight meals. In fact, most parts of the bowl can be pepped ahead of time, leaving assembly only at dinner time! To make your meatballs, add ground chicken to a large mixing bowl, then add finely chopped red onion, parsley, and mint. Next comes the flavorful herbs and spices I mentioned earlier – add sea salt, oregano, dill, chili powder, black pepper, and minced garlic. Mix all meatball ingredients thoroughly, then scoop mixture onto the baking sheet and form into meatballs. This recipe should make about 30 meatballs which is great for making-ahead. Bake in the oven until fully cooked.
While the meatballs are baking, you can use this time to prepare the tzatziki sauce. Add cucumbers, plain Greek yogurt, minced garlic, fresh mint, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a food processor or blender. Pulse the processor until the sauce is smooth and cucumbers are minced.
Making the sauce is quick, so you should still have time to prepare the ingredients to build the bowl. Cook the brown rice and dice a few more cucumbers, as well as some Juno® Bites Red Grape Tomatoes, Bumbles® Yellow Grape Tomatoes, and red onions. Be sure to have extra fresh mint and parsley for garnishing your dish.
Once the meatballs are finished baking you can get the family around the table and start to build your bowls! Of course, you can make it any way you like it, but for my family we like to build this bowl recipe with a layer of rice at the bottom, top with 4-5 Greek Chicken Meatballs, pile on the veggies, and a big spoonful of the tzatziki sauce. A sprinkle of fresh mint and parsley on top gives it that extra pop of fresh flavor!
TIME SAVING MEAL PREP
As most families know, finding meals that fit with busy weeknight schedules can be challenging. This recipe is accommodating to even the busiest of schedules with a bit of preparation ahead of time. Use weekends or days that are more accommodating to make the meatballs and the brown rice.
Brown rice can be cooked and stored in the fridge as it will keep for about a week. I like to make a big batch and use it for multiple meals through the week. For the chicken meatballs, I typically make a batch when I have extra time, bake them, and then store in the fridge until we are ready for them. An even better idea is to make a double batch and store half in the freezer – they will last up to 6 months and because they reheat very well, you don’t lose any flavor or texture. You can reheat them in a pan, oven, air fryer, or microwave.
CUSTOMIZE YOUR BOWLS
Even though this recipe is delicious as it is described above, I’ve assembled a list of substitutions that will also work well to customize it to your family’s taste preferences.
Ground chicken – Substitute any ground meat in here. Since two pounds are used, you could also mix and match. For example, you could use one pound of ground chicken with one pound of ground pork. Experiment and explore the possibilities.
Red onion – Any onion variety will work. For a milder flavor, try green onion. For a sweeter flavor, try using a vadalia onion.
Herbs – The recipe calls for mint and parsley, but if you only have cilantro or basil, feel free to use those instead. You can also use dried herbs if fresh herbs aren’t available.
Greek yogurt – Plain, non-Greek yogurt will also work great for the tzatziki sauce. Using plain, non-dairy yogurt works will also work.
Brown rice – White rice, quinoa, or farro also work great as the base for these bowls. Another option is to increase the veggie content and use cauliflower rice instead! And if grains aren’t your thing, make a giant salad of mixed greens as the base.
If you are new to cooking Greek cuisine, I’m certain that trying this recipe will get you and your family excited to explore more flavors. You’ll find the use of fresh ingredients, spices and herbs will add some vibrancy to your meals and you can feel good that dinner is delicious and healthy.
If your kids are old enough to help you make this dish, include them in the process. It will be fun for both you and your kids. Mine like to help roll the meatballs and chop the cucumbers! The best part of all is that because fresh greenhouse grown produce is available all year round, cooking healthy meals like this can happen any time of the year! So, even though you may not be able to bring your family to Greece for dinner, you can always bring a little taste of the Mediterranean to your home.
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