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Playing How to Make Baby Greek Meatballs + Rice Pilaf with Feta and Spinach | Rachael Ray

This Greek-inspired dinner is really simple and family-friendly. You can make the meatballs—or as Rach calls them, "Greekballs"—with pretty much any ground meat that you like, or even a plant-based meat substitute. (She loves Impossible because it has great flavor and texture.) They go perfectly with the rice pilaf, which tastes like spanikopita. It contains onion, lemon, feta and a ton of spinach, so you don't even have to prepare a salad.


For the Greekballs:
  • 1 ½ pounds ground lamb or beef
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • About ¾ cup panko or homemade breadcrumbs
  • About ⅓ to ½ cup water or milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • A handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped, plus a bit for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO, plus non-aerosol olive oil spray
For the Pilaf:
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small white onion or large shallot, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
  • Salt
  • Pepper or red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup orzo pasta or broken spaghetti
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 ½ cups white rice
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 6 cups fresh spinach leaves, stemmed and chopped, or 1 pound defrosted frozen spinach, wrung dry
  • 1 cup Greek feta, drained and finely crumbled
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, optional
  • 1 cup combined chopped mint, parsley and dill
  • Juice of 1 lemon


Serves: 4


Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with foil and parchment for easy cleanup.

For the Greekballs, place meat in bowl and season with salt, pepper and 2 teaspoons of lemon zest. Add breadcrumbs and moisten with water or milk, add egg, oregano, parsley, red pepper and garlic. Let stand 5 minutes for breadcrumbs to soften, then mix well and form 24 small oval or egg-shaped meatballs and arrange on baking sheet. Halve the lemon used for zest and place on tray with meatballs. Spray lightly and evenly with olive oil and bake 10 to 12 minutes until evenly browned.

Meanwhile, for the pilaf, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, in a 3-quart pot or pan with tight-fitting lid over medium heat and add butter to melt. Add onion or shallot, garlic, salt and black or red pepper, stir 2 minutes to soften, then add orzo and toast the pasta until deeply golden. Add wine and let it evaporate, add rice, walnuts, lemon zest, oregano and stock and bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes. Wilt in fresh spinach or stir in defrosted spinach. Add feta and yogurt (if using), herbs and juice of ½ lemon. Adjust salt and pepper. 

Rachael Ray Cast Iron Cooking Combo

Rachael Ray Cast Iron Cooking Combo

Top meatballs with juice of remaining ½ lemon. 

Serve pilaf in large or individual bowls with meatballs nested in rice.