While meatballs might seem more fitting for cold-weather fare, grilling batches of them for quick and easy dinners, and last-minute weekend lunches, is totally ideal for the warmer months. And pairing them with a creamy avocado tzatziki loaded with grated cucumber, minced garlic, dill, and lemon, makes you quickly forget you ever thought they should only be served another time of year.
Mexican avocados lend a boost of colour and nutrition to ordinary tzatziki, and the result is sublime. Or tasty enough that you might just be tempted to eat the sauce from a spoon instead of smearing it over your pita before covering it with little balls of beef.
Mediterranean Meatballs with Avocado Tzatziki
Recipe adapted from Miss Avocado
For the tzatziki:
- 1 large avocado, mashed
- 1/2 cup grated cucumber
- 3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the meatball kebabs:
- 2 lbs. ground beef
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 8 pitas
- 8 wooden skewers
- 1/4 cup minced red onion
- 1/4 cup slice green onion
- 1/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes
To make the avocado tzatziki, combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. Chill until ready to serve.
To make the meatballs, combine beef, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, cumin, pepper, smoked paprika, lemon zest, breadcrumbs, and eggs in a large bowl, taking care not to overmix the meat mixture. Roll into 24 balls and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. While the oven is warming, slide three meatballs on each wooden skewer. Bake the meatballs for 13-15 minutes or until they reach the desired doneness. Alternately, preheat the barbecue to medium-high and grill the kebabs for 10-15 minutes, turning frequently.
To serve, slather the tzatziki over the pitas and place one kebab on top, removing the skewers. Garnish with red and green onion and cherry tomatoes, if desired.
Thanks kindly to Miss Avocado for providing the recipes and groceries for this post! All opinions shared are my own.