Delicious Greek Meatballs in Rich Wine Sauce Recipe

Welcome to my kitchen! I’m thrilled to share with you my recipe for Greek meatballs in wine sauce. These delicious meatballs are the perfect balance of juicy and tender, subtly spiced with parsley and cumin.

But what truly makes these meatballs stand out is the rich tomato wine sauce that they’re simmered in. A dry white wine infused with minced onion adds depth to the sauce, while a tangy lemon twist provides a burst of flavor.

Trust me, once you try these meatballs in wine sauce, they’ll become one of your favorite go-to recipes for entertaining or a cozy night at home. So gather your family and friends, pour yourself a glass of red or white wine, and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Greek Meatballs in Wine Sauce
Greek Meatballs in Wine Sauce

Are you looking for a hearty and flavorful dish that will transport you straight to the vibrant streets of Greece? Look no further than this recipe for Greek Meatballs in Wine Sauce.

First off, let’s talk about the ingredients. These meatballs are made with a combination of lean ground beef and lamb, giving them a rich and satisfying flavor. The addition of fresh parsley, cumin, and minced onion take things up a notch, guaranteeing each bite is packed with savory and aromatic goodness.

But what really sets this recipe apart is the succulent wine sauce these delicious meatballs are served in. It’s made with dry white wine, butter, and tomato sauce for a tangy zip that will make your mouth water. And if that’s not enough to get your taste buds tingling, a generous squeeze of lemon adds bright citrus notes that perfectly balance out the richness of the meatballs.

But what truly makes this recipe a must-try is its versatility. Served over fluffy rice or paired with crispy flatbreads, these Greek meatballs in wine sauce make an impressive main course that can feed a crowd or be enjoyed solo as leftovers. And don’t forget about all the options for substitutions and variations—swap the ground beef and lamb for turkey or chicken meatballs for a lighter twist on this classic recipe.

In summary, you’ll love this Greek Meatballs in Wine Sauce recipe for its delicious blend of robust flavors, delectable wine sauce, and versatility in terms of serving styles and substitutions. Plus, it’ll make you feel like you’re dining on the sunny shores of Greece—which is always a win in my book!

Ingredient List

 Juicy Greek meatballs swimming in a tantalizing wine sauce!
Juicy Greek meatballs swimming in a tantalizing wine sauce!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make Greek Meatballs in Wine Sauce:

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. ground lamb
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine (such as Chardonnay)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Feel free to adjust the ratios of ground beef and lamb to your taste; just make sure your total meat quantity adds up to about one and a half pounds. While the recipe calls for dry white wine, you can also use dry red wine or even chicken broth or beef broth in a pinch.

The Recipe How-To

 These succulent meatballs are swimming in a pool of luxurious wine sauce!
These succulent meatballs are swimming in a pool of luxurious wine sauce!

Now that we know what ingredients we need, let’s dive into how to make these delightful Greek meatballs in wine sauce!

Step 1: Forming the Meatballs

In a large bowl, combine 1 pound of ground beef and 1 pound of ground lamb. Then add 1 finely minced yellow onion, 1 tablespoon of chopped flat-leaf parsley, and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Mix everything together to combine the meats, onion, and parsley, and season with salt and pepper.

Step 2: Rolling the Meatballs

Begin rolling small, bite-sized balls of the meat mixture between your palms, adding more as you go until you have about 30 balls.

Step 3: Cooking the Meatballs

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, preheat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine. Once hot, add the meatballs to the pan in a single layer. Cook for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally until browned all over. Then remove from the pan and set aside.

Step 4: Making the Wine Sauce

In the same skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 cup of dry white wine, 1 cup of dry red wine, and 2 cups of tomato sauce. Let it come to a boil then reduce heat to low-medium heat, adding in 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Let it simmer for a few minutes.

Step 5: Finishing Up

Add back in the cooked meatballs to the skillet with the tomato/wine sauce. Make sure all meatballs are coated well in sauce by spooning sauce over them often until they’re completely cooked through (about another 10-15 minutes).

And that’s it! Your delicious dish is ready to be served!

Substitutions and Variations

 Dive into meatball heaven with this Greek classic!
Dive into meatball heaven with this Greek classic!

One great thing about this Greek Meatballs in Wine Sauce recipe is that it allows for some substitutions and variations to cater to your personal taste preferences. Here are some ideas:

– Meat: While the classic recipe calls for a combination of ground beef and lamb, you could use just one of those meats or substitute with ground chicken, turkey or pork depending on your preference or availability.

– Lemon: If you don’t have fresh lemons on hand, you could use lemon juice instead. However, keep in mind that fresh lemon will provide a brighter and tastier flavor.

– Wine: Dry white wine is recommended for this recipe, but if you don’t have any available or prefer a different type of wine, go ahead and try it out! A dry red wine could offer a deeper flavor. Just make sure the wine isn’t too sweet to avoid overpowering the dish.

– Tomato Sauce: If you’re not a fan of tomato sauce, you can switch it up with other sauces such as lemon sauce, tzatziki or even hummus. Traditional Soutzoukakia recipes call for tomato paste or puree mixed with red wine, so that’s another option to consider.

– Size and Shape: You can customize the meatball size based on how you plan to serve them. For appetizers or tapas-style plates, roll smaller bite-size balls. For a full meal entree, roll larger balls. You can even shape the meatballs into patties or kebabs for a fun twist!

– Spice: Experiment by adding spices such as cumin, paprika or oregano to your meat mixture before forming them into balls. This will add an extra depth of flavor to your dish!

These are just some ideas to play around with when making this delicious Greek Meatballs in Wine Sauce Recipe. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

Serving and Pairing

 These meatballs have got their heads (and the rest of their bodies) in a lush wine sauce!
These meatballs have got their heads (and the rest of their bodies) in a lush wine sauce!

Once cooked, these Greek Meatballs in Wine Sauce are incredibly versatile and can be served in a variety of ways. They taste delicious eaten straight out of the pan as a small bite or appetizer, or as a main dish paired with rice or flatbreads. The tender and juicy meatballs coated in the rich tomato-wine sauce are sure to leave your taste buds longing for more.

When considering pairing, there is one clear choice: dry white wine. This type of wine balances the richness and acidity of the tomato-based sauce while also allowing the herbs and spices to shine through. I personally recommend pairing this dish with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.

Additionally, you may also want to serve these meatballs over some soft and fluffy mashed potatoes or alongside some roasted vegetables such as zucchini or eggplant for a well-rounded meal. If you’re looking to add some extra flavors to the dish, a sprinkle of fresh parsley or lemon juice can do wonders in bringing out those earthy and citrusy undertones.

Overall, this recipe can be customized to your liking, making it a great option for any mealtime, whether it’s for an intimate dinner or a larger gathering.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A mouthwatering dream come true: tender meatballs soaking up a rich wine sauce!
A mouthwatering dream come true: tender meatballs soaking up a rich wine sauce!

One of the great things about this Greek meatballs in wine sauce recipe is that it is perfect for meal prepping. You can prepare and form the meatballs ahead of time, cover them with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate them for up to 24 hours. This way, all you have to do is cook them when you’re ready to eat.

If you’ve already cooked the meatballs and have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. When reheating in the microwave or oven, be sure to add a splash of water or tomato sauce to prevent the meatballs from drying out.

To reheat in the oven, preheat it to 350°F (180°C) and arrange the meatballs on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil. Then, bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until heated through.

It is worth mentioning that these Greek-style meatballs taste even better when reheated. The flavors continue to develop and intensify so you can still enjoy juicy and tender meatballs even if they were made ahead of time.

Tips for Perfect Results

 These Greek meatballs have found the ultimate exquisiteness in wine sauce!
These Greek meatballs have found the ultimate exquisiteness in wine sauce!

Getting the right texture, flavor and aroma from my Greek Meatballs in Wine Sauce Recipe is crucially important to me. To ensure an unforgettable gastronomy experience, here are some tips that have been tried and tested to yield perfect results every time.

Firstly, I recommend using a combination of ground beef and lamb in the meatballs. The beef adds a meaty flavor to the balls, while the lamb provides a distinct gamey taste. When you combine these meats in a bowl with onion and parsley, it creates a delightful balance of flavors. Furthermore, I advise you to add salt and pepper according to your preferred taste.

Secondly, when making the meatball mixture, it is essential not to overwork the meat. I suggest mixing all ingredients until they are well combined, but don’t overdo it as this will result in dry, tough meatballs that lack flavor.

Thirdly, before rolling the meat into bite-sized balls, ensure that your hands are slightly wet; this will help prevent your fingers from sticking to the mixture. Roll up small bite-sized balls and set them aside on a plate.

Fourthly, preheat a medium skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil or butter, then begin rolling small bite-sized balls in your hand and adding them to the pan quickly. Do not overcrowd the meatballs; otherwise, they will not cook evenly. Remember to add more butter or oil as you keep on adding new rows of meatballs on top of the ones already cooking since they tend to soak up any grease.

Finally, allow your meatballs in wine sauce recipe greek dish to simmer for around 45 minutes over medium-low heat to allow all the ingredients in tomato sauce to blend well together. This will create tender juicy meatballs soaked up into a rich aromatic sauce with an impressive depth of flavors that’ll make anyone crave more!


As you prepare to make these delicious Greek meatballs in wine sauce, you may have some questions about the recipe. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions to help guide you through the cooking process.

What is a Greek meatball made of?

When making keftedes, a common practice is to combine ground beef and ground lamb for that tender and flavorful filling. However, ground pork can also be used instead of lamb, in case lamb meat is not readily available. Don’t forget to add mint to these meatballs to enhance their taste.

What are Mediterranean meatballs made of?

These delectable flatbreads comprise meatballs crafted from lean ground beef, cumin, and fresh parsley, allowing you to select your preferred chopped veggies and tzatziki sauce toppings.

Do meatballs have to be cooked before adding to sauce?

When preparing meatballs in tomato sauce, it is possible to cook them directly in the sauce. However, for optimal taste and texture, I suggest searing the meatballs in a skillet with a small amount of olive oil before proceeding with the sauce. By doing so, you achieve a crispy exterior on the meatball, while keeping the interior moist and flavorful as it cooks through in the tomato sauce.

What is the secret to meatballs?

Creating the perfect meatball requires an ideal combination of meat and breadcrumbs. The key to achieving the perfect texture lies in using day-old bread soaked in milk or water. Cooking meat such as beef, pork or veal for too long can cause it to become less tender and more difficult to enjoy.

Can you simmer raw meatballs in sauce?

It is safe to include raw meatballs to the sauce without prior browning, given that the sauce is kept at a simmer until the meatballs are completely cooked through. Doing this will keep the meatballs tender even after cooking, making it a flavorful addition to your dish.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Greek Meatballs in Wine Sauce recipe is truly a masterpiece of flavor and texture. With its perfect blend of ground beef and lamb, yellow onion and parsley, these small bite-size balls are packed with tender juiciness that will make your taste buds sing. The added touch of the tomato sauce and dry white wine brings out the Mediterranean-inspired flavors that make it a delicious dish for any occasion.

Whether you’re looking to impress your guests or simply craving a hearty meal, this recipe is sure to satisfy your hunger and leave you wanting more. Plus, with various substitutions and variations to choose from, it’s easy to personalize the dish to suit your preferences.

So why not give this meatballs in wine sauce recipe a try? With its diverse ingredients and rich taste, it’s bound to become a favorite in your kitchen – and for good reason. Who knows – you may even spark inspiration for your own unique take on this classic Greek dish.

Ultimately, the combination of meatballs and wine sauce makes this recipe stand out from the rest. It’s an elevated spin on meatballs that will impress even the most discerning palate. So go ahead and treat yourself to a taste of Greece – you won’t regret it!

Greek Meatballs in Wine Sauce

Greek Meatballs in Wine Sauce Recipe

A Rachael Ray recipe from the Food Network site. I get requests to make this often. It's dairy-free for those among us who are allergic/sensitive to dairy/kosher! I'm sure it can be adapted to suit individual tastes (keeping with the Greek theme, you can add feta cheese, chopped mint, ouzo...). These improve after a day in the fridge, so don't be afraid to make them in advance.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Cuisine Greek
Calories 538.4 kcal


  • 3/4 lb ground lamb
  • 3/4 lb ground beef or 3/4 lb veal
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter or 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 lemon


  • Preheat a skillet over medium heat.
  • Combine meats, onion, parsley, salt and pepper.
  • Add margarine or butter and oil to pan and begin rolling small balls, adding them to the pan ans you roll them.
  • Cook meat balls for 10 to 12 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to brown on all sides.
  • When the meatballs are browned, deglaze the pan with the wine and allow it to reduce by half.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and squeeze the lemon over the meat balls.
  • Garnish with parsley, if desired, and serve alone or over rice.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 268gCalories: 538.4kcalCarbohydrates: 4.3gProtein: 30.5gFat: 39.1gSaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 127.7mgSodium: 139.8mgFiber: 0.8gSugar: 1.6g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Beginner Cook, Easy, Egg-free, European, Free Of..., Greek, Kosher, Lamb/Sheep, Meat, Veal, Very Low Carbs
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