Lemon-Dill Meatballs With Orzo Recipe (2024)

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Cooking Notes

KW

I used lamb instead of turkey because ground turkey has no taste. I think next time I’ll add some breadcrumbs to hold in moisture. With just yogurt and meat, the balls ended up rather dry. I might brown the balls first and then toast the orzo in lamb fat. I also ended up with a bunch of liquid leftover even after the orzo was tender, so I strained the liquid off and put it back in the pan alone to reduce into a delicious, syrupy lamb glaze and stirred the balls and orzo back in.

Yana

This had such an interesting mix of flavors. I modified the dish a bit. I cooked the orzo separately from the meatballs. I seared the meatballs to give them a nice crust. After meatballs and orzo were done, I combined them and added another squeezed lemon because the dish needed more acid. To give it color, I seared cherry tomatoes separately and added them to the mix. Overall, the dish had a nice herbal lemony salty fishy vibe with flavors I wouldn't find together in such pronounced ways.

Colleen

Made using the modifications read in the comments. Added 1/2 c. Panko to meatballs, cut water back to 1 3/4 cups. It turned out well, and the whole family gave it 5 stars.

kfeldray

Orzo was tender way before meatballs were done. And swimming in liquid. Picture definitely looks like meatballs were browned at some point but that is not in the recipe.

Rik

I found this to be a very nice starting point to a really great dish. It gives you all the basics, and lets you tweak untill you are satisfied. I liked ground chicken just fine, especially with the addition of fennel seeds, and browned it in two tablespoons of clarified butter. I used the same fat to start the orzo, adding not three but five anchovies, and chicken stock instead of water. Start with 1 1/2 cup against the 1 cup of orzo, and add more if needed. Added just two cups of spinach.

Lori-Ann

Great recipe! I used labneh instead of Greek yogurt which was thicker and helped meatballs stick together. I looked at the notes and agreed that panko breadcrumbs were a good addition to the meatballs. I also browned the meatballs first which worked well. I agree there was a lot of liquid with the orzo so I think reducing the water (I used chicken broth) would be fine. My husband sprinkled some red pepper flakes on his and raved that this was an amazing, restaurant quality dish!

Russ

Pretty good and an easy weeknight meal. I thought it needed a little more heat, added some harissa which helped.

Whitney

It was bright and herbaceous, and filling but not overly so. A few thoughts: I would double the lemon and escarole to up the bitter toothiness, and halve the garlic (felt a little pungent and overrode the more delicate lemon). I loved the amount of dill in this recipe, but it truly was a LARGE amount. I might trying putting more in the meatballs and less in the yogurt to balance it a bit more. On the topic of meat choice - I used ground white chicken and might try dark next time for less dryness

Abby

The orzo was extremely bland. Next time I'll cook with broth instead of water. I also had to drain a bunch of liquid before serving. Other than that, this is was easy and delicious with the yogurt sauce.

Chris

Excellent flavor profile. But made changes based on other notes and own preferences: - Not a huge dill fan. Used fresh oregano and tarragon instead, which was delicious.- Used fregola pasta instead of orzo. Highly recommended if you can find. Used 1.5 cups, to 2.5 cups broth. With this ratio, no excess liquid in the end. - Browned meatballs in skillet first, then set aside and toasted the fregola in the turkey fat. Scraped the brown bits from bottom of pan when adding the broth.

Hillary

This was a fast and delicious meal! Made almost exactly as written but poured some panko into the meatball mixture because I was worried it was too loose. That was likely my own measuring error though. This could be even better with a sprinkle of feta on top.

sharon

Made these last night with almost exact ingredients but cooking process altered significantly Browned meatballs first. Then deglazed pan with the anchovies, orzo and some broth. Added homemade garlic breadcrumbs and egg to meat. Meatballs in pan when orzo almost cooked. Was really good. Kind of a lot of work though.

Dave

I found that using the sauce to impart most of the favor was a mistake. Instead, I put the dill, lemon zest, garlic, and yogurt right into the ground meat with some panko as a binder. Then, I seared them in the pan to get a crust and deglazed the pan with fish sauce (instead of anchovies). I toasted the orzo in the deglazed pan and used broth to cook.Served with lemon-yogurt sauce, feta, and more dill.

Shawrf

12-13 mins cook covered

Leslie

Just made this and not used to ground turkey which was kind of slimy, so expected the worst. I happened to have preserved lemons so added them instead of the zest and doubled the anchovies. I also browned the meatballs in olive oil before adding to the orzo because that seemed unappealing, cooking them in water. And I used frozen spinach which I extracted the water from. That said, it was a savory, piquant delight. Will surely make it again. Kind of unexpected and really delicious!

Stacey

Used turkey but thinking chicken would be way better. Also next time I would brown the meatballs first, remove from pan, brown the orzo then add meatballs back in. They looked so unappealing steamed that I had to remove them and brown them at the end so that the turkey ended up slightly overcooked. Also too much water and had to drain before serving.

Elissa

Lovely dinner with changes. Minced chicken thighs by hand (technique from Woks of Life site), then added some shredded zucchini, sauteed leeks, and panko to the mix for moister meatballs. Cooked meatballs in air fryer then added when orzo was nearly done.Based on other comments, used miso instead of anchovies and chicken stock for the water, highly recommend.

fm

Definitely use 2 c broth Added 1/2 c panko to meatballs

isabelle

Pretty good. Used spinach. Baby kale would have been better.

AF

Used ground turkey, because I had it; 1/2 c. Panko breadcrumbs and labneh, again because I had it. Baked meatballs at 425 for about 10 minutes until just shy of being done. Cooked orzo in chicken broth and added meatballs when orzo was partly done. Chopped baby kale at the end to wilt. Delicious! The table gave this 5 stars. Might add some red pepper flakes to meatballs next time, but really, they were delicious and flavorful as is.

Bledsoeo

I guessed the meatballs would be a bit too bland so I added cumin, fresh mint, and some allspice. Use dark meat ground turkey to keep the meatballs more moist as they cook. Next time I will add something with a smokey note like smoked paprika or a bit of ancho chili powder.

anna

Butter is too heavy, maybe try it with olive oil next time?

jenny

Way too much water. This was a soup, following exact instructions, and looked nothing like the photo.

Ivy

I followed others suggestions to use less dill and add bread crumbs and that went great. I found the yoghurt sauce to be somewhat unnecessary and also think I will skip anchovies next time. Didn't have orzo so I used trader joes trofie pasta and it worked! also followed suggestion of using chicken broth instead of water :-)

Missttina

We really enjoyed this recipe. I took advice of others, used ground chicken thigh, added panko and browned/cooked the meatballs separately then added them 2/3 way through cooking of orzo, used less liquid and more orzo (2 cups of broth to 1.5 cups orzo), added grape tomatoes sliced in half. Will make again!

MLR

This was delicious! No adjustments needed

CJI

As other reviews noted, this recipe calls for way too much liquid to cook the orzo. I had to drain off at least a cup's worth. Ground turkey, while healthier, was not flavorful and next time I'll use a different ground meat. The sauce was way too tart with the juice of an entire lemon. It needed half of the juice, at most. The picture is also pretty misleading, since the recipe essentially calls for boiling the meatballs, which was pretty unappetizing to eat. If I attempt again, I'll brown them.

LABrat

Yogurt mix: use 2 cloves garlic & small shallot. Meatballs: dry skillet herbs, add cumin, pepper, sumac. Smaller meatballs, brown on stovetop then transfer to a shallow roastpan in oven, cook 350 for 10 minutes while you prepare orzo (use pan used to brown the meatballs). Double orzo recipe: less liquid, chicken stock instead of water (1.5 cups doubled 3 cups for 2 cups orzo). Add meatballs back to orzo for last few minutes of cooking. Chard worked well.

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Lemon-Dill Meatballs With Orzo Recipe (2024)
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