Greek Meatballs AKA Soutzoukakia

If you haven’t tried Greek meatballs in tomato sauce, you are in for a treat! Known as Soutzoukakia and they are the BEST! Flavor-packed meatballs with loads of aromatics, fresh parsley, ground cumin, cooked in fresh tomato juice! Plus, my grandma’s secret ingredient that makes these Greek meatballs extra juicy!

Soutzoukakia is an all-time favorite Greek dish. In fact, it is kind of the perfect meal for family gatherings. The whole process of making this Greek recipe is very easy and the flavor will pay you back; I promise! 

greek meatballs ingredients | alios tours

Greek meatballs secrets

I have to mention that this is my yiayia’s recipe which runs in the family for generations. Our roots are from Asia Minor so we love using spices and make the tomato sauce thick and rich.

I highly recommend to get the meat from a butcher and ask him to pick good quality, fresh ground meat. The ingredients play a crucial role in your final dish. 

greek meatballs mixture | alios tours

Same goes for the tomato juice. I prefer the freshly squeezed tomatoes instead of the canned ones. 

Soutzoukakia is of those dishes that reminds you of your childhood at your grandparents’s home on a Sunday afternoon. It’s a very sweet food memory of mine that I’m looking forward to share with you.

These Greek meatballs are extra tender and juicy thanks to a secret ingredient. READY FOR IT? Soak your hands in red wine before shaping them! This is a trick I learned from Yiayia Helen, and it’s one I always use when I make them.

Ready to make them?

greek meatballs recipe | alios tours

greek meatballs AKA sountzoukakia

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes | Yield: 2

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  • 200gr ground pork
  • 200gr ground beef
  • 2-3 white or yellow onion
  • 100gr fine, dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 2 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 250ml fresh tomato juice
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 50ml extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • salt


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Cooking Spoon

skillet greek orzo | Alios Tours

Frying Pan

Mixing Bowl


Please come back the day after the live cooking class to read the instructions step-by-step.

The meatballs:

  • 1. In a mixing bowl add the ground meat, the breadcrumbs, 1/2 diced onion, 1 minced garlic clove, the egg, olive oil, 1 tbs cumin, 1/2 tsp coriander, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper.
  • 2. Mix all the ingredients well for 3-4 minutes.
  • 3. Wet your hands in red wine and scoop portions of about 2 tbsp of the meat mixture and form into large elongated meatballs.
  • 4. Heat some olive oil in a pan and fry the meatballs for 3-4' both sides. Remove them and set aside.

The sauce:

  • 1. In the same pan you fried the meatballs and 1 1/2 diced onion and saute.
  • 2. Add 1 chopped garlic clove and 1 1/2 tbsp cumin.
  • 3. Add the tomato paste and stir well for 2'.
  • 4. Add the tomato juice and let boil for 10' while stirring.
  • 5. Add 1/2 tsp sugar, salt and pepper.
  • 6. When your sauce is thick enough add the meatballs and let them all cook for 5'.
  • 7. Turn off the heat and serve on top of rice.
  • 8. Finish by dusting with some fresh parsley, oregano and freshly ground black pepper. Kali orexi!

2 thoughts on “Greek Meatballs AKA Soutzoukakia”

  1. Wil Bertram

    I saw the meatballs being dipped in the wine. Which seems better to me than wetting your hands with wine.
    And with preparing the sauce, the tomatopaste was added after the tomatosauce if I remember right.

    1. Hi Wil, make sure to remove excess wine from dipping them in the wine, or they’ll explode when put in the frying pan. As for the tomato paste, it’s not a big difference when to add it. Happy you liked the recipes and from your pictures, it seems you had huge success!

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