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Baked Greek Meatballs in Lemon Thyme Soup

Baked Greek Meatballs in Lemon Thyme Soup
Home » RECIPES » Soups & stews » Baked Greek Meatballs in Lemon Thyme Soup

Meatballs of some sort exist in the cuisine of every culture worldwide.  These Greek-inspired meatballs in lemon thyme soup can take on a Moroccan flavor profile after enjoying them as soup by folding them into pita bread with cucumbers and yogurt. The meatballs are baked in the oven for a bit and then added to the lemon soup for finishing.

Greek meatballs in a lemon thyme soup broth.
Greek meatballs in a lemon thyme soup broth.

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What do Greek Meatballs Taste Like?

The Greek meatballs are smokey and robust, while the yogurt in the soup provides a cooling taste, and the cucumbers and the mint make for a fresh contrast. This is a beautifully balanced dish.

The meatballs can be made ahead and reserved in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

The inspiration for these meatballs is from the April 2015 edition of Bon Appetit magazine where they were highlighting a tapas recipe from a New York City restaurant called El Colmado. The inspiration for the Greek lemon soup was inspired by the Café cookbook from Chez Panisse.

Ingredients for Greek meatballs in lemon soup.
Ingredients for Greek meatballs in lemon soup.

Is this Recipe Low Carb or Keto?

Everything in the meatball soup recipe is compliant with a low carb or keto lifestyle.

If you use the leftover meatballs to make a Greek sandwich with pita bread, then the bread will not be compliant of course. If you want the sandwich and want to remain low carb, try this low carb pita bread from scratch.

Yogurt is considered compliant with low carb diets as long as it is high fat without sugar. This guide to dairy on slow carb diet will help you determine whether dairy is compliant with your particular low carb or slow carb diet.

What Side Dishes go with the Soup?

If you are not living a low carb lifestyle, you can certainly add couscous or pasta to round out the meatballs. Alternatively, you could use low carb shirataki (aka miracle noodles).

Shirataki are my low carb pasta of choice and I use them primarily for the texture they provide. They are good at soaking up sauces and giving the dish some “chew”.

Gordon Ramsey serves these meatballs with cucumbers, yogurt and a chile sauce, which was the inspiration for using leftover meatballs as a pita sandwich.

ketogenic meatballs
Lamb Meatballs with Chiles, Cumin & Yogurt

More Meatball Recipes:

Greek meatballs in lemon soup

Greek meatballs in a lemon thyme soup broth.
Greek meatballs are baked and added to a lemon thyme soup. Leftover meatballs can be made into a delicious pita pocket filled with yogurt, cucumbers and chile peppers
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 95
Author Dorothy Stainbrook




  • ½ onion chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds ground/crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt plus more if needed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pounds ground meat I used pork. Lamb, chicken or beef can be used

Lemon Soup/Sauce

  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice from one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Zest of one lemon to garnish

Pita Sandwich (optional with leftovers)

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1-2 pita pockets
  • ½ Cup Greek plain yogurt
  • 2 Sprigs mint
  • 1-2 red chile peppers


  • Add onion, chopped garlic, parsley, spices, egg, and meat in a bowl and mix together thoroughly with hands
    Form meat mixture into 1” balls and place on plate with plastic wrap (so they won’t stick). Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Can be made a day ahead at this point (cover and refrigerate)
    When ready to make the soup, place meatballs in 400 degrees F oven for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven.
    1/2 onion, 5 garlic cloves, 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano, 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 tsp. kosher salt, 1 large egg, 1 pounds ground meat
  • While meatballs are cooking make the lemon soup. Add chicken broth, wine. lemon juice, zest and thyme. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the meatballs to the lemon soup and heat through.
    1 1/2 cups chicken broth, 3/4 cup dry white wine, 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, Zest of one lemon
  • Cut leftover meatballs in half. To a pita pocket add a few spoonfuls of yogurt, some cucumbers, some hot peppers and some chopped mint. Add the halved meatballs and enjoy!
    1 cucumber, 1-2 pita pockets, 1/2 Cup Greek plain yogurt, 2 Sprigs mint, 1-2 red chile peppers



The pita sandwich was not included in the nutritional analysis


Calories: 95kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 5gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 393mgPotassium: 98mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 61IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 1mg
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