Caraway Pork Meatballs with Tzatziki

Meatballs are likely one of the most perfect foods, especially when cooking on a budget. You get big flavor from little money and you can use them in so many different ways. This batch of meatballs I flavored with caraway, sprinkled with fresh dill and served along with a Greek Tzatziki sauce for dipping.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I love meatloaf. But to save time, I often bypass the loaf pan and make meatballs instead. Let’s face it, meatballs are just miniature, ball-shaped meatloafs. You can get creative with the ingredients and season them any way you like.

Lately, I’ve been addicted to caraway seed mixed with pork and love the flavoring with ground pork.

Caraway Pork Meatballs
1 lb. ground pork
1 tablespoon caraway seed, ground
1/3 cup finely diced red onion
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 beaten egg
1 sleeve unsalted saltine crackers
1/4-1/2 cup milk
Fresh dill for garnish

I’m not too fussy when it comes to meatballs and never measure when making them. So when making the meatballs this time, I forced myself to note the approximate measurements used. Overall, I like to use a combination of egg, milk, and unsalted crackers crumbled finely. This combination yields a moist and tender meatball.

In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients except for the crackers, milk and dill. For the caraway seed, I place it into a mortar and pestle, trying my best to pulverize it. You could also run your knife over the seeds to crack them up. The goal is to break them open so the flavor is released fully into the meat.

Using a strong spoon, I begin stirring everything together until fully combined. I use the back of my spoon to really work over the meat to smooth it out. I like the meatballs to be tender and without any firm bits of meat, taking the time to smooth it out with your spoon is worth the extra few minutes of stirring.

Next, take a handful of crackers and firmly crush with your hands, breaking into fine crumbs. Stir them in and continue this process with the remaining crackers. The meat mixture will be quite thick, so I add 1/4 – 1/2 cup of milk to loosen it up and make it easier to form into balls.

I prefer to use a small scoop to measure out the meat mixture. Using a scoop (or a spoon), measure out even sized meat onto a cutting board. I measure everything out first, then use my hands to roll each lump of meat into a ball.

On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (this will save you so much clean up time later), place the rolled balls. Leave a 1″ space between each ball. Bake in a 375F (190C) oven for 25-35 minutes, depending on the size of your meatballs.

Caraway Pork Meatballs

Tzatziki Sauce
Peter of Kalofagas.ca is my trusty Greek friend, so I relied upon his delicious Tzatziki recipe. The sauce traditionally uses thick Greek-style yogurt into which you mix chopped garlic, dill and diced cucumber. It’s a refreshing and tangy sauce for these meatballs.

Meatball Making Tips

  • Bake vs. Fry: Baking doesn’t require watching a frying pan or dealing with grease splatter, so I prefer to pop them into the oven (and they’ll brown nicely too).
  • Use Parchment Paper: I grew up mocking Martha Stewart for lining her pans with parchment, but it is such a time saver. The balls slide off the paper without any issue and the baking sheet doesn’t get very dirty, so less washing and scrubbing.
  • Get a Scoop: Not only does it help make uniform sized meatballs, it allows your hands to remain cleaner throughout the process.
  • Freeze for Later: Make a double batch and freeze up the cooked meatballs for later use. You can put them into your favorite red sauce, toss with pasta, drop onto a salad, reheat for an appetizer, or slide into a sandwich.

More meatball recipe ideas:
Monster Meatball Sandwiches – Pinch My Salt
Vegetarian Meatballs – Nummy Kitchen
Gremolata Meatballs – Cooking With Amy
Gluten-Free Italian Meatballs – Karina’s Kitchen

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Peter G July 27, 2009, 4:44 am

    Great use of the caraway seeds Allen and I can see how perfectly they go with pork! Thanks for the great tips also!

  • Rosa July 27, 2009, 4:57 am

    A wonderful combo! Very tasty and summery!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  • Bellini Valli July 27, 2009, 5:31 am

    Thanks for all the meatball making tips. The caraway reminda me of a “family favourite” sausage.

  • Peter July 27, 2009, 6:29 am

    Allen, I love caraway but I’ve only ever had in breads and in some saurkrauts. Tzatziki sooo goes with meatballs, thanks for the shout out and I hope you’re having a wonderful and relaxing vacation.

  • maybelles mom July 27, 2009, 7:31 am

    I am totally with you on making meatballs, though my husband really prefers to fry them.

  • kat July 27, 2009, 8:38 am

    Love the idea of using caraway in those. I bet they’d be great in a cream sauce like Swedish meatballs too

  • Fearless Kitchen July 27, 2009, 9:57 am

    I’m a big meatball fan myself… I think pretty much every meat-eating culture I can think of has some kind of meatball recipe. These look great – the caraway seeds are an interesting touch.

  • Hélène July 27, 2009, 11:25 pm

    Another meatballs fan here. I usually flavors mine with allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves. Love the idea of caraway seeds. Looks good.

  • Mixing Bowl Mama July 28, 2009, 12:45 pm

    Mmm…these look great and we’re very big fans of meatballs in my house. I also love the addition of caraway seeds…yum!

  • laurel July 28, 2009, 3:20 pm

    wow, just stumbled on your blog. sweet recipes!

  • Manggy July 29, 2009, 12:40 pm

    ?? Why would anyone be ashamed of loving meatloaf? I certainly am not as well– you can serve these to me anytime! :) (Yes, you can skip the ketchup coating, hee hee :)

  • Cynthia July 30, 2009, 12:36 pm

    Allen I have some ground pork in the fridge as well as some nice thick Greek Yogurt. Going to give this a go!

  • Lorna August 1, 2009, 2:57 pm

    Hi from New Zealand. Try toasting, or dry-frying, the carraway seeds then not only do they crush easier but their full flavour is released into the meat. A mortar and pestle is ideal and wouldn’t be a waste of money because you should always subject seeds of any sort, coriander, cumin, etc, to heat before incorporating in sauted dishes. I also love a few carraway seeds cooked with carrots sliced lengthwise (they’re sweeter than carrots cut into rounds). It doesn’t matter if the seeds stick to the carrots on draining, they’re soft by that stage and not unpleasant if you bite on one or two. Finally, a basic cake mixture with a tablespoon or so (to your taste) of carraway seeds mixed in gives a wonderful and different cake for those coffee mornings or afternoon tea.

  • Allen August 3, 2009, 5:36 pm

    I like your idea to toast the caraway seeds, Lorna! I am also intrigued by adding them to cake — sounds delicious to me!

  • Sophia August 3, 2009, 7:12 pm

    Tiny cute meatballs but full of FLAVOR! Just the way I like it!

  • Ben August 4, 2009, 9:00 am

    I was just thinking that meatballs might be fun to make. I think I might try this recipe this weekend.

  • Nicole August 5, 2009, 8:26 pm

    I bought some caraway seeds for my BBA bagels and it will probably take me years to go through the entire jar. Thanks for the great idea! :-)

  • Tobias Cooks! August 30, 2009, 5:31 am

    the crackers are surely necessary in order to get a light and fluffy meat ball. the combination with the tzatsiki surely is refreshing.

  • Melly December 3, 2009, 10:48 am

    I love a spicy meatball! I love caraway but have never put them in meatballs. I soak bread in milk..and then squeeze most of it out..then add to meatballs mixture. Makes em light..tender. I am so happy I stopped by. I have some Fage yougurt in the fridge..and some pork!

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