Meatball Soup

Soups

Yuvarlakia Avgolemono (Greek Meatball Soup)

Last Updated:
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Prep

10 minutes

Cook

30 minutes

Yield

4

This meatball soup is a traditional Greek dish called Youvarlakia Avgolemono, except I've put my own twist on it by using lean chicken ๐Ÿ”. It's comforting and perfect for fall ๐Ÿ‚.

Yuvarlakia Avgolemono is a traditional Greek dish consisting of meatballs made with ground meat, rice, and seasonings that are cooked in a pot of broth or water. I grew up eating this meatball soup and it’s such a comforting, nostalgic dish for the fall season. Avgolemono has quite a history that dates all the way back to ancient times in Greece. The name literally translates to “egg-lemon” and the soup is made with just that – eggs, lemon, and broth.

โค๏ธ Why You’ll Love Meatball Soup

  • Quick: From start to finish, this meatball soup will only take 40 minutes to make
  • Comforting: There is nothing more comforting than a hot bowl of soup and this soup is hearty and comforting
  • Nostalgic: If you are Greek, or grew up in a Greek household, this dish will be incredibly nostalgic for you
Meatball soup in a bowl with a spoon

๐Ÿฒ Ingredients

Chicken – I used chicken for this meatball soup, it’s such a lean protein and ground chicken is usually pretty inexpensive. However, you can also swap the chicken and use turkey, beef, or lamb. In fact, the traditional version of this soup would be made with beef or lamb.

Short Grain Rice – Short-grain rice is great in soup for consistency. It contains more starch than long-grain and it just gives this meatball soup the perfect consistency and hardiness.

Dill – You’ll want to use fresh dill in this recipe for the best flavor, however, if you can’t get your hands on any, you can totally swap for dry dill too. To substitute, remember that one tablespoon of fresh equals about one teaspoon of dried.

๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿณ How to Make Greek Meatball Soup

  1. Make the broth: Add to a large pot, the water, chicken stock paste, olive oil, and dried dill. Stir together and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Make the meatballs: While you’re waiting for the water to boil, make the meatballs. Combine the ground chicken, rice, diced onion, salt, pepper, olive oil, and fresh minced dill and mix to fully combine. Shape into large meatballs, dividing the mixture to make about 20-22 meatballs.
  3. Combine: Once the broth is boiling, add the meatballs and keep over the high heat until simmering. Then turn to medium-low, and keep at a simmer with a lid on the pot most of the way for 30-40 minutes until the meatballs and rice in the meatballs are cooked through.
  4. Set Aside: Remove the soup pot from the heat completely. Scoop out 1 cup of stock into a measuring cup and set aside (try to scoop out just the liquid stock, no meatballs).
  5. Make the avgolemono: Separate the egg whites and egg yolks into two separate bowls. Whisk the egg whites vigorously until they develop a foamy consistency on top. Gradually add egg yolks to the egg whites and continue to whisk to combine. Keep whisking and gradually pour in the lemon juice until combined. Slowly pour the 1 cup of stock into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to combine.
  6. Add the avgolemono to the soup: Add the egg mixture to the pot of soup, constantly stirring until combined. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, a big pinch of each if desired! Serve in bowls topped with fresh dill and a drizzle of olive oil.
Meatball soup in 2 bowls

๐Ÿช„ Tips and Tricks

  • If you want to prep this, you can make everything and stop at step two in the recipe, when you’re ready to serve
  • Some Greeks say that when you are making avgolemono, it’s best to separate the whites from the yolks, and then beat each separately before mixing them back together and adding the lemon juice. This is said to allow it to temper better, and give the soup a better texture


๐Ÿ—’ Substitutions

Here are some simple substitutes you can make when making this meatball soup, or if you don’t have the recipes listed below on hand:

  • Rice: You can substitute the short-grain rice for whatever rice you have on hand. However, brown or wild rice will take longer to cook. Also, short-grain rice can become sticky when cooked which makes it a great binding agent for the meatballs to keep them together. You may have to do some experimenting if using other rice types
  • Chicken Meatballs: You can swap out the ground chicken for your preferred ground meat, or use vegetarian mince instead
  • Stock: Veggie stock will also work in this recipe


๐Ÿ—’ Best served with

๐Ÿ‘ How to Store Leftovers

Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Note that the consistency may change as the longer it sits, the more your rice and meatballs will absorb the liquid. You can always add in some additional broth when warming up over the stove, or just enjoy the different consistency. ๐Ÿ˜Š

๐Ÿค” Common Questions

What is a Greek meatball made of?

Usually pork, lamb, or beef, and seasoned with a variety of Greek seasonings and herbs.

How do you keep meatballs from falling apart in soup?

Use a binding ingredient like egg, cheese, or breadcrumbs. For this meatball soup recipe, I used rice and olive oil.

Do I have to cook the rice first before using them in meatballs?

Yes. You need to cook the rice so it’s sticky and acts as a binding agent in your meatballs. This way they won’t fall apart when added to your soup.

How do I substitute fresh dill with dried?

To substitute you have to remember that you’ll need less of a dried herb. For dill, it’s generally 1 tbsp fresh to 1 tsp dried.

Meatball soup in a bowl with a spoon

Yuvarlakia Avgolemono (Greek Meatball Soup)

5 from 7 votes
This meatball soup is a traditional Greek dish called Youvarlakia Avgolemono, except I've put my own twist on it by using lean chicken ๐Ÿ”. It's comforting and perfect for fall ๐Ÿ‚.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Greek
Servings 4
Calories 583 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the soup broth

  • 10 cups water
  • 3 tbsp chicken stock paste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp dried dill

For the meatballs

  • 675-700 g ground chicken
  • 3/4 cup short grain rice
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill minced

For the avgolemono

  • 3 lemons juiced
  • 3 eggs seperate whites from yolks
  • 1 cup soup stock

Instructions
 

  • Make the broth: Add to a large pot, the water, chicken stock paste, olive oil and dried dill. Stir together and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • While you're waiting for the water to boil, make the meatballs. Combine the ground chicken, rice, diced onion, salt, pepper, olive oil and fresh minced dill and mix to fully combine.
  • Shape into large meatballs, dividing mixture to make about 20-22 meatballs.
  • Once the broth is boiling, add the meatballs and keep over the high heat until simmering. Then turn to medium low, keep at a simmer with a lid on the pot most of the way for 30-40 minutes until the meatballs and rice in the meatballs are cooked through.
  • Remove the soup pot from the heat completely. Scoop out 1 cup of stock into a measuring cup and set aside (try to scoop out just the liquid stock, no meatballs).
  • Make the avgolemono: Separate the egg whites and egg yolks into two separate bowls. Whisk the egg whites vigorously until they develop a foamy consistency on top. Gradually add egg yolks to the egg whites and continue to whisk to combine. Keep whisking and gradually pour in the lemon juice until combined.ย  Slowly pour the 1 cup of stock into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to combine.
  • Add the egg mixture into the pot of soup, constantly stirring until combined. Taste and adjust seasong with salt and pepper, a big pinch of each if desired! Serve in bowls topped with fresh dill and a drizzle of olive oil.

Video

Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 583kcal | Carbohydrates: 47.6g | Protein: 38.2g | Fat: 28.6g | Saturated Fat: 6.7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15.1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 285mg | Sodium: 1072.5mg | Fiber: 1.5g | Sugar: 6.6g
Review This Recipe Let us know how it was!
Gabby S

5 stars
SO AMAZING! Iโ€™m not a great cook but these instructions were super clear and the soup came out so great! Iโ€™ve never had it before, I just saw the video on instagram and wanted to try it. I will definitely be making this again!

Maria Koutsogiannis

this makes me so happy, Gabby! Thank you so much!

Pauline

5 stars
Oh my world! I just loved this soup! And the meatballs is to die for. If you havent already- you better make it today!
Thank you Maria!

Maria Koutsogiannis

thank you so much for the love, Pauline!!!!

Post A Comment

Recipe Rating