Greek baked meatballs in tomato sauce (soutzoukakia)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe for Greek baked meatballs in tomato sauce (a.k.a. soutzoukakia) is the perfect family dinner. And it’s always served with rice!
Recipe type: Main Course / Gluten-free / Appetizer
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Serves: 4-5
  • For the meatballs:
  • 1 pound (450 grams) minced lean beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ cups (100 grams) bread crumbs (if you don’t eat gluten use gluten-free bread crumbs or ¾ cup oats)
  • ¼ cup dry red wine (but rose or white will also do)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt (or to taste)
  • Pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika (optional)
  • For the tomato sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove (whole or minced)
  • 1 small onion, chopped or grated
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ cup dry red wine (rose or white will also do)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups pureed tomatoes
  1. Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl and knead the mixture with your hands until smooth and homogenous. Let it rest in the fridge.
  2. Preheat your oven to 390°F (200°C).
  3. Heat a saucepan over medium/high heat, add the olive oil, the onion, the garlic clove, the cinnamon stick, the bay leaf, and the cumin and stir until the onion is translucent and soft, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add the wine and when it is evaporated add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and sugar.
  5. Reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Lightly oil a rectangular pan or casserole approximately 8x11 inches (20x28 cm).
  7. Take the meat mixture off the fridge, lightly wet your hands and pinch off a piece of the meat mixture, the size of a walnut. Gently roll it between your hands to form a meatball, then, roll it again to elongate it and form a “soutzoukaki”.
  8. Place the soutzoukaki into the pan and continue with the rest of the mixture (wet your hands before each meatball to prevent the mixture sticking to your hands).
  9. Pour the tomato sauce over the meatballs and bake for 40-45 minutes.
  10. Serve with rice.
  11. Eat!
Recipe by The Hungry Bites at