Giouvarlakia (Greek Meatball Soup)

Giouvarlakia, also known as Greek meatball soup, is a delicious and comforting dish made with meatballs and rice in a flavorful broth. Here’s a traditional recipe for Giouvarlakia:


For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef or a mixture of beef and pork
  • 1/2 cup long-grain rice, rinsed
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)

For the Soup:

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Fresh parsley for garnish


1. Prepare the Meatballs:

a. In a bowl, combine the ground meat, rinsed rice, chopped onion, chopped parsley, egg, salt, pepper, and ground cumin (if using).

b. Mix the ingredients until well combined.

c. Shape the mixture into small meatballs, about the size of a walnut.

2. Sauté the Vegetables:

a. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.

b. Add the chopped onion, carrots, celery, and minced garlic. Sauté until the vegetables are softened.

3. Add Tomatoes and Tomato Paste:

a. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook for a few minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.

4. Add Broth and Seasonings:

a. Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth.

b. Add the bay leaf, salt, and pepper to taste.

c. Bring the mixture to a simmer.

5. Add Meatballs:

a. Gently drop the meatballs into the simmering broth.

6. Simmer:

a. Allow the Giouvarlakia to simmer for about 30-40 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through and the rice is tender.

7. Adjust Seasonings:

a. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.

8. Serve:

a. Ladle the soup into bowls, making sure to include meatballs and vegetables.

b. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Giouvarlakia is typically served hot and can be enjoyed on its own or with a side of crusty bread. This Greek meatball soup is a comforting and hearty dish, perfect for colder days or when you’re in the mood for a flavorful and satisfying meal.

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