Crockpot Greek Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Tomato Orzo. Turning a meatball and pasta dinner into an easy slow cooker meal. We’re using white wine, garlic, herbs, and orzo today. Add in some vibrant summer cherry tomatoes for veggies, flavor, and a pop of color. This slow-cooked chicken meatball dinner is a delicious meal to come home to at the end of the day. And the best part? It’s the easiest, cozy, but still summery dinner to prepare. Directions for the Instant Pot and stove-top are also provided!
When it comes to sharing recipes, there are definitely times when I’m not sure what to make. I can be very indecisive. If I don’t love the idea on paper I tend to not even give the recipe a try.
When I’m feeling like I don’t have a concept that I LOVE, I like to head to the pantry. I look to see what’s there that needs to be used up. This is actually one of my favorite ways to create a recipe. I find they tend to be my most creative, simple, and yummy recipes.
When I saw all the cherry tomatoes on the counter that desperately needed to be used, I knew a summer tomato recipe would be delish. I went with that and somehow we got ourselves a meatball and orzo dinner in return.
When I think of crockpot recipes, I tend to associate them with the fall. But they’re honestly great all year round, especially in the summertime when it’s hot, hot, hot. The crockpot is the one machine that really doesn’t heat up the kitchen in any way, so having something slow cooking is no big deal!
We love that!
With this recipe, there is some oven broiling at the very end – which you can skip, but I do enjoy the crispness it gives to each little meatball.
Now, here are the details
Before I dive into the steps, I should mention that this recipe can be made in the crockpot, instant pot, or quickly on the stove. That all being said, the recipe works best in the crockpot and I think it’s easiest this way.
Either method is good, however, so use what works best for you!
Step 1: form the meatballs
I went with Greek-inspired flavors, using ground chicken, parmesan cheese, shallots, garlic, lots of fresh oregano, paprika, and balsamic vinegar.
You’ll want to season the mix up with salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Then roll the meat into balls. I like to use some olive oil when rolling to avoid getting the chicken all stuck on my hands.
Once the meatballs are formed, place them in the bowl of the crockpot. Then add the tomatoes and pour over the wine. Start slow cooking! Since these are meatballs, they can cook quickly on high for a couple of hours or cook them low and slow all day. Either is great and the meatballs are never dry. The wine will add moisture to them.
Step 2: Add the orzo and tomatoes
When the meatballs are cooked, pull them out along with the garlic, then set them aside on a baking sheet.
Add the orzo to all the yummy broth and tomatoes in the crockpot. Now simply cover and cook a few minutes longer, until the orzo is al dente.
Step 3: broil the meatballs with butter
Meanwhile, add butter to the meatballs and garlic and toss on some rosemary and thyme. You can also use oregano. Then place the sheet pan under the broiler for a couple of minutes to crisp them up.
What happens is that the butter browns around the meatballs, garlic, and herbs. I then chop up the garlic and crisp herbs and toss them back onto the pan with butter. Then toss the meatballs with the garlicky butter to finish. This step is optional, but I think it really adds flavor and finishes the meatballs nicely.
Set 4: serve
Finish up the orzo by stirring in a splash of milk or cream. Stir until the orzo becomes very creamy.
Now it’s time to serve. I do the orzo first, then the meatballs over the orzo. Crumble fresh feta cheese over the entire bowl, add some of that garlic butter from the pan, and top with either basil or dill. I love to use both if you have the option!
What I love most about this recipe is the fact that it’s a complete all-in-one dinner. It truly is no-fuss and is enjoyed by all. You can serve this up on busy weeknights, but it’s equally great for a summer dinner with friends in the backyard.
I also enjoy the fact that this dish is cozier, but still so wonderful for summer. Sometimes we crave a cozier dinner, even in the summer. This meatball and orzo is perfect for that!
Looking for other slow cooker meals? Here are a few ideas:
Lastly, if you make this Crockpot Greek Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Tomato Orzo, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Crockpot Greek Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Tomato Orzo
Calories Per Serving: 684 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken, pork, or turkey
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, 2 chopped, 6 whole
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
- 2 teaspoons sweet or regular paprika
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- kosher salt and black pepper
- chili flakes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups dry orzo pasta
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or whole milk
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- fresh basil and dill, for serving
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- 1. Add the chicken, parmesan, shallot, 2 chopped cloves of garlic, oregano, paprika, and balsamic vinegar to a bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Mix to combine. Coat your hands with oil, and roll the meat into tablespoon-size balls (will make 15-16 meatballs). Drizzle with olive oil and place the meatballs in the bowl of your crockpot.2. Add the tomatoes. Pour over the wine and 1/2 cup water. Add the whole garlic cloves. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high for 1-2 hours.3. Preheat the broiler to high. Remove the meatballs and garlic from the slow cooker and place on a baking sheet.4. Crank the heat on the slow cooker to high. Stir in the orzo, and 1 cup water. Cover and cook 20-30 minutes, or until the orzo is al dente. If the orzo needs more liquid, add additional water. Stir in the milk/cream. 5. Arrange the butter, rosemary, and thyme, around the meatballs and garlic, then broil for 1-3 minutes, until crisp. Peel away the garlic skin, then chop and mix with the butter and herbs on the sheet pan. Toss the meatballs in the butter.6. Serve the meatballs over the orzo with feta cheese, fresh basil, and dill.
- 1. Add the chicken, parmesan, shallot, 2 chopped cloves of garlic, oregano, paprika, and balsamic vinegar to a bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Mix to combine. Coat your hands with oil, and roll the meat into tablespoon-size balls (will make 15-16 meatballs). 2. Set the instant pot to sauté. Add olive oil, then add the meatballs to the instant pot and sear until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes. Pour in the wine and 1/2 cup water. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the butter, whole garlic cloves, rosemary, and thyme. Let the butter brown for another 2-3 minutes. Cover and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes.3. Once done cooking, release the steam. Set the Instant Pot to sauté. Remove the garlic. Stir in the orzo, and 1 cup water. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until the orzo is al dente. Stir in the milk.4. Mash the garlic and stir into the orzo. Discard the herb stems. Serve the meatballs over the orzo with feta cheese, fresh basil, and dill
- 1. Add the chicken, parmesan, shallot, 2 chopped cloves of garlic, oregano, paprika, and balsamic vinegar to a bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Mix to combine. Coat your hands with oil, and roll the meat into tablespoon-size balls (will make 15-16 meatballs). 2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, the meatballs, and sear until browned, about 5 minutes. Then add the tomatoes, butter, garlic, rosemary, and thyme. Let the butter brown for another 2-3 minutes. Remove the garlic. 3. Reduce the heat to medium. Stir in the orzo. Cook 1 minute, then pour in the wine and 1 1/2 cups water. Cook, stirring often, another 6-8 minutes, until the orzo is al dente. Stir in the milk.4. Mash the garlic and stir into the orzo. Discard the herb stems. Serve the meatballs over the orzo with feta cheese, fresh basil, and dill.