Ground Beef and Rice Meatballs in Lemony Broth

Last Updated on December 22, 2023


This delightfully light soup with meatballs made with ButcherBox’s beef is so nourishing, perfect for a chilly day. Inspired by the Greek soup youvarlakia avgolemono, the broth is speckled with dill and brightened with fresh lemon juice. Though the Greek version is fairly thick thanks to egg, ours uses a roux with flour and butter to keep it brothier. For added nutrition and a pop of color, stir some chopped greens like spinach or chard into the broth right before serving.

Ground Beef and Rice Meatballs in Lemony Broth

4.10 from 11 votes
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Protein: Beef
Cut: Ground Beef
Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound ButcherBox ground beef defrosted
  • 3/4 cup grated yellow onion
  • 5 cloves garlic grated or pressed
  • 1 cup cooked jasmine rice cooled
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill plus more for serving
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper plus more for serving
  • 1/2 tsp crushed chili flakes 
  • Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 lemons 1 halved, 1 cut into wedges


  • Line a baking sheet with parchment. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, onion, garlic, rice, eggs, ½ cup dill, oregano, lemon zest, black pepper, chili flakes and 1 tablespoon salt. Mix very well to combine. Using your hands, form into 1 ½-inch balls and place on the lined baking sheet (you should have about 20 meatballs). Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour, and cook, stirring often, until the flour mixture turns golden to light golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Gradually pour in the broth, whisking constantly to incorporate the roux; bring to a simmer. Once simmering, taste and season with salt, if needed. Remove from the heat while the meatballs finish chilling.
  • When the meatballs have chilled, place them in the broth. Place over medium heat and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through and float to the surface (an instant-read thermometer stuck into the center of a meatball should read 145ºF). 
  • When ready to serve, stir the juice of the halved lemon into the broth. Ladle the soup and meatballs into bowls, sprinkle more dill and black pepper over the top, and serve with the lemon wedges. 
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