Sous Vide Beef Meatballs with Yogurt Greek Salad in Pitas

An interesting aspect of sous vide is the long cooking time at a steady temperature allows the ground beef to cook safely even though the temperature is lower than conventional heat methods. This technique keeps the meatballs moist and tender and is surprisingly easy to do. These Greek-inspired meatballs can be served in pitas with salad as we have here, or on their own with your favourite side dishes and the bonus is you can make them ahead, too.
Yield 6 Servings Prep. Time 20 min Cooking Time 124 min Total Time 144 min


Here are the following ingredients:


  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) EACH salt and dried oregano
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) fresh ground pepper
  • Pinch hot pepper flakes
  • 1½ lb (750 g) Lean Ground Beef
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) dry bread crumbs
  • 6 medium (6- to 7-inch/15 to 19 cm) whole wheat pitas with pockets

Yogurt Greek Salad

  • ½ cup (125 mL) plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil (approx)
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
  • ½ sweet red or yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup (250 mL) chopped cucumber
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) quartered pitted kalamata or other black olives
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper

Shopping List

Here are the following shopping items to buy:


Follow these cooking methods/directions:

  1. Combine egg, garlic, lemon zest, salt, oregano, pepper and hot pepper flakes in a large bowl; whisk with a fork until blended. Add beef and bread crumbs and mix with fork just until blended (don’t overmix).

  2. Shape heaping tablespoonfuls (15 mL) of meat mixture into 1½-inch (4 cm) balls and place on a plastic wrap or parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them apart. Freeze for 15 to 30 minutes or until firm but not solid.

  3. Meanwhile, set up water bath for sous vide and preheat to 140°F (60°C) according to manufacturer’s directions.

  4. Place about 8 meatballs into each of 3 medium bags for sous vide (vacuum, sealable freezer or reusable silicone). Remove as much air as possible and seal the bags using vacuum sealer.

  5. Immerse bags in preheated water bath and secure them to the side of the pot with a clip, keeping the top of the bags above the surface of the water. Cook sous vide for 2 hours.

Yogurt Greek Salad: 
  1. Meanwhile, whisk together yogurt and oil in a medium bowl. Add tomato, red pepper, cucumber, onion and olives, tossing to coat. Add a little more oil, as necessary, to thin the yogurt. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 hour before serving.

  2. Remove beef from water bath and let rest in bags for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat broiler with rack 4 inches (10 cm) from heat.

  3. Remove meatballs from bags using tongs or a slotted spoon and place on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, spacing them apart. Discard liquid from bags. Broil meatballs, turning once, for 4 to 6 minutes or until browned.

  4. Cut about one-third off the tops of pitas, open pockets and stuff trimmed-off portion into bottom of each pita. Fill with meatballs and salad. Serve immediately.