Preparation for this dish begins on the stovetop, but concludes in the oven in the same pot. Mediterranean inspired, this one-pot wonder is a delectable combination of zesty meatballs, creamy risotto-like rice, and fresh vegetables.



  • 1¼ lbs. ground beef (90% lean is best)
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1½ cups arborio rice
  • 3½ cups chicken broth
  • kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise then cut into ½ inch slices
  • ¼ cup minced fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • fresh dill & lemon slices, for garnish (optional)


  1. For the meatballs, combine the meatball ingredients and 1 tablespoon of water in a bowl. Mix thoroughly until combined. Shape the meat mixture into balls that are 2-3 inches in diameter.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Place the meatballs in the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until browned.
  3. Pour the chicken broth and rice into the pan, along with ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover the pan and place it in the oven.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid.
  5. Sprinkle the zucchini around the pan, cover and return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes or until zucchini is cooked through.
  6. Remove pan from the oven. Stir the dill and lemon juice into the rice, and place the cherry tomatoes on top. If desired, garnish with more dill and lemon slices. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Source: Dinner at the Zoo at