Greek Meatball Avgolemono Soup, Συνταγη για Σουπα γιουβαρλάκια με αυγολεμονο και ρυζι – Youvarlakia


This Greek Meatball Avgolemono soup recipe is one of the most favourite greek soups for winter alongside Greek Chicken soup. In our home, Youvarlakia is always served when a family member is feeling unwell during winter upon request by the ill-stricken individual. It can be served as a full flavoured hearty dish as seen above, or with less rice and more avgolemono.

Youvarlakia made by all greek grandmothers is a hearty and delicious greek meatball soup recipe perfect for a cold winters day and a classic favourite amongst all greek homes. Although it is a greek favourite it is always well received when non-Greek family friends are visiting.

The egg lemon sauce ( avgolemono ) is made right at the end, and gives the soup a thick creamy texture. Finally, here is the recipe if you would like to try it out for yourself.

This recipe has been updated to include a weight measurement for the lemon juice. The quantity of juice in lemons vary a great deal. Perhaps reserve some lemon before doing it all into the soup. This way you can include as much lemon to suit your palette.

Greek meatball soup in lemon sauce

Serves 4 – 5


1 medium onion chopped finely

1 clove garlic

1 medium carrot chopped finely

1 small celery stalk chopped finely

1/4 cup parsley chopped

5 tablespoons olive oil

500g premium lean lamb mince

1/2 onion grated

1/4 cup mint and parsley mix chopped finely

20g Arborio rice

3/4 cup or 40g Arborio rice per individual

3 cups hot water

2 eggs separated
2 juicy lemons ( apx 50g )

salt, pepper to taste

flour for dusting the meatballs


We need to start with making the soup base.

Place olive oil, onion, garlic and carrot in a medium sized saucepan. Stir, until the onion becomes transparent.

Pour hot water, a small piece of the lemon and half of the herbs.

Allow to boil for 20-30 minutes on high. Blend with a hand beater for 1 minute. The vegetables, will resemble a broth. Blending the vegetables helps with the flavour of the soup.

Blend the vegetable broth

Make the meatballs

Mix the mince, the half onion, salt, pepper , remaining herbs and 20g of the Arborio rice. Form small rounds slightly smaller than a golf ball.

Greek youvarlakia avgolemono meatball soup

Prepared meatballs, ready to dust with flour

Lightly flour the meatballs.

Turn the broth heat on low and gently place the meatballs into the broth.

Allow to simmer until the meatballs start to float.

Pour the rice into the meatball broth. Allow to cook gently for approximately 20 minutes. Intermittently with a teaspoon try the rice. Half way through, you will need to add an extra cup of hot water as the rice absorbs the liquids. At this point, you will determine if you would like a little extra liquid in the broth. Turn off the heat when your ready.

Making the Avgolemono

While the rice is cooking, separate your eggs. Beat the egg whites until thick and fluffy. Stir through the egg yolk.

Greek meatball lemon soup youvarlakia

Beat egg white then add yolk back in

Squeeze lemon juice from the two lemons and pour lemon juice as your stirring into beaten egg whites.

Put it all together

Remove one cup of the broth into a measuring cup. Add 1/4 cup cold water. Adding the cold water, helps to guarantee your eggs won’t curdle in case the broth was too hot.

Slowly, add a little of the broth into the beaten egg, stir, pause and resume pouring in small quantities in this fashion until all broth has been poured into the egg mixture. You now have avgolemono.

Your soup should have cooled slightly as you were preparing the avgolemono.

Stir in a little at a time the avgolemono – gently so that the meatballs do not collapse.

Greek meatball soup - youvarlakia

Serve. Add extra lemon and herbs according to taste.

Greek meatball soup - youvarlakia
Greek meatball soup – youvarlakia

19 Comments Add yours

  1. KR says:

    Looks very interesting and delicious. I will save it for winter 🙂 🙂

    1. its a well loved recipe this one. Enjoy!

  2. Yum! This looks like the perfect dish for a cold weekend which is coming my way this coming weekend. Good cooking!!

    1. Hi Adrianne, same here. We are in Brisbane and it will be chilly for us. Where are you?

      1. Oh I didn’t realise that! Nice, I never come across ‘neighbours’ in blogging! Springfield near Ipswich. It is so funny that overnight the chill just sets in! How about yourself?

      2. Bayside, Redlands. Its a small world this morning I was at TSAC at Springfield for my sons Rugby game at 7:30am…. it was certainly chilly out your way 🙂

      3. Yes and twice that this morning!! Indeed small world 😊

  3. mistimaan says:

    Lovely recipe

    1. thank you Mistimaan. It is a nice homely dish.

  4. chefkreso says:

    Delicious, absolutely love greek recipes! 😀

    1. Greek recipies have a place in every home 🙂

  5. foodinbooks says:

    I’ve tried several times making avgolemono soup and it always curdles. I’m going to have to try your ice water tip the next time.

    1. Think of it as a fail safe. It doesn’t have to be icy water – it can be tap. It will bring the temp down enough so that it is warm not hot. Whisk the egg and lemon as your slowly pour in the cooled broth. Another tip, don’t use metal mixing bowls. They conduct heat. I should add that in…

      1. foodinbooks says:

        So a porcelain or cast iron bowl?

      2. I use a glass bowl – like the one in the egg white picture or even a plastic one.

      3. foodinbooks says:

        Okay that makes sense. I have a glass bowl that I can use for this. I’m going to give this one a try again. You’ve inspired me to keep trying until I succeed.

      4. Just take your time. it will all be fine 🙂

  6. Looks fantastic!

  7. We love Youvarlakia in our little home!! I can`t wait for my little one to taste them in a few months!! Fantastic recipe and great pictures!! 🙂

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