Greek Keftedes

You won’t need an excuse to add Greek Keftedes to your menu. One taste of these Greek meatballs and your family will ask for them all the time.

You won't need an excuse to add Greek Keftedes to your menu. One taste of these Greek meatballs and your family will ask for them all the time.

Greek Keftedes, or meatballs, are a staple in Mediterranean cuisine and are often served as part of a meze platter. If you’ve never heard of a meze platter, it’s a Mediterranean snack tray that is generally served as an appetizer before the main meal.

Greek Keftedes are different from traditional American meatballs as they are lightly dusted in flour before frying which creates a light crust while keeping the meatball juicy inside. Instead of serving them in a traditional Italian sauce or a gravy, they are served unsauced with tzatziki sauce on the side. You dip the meatballs in the tzatziki rather than having the sauce poured over top. (You can grab our recipe for Homemade Tzatziki Sauce here.)

You can use a variety of ground meat for the mixture, but including fresh mint is key to giving them their authentic flavor. The longer you let the meat marinate, the better the flavors incorporate.

I highly doubt you’ll have leftovers but if you do they are traditionally used to create a new dish with a tomato-based sauce and orzo or they’re added to soup.

You won't need an excuse to add Greek Keftedes to your menu. One taste of these Greek meatballs and your family will ask for them all the time.

Greek Keftedes

Yield: 40 meatballs

Prep Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh parsley, chopped
  • 8 large mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup flour, for rolling
  • 2-3 Tbsp. oil, for frying

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add ground beef, ground pork, breadcrumbs, egg, red onion, garlic, parsley, mint, olive oil, oregano and salt. Mix well until combined, but try not to over work the meat or else it will get tough. Cover with a lid and place in the refrigerator for an hour or more to let the flavors marinate.
  2. Put flour into a shallow bowl. Remove meat mixture from the refrigerator and use a tablespoon as a scoop to form into small meatballs. Roll meatballs in the flour, making sure they are completely covered, and shake off any excess.
  3. Preheat oven to 200°F.
  4. Heat a large cast iron or heavy-duty skillet over medium heat. Add oil and let it get hot. Place some meatballs in a single layer, spreading out evenly, and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through. You will probably have to do this in 2-3 batches depending on how big your pan is. As you cook subsequent batches, put already cooked meatballs on a cookie sheet in the oven to stay warm.
You won't need an excuse to add Greek Keftedes to your menu. One taste of these Greek meatballs and your family will ask for them all the time.

Kelly Nardo

Kelly is the girl behind Eat the Gains, a food and fitness blog dedicated to providing wholesome and delicious recipes that fuel both workouts and everyday life. She is also a nutrition and CrossFit coach and runs a meal prep delivery service in Austin, TX. Her favorite color is orange and she has never met a vegetable she didn’t like - if you know, send it her way!