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.
What are Keftedes?
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 un-sauced 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.)
What are Keftedes Made of?
You can use a variety of ground meat for the mixture, we’re using beef and pork, but including fresh mint is key to giving them their authentic flavor. The meatballs are also seasoned with red onion, garlic, and parsley. 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 200°F.
- 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.
- Serve with tzatziki and pita for a wonderful appetizer or cook into a main dish.