Greek Meatballs in Tomato Sauce (Keftedakia Giouvetsi)

A unique variation of the traditional Greek giouvetsi recipe that is just too good to miss out on! The traditional diced beef is substituted with crispy fried meatballs (keftedakia) and then baked in a rich tomato based sauce and orzo pasta giving it that extra fresh Mediterranean flavour.

This recipe is ideally made using hilopites, which is a traditional Greek egg pasta similar to tagliatelle but cut little square pieces. If you can’t find any, use some orzo pasta which will be equally delightful! Don’t forget to top with some crumbled feta and sprinkle with some chopped parsley which works wonders with this tomato based dish! Enjoy!

For the meatballs

  • 600g minced pork (20 ounces)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • some flour for dredging

For the sauce

  • 1/4 of a cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 400g canned chopped tomatoes (14 ounces)
  • 400g canned tomato sauce (14 ounces)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt
  • 3 cups of warm water
  • 500g/18 ounces chilopites (egg pasta, cut into little square pieces). Alternatively substitute with orzo pasta.
  • 200g feta cheese crumbled (7 ounces)


  1. To prepare the meatballs (keftedakia), finely chop the onion and garlic. Into a hot pan, add 3 tbsps of olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic, until tender.
  2. In the meantime, add in a large bowl the minced pork along with the egg, the breadcrumbs and chopped parsley. Season well with salt and pepper. Add the onions and garlic and mix well, squeezing the ingredients with your hands, until combined.
  3. Roll the mixture for the keftedakia into balls the size of a walnut (or bigger if you prefer). On the bottom of a tray, add some flour and dredge the rolled meatballs lightly in flour, making sure to shake off any excess.
  4. Pour some oil into a hot pan oil and fry the keftedakia, until nicely coloured on all sides. Place the meatballs on some kitchen paper to dry.
  5. To prepare the tomato sauce, heat a deep pan over medium heat. Pour in the olive oil and the chopped onion and garlic and sauté. Add the chopped tomatoes, the tomato sauce, 1 1/2 cup of water, a pinch of sugar, season and stir. Let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200C. Into a fireproof tray, add the sauce, along with the meatballs (keftedakia) and the pasta and stir. Cover with some aluminium foil and bake for approx. 40 minutes or until the pasta is cooked. Midway through cooking time, add 1 1/2 cup of warm water and remove the aluminum foil. (If the pan appears to be getting dry, pour in some more hot water). At the end, add the crumbled feta cheese and stir with a wooden spoon. Enjoy!

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