Greek Meatballs recipe (Keftedes/ Keftethes)

Greek Meatballs recipe (Keftedes/ Keftethes)

Crispy, juicy and absolutely delicious! Give this traditional Keftedes / Keftethes (Greek Meatballs) recipe a try and add a Mediterranean twist to your plate! Keftedes (Greek meatballs) is a famous Greek appetizer, commonly served as part of a meze platter, with some creamy tzatziki sauce and pita breads. Keftedes can also be served as a filling meal with some basmati rice and a nice Greek feta salad.

Leftovers (which is a good thing in this case!) make a delicious brand new dish, added in a tomato-based sauce with some mashed potatoes, or pasta.

Greek Meatballs (Keftedes) – Delicious Variations

One of my personal favourite variation is the traditional fragrant soutzoukakia recipe! An amazing Greek recipe introduced to the Greek cuisine in the beginning of the 20th century and has its origin from the city of Smyrni or modern day Izmir. The secret ingredient that makes these oblong-shaped Greek meatballs really unique is nothing else than cumin.

The perfect match for the cold winter’s day is nothing else than the traditional Greek meatballs soup recipe! A classic delicacy made basically with boiled juicy Greek meatballs (youvarlakia) and rice and finished off with delicious egg-lemon sauce.

Last but not least, a very unique variation of the traditional fried Greek meatballs (keftedes), served as a main dish, is keftedes giouvetsi (Greek meatballs in tomato sauce). The traditional diced beef of the giouvetsi is substituted with crispy fried meatballs (keftedes) and then baked in a rich tomato based sauce and orzo pasta or chilopites. Just too good to miss out on! Oh and you can always read this delicious recipe in Greek here Κεφτεδάκια τηγανητά συνταγή.

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Greek Meatballs recipe (Keftedes/ Keftethes)

Greek Meatballs recipe (Keftedes/ Keftethes)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (594 votes, average: 4.88 out of 5)
  • Author: Eli K. Giannopoulos
  • Prep Time: 60 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 40 pieces 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Fried
  • Cuisine: Greek


A crispy, juicy and absolutely delicious Greek meatballs (keftedes) recipe! Keftedes is a famous Greek appetizer, commonly served as part of a meze platter, with some creamy tzatziki sauce and pita breads. Find out how to make it to perfection with this traditional Greek recipe.


  • 500g ground beef (18 ounces)
  • 200g ground pork (7 ounces)
  • 1 medium red onion, grated
  • 1 medium clove of garlic, minced
  • 150g stale bread (5 oz.), soaked in water and squeezed to remove the excess water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh spearmint (chopped) and a pinch dried
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsps red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • oil for frying
  • flour for dredging


  1. To prepare this traditional Greek meatballs recipe (keftedes), add all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix well (for about 5-10 minutes), squeezing with your hands, to allow the flavours to blend. Cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
  2. Turn the mixture for the keftedes out of the fridge and roll into meatballs the size of a walnut (or bigger if you prefer). If you’re frying them, dredge the rolled meatballs lightly in flour making sure to shake off any excess. Fry until nicely browned on all sides.
  3. The traditional way of cooking Greek meatballs (keftedes) is frying them. Fry the keftedes in batches of 10-15 at a time, until nicely browned on all sides.
  4. Instead of frying you can bake / grill the keftedes in the oven. Preheat the oven at 200C, place the un-floured keftedes on greased baking sheet about an inch apart. Bake for about 20 minutes, turning the meatballs upside down midway through cooking time. The grilled version is much lighter than the fried so theres not excuse to not trying it now!
  5. Keftedes (Greek meatballs) are ideally served as an appetizer (meze) with some creamy tzatziki sauce and pita breads or as a main course with some basmati rice and a Greek salad. Enjoy!


  • Serving Size: 1 piece
  • Calories: 63kcal
  • Sugar: 0.3g
  • Sodium: 91.2mg
  • Fat: 2.8g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.8g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 1.7g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.7g
  • Fiber: 0.3g
  • Protein: 4.5g
  • Cholesterol: 15.8mg

Keywords: Greek Meatballs, Keftedes recipe, How to make Keftethes


  1. Molly, get over yourself. Greeks have a deep history that the Turks wanted abolished. Climb out from under your rock and face it. Greeks have it all, keftedes, baklava and 3,000 years of philosophers, great food, olive oil and wine. Read history books, not Food Network!

  2. Angela Maxwell

    I love this receipe, I use it all the time, it similar to my mothers, she used more mint.
    I thought this was a receipe page, not POLITICAL .
    What do they say Politics & Cooking do not mix.
    I made that up , but sounds good.

  3. Foti Giannopoulos

    Hi Eli, Great Recipe, In our place we add Potato instead of bread, i make them myself as i am a little fussy with my food, but great job,

  4. Katina Tzanavaras

    Is this an election or a recipe blog? The recipe is outstanding!

  5. Sue Stovall

    We made your meat balls for a school project, and everyone loved them. They are amazing, now are going to be my go to meat balls. Thank you.
    By the way she got an”A” giving you credit for the recipe.

  6. I can’t wait to try this recipe. I’ve tried several before but can’t get the texture right. The authentic Greek ones I’ve eaten have a tender/ spongy feel. What am I doing wrong, please?

  7. make hambugers

  8. Made these tonight. Used perhaps double the mint as the ones from my girlfriend’s region in the Peloponnese are quite minty. They tasted just like the ones from there, absolutely spot on! Thanks

  9. Alana Markus

    Can you tell me if dredging in flour is still required if baking?

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