These juicy Greek Meatballs rock! A traditional recipe, beautifully flavoured with red onion, fresh parsley, a touch of mint and hint of dried oregano. These meatballs are slightly crisp on the outside and are brilliant served as an appetiser with tzatiki and pita bread as part of a mezze spread (very Greek!), or as a meal with a salad.
Monday Meatball Mania is here! The rules are simple and the logic powerful: my friend Jo from Jo Cooks and I both agree that meatballs are the King of all Ball Shaped Foods. There cannot be too many meatballs in this world. So at the beginning of this year, we embarked upon a mission to make this world a better place by contributing even more meatballs.
So on the last Monday of every month, we each publish a meatball recipe. And that, my friends, is the only rule. Giant meatballs, mini meatballs, stuffed meatballs…..ahh, the possibilities are endless!
Today, I’ve kept it respectably “normal” with these Greek Meatballs. One day I’m going to shock you with an outrageous meatball creation…. just you wait!
These Greek Meatballs are a step up from the basic meatball recipe. Grated red onion provides a fabulous flavour base as well as making these meatballs gorgeously juicy. And the flavourings are from herbs – fresh parsley, a hint of mint (I really love this touch), and some dried oregano. Oh, and garlic of course. Wouldn’t be Greek if there wasn’t garlic in it! 🙂
Just pop all this in a bowl, then squidge away with your hands to mix it all together. To make them easier to roll and to maintain a nice round shape while pan frying, just pop the mixture in the fridge for an hour before rolling into balls.
Greek Meatballs are dusted lightly with flour before pan frying. This creates a lovely light crust, sort of like when you dust fish / chicken etc with flour before pan frying. I really love this touch, but it’s not essential, you could actually skip it.
Greek Meatballs are not made with a sauce, so I like to serve this with tzatziki so I’ve provided my recipe for that as well. But even if you don’t have cucumber, plain yoghurt will work well too. The meatballs are certainly juicy and flavoured enough to eat plain, but having a sauce definitely adds that extra something-something. 🙂
Serve a big bowl of these as a starter with pita bread to tear up and make “mini” wraps, like I do in the video. Or make a big Greek Meatballs dinner plate with a side of Greek Salad and pita bread – mmmmm!!! – Nagi xx
PS If you really want to go all out, serve this with Easy Soft No-Yeast Flatbreads!
PPS This past weekend I went camping and made Greek “Burritos” with these meatballs using Lemon Rice Pilaf, baby spinach and cheese. Rolled them up in foil and pan fried them to warm up and melt the cheese, then we dunked them in tzatziki. No washing up and lip smackingly delish – even the kids went nuts over them!
Juicy Greek Meatballs (Keftedes), beautifully flavoured with red onion, parsley, a hint of mint and dried oregano with a slightly crispy surface. See recipe video below.
- 1 red onion, grated
- 500g / 1 lb beef mince (ground beef) (or lamb!)
- 200g / 6.5oz pork mince (ground pork), or more beef
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup / 60g panko breadcrumbs (or use normal)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 6 large mint leaves, finely chopped (spearmint if you can, it's authentic)
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 tsp salt
- Black pepper
- 1/2 cup flour any white
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Finely chopped parsley optional, for garnish
- Tzatziki (Note 5) or Greek yoghurt
Grate the onion straight into a large bowl, then add remaining Meatball ingredients. Use your hands to mix well for a few minutes until the mixture is quite smooth and very well combined.
Optional: Refrigerate for 1 hour - makes them easier to roll + retains round shape when cooking.
Measure out heaped tablespoons and dollop onto a work surface - should make around 32 - 35. Then roll into balls.
Heat most of the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat (medium if you have a strong gas stove). Use enough oil to cover the surface of the skillet.
Cook in 2 to 3 batches: Dredge meatballs lightly in flour, shaking off excess, then place in the skillet. Roll them around and cook for 5 - 6 minutes, until nicely browned all over. Remove onto plate, cover to keep warm and repeat with remaining meatballs.
BAKING: Alternatively, spray generously with oil (preferably olive oil) then bake at 180C/350F for 20 minutes or until browned. The pan frying method is the traditional way and the meatballs are slightly juicier.
Serve as a starter as part of a mezze platter with pita bread and tzatziki, or make dinner plates by adding a salad like a Greek Salad!
1. These freeze extremely well, and when reheated they are still nice and bouncy i.e. juicy!
2. Standby meal / camping: Another serving suggestion is to make "burritos"! Ideal because the meatballs stay nice and juicy. I used large tortillas / flatbreads, and stuffed them with Lemon Rice Pilaf, these Greek Meatballs, cheese and baby spinach. Rolled up tightly, wrapped in foil then frozen them. To serve, defrost then either bake or cook over low heat for 8 minutes, turning regularly, until crispy on the outside (do this in the foil). Then serve with tzatziki to dunk them in! I went camping this past weekend and this is what I took for one of the meals - fantastic because there's no washing up.
3. A wonderful authentic recipe from My Greek Dish food blog. I only very slightly adapted it - e.g. used normal mint instead of spearmint, reduced oil in mixture to 1 tbsp and used panko instead of normal breadcrumbs because they make slightly softer meatballs.
4. See notes above the nutrition table for commentary on the nutrition and how to reduce the calories.
5. Tzatziki: 2 Lebanese cucumbers (grated with juice squeezed out), 1¼ cups / 300g plain Greek yoghurt, 2 tsp white wine vinegar (or red wine or apple cider vinegar), 1 tbsp lemon juice, ½ garlic clove, minced, 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, ½ tsp salt, Black pepper. Mix ingredients and set aside 30 min.
It's also terrific just served with plain yoghurt. You could doll up the yoghurt a bit with a squeeze of lemon + olive oil + salt & pepper + garlic. However, these meatballs are juicy enough to even eat plain, freshly cooked.
Greek Meatballs recipe video!
Greek Meatballs nutrition per serving, meatballs only. I took a conservative position on the amount of fat left in the skillet that is discarded so the actual calories are under 500 calories a serving. Also if you use lean beef and pork, that will reduce the calories further. You could also cut out the olive oil in the meatball mixture to reduce it even further.
LIFE OF DOZER
Took Dozer camping the weekend! He really needs to learn camping etiquette – i.e. no running around the campsite like a lunatic, shoving his furry face and breathing his stinky breath into every tent at 6 am in the morning. ? Lucky it was a private campsite so it was just my friends and I. ❤️