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.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time32 mins
- 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
Cooking / Serving:
- 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.
6. 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.
Serving: 185g | Calories: 513kcal