Keftedes (Greek meatballs)

    2 hours 15 min

    Keftedes are economical, versatile and - above all - unbelievably tasty! These meatballs are baked instead of fried, but still get nice and crispy. Read my tips below for how to serve them as nibbles or make great use of leftovers.


    Greater London, England, UK
    39 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 250g white bread, sliced and crusts removed
    • 500g minced pork
    • 500g beef mince
    • 1 egg
    • 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
    • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
    • 1/2 tablespoon sea salt, or to taste
    • freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • 100g plain flour, for dredging

    Prep:45min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Extra time:1hr  ›  Ready in:2hr15min 

    1. Place the bread in a large bowl and cover with water. Set aside for about 10 minutes while you chop the shallot and herbs.
    2. Drain the water from the bowl with the bread. Take handfuls of the bread and squeeze out as much water as possible over the sink. Place wet bread back in the bowl and add the pork, beef, egg, shallots, garlic, mint, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. With your hands, mix all of the ingredients together thoroughly until well combined. Place in the fridge, covered, for 30 minutes to an hour (this isn't absolutely necessary, but it allows the flavours to mingle and also makes the meatballs easier to form. You could also let it sit in the fridge overnight).
    3. Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas mark 6. Prepare baking trays by covering with baking parchment.
    4. Place the flour in a shallow bowl or plastic bag (however you prefer to dredge the meatballs). Take the meatball mixture from the fridge and form the meatballs: Roll the mixture into 2 to 3cm balls, flatten into a disk shape, then dredge lightly in flour, shaking off any excess. Place the meatballs on the baking tray.
    5. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, turning over once halfway through. The meatballs should be done on the inside and crispy on the outside.
    6. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

    To serve

    Serve the meatballs as a main with chips and tzatziki, or alongside a crisp green salad of cos lettuce, spring onion and fresh chopped dill dressed simply with olive oil and vinegar.
    To serve as nibbles or as part of a meze spread, you can form the meatballs as stated or make them slightly smaller to be more 'bite size'. Serve with tzatziki for dipping, or simply with lemon wedges on the side.

    To freeze

    These meatballs are perfect for freezing, either before or after baking. To freeze before baking, form into disks and freeze before dredging in flour.

    Scrumptious leftovers

    One of my favourite Greek dishes actually calls for leftover meatballs. Simply saute some chopped shallot or red onion in olive oil till translucent. Add meatballs, passata, a pinch of ground cinnamon, oregano, salt and pepper, and simmer on medium high till most of the water is evaporated and the olive oil comes to the surface. Serve over plain steamed rice or chips.

    Make it a sandwich...

    Another great use for leftover keftedes is making a meatball sandwich. You can get creative here, but my favourite is simple: meatballs on a ciabatta roll with ketchup and mustard. Also yummy is a pitta wrap with the keftedes, tzatziki, shredded lettuce, tomato and a sprinking of oregano.

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    Reviews in English (4)


    Something else. ! halved the amount of bread and used wholemeal. I added crushed chilli flakes and used 500g beef without adding pork. It went down really well.  -  05 Oct 2010


    Made it healthier. With the left-over meatballs make them into a delisous redsauce serve with pasta, for the sauce - in a deep frying pan or wok scortch fine chopped onions (RED), when slightly browned take off the heat. add in 3 large grated tomatoes, 2 bayleaves 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar, salt + pepper, 4 table spoons virgin olive oil, put back on heat until all comes to boiling point ,place in the meat balls, leave to simmer for about 10 min, use any pasta, or rice. Serve on top of pasta along with grated parmasan cheese or a cheese off your choice, my family love this receipe and its orignal receipe title is Sousoukaki.  -  10 Jan 2010


    Really easy to make and delicious  -  07 Feb 2016