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Keftethes - Recipe for Greek Meatballs

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Keftethes - Recipe for Greek Meatballs

Greek Meatballs - Keftethes

Photo © Lynn Livanos Athan

Keftethes (keh-FTEH-thes) are savory Greek meatballs that are served as an appetizer or meze (meh-ZEH). The traditional recipe calls for frying the meatballs, but I've found that this baked version is quite good and a bit healthier.

For the tastiest meatballs, prepare the ground meat mixture earlier in the day and allow it to sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour. This allows the flavors to really meld.

To see an updated (different) version click here: Keftedes | Greek Meatballs

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: About 40 - 50 pieces


  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 2 onions, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp. dried mint
  • 1-cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp. grated cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Olive oil cooking spray or olive oil for brushing


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly grease with either the cooking spray or brushed on olive oil.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and allow mixture to sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Roll the meat mixture into balls about the size of a walnut. Place on greased baking sheet about an inch apart.

Bake in 375 degree oven for about 40 minutes, turning the meatballs midway through the cooking time.

Allow the meatballs to cool before serving.

Note: If you prefer the traditional frying method, you will need to dredge the rolled meatballs lightly in flour making sure to shake off any excess. Heat olive or vegetable oil and add the meatballs in a single layer. Fry until nicely browned on all sides.

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