Greek Traditional Keftedakia, Keftedes ( Meatballs )


Delicious golden and crispy on the outside soft and moist on the inside they are beautifully flavoured with red onion, parsley, and plenty of mint.

Keftedes , Traditional Greek Meatballs ( κεφτεδακια )

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Greek meatballs ( κεφτεδάκια ) are a family favourite in most Greek households.  This is the dish young and old love and will devour if your not quick. It is safe to say, no separate meals will be necessary when Keftedes or meatballs are served.

In Australia, meatballs ( κεφτεδες )  are not eaten as frequently as they are in Greece.  In Greece, Greek keftedes are served in restaurants, family lunches, dinners, picnics or any gathering.  So much so, greeks have many variations for meatballs. They do not only cook them on the pan, like this recipe here, but they are also baked – into a delicious tomato based dish called  souzoukakia. They are also incorporated into a creamy lemon soup -yiouvarlakia. It’s safe to assume greeks make meatballs well.

My recipe is very similar to how my mother, aunts and grandmother made them. They are by far my favourite  – I suppose I am a little bit biased. Of course, being Australian born and raised with no relative to pass on a recipe it means a few modifications have been made.

Plentiful of herbs are a signature sign this recipe is from OlivesandFeta. Don’t shortchange the amount of herbs used. 

The bread crumbs are homemade with a four-seeded loaf. As well  the amount of olive oil used during cooking is minimised by using a non-stick pan, and controlling the temp whilst cooking.

500g 5 star premium lean, lamb mince

2 slices four-seeded bread

1 large free range egg

1 tspn salt

1/2 tspn dried oregano ( fresh would be wonderful)

1/2 cup finely chopped mint

1/4 cup parsley

1 medium ripe tomato grated

Olive oil for cooking

Plain flour for dusting


Place the bread, in a food processor and blitz until finely crumbed.

Mint and parsley should be finely chopped. It will be hard to shape inti balls if they are not.

In a bowl incorporate all the ingredients.

Keftedes , Traditional Greek Meatballs Mixture

Knead the mince and squeeze whilst mixing with your hands.  Take a heaped tablespoon of mind mince and roll into a dough. See the picture, as a reference to the size.

Traditionally, Keftedes are small. They are not the size of meat patties as we know them.  They are quite small and round.

Dust the surface of the shaped meatballs with flour. They should have a very light coating, otherwise they will absorb alot of the oil while cooking. My recipes always include small alterations in order to minimise the oiliness sometimes found in cooked dishes.

Heat your pan with half a centimetre deep of olive oil. The quantity of olive oil needed will depend on your pan. Non-stick pans certainly require substantially less olive oil.

If your mince is quite fatty and you haven’t used premium grade lamb mince this will also impact on your cooking process as the fat will liquify and form extra liquid in the pan.

Heat your olive oil well to start with so that it is very hot while you’re putting the floured meatballs in. After about half a minute shake your pan gently so that the meatballs turnover all on their own. Decrease the heat. Frying gently is better. Too low though they will stew, too high they will burn. Routinely grab the pan from the handle and Sheik forwards and backwards so that the meatballs move around and cook evenly.

Place the cooked meatballs on a plate with paper towels so that any extra oil is absorbed by the paper towel. Move to a clean serving plate and serve.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. These look so tasty and bring back memories from trips to Greece. Need to make some soon! 🙂

  2. mistimaan says:

    Nice recipe

    1. Thank you mistimaan. Hope you are well.

  3. chefkreso says:

    I just saved the recipe and I’ll try it out first thing next week..

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