Meatballs are a true family favorite and perfect to make ahead for freezing and serving at a later date. Greek Style Meatballs – Keftedes are made with beef, pork and the all-important Mediterranean flavor combinations of lemon, mint and customary Mediterranean spices. In true traditional fashion, Greek Meatballs are served with tzatziki sauce and pita.

A cast iron skillet filled with Greek meatballs garnished with fresh mint leaves

Whether it’s a weeknight meal or a family Sunday dinner, meatballs are always a good idea because you can make them in batches and any quantities you like so they’re perfect for feeding a crowd or a large family!

What’s the most popular type of meatball we all know and love? Why, Italian, of course! I love my easy chicken meatballs (picture below) and sometimes my pork and ricotta, which are both Italian. The Greek’s wanted to get in on the meatball action too, they just serve them differently, which are a delicious departure from the norm.

A pan of easy chicken meatballs in marinara sauce garnished with fresh basil

You can serve these traditional Greek meatballs in tomato sauce, but I’m a traditionalist and want to stay true to the history of food in cultures. Plus, I want to enjoy them the way the Greeks do, with a yogurt sauce (tzatziki) with lemon and mint. Such a refreshing flavor combination!

They are usually made with a mix of ground beef and pork, however, lamb is also a flavorful option served in Greece.

Dipping a meatball into a white yogurt sauce

When it comes to side dish ideas, that’s an easy one. You can serve them with a simple orzo or rice. Another way I love to enjoy them (especially during the summer months) is on a bed of lettuce with cucumber, tomato and red onion, just like a salad.

An overhead view of Greek meatballs in a cast iron skillet with Greek yogurt sauce

This recipe yields 16 dinner size meatballs. You can also make them smaller and serve as a mini-meatball appetizer for entertaining or your favorite game day.

These keftedes are pan fried, which speeds up the cooking process. This can be messy and not so healthy, so if you don’t want to fry them, you can bake them. Just spread them in an even layer on a large baking sheet and bake at 400°F/200°C drizzled with a little oil to help brown for 15 minutes until browned.

If you’ve made these Greek Style Meatballs – Keftedes or have a question regarding the recipe, leave it in the comment are below. I love to hear from my readers.

Yield: 16 meatballs

Greek Style Meatballs - Keftedes

A black skillet full of browned meatballs

Made with ground beef and pork, these tradtional meatballs have all the mediterranean flavors of mint and spices.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • For the sauce
  • 1 cup (215 grams) plain Greek yogurt
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • For the meatballs:
  • 1/2 pound (225 grams) ground beef
  • 1/2 pound (225 grams) ground pork
  • 1/4 cups (22 grams) breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • 3 tablespoons yellow onion, grated
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves grated
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups (1 liter) vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  1. For the sauce:
    Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Refrigerate until needed.
  2. For the meatballs:
    To a large mixing bowl add the beef, pork, egg, onion, garlic, mint, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. Mix well then refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  3. Scoop 2 tablespoons meat mix and form into 16 balls.
  4. Add the oil to a high-sided pan and heat to 350°F/177°C. Fry the meatballs for 7-10 minutes until they are evenly browned on the outside.

Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Amount Per Serving Calories 249Total Fat 19gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 68mgSodium 984mgCarbohydrates 7gFiber 1gSugar 4gProtein 12g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.