Greek Meatballs (Keftedes) – Delicious Meets Healthy


Made with a mix of ground beef, pork or lamb, these Greek meatballs, or keftedes are a simple and easy to make appetizer that’s made for sharing. Seasoned with fresh herbs and loaded with flavor.

greek meatballs (keftedes) with cucumbers tomatoes and tzatziki sauce

Whenever we have mezze, keftedes are always the star of the show! These Greek meatballs are super easy to make and taste so delicious!

The flavors are so rich, but remain fresh at the same time with fresh herbs like mint and parsley. Every bite is so tasty, your only regret will be that you wish you made a double batch!

Be sure to try my Salisbury Steak Meatballs and Swedish Meatballs too!

greek meatballs on a plate with vegetables

Why you will love this Greek meatball recipe!

  • Quick and easy: It takes no more than 10 minutes to make a batch of these meatballs before they get baked in the oven.
  • Perfect for sharing: These make for a great appetizer to share with friends and family. They make a great change from cocktail meatballs are are perfect for any sharing platter.
  • Make ahead: Keftedes are a great make ahead dish and are also freezer friendly. Perfect if you are planning to serve them as part of a big feast.

Ingredients

  • Ground meat: The secret to the Greek meatballs is to use a mix of ground meats. Lean ground beef makes up the majority, but then we add in either some ground pork or ground lamb for a really rich flavor.
  • Egg: To bind the ingredients together.
  • Breadcrumbs: The panko breadcrumbs help to absorb the moisture to stop the meatballs breaking apart. You can use gluten-free breadcrumbs if you have an intolerance.
  • Onion and garlic: For a rich base layer of flavor.
  • Seasonings: Fresh parsley, mint, oregano, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
  • Oil: I add in a little olive oil to keep the meatballs nice and juicy.
ingredients for greek meatballs

How to make Greek meatballs

  • Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well incorporated, but be careful not to overmix it.
  • Using a 1-inch scoop, take from the meat mixture and make meatballs using your hands to form the balls. (You can dip your hands in a bowl with water when they get too sticky to help make your meatballs smoother.)
  • Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350 F oven for about 20 – 25 minutes, or until cooked through.
  • Take out from the oven and let meatballs rest for 5 minutes.
how to make greek meatballs process shots

How long do they keep?

You can easily make keftedes ahead of time. You can mix and roll the mixture, then keep them covered in the fridge for up to 2 days until you are ready to cook them.

Any cooked leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Cooked meatballs can be reheated in the oven at 350F for 10 to 5 minutes until warmed through. They can also be enjoyed cold.

Can you freeze them?

Yes! These are great to have on hand in the freezer, you can freeze them either cooked or uncooked and they will keep well for up to 3 months. Just freeze them solid on a baking sheet before transferring to a freezer bag. Thaw frozen Greek meatballs in the fridge overnight before cooking or reheating.

dipping keftedes in tzatziki sauce

What do you serve them with?

These Greek meatballs are great to serve as:

  • Part of a mezze platter with hummus, tzatziki sauce and vegetable sticks.
  • Dinner bowls – They can also be served as a fuller meal as a dinner bowl added to rice or a couscous salad 
  • As a pita sandwich
  • With your favorite veggie and potato side dishes with pita bread along with a cucumber and tomato salad sprinkled with feta cheese.

TIPS FROM NELI’S KITCHEN

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • The easiest and best way to clean mushrooms is by quickly rinsing them in a colander and wiping them down with a damp paper towel to remove any dirt.
  • Slice the mushrooms a evenly as possible so that they cook through evenly.
  • Make these mushrooms vegan by omitting the butter or using a plant-based one. Use a vegan certified Worcestershire sauce.
close up image of meatballs keftedes on a plate

More Mediterranean Recipes

Greek Meatballs (Keftedes)

Made with a mix of ground beef, pork or lamb, these Greek meatballs, or keftedes are a simple and easy to make appetizer that’s made for sharing. Seasoned with fresh herbs and loaded with flavor.

Prevent your screen from going dark

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Servings 4 servings

Calories 475kcal

  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well incorporated, but be careful not to overmix it.

  • Using a 1-inch scoop, take from the mixture and make meatballs using your hands to form the balls. (You can dip your hands in a bowl with water when they get too sticky to help make your meatballs smoother.)

  • Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350 F oven for about 20 – 25 minutes, or until cooked through.

  • Take out from the oven and let meatballs rest for 5 minutes.

  • Take care not to over mix the meatball mix. Ensure that the ingredients are combined, but stop mixing once they are. Over worked meatballs can become tough when baked.
  • You can also cook these meatballs in a skillet in a little oil. Brown them all over and make sure they are cooked all the way through before serving.
  • Use lean ground beef for this recipe, you will get most flavor from the lamb or pork which contain more fat.

Calories: 475kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 152mg | Sodium: 905mg | Potassium: 708mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 450IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 5mg

Course Appetizer

Cuisine Greek

Keyword beef and lamb meatballs, easy greek meatballs, keftades recipe

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