Greek Meatballs (Keftethes)

These meatballs are deliciously light and delicately flavoured and you can serve them hot, warm or cold or freeze for future use.

I have made Keftethes on many occasions - (the recipe is from a Greek cookbook I've had for years) - and they are quite famous amongst my friends. Hope you enjoy them. Regards ~ Geoff Clifford - UK


  • 1 large onion, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1kg (2 1/4 pound) lean minced beef or lamb
  • 2 cups unseasoned breadcrumbs, moistened in about 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped mint (if not available, use chopped, dried mint)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Ouzo (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Plain flour
  • 1 cup olive oil and corn oil mixed (you may need slightly more)


  1. Fry onions with vegetable oil over low heat until golden. Remove to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add meat and all other ingredients except flour and olive/corn oil mix. Knead for about 10 minutes or until mixture is a smooth paste.
  3. Heat the oil mix in a large frying pan to the point of fragrance.
  4. Meanwhile, start to shape mixture into balls about the size of a large marble by rolling lightly between palms of hands, I suggest that you do them in batches of say 12 - 16, each batch being enough to space evenly but separately in the frying pan.
  5. As each meatball is formed place them on a large plate which has been liberally covered with plain flour. When the batch is finished lightly roll the meatball in the flour. At this point the oil in the frying pan should be just ready.
  6. Put the batch of meatball into the pan (Use kitchen tongs as the oil is very hot).
  7. Start on your second batch of meatballs, make them and place them on the floured plate. At this point it is time to turn the meatballs over and when you have completed this roll the second batch in the flour.
  8. Now it is time to remove the first batch from the frying pan using a slotted spoon or kitchen tongs and place on paper towels to drain.
  9. Put the second batch of meatballs into the pan to cook and carry on with the process until you have finished the mixture.

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