Keftedes (Meatballs)

IMG_0143Do you love beef? And fried things?  What if someone combined those two things into one bite sized bit ‘o Greek deliciousness? Well, then you would have Keftedes (Meatballs) and you would be very happy.

A staple at our family events, Greek meatballs aren’t served with spaghetti or tomato sauce, but all on their own as an appetizer or as a meal with a side of greens, a tomato salad, or french fries. As with most of the recipes on this blog, these are also great with some crusty bread and a little feta cheese on the side. Here is the recipe, along with some pictures of our Mom, Athenoula, passing along the family recipe to the younger generation.

IMG_0094You will need: ground beef, onion, bread crumbs, egg, vinegar, fresh mint, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, olive oil, flour and vegetable oil for frying.

Everything goes into one big bowl, except for the flour and vegetable oil.

IMG_0111 IMG_0108Don’t be shy. Get in there and mix it all up with your hands. 

Roll the meat mixture into meatballs. The kids used a fancy scooper, but you don’t have to.

IMG_0128 IMG_0141
Pour a few inches of vegetable oil into a deep skillet or pot and heat over medium high heat. Meanwhile, roll the meatballs in flour.


The oil is ready when it sizzles upon contact. Gently add the meatballs to the oil a few at a time. Don’t drop the meatballs in from too high, or you will get splashed with hot oil. Don’t overcrowd the pan. Not only will this reduce the temperature of the oil, but it will make it hard to roll the meatballs around so that they are cooked on all sides.  When the meatballs are browned all-around, remove them to a paper towel-lined plate to blot any excess oil. Allow to cool a few minutes, transfer to a serving dish, and enjoy!


Keftedes (Meatballs)
makes about 50

1 and 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup water or milk
1 medium onion, finely minced
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 Tbsp. mint, chopped
drizzle of olive oil

1/2 to 1 cup flour
vegetable oil for frying

Add about 2-3 inches of vegetable oil to a deep frying pan or medium sized pot and heat over medium-high flame.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine breadcrumbs with either water or milk to moisten them, and then add ground beef, onion, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper, vinegar, mint and a drizzle of olive oil. Combine well using your hands.

Prepare meatballs for frying. Grab about 1-2 T of meat mixture and roll it in between your hands to form a ball. Roll the ball in flour and set it aside. Repeat until you have formed all of the meat into meatballs.

The oil is ready when it sizzles upon contact. Add meatballs to the hot oil. Do not over crowd the pan/pot and leave enough room to rotate the meatballs so they can cook on all sides. Cook until browned on all sides. Drain on papertowel-lined plate and let cool slightly before serving. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold. They are delicious no matter how you eat them!

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