Greek meatballs (keftedes)

Keftedes are Greek meatballs made with herbs and onions. The Greek word keftes, derived the Turkish word kofte meaning meatball, is the singular of keftedes.

The following recipe was handed down to Sofia by her mother and Sofia has added her own touches to create this version of the traditional Greek keftedes. They're simple to make and delicious to eat. You'll find that even your children and grandchildren enjoy them!

Generous servings for four


  • 500 g beef mince
  • 1¼ safflower oil − canola or the popular rice bran oil will do just as well
  • ½ cup plain flour − for coating
  • 8 slices of white bread (preferably stale) moistened with water, with excess water squeezed out
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1 large brown onion (grated)
  • 1 small ripe tomato (grated) − remove skin before grating
  • Pinch of oregano
  • 1 flat teaspoon of cumin
  • 2 flat teaspoons of salt
  • Black or white pepper according to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley (medium chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh mint (medium chopped)


  • Combine all ingredients except oil and flour in large mixing bowl
  • Place mixture in the refrigerator for 1-4 hours
  • Why so long? To give the ingredients a chance to bind and flavours to infuse
  • Make round balls the size of a large walnut then flatten
  • Place plain flour on a flat plate and coat the flattened meatballs in the flour
  • Heat oil in frypan to medium hot temperature − oil should coat the base of a medium frypan to a depth of around 1½ cm
  • Place meatballs in the oil and fry on one side till golden brown
  • Turn over and cook till golden brown on other side
  • Remove with tongs and place on absorbent paper
  • Repeat the cooking process with a second batch if not all will fit into your frypan in one go

Note: It's important not to overheat the oil and not to overcook the meatballs 

Sofia's suggestion

  • Enjoy your delicious keftedes with a Greek salad and some crusty bread.

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