Keftedes — Greek Meatballs with Herbs — Make Any Appetizer Spread Shine
I’ve never met a meatball I didn’t like. And I especially love Keftedes — Greek meatballs with herbs. This recipe is a simple mix of ground beef or lamb enhanced with garlic, onion, and fresh herbs like mint and parsley. Their simplicity makes them the perfect addition to any mezze spread or platter. They are often a fixture on my appetizer table when I throw one of my pop-up dinners, or cook an intimate dinner for my Los Angeles personal chef clients. Keftedes pair perfectly with the thick tangy Greek yogurt in a tzaziki sauce. Also, you can make a meal out of them by teaming them with a fresh Greek salad or simple rice pilaf. Is there anything better? Find out how to make them below.
Variations on Keftedes
There’s more than one way to make a meatball. And you can customize this recipe to fit your tastes.
Type of meat to use
I love using ground lamb in this recipe. It brings a heartiness and depth that ground beef doesn’t always have. Ground beef, or even ground turkey, will do in a pinch though. If you opt for the latter two, forgo the leaner blends and indulge in an 80/20 mix or dark meat (if using turkey). Fat is flavor and you will notice it here. Don’t skimp.
Herbs and aromatics
You can also switch up the herbs and aromatics in these Greek meatballs. In this recipe, I call for using fresh mint and parsley and dried oregano. Additional herbs like dill and thyme are also fantastic. Customize them to your taste. You can add more onion or garlic as well.
How to cook keftedes
People traditionally fry or pan fry Keftedes. In this recipe I’m making it a little more healthy and easier by baking them instead. The meatballs won’t brown like they would on the stovetop, but you also won’t have to be baby sitting batches of them and cleaning up oil. Pro tip: Use the convection function on your oven. The constant air circulation will help with browning. You can also broil them a bit at the end for a little more color.
Make low carb keftedes
So many of my personal chef clients in Los Angeles are on keto or low carb diets. I love making them these meatballs by either using flaxmeal or almond meal in place of the breadcrumbs, or omit them all together. The texture will be a bit different, but they’ll still be delicious.