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4.81 from 21 votes

Easy Greek Meatballs Recipe (Keftedes)

Keftedes are Greek meatballs that are juicy, delicious and easy to make. Serve them with some pita, salad and tzatziki for a complete Mediterranean meal!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 570kcal


  • 1 lb ground beef 90% lean
  • ½ lb ground lamb
  • 2 tablespoon bread crumbs
  • 1 onion grated
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil for cooking


  • Place the ground beef and lamb in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times so they're combined. 
  • Add in bread crumbs, onion and garlic. Pulse again for a couple of times. 
  • Add in the egg, dried mint, thyme, paprika, lemon juice, lemon zest, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Pulse for about 30 seconds until all the ingredients are perfectly combined. 
  • Shape the meatballs using an ice cream or cookie scoop and place them on a baking sheet. If the mixture is too sticky, wet your hands and then shape them. 
  • In a large pan, heat the olive oil and place the meatballs to cook. 
  • Cook the meatballs for about 10 minutes and stir them a couple of times to make sure they're brown on all sides and cook evenly. 
  • Serve with pita, Greek salad and tzatziki sauce. 


  • You can use 1 ½ lb ground lamb instead of beef. 
  • Baked Greek meatballs: Preheat the oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the meatballs on the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until they are brown and fully cooked. 
  • To make tender meatballs that are not dry, grate the onion and add it directly to the beef and lamb mixture. The juice of grated onion gives moisture to the meatballs.
  • Use a cookie or ice cream scoop to ensure evenly shaped and portioned meatballs.
  • If you don't use a food processor on hand, make sure you mix the ingredients very well in a large bowl using your hands.
  • If dried mint is not available, use two tablespoons of fresh chopped mint.
  • When cooking the meatballs in a pan, make sure you don't overcrowd the pan. Overcrowding the pan will cause the meatballs not to cook evenly.


Calories: 570kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 748mg | Potassium: 526mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 102IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 5mg