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Keftedes are meatballs and each family has its own recipe depending on which part of the country they come from.    All Greek meatballs are made with soaked bread, others soak it in water and others in milk.  Usually ground beef is added, garlic and oregano.  Some add spices such as allspice or cumin and in the islands they add wine vinegar and in some parts ouzo.

Cypriot Keftedes

The Cypriot meatballs are always made with ground pork and grated potato and are full of flavour. Mixed pork and beef mince may also be used. The traditional way of making them is using only grated raw potato and of course the flavours of Cyprus which is mint and cinnamon.

The recipe is included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!

Keftedes:  Greek meatballs

Time of preparation: 15′

Frying time: 20 – 30′

Yields: about 52 meatballs


  • 1 kilo ground beef
  • 4 slices white bread without the crust
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 red onions, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped oregano
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon wine vinegar
  • A handful fresh or 2 tablespoons dried mint
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Flour, for dredging
  • Olive oil for frying


  1. Remove the crust from the bread and soak in milk.   When soft, squeeze to drain the milk.
  2. In a food processor add one of the eggs together with the onions and garlic and process.  Add to the minced meat together with the bread, the mint and finely chopped oregano, the other egg, salt, pepper and allspice.
  3. Mix very well.
  4. Leave the mixture in the refrigerator for about ½ an hour or more.
  5. Shape them into small round balls or oval before frying.
  6. Dredge them in flour and fry them in hot olive oil on medium heat, until browned on all sides through the middle.

Drain on paper towels and serve as is, with roasted vegetables or Greek Salad and tzatziki or Garlicky cucumber yoghurt salad.

Other relevant recipes:

Soutzoukakia Smyrneika (meatballs in tomato sauce)

Meatballs in pomegranate sauce

Giouvalakia (meatballs in avgolemono (egg-lemon) sauce

Sheftalia in Pita

Bon Appetite!

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3 σχόλια on Keftedes (Meat Balls)

  1. Ο/Η Cypriot Mezedes λέει:

    [...] black olives grilled, grilled halloumi, souvlakia, sheftalia, grilled lamb ribs, grilled chicken, keftedes (meat balls), grilled lountza (smoked pork loin), grilled loukaniko (Cypriot sausage) [...]

  2. [...] the word for meatballs in Greece. I have posted before about meat balls. I have written about the meatballs we make in Cyprus which have potato in them instead of bread and the Soutzoukakia Smyrneika, bathed [...]

  3. Ο/Η Jean λέει:

    Very interesting to read about adding ouzo to meatballs. I had tried a lot of things in meatballs but never that. And thank you for the Cypriot Keftedes recipe.

    Jean recently posted..How to be proactive about used tire problemsMy Profile


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