What’s not to like about juicy, crispy fried meatballs. These super tasty Greek Fried Meatballs, known in Greece as Keftedes) are a delight on the senses and super easy to make.
Greek fried meatballs
One of my favourite mezze dishes in Greece are these tiny tasty fried Greek meatballs. When Manos brings out little plates of these nibbles it always brings a smile to everyone’s face. They are crispy on the outside and oh so juicy and tender on the inside.
Meatballs are classic comfort food. They’re usually something you think of as topping a plate of spaghetti or lurking with the rice or chips. Not necessarily something you’d think of as a nibble with a glass of wine.
Well, think again! These Keftedes (or keftethes) are very often served in this mini size as part of a mezze starter in Greece or just as a bar snack.
So let’s forget the comfort food angle (though meatballs really are the perfect comfort food) and of course that old song, remember the song about losing a meatball, my brother and I used to drive our Mum bats with that one.
Anyway enough of the memories, let’s get on with these Greek fried meatballs………
You can use either minced beef or lamb for these Greek fried meatballs or even a mixture of the two.
The 500g/1 lb 2 oz of mince that I used here will make lots of mini meatballs perfect as a Mezze/starter or it’ll make a main course for four people if you make the meatballs bigger in size.
Meatballs are a firm favourite in Greek cuisine, you’ll find them on the menu in every taverna worth its salt. Meatballs will come fried like these or as meatballs in tomato sauce.
They can come with chips (practically everything does in Greece), rice or spaghetti. You cannot escape the great Greek meatball. And quite honestly, why would you want to.
The Greeks are seriously proficient at making meatballs. Packing them with aromatic herbs and making sure they are juicy and tender on the inside and crispy with a good bite to them on the outside.
Ingredients for Greek fried meatballs
Minced beef – although you can use minced lamb or pork too. You can also use a mix of beef and pork mince for this Greek meatballs recipe.
Bread – you want day old bread and milk to soak it in. This helps your fried meatballs to bind together.
Egg – free-range eggs are best of course. This is another binding agent for your Keftedes.
Onion and garlic – yes, the good old basics that add flavour to almost every savoury dish from curries to soup and so much more.
Herbs – I’ve used dried oregano and dried thyme for my Greek fried meatballs and also fresh parsley.
The complete list of ingredients and full instructions for making this recipe can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How to make Greek meatballs
Soak the bread in milk then squeeze it out. Now just bring all your ingredients together in a big bowl and get your hands in there and squish it all together.
There really is something so satisfying about getting your hands in among the food your making and not just shoving it in a food processor.
Now simply shallow fry the meatballs in hot oil for a few minutes rolling them around so they crisp up all over on the outside and seal in all that juicy goodness inside.
What to serve with fried meatballs
The way I’ve served them here on tiny plates with a couple of cubes of Feta, a few olives and a small cream cheesed stuffed mini pepper and a wedge of lemon.
This is perfect for when you’ve got friends round and you want to serve a nice little nibble with drinks before a meal. One of my friends who has a tiny bar in Crete gives you this when you order a glass of wine in the evening, now that’s what I call civilised living!
Lemon is always served with fried meatballs in Greece so don’t forget to have one on hand just to squeeze over the meatballs just before you eat them. This really ramps up that flavour and makes everything so much better.
You can make the meatballs bigger and serve them with chips (Greek style!), rice or pasta as a main course. Or be a bit healthier and serve your fried meatballs with a traditional Greek salad and tzatziki dipping sauce.
You can also pop these little Greek fried meatballs into a pitta with some Greek salad and tzatziki for the perfect picnic food on the move.
Can you freeze fried meatballs
Yes, you could freeze these meatballs before you cook them. Just make them as shown and then pop them in a freezer-proof bag or box and freeze for up to 3 months. Or you can fry them then freeze.
Looking for more super easy Greek recipes? Then check these out;
Greek meatballs in tomato sauce
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Greek Fried Meatballs
- 500 g minced beef or lamb or mix of both
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 egg beaten
- 2 slices bread crustless
- 1 tsp milk
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp parsley fresh parsley finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- wedges of lemon to serve
- Soak the bread in milk for 10 minutes then squeeze out as much liquid as possible
- Place all ingredients (apart from the lemon wedges) into a bowl and mix together thoroughly using your hands to squish and squeeze everything together
- Pull off pieces and roll into small balls the size of a largish marble
- Fry in olive oil for 5-10 minutes (15-20 mins for larger meatballs) rolling around in pan so all browned
- Serve with lemon wedges
Made these for an easy dinner. The fussy eater loved them dipped in some tomato sauce. I had mine dipped in aeoli. Thoroughly enjoyed them.
Will certainly make them again
Karon Grieve says
Glad you like the recipe so much and even the fussy eater enjoyed these meatballs.