Keftethakia – Greek Meatballs

When your kitchen smells like your Yiayia’s (Greek grandma’s) then you know you’ve cooked up something delicious.

These meatballs are small in size but mighty in flavor.  They contain onions and garlic, like many other kinds of meatballs.  However, these meatballs are also seasoned with mint, parsley, and cinnamon, which are associated with Mediterranean cuisines.

My husband asked what you eat with these meatballs.  My family usually serves them warm or room temperature as an appetizer with tzatziki or a side dish with dinner, especially during the holiday dinners.  They are great as leftovers so I also like to enjoy them with orzo (or some other carb like rice or couscous), Mediterranean salad, and tzatziki.  When you mix the tzatziki with the orzo you get a nice creamy sauce like concoction.  They would even be good in a salad or pita sandwich with some toppings.  So basically I gave you about 5 recipes today.  😉

Keftethakia – Meatballs Recipe
(Makes about 24 small meatballs)


  • 3 slices of white bread with the crust removed
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup beef broth


  1. In a small bowl, add the bread to water (an amount that’s enough to cover all the bread) and set it aside. This will allow some time for the bread to soak in some moisture.
  2. In a large bowl, add the ground beef, slightly beaten egg, finely chopped onion, minced garlic, dried mint, dried parsley, salt, pepper, and cinnamon.
  3. Squeeze the water out of the bread and add the bread to the bowl. (Keep the water aside.) Mix everything together.
  4. If the mixture feels firm then add some of the bread water. I added about 1/8 cup.
  5. Shape the mixture into heaping tablespoon sized balls. I used Oxo Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop to help consistently scoop out the same amount of mixture per meatball.
  6. In a small bowl, add the flour.
  7. Roll the meatballs into the flour and set them aside.
  8. In a large skillet on a stove top, on medium heat, add the olive oil and butter. If you are cooking the meatballs in batches (because they will not all fit), add only 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Then add more with the next batch if you need it.
  9. Cook the meatballs until they are browned on a couple sides, but not fully cooked.
  10. In a saucepan, bring the beef broth to a boil.
  11. Place the partially cooked meatballs into the saucepan and then cook them for about 10 minutes (You may need to do this part in batches as well if they do not all fit).
  12. Remove the cooked meatballs and serve, store, or snack on.

Adapted from: Opaa! Greek Cooking New York Style


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