Greek Meatballs – Keftedes

Greek Meatballs - Keftedes
Greek Meatballs - Keftedes
Greek Meatballs – Keftedes

Greek Meatballs, or Keftedes. These are usually made with a combo of ground beef and, or lamb. We aren't big fans of lamb in my house. And we also don't eat beef very often. This is a recipe with much leaner ground turkey instead. Because I'm baking these meatballs, and not frying them, there's no added fat.

There's no lack of yum though. All of the seasonings in these make them super flavourful. Meatballs are super easy to make, and they are the best for freezing. I love that you can flavour them anyway you like, or toss them in sauces, like these Sweet & Sour Meatballs and Hoisin Meatballs. You can even serve them as party snacks with a dip, like these Cajun Meatballs. These Greek Meatballs are delicious served on grilled pita smeared with Tzatzkiki .

It's really easy to keep your meatballs healthier, too. If you use lean ground turkey or chicken, and bake, instead of frying your meatballs, you are eliminating a ton of fat and calories. All of the flavour is from the seasonings that you use.

These tasty meatball morsels are perfect as appetizers on their own. (Maybe with a shot of ouzo).They are just as good cold as they are warm.  But, for us, this was dinner.  I grilled some pita and tossed cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives in lemon juice. We spread those warm pita with tzatziki and piled them up with meatballs and the tomatoes and olives, along with red onion slices. And, this was one fine dinner. Seriously good.

You can also serve these meatballs on their own, with a Greek salad. Or, put into a sub sandwich, or, really, these guys are versatile. That's why, I always make extra to freeze. When I'm feeling crunched for time or just plain lazy, there's always meatballs.

You can easily make these gluten-free, or paleo, by eliminating the panko crumbs, or subbing  a gluten-free breadcrumb. Or, you can add one more egg to the meat mixture to eliminate the bread altogether.

Greek Meatballs
Greek Meatballs

 

Greek Meatballs – Keftedes

Yield: About 24 meatballs

Greek Meatballs – Keftedes

Ingredients

  • One pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp dried mint
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment
  3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl
  4. Roll meat mixture into 2" balls, and place on baking sheet
  5. Bake 20 minutes, turning halfway through
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Greek Meatballs
Greek Meatballs

 

13 thoughts on “Greek Meatballs – Keftedes

  1. Thanks for the recipe! I can’t wait to make them! I have a silly question…do you freeze the extras after baking? Before baking? And how do you reheat? Thanks!

    1. Hi Risa; not silly at all! I always freeze them after baking. Its easiest to pre-freeze them on a cookie sheet, and then they can be packed into a freezer bag. To reheat, you can put them on a baking sheet in a single layer, cover with foil and put in a 350° oven until heated through. I would love to hear back about how your meatballs turn out. Enjoy!

  2. I am a big fan of lamb, but I’m sure that these ingredients and flavours are superb with ground turkey too! I should try making these (and meatballs in general) more often. I like that they’re baked too – I tend to do meatballs in a frying pan, so I’d imagine this is a little easier. Glad to know that they freeze well too. Cheers!

  3. Meatballs are so versatile! We like to swap ground turkey for ground beef in most recipes in our house. It’s better for you and just as tasty with the right seasonings.

    1. Hi Nick! I am totally in agreement with you on swapping the ground beef for turkey. Another bonus is that it’s usually more economical, as well. Thanks for commenting!

  4. Love this healthier take of keftedes! I often substitute ground chicken or turkey in my recipes, but I’ve never thought to try them in keftedes, mostly because I love ground lamb so much… after seeing your lovely sandwich, though, I may just have to skip the lamb just this once. 🙂

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