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About the Recipe:

Keftedes (Greek meatballs) is a famous Greek appetizer, commonly served as part of a meze platter, with some creamy tzatziki sauce and pita breads. Keftedes can also be served as a filling meal with some rice and a Greek feta salad. This version, with lamb, is suitable for pan searing or cooking in the oven or on a hot grill. The outside gets a gorgeous crust, while the inside stays juicy, with tons of flavor from the fresh herbs.

Adapted from Michael Symon


  • Extra virgin olive oil 1cup minced or grated onion 

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

  • 2 garlic cloves (smashed and coarsely chopped)

  •  1 cup diced day-old bread 

  • 1 cup whole milk 

  • 2 pounds ground lamb 

  • 2 large eggs 

  • 2 teaspoons torn fresh oregano leaves 

  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander 

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin 

  • ⅓ teaspoon ground cinnamon 

  • Pinch of grated nutmeg 

  • Flour (for dusting) 

  • Canola oil 

  • Mint leaves, for garnish 

  • 2 lemons (1 zested, one cut into wedges)


  1. Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a medium sauté pan or skillet over medium heat.

  2. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt, and cook until the onion releases some moisture and begins to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. 

  3. Toss in the garlic and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent and the garlic is softened, 2 or 3 minutes. Scrape out onto a plate and let cool. 

  4. Meanwhile, put the bread in a small bowl and pour in the milk. 

  5. In a mixing bowl, combine the onion and garlic and meat. Add the egg. Squeeze out the bread, discarding the milk, and add the bread along with the oregano, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg and a good teaspoon of pepper. 

  6. Mix the ingredients with your hands until they're all evenly distributed. 

  7. Check the seasoning by break off a small piece of the mixture, form into a patty, and sauté in a little canola oil. Make a test patty, taste and adjust seasoning. 

  8. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use (up to 1 day). 

  9. Form the mixture into balls, a little smaller than golf balls. You should have about 20.

  10.  Roll them in flour, shaking off excess. 

  11. In a large shallow pan, add enough canola oil to come up to about a third of the height of a keftede and heat over medium heat until hot. 

  12. Pan-fry the keftedes, turning once, just until cooked through but still moist inside and with a nice crust outside, about 5 minutes. 

  13. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain. 

  14. Arrange the keftedes on a serving platter. 

  15. Grind some fresh pepper over them, tear mint leaves and grate the zest from the whole lemons, and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. 

  16. Serve with Tzatziki and lemon wedges on the side.

Prep Time:
Cook Time:

15 min

20 min



4 servings (20 balls)

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