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  • Writer's pictureKyveli Papaioannou

Authentic Greek Keftedakia: Flavorful Meatballs That Will Transport You to Greece

Updated: Jul 7, 2023


a table with a plate of Greek Keftedakia, olive oil, olives, pita bread and tomatoes.
Greek Keftedakia

Welcome to our culinary journey to Greece! Today, we're going to learn how to make delicious Greek keftedakia, traditional Greek meatballs bursting with Mediterranean flavors. These tender and aromatic meatballs, made with a blend of ground beef and a variety of herbs and spices, are sure to delight your taste buds. So put on your apron, grab your mixing bowl, and let's get started!


Ingredients:

  • 800g ground beef

  • 5 slices of bread, only the soft part

  • 2 onions, finely chopped

  • 1 tomato

  • 1/3 cup vinegar

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon oregano

  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil

  • 2 tablespoon fresh peppermint

  • 2 tablespoon fresh parsley

  • 2 teaspoons salt, or more according to your taste

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • Flour for coating

  • Olive oil or sunflower oil for frying


Instructions:


Step 1: Preparing the Meatball Mixture

  • In a large bowl, soak the soft part of the bread with water. Let it sit for 1 minute, then squeeze it with your hands to drain the excess water. Discard the water.

  • Using a blender, make a tomato puree by blending the tomato, onions, and herbs until smooth.

  • In the same bowl, combine the ground beef, wet bread, egg, tomato puree mixture, vinegar, salt, and black pepper.

  • Knead everything together with your fingers until well combined.

Step 2: Shaping the Meatballs

  • Shape the mixture into small meatballs, about 5cm in diameter. You should be able to make around 40 meatballs. The small size ensures even cooking and makes them ideal for appetizers or a main course.

Step 3: Coating the Meatballs

  • Place some flour on a plate to cover the base.

  • Take each meatball and roll it in the flour, making sure to coat it evenly. Shake off any excess flour.

  • Place the coated meatballs on a tray and continue with the remaining meatballs.

Step 4: Frying the Meatballs

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.

  • Once the oil is hot, carefully add the meatballs to the skillet in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.

  • Cook the meatballs for about 5-6 minutes, turning occasionally, until they are browned on all sides and cooked through.

  • Transfer the cooked meatballs to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.

  • Repeat the process until all the meatballs are cooked.

Step 5: Serving and Enjoying

  • Serve the Greek keftedakia hot, garnished with some fresh parsley or mint if desired. These flavorful meatballs are perfect as an appetizer or a main course. Pair them with warm pita bread, tangy tzatziki sauce, and a refreshing side salad for a complete Greek dining experience.


Congratulations! You've successfully prepared a batch of mouthwatering Greek keftedakia. The combination of aromatic herbs, spices, and juicy ground beef creates a tantalizing flavor that will transport you straight to the sun-soaked shores of Greece. As you savor each bite, you'll notice the perfect balance of savory notes from the onion, and the freshness of the parsley and peppermint. The meatballs themselves are tender and moist, thanks to the addition of vinegar, breadcrumbs and a binding egg. Whether you choose to enjoy these Greek keftedakia as a delightful appetizer at your next gathering or as a satisfying main course, they are sure to be a hit. The versatility of this dish allows you to get creative with your presentation, pairing it with warm pita bread, crisp salad greens, or even serving it alongside traditional Greek sides like roasted potatoes or creamy tzatziki sauce.

Health benefits:

  1. High-Quality Protein: Greek keftedakia are made with lean ground beef, which is a fantastic source of high-quality protein. Protein is essential for the growth, repair, and maintenance of tissues in our body. It also helps in the production of enzymes, hormones, and antibodies, supporting overall health and wellbeing.

  2. Amino Acids: Protein-rich keftedakia provide a wide array of essential amino acids. These amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are crucial for various bodily functions. They play a vital role in muscle development, tissue repair, and the synthesis of enzymes and neurotransmitters.

  3. Antioxidants: The blend of herbs and spices used in Greek keftedakia, such as parsley, mint, and oregano, are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help combat oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases by neutralizing harmful free radicals in the body. They contribute to overall health and support a strong immune system.

  4. Vitamins and Minerals: Greek keftedakia contain a variety of herbs and spices that add not only flavor but also valuable vitamins and minerals to the dish. Fresh herbs like parsley and peppermint are excellent sources of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like iron and calcium. These nutrients contribute to bone health, immune function, and energy production.

  5. Balanced Nutrition: Greek keftedakia, when served with sides like pita bread, tzatziki sauce, and a salad, offer a well-rounded and balanced meal. The combination of protein, whole grains, healthy fats, and vegetables provides a mix of nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, supporting overall nutrition and satiety.

Remember, while Greek keftedakia offer health benefits, it's essential to enjoy them as part of a balanced diet and portion control. Adding a variety of vegetables and whole grains alongside these flavorful meatballs will further enhance their nutritional value and create a wholesome and satisfying meal.


Conclusion:

Greek keftedakia are a true delight for the senses and a culinary journey to Greece. Their aromatic flavors, tender texture, and rich Mediterranean profile make them a favorite among food enthusiasts. Whether you're enjoying them as an appetizer or a main course, the health benefits of Greek keftedakia are an added bonus. From the high-quality protein and essential amino acids for muscle health to the antioxidant-rich herbs and spices that support overall wellbeing, these meatballs offer a flavorful and nutritious option for your meals. So, gather your loved ones, embrace the spirit of Greece, and let the flavors of these authentic keftedakia transport you to a Mediterranean paradise. Enjoy the vibrant tastes and the joy that comes from sharing a delicious meal inspired by Greek cuisine. Cheers!



a lunch gathering sharing a meal and cheers with white wine
Cheers

a plete filled with Greek meatballs (keftedakia)
Greek Keftedakia


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