How to Make Keftedes

by Natasha Velez

Keftedakia are fried, miniature-sized ‘meatballs’ served at holiday parties. They have a crunchy exterior and a moist, flavorful center. In the Middle East, these are called kofta.


  • 1 ½ Pounds Equal parts beef, veal and pork (meatloaf)
  • 1 Onion
  • ⅓ Cups Ketchup
  • 1 Cup Ciabatta or french bread
  • 1 Bunch Mint
  • 2 Bunches Parsley
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 ¼ Cups Vegetable oil
  • ⅓ Cups Whole milk
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • ½ Cups Flour for dredging
  • 1 Pinch Nutmeg
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    I like using beef, pork and veal but you can use lamb, or plain ground beef. If you do, I'd recommend 80/20%

    Step 2

    Rinse meat under cold water. Pat-dry. Salt and pepper to taste.

    Step 3

    Chop onion into four parts. You'll be adding it to a food processor soon!

    Step 4

    Add mint into food processor with onion.

    Step 5

    Add parsley to processor, too.

    Step 6

    Add parsley, onion, salt, pepper to oil in a food processor, chopper or grinder. Once it's all finely chopped, add to meat mixture.

    Step 7

    This is totally optional! I added a teaspoon of eggplant and garlic dip to the meat mixture.

    Step 8

    Add to meat mixture

    Step 9

    Add salt and pepper

    Step 10

    Add nutmeg to meat mixture

    Step 11

    Soak bread in milk

    Step 12

    tightly ring the bread out using both hands. Now, mix the bread into meat mixture. It should fall apart easily! Make sure to distribute evenly.

    Step 13

    Once everything has been added to meat mixture, form your meatballs. I like to make them on the small size! Dredge them in flour and fry.

    Step 14

    Add 2 cups of evoo to frying pan. Wait for the pan to get hot before adding oil.

    Step 15

    Once oil is heated, throw in a clove of garlic. (Don't forget to pull the garlic out once it has browned on both sides.)

    Step 16

    Fry for 4-5 minutes on each side or until nicely browned on both sides. Don't keep flipping them! Just once on both sides.

    Step 17

    Keftedes taste great with tzatziki. Be sure to check out my tzatziki recipe coming soon! Enjoy!