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Keftedes (Fried Meatballs)

This recipe for Keftedes (Fried Meatballs) is from Tessa Kiros’ cookbook, Food From Many Greek Kitchens

Author Tessa Kiros:
These are very popular in Greece. They are lovely as a meze with a dish of feta and a few other bits and pieces. Of course they are also great with french fries. Many Greeks roll their keftedes in a little flour before frying.

Cooks&Books&Recipes Featured Cook Peter:

I chose to try out Kiros’s fried meatballs recipe, as I’ve held a bias toward grilled keftedes, and I wanted to really test out a recipe. These keftedes are also different from the ones I grew up eating, as the main binding ingredient of those was soaked stale bread whereas Kiros’s contain boiled potatoes. The seasonings of the fried keftedes are the usual Greek flavourings of oregano and mint, but the boiled potatoes in the mix were the wild card.

Keftedes (Fried Meatballs) - www.cooksandbooksandrecipes.com

Keftedes (Fried Meatballs) – Photo credit: www.kalofagas.ca

The recipe was easy to make, the texture of the fried keftedes was light, and each meatball was more delicious than the next! Food From Many Greek Kitchens is loaded with many of the Greek classics and favourites, and I think this book would appeal to the seasoned Greek food afficionado and to those looking to learn and cook more Greek. Tessa Kiros’s book does double-duty as both a cookbook and a coffee-table fixture and is surely a fine gift for the budding gourmand in your family.

Keftedes (Fried Meatballs) - www.cooksandbooksandrecipes.com

Keftedes (Fried Meatballs) – Photo credit: www.kalofagas.ca

Food from Many Greek Kitchens cookbook

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Keftedes (Fried Meatballs)

Featured Recipe From: Food from Many Greek Kitchens

Yield: Makes about 35


  • 10 1/2 ounces unpeeled potatoes (about 2)
  • 1 pound 2 ounces ground beef
  • 1 red onion, grated
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • Good pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • Lemon quarters, for serving


Boil the potatoes, covered, in plenty of water until they are soft when pierced with a fork.

Meanwhile, put the beef, onion, parsley, oregano, mint, cinnamon and egg into a bowl and mix. Drain the cooked potatoes and when they are cool enough to handle, peel and break up into the bowl. Season well with salt and pepper, then mash everything together with a potato masher. Knead again with your hands to make a compact mix. Form walnut-size balls of about 1 ounce each, but you can make them smaller or bigger if you like. Scatter some flour onto a flat plate and roll the balls lightly in the flour, keeping them in compact balls.

Heat olive oil to a depth of about 1/4 inch in a large nonstick skillet. Add as many balls as will fit to the skillet and fry until they are golden on all sides, flicking them gently to roll over. You will probably have to fry in two batches. Remove carefully with tongs and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Add a little salt (as fried things are always good with a last sprinkling of salt). Serve hot, with a few drops of lemon juice.

© 2011 Tessa Kiros

Reprinted from Food from Many Greek Kitchens, by Tessa Kiros (Andrews McMeel Publishing)

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