Keftedes (aka Greek meatballs)

One of my favorite things we used to have growing up was Greek meatballs. Most of people know these as Keftedes. What makes them unique is the fact they are made with ground lamb and dried spearmint. My mom and grandmother would always fry them but I wanted a slightly healthier version. So I converted the recipe to be oven-fried. Not only does this save the grease of the frying oil, it also makes some of the grease from the meat drain into the parchment. Be extremely careful not to overcook them though. Otherwise the lamb will come out very dry. If you intend on

  1. Putting them into a pasta sauce
  2. Reheating them

it is actually better to under cook them so they stay moist. I prefer my lamb medium-rare. So 20 minutes does the trick to get them the temperature I want.

Once they are prepared you’ve got several options for serving them. You can

  • use them as an appetizer with tomato sauce
  • serve them with pasta
  • make a meatball sub with them

I’ve made them all these ways and they are awesome. If you aren’t a fan a spearmint you can substitute 5-6 cloves of minced garlic.

Keftedes (aka Greek meatballs)
Cook time

Total time



  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1½ tsp dried spearmint
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • ¾ cup dried bread crumbs
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  1. Mix together ground meat, egg, spearmint, onion, breadcrumbs, milk, salt and pepper.
  2. Form small round meatballs and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake 20 – 30 minutes at 375 degrees.


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