Greek Meatballs, or keftedes, are usually fried, but these are baked, drizzled with herb butter! Your whole family will gobble these up and they’re SO EASY to make.
If there’s one thing I LOVE to have on hand, it’s meatballs. They’re cheap to make, hearty and filling, and versatile. And these are extra easy because you bake them instead of fry them.
You can keep them in your freezer to throw in meatballs subs. You can make a whole batch and use them in meal prep for the week. And your kids? They’re going to LOVE them.
These Greek Meatballs are basically just normal meatballs, but with a Greek twist. And if you’re looking for an Italian-style version, try these Easy Baked all-beef Meatballs.
In this post, I’ll explain what keftedes are, how to make these Greek meatballs, and what to serve with them.
What are Keftedes?
Keftedes are Greek meatballs, usually served as part of a platter or as an appetizer, but also served as a meal with rice, salad, and/or drizzled with sauce. They’re basically a normal meatball, often seasoned with garlic and oregano.
Sometimes, Keftedes are served with a tomato sauce, and sometimes with a lemon-egg sauce called Avgolemono (read more about that here). This version is drizzled with herb butter before baking, and served with the juices that collect at the bottom of the pan while baking. Some more traditional versions are fried instead of baked.
Keftedes are also sometimes referred to as kofta, an umbrella term for meatballs in the Middle East, Central Asia, and India.
How to Make Baked Keftedes (Greek Meatballs)
In a nutshell, you just mix the meatball ingredients in a bowl, scoop them onto a baking dish, drizzle with herb butter, and bake! But there are a few more details to help you make the best, most flavorful meatballs.
First, grate some onions. Why not dice them? Because if you grate them, two things happen. You get super SMALL pieces of onion that won’t mess with the structural integrity of the meatballs. You also get a bunch of juices, and those juices will help impart onion flavor into every morsel of every meatballs. I use this trick for Salisbury Steak, too.
Next, mix some breadcrumbs with the grated onions (and their juices!) and some milk in a large bowl.
Let those breadcrumbs soak up all the liquid. The texture and flavor of your meatballs will be better because of this. You won’t need long- just a minute or so.
Add an egg and your seasonings: minced garlic (I use a microplane zester to mince it super finely), dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix together well.
Then, add the ground beef. I recommend using your hands to mix the beef with the remaining ingredients, because the texture will be better/fluffier. If touching raw meat makes you want to scream, fear not: just use a spoon!
Now, it’s time to make the meatballs! This is SO EASY if you have a disher scoop. You won’t have to get your hands dirty, and because you won’t need to handle the mixture too much, the meatballs will be fluffy and perfect.
I used a large one, to make 16 total meatballs. You can use any size you want (and adjust your cooking time accordingly). A super small scoop would make great appetizer-sized meatballs. You can also use your hands to form balls if you don’t have a scoop. Place them on a rimmed baking sheet.
Then, melt some butter (I microwaved mine in a pyrex measuring cup), add some fresh herbs (I used oregano, parsley, and mint), and spoon the herb butter over the top of the meatballs.
Bake and enjoy!
What to serve with Keftedes:
These Greek Meatballs are great with rice. Here are some other ideas for what to serve them with:
- Tzatziki Sauce (use as a dipping sauce or in a pita pocket)
- Cucumber Tomato Salad with Feta
- Greek Green Beans (Fasolakia)
- Mediterranean Chickpea and Orzo Salad
- Spanakorizo (Greek Spinach and Rice)
- Greek Lemon Potatoes (from Recipe Tin Eats)
Other Easy Greek Recipes:
Be sure to check out all my Greek Recipes.
And for a paleo version of keftedes, check out these Paleo Greek Meatballs with Romesco Sauce!
Did you make these Greek Meatballs with Herb Butter? Please comment below and Rate this Recipe
Greek Meatballs (Keftedes) with Herb Butter
- 3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup milk or water
- 1 yellow onion grated
- 1 egg
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano or 2 tablespoons fresh
- 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1.5 lbs. lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons fresh herbs such as oregano, mint, dill, chives, and/or parsley
- 4 tablespoons butter melted
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Mix together the breadcrumbs (3/4 cup), milk (1/2 cup), and grated onion (along with its juices) in a large bowl.
- Add the egg, minced garlic, dried oregano (2 teaspoons), kosher salt (1 1/2 teaspoons), and black pepper (1/4 teaspoon) to the bowl and stir together.
- Add the ground beef to the bowl and mix everything together, preferably using your hands (but if you're squeamish about touching raw meat, a spoon will work too).
- Use a large disher scoop to scoop meatballs onto a rimmed baking sheet. Alternatively, you can use your hands to form the balls.
- Mix the 4 tablespoons melted butter with the 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs in a small bowl.
- Spoon the butter mixture evenly over the meatballs.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.
- Serve, drizzled with butter and juices from the bottom of the pan.
- This recipe made about 16 large meatballs. You can make them smaller and serve as an appetizer, if you prefer.
- Make Ahead: Assemble these ahead of time on the baking sheet and keep them in the fridge for up to 2 days until you're ready to bake them.
- Money Saving Tip: It's easy to make your own breadcrumbs from any leftover bread (I used hot dog rolls!) in your food processor! It's also cheaper to buy ground beef in bulk- just save what you don't use in the freezer for another recipe. You can also use 2 teaspoons dried herbs instead of fresh in the butter mixture.
- Freeze 'em: Place the cooked meatballs on a baking sheet and freeze for 20 minutes. Then, move them to a plastic bag or airtight container to store for up to 3 months in the freezer. To defrost, microwave for a minute or two on 50% power.
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.