Juicy Greek meatballs made with beef, lamb and feta cheese is a delicious, easy recipe perfect for lunch, dinner or as an appetizer.
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How to make Greek meatballs
This recipe is a version of one of my favorite Greek recipes, Keftedes, that I fall back on all the time. The added feta cheese in the meatball mixture is all kinds of delicious. Combine beef and lamb (you can add pork too), with finely minced red onion, garlic, oregano, lemon zest, rosemary and crumbled feta cheese. Add egg and fresh breadcrumbs to bind and season generously with salt and pepper. I always like to fry a small amount of the mixture to test for seasoning and then adjust where necessary.
With wet hands, form meatballs approximately 3cm/1in in diameter. Fry the meatballs in a non-stick frying pan in a a small splash of olive oil until golden brown on all sides and cooked through. Remove from the heat and serve.
Why do my meatballs fall apart?
Meatballs usually call for a binder of egg or breadcrumbs (or both) to help them stick together. Too much of either can result in a texture-fail so my rule of thumb is 1 large egg + ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs per 500g/1lb of ground/minced meat.
Why are my meatballs tough?
The binders in a meatball recipe also act as a way to keep the meatballs soft and juicy. I prefer fresh breadcrumbs to dry but you can use either. Many recipes also call for bread soaked in milk which will result in crazy juicy meatballs and was the way my gran always made her meatballs. Just be careful not too add too much liquid to the meatball mixture as this can cause them to fall apart. Tough meatballs can also be a result of overmixing the meat. The meatballs can end up dense and chewy instead of light and juicy.
What to serve with Greek meatballs
These Greek meatballs are perfect served with a simple Greek salad and toasted pita bread as a great lunch or dinner. They work just as well served with an easy Greek yogurt dip (made with garlic, lemon, olive oil and Greek yogurt) as an appetizer or quick snack.
Other sides to serve with meatballs:
- Slow roasted Greek lamb
- Easy baked Greek chicken and potatoes
- Greek feta and phyllo pies
- Greek lamb chops with Tzatziki
- Easy Greek chicken grain bowl
Easy Greek meatballs
- 500 g (1lb) ground/minced lamb
- 500 g (1lb) ground/minced beef
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup feta cheese crumbled
- 1 small red onion finely minced
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- zest of 1 lemon
- 3 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp rosemary finely chopped
- ½ cup parsley finely chopped
- 2 tsp salt
- 1-2 tsp black pepper
- Combine all the ingredients and mix until the ingredients are just combined, taking care not to over mix (this can cause the meatballs to be very dense).
- To mix the meatballs: With wet hands (this prevents the meat from sticking to your hands), form meatballs of approximately 3cm/1in and place on a chopping board.
- To fry the meatballs: pre-heat a non-stick frying pan and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Fry the meatballs in batches until golden brown on both sides and cooked through.
- To bake the meatballs: Pre-heat the oven to 220ºC. Line 2 baking sheets with baking/parchment paper and add the meatballs, keeping some space between them. Drizzle the meatballs with 1-2 tbsp olive oil and place in the oven. Allow to bake, turning over halfway, until golden brown and cooked through (approximately 20-30 minutes).
- Remove the meatballs from the heat, drizzle with lemon juice (optional) and serve.