Kofte’tes: Greek Meatballs in Yogurt Sauce
When I think of Greek food, the first thing that comes to mind is moussaka. Moussaka is a rich and delicious dish made with ground lamb, eggplant and béchamel sauce.
Though it sounds like a complicated recipe, it’s actually pretty easy to make — especially if you use store-bought moussaka noodles! But what about when you want something more traditional? Well, then it’s time for these meatballs!
These succulent Greek meatballs are fantastic! A classic dish with lovely flavors of red onion, fresh parsley, a sprinkling of mint, and a whisper of dried oregano. These meatballs are delicious with tzatiki and pita bread as an appetizer as part of a mezze spread (very Greek! ), or as a main course with a salad.
What is Kofdethes
The Greek kofdethes is a classic meatball recipe, made with beef and lamb. The Greek word “kofdethes” translates literally as “little balls.” Kofdethes are small balls of ground beef that are traditionally served in soups or stews but can also be served as an appetizer with taramosalata (cured cod roe), tzatziki sauce, and pita bread.
To make this dish, you’ll need:
- 1 pound ground beef (or lamb)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided into two portions
- 1 onion, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (or crushed with a garlic press)
- 2 cups tomato sauce or 1 can of tomato sauce and 1 cup water
Combine the meatball ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Roll the mixture into about 24 mini meatballs. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add half of the meatballs and cook until browned on all sides – about 15 minutes total time for browning on all sides (you may need to do this in batches). Remove cooked meatballs from pan and set aside.
To make sauce: add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to same frying pan and sauté onion until translucent – about 5 minutes; add garlic and sauté until fragrant – about 30 seconds; return cooked meatball mixture; add tomato sauce mixture or canned tomatoes & water combination along with salt/pepper if desired; simmer for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
There are many ways to cook your meatballs. The most important thing is making sure they’re cooked through. Meatballs should be firm, but not hard or dry. If you find that your meatball is too wet and soft, pat it lightly with some paper towel before frying. Again, if you find that your meatball is too hard and dry, add more breadcrumbs!
You can use any kind of ground meat, breadcrumbs or cheese. You can add herbs and spices to the mix, too. If you want to go vegetarian? That works too! Some vegetables added at the end will make this kofdetses recipe even more delicious!
Add-ins and Variations
You can add herbs and spices like parsley, mint, oregano, and dill. You can also add garlic and onion.
Add tomato paste or crushed tomatoes to the meatball mixture if you want to make it more like kofte kabob meatballs—you might even want to throw in some feta cheese! You could pour yogurt over the top of this dish for an extra-flavorful sauce (and a healthier one). If breadcrumbs aren’t already in your pantry for making meatballs out of ground beef or turkey…then you should get some! They make everything taste better.
In Greece, we typically serve them with tomato salad, boiled greens, or handmade fries. A classic Greek dinner includes feta cheese, tzatziki sauce, and a few pieces of bread.
Greek Meatballs is best to serve with
Greek Meatballs is best to serve with a salad or pita bread.
A recipe for typical Greek lamb meatballs (Keftedes arni). This age-old Greek recipe for lamb meatballs is ideal for everyone who like lamb. This delectable dish is a well-known Greek appetizer that is frequently included on a meze platter. Use this ancient recipe to learn how to cook it perfectly. These Greek Meatballs are easy to make, and perfect for a quick meal. They’re great served over rice or with potatoes.
The meatballs are served in a tzatziki sauce. You can also serve them on skewers with tomatoes and peppers. This recipe is easy to make, but it does take some time because it has several steps. Try this Greek meatball recipe today!