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Keftedes Greek Meatballs with Yoghurt Dip

Keftedes are Greek meatballs that rock a mix of beef & pork with garlic & herbs, they are fried until crispy & served with a yoghurt dip.

Most of the work in this recipe is in the preparation, which will take around 20-25 minutes, but cooking is quick and will take around 10 minutes.

Greek meatballs, keftedes served with a yoghurt dip, salad and potato wedges.

Greek Beef and Pork Meatballs

I adore meatballs, they are relatively cheap to make, delicious and endlessly versatile!

I have everything from a venison meatball “curry”, to a meatball soup and a pretty classic meatball pasta bake to some glorious honey and mustard chicken meatballs.

These Greek meatballs go by the name keftedes and they are spectacularly good.

They are typically eaten as part of a spread or a starter, but I have adapted them to form the centre of a main meal in this recipe.

A combination of beef and pork is flavoured with garlic, cumin, mint and red wine vinegar. They are then fried until crispy on the outside but perfectly moist in the middle.

I serve them with a yoghurt dip which is essentially a tzatziki without the cucumber. Naturally, it features and healthy punch of garlic.

They are quick too, most of the work is in the preparation, which can all be done in advance, but cooking them takes just 10 minutes and you are ready to rock and roll!

Overhead Greek meatballs, keftedes served with a yoghurt dip, salad and potato wedges.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make these in advance?

I don’t think that these reheat very well because they can become a little dry.

However, if you are worried about timing you can prepare all of the elements in advance. The meatballs are arguably better left to sit for a few hours but can be left in the fridge for up to 2 days.

The sauce will also be fine in the fridge for a couple of hours, then all you need to do is fry the meatballs, which takes 10 minutes.

Do I have to fry the meatballs?

No, you could bake them or air fry them but you will need to increase the cooking time.

Cook them at 200°C or 400°F in both appliances, and they will take around 25-30 minutes in the oven and 17-20 minutes in an air-fryer.

Be sure to check that they have reached 73°C or 165° with a meat thermometer before serving.

Can I use a different type of vinegar?

Yes, you can. Cider, white wine or even sherry vinegar work well in this recipe.

Cut open fried Greek meatballs or keftedes dipped in a garlic yoghurt sauce.

Serving Suggestions

Aside from the glorious yoghurt dip I have served these keftedes with some lemon potato wedges that I adapted from my Greek lamb chops recipe and a simple salad.

You could just as easily pair these meatballs with some traditional Greek lemon potatoes or go salty with something like my straw potatoes.

Of course, you could also roll them up in some Greek flatbread and make a keftedes “kebab”.

If I were doing this I would add some cucumber to the sauce and make a more traditional tzatziki. If you want more instructions for this check out my lamb souvlaki recipe!

Close up fried Greek meatballs or keftedes garnished with parsley.

Equipment Used

I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But, if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Hob/stovetop.
  • 30cm or 12″ frying pan.
  • Spoons to roll the meatballs in the oil.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • 2 Mixing bowls.
  • Fine mesh sieve.
  • Cheesecloth.
  • A combination of weighing scales, measuring cups and spoons.
Greek meatballs or keftedes served with a yoghurt dip and lemony potato wedges.
Yield: 2 Servings

Keftedes Greek Meatballs Recipe with a Yoghurt Dip

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

These delicious pork and beef meatballs are inspired by Greek keftedes and are loaded with oregano, cumin, parsley and mint before being fried until crispy and they come with a garlic-rich yoghurt dipping sauce.


For the Meatballs:

  • 200g (7oz) Minced Beef
  • 200g (7oz) Minced Pork
  • 1 Egg
  • 12 Mint Leaves
  • 5g (2-3 Packed Tbsp) Parsley
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1½ Tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 35g (⅓ Cup) Dried Breadcrumbs
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ¼ Tsp Black Pepper
  • Oil for Frying

For the Yoghurt Dip:

  • 150g (⅔ Cup) Greek Yoghurt
  • 1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • ¼ Tsp Salt
  • 12 Mint Leaves
  • 5g (2-3 Packed Tbsp) Parsley
  • 5g (¼ Tbsp) Honey


  1. Begin by straining the Greek yoghurt through some cheesecloth over a bowl, don't push it through, just let gravity do the work whilst you prepare the meatballs.
  2. Add the minced beef and pork to a bowl and crack in the egg.
  3. Chop the mint and parsley for the meatballs and throw them into the bowl.
  4. Finely dice the garlic and toss it into the bowl.
  5. Add the red wine vinegar, cumin, oregano, bread crumbs, salt and pepper, give everything a mix, then form this mix into 12 meatballs. They will weigh around 45g each and be 40-50mm (1¾-2") in diameter.
  6. Place the strained yoghurt in a bowl and add the red wine vinegar.
  7. Peel the garlic clove and roughly chop it. Sprinkle the salt over the garlic clove and mash it with the side of a knife to create a paste, then add it to the yoghurt.
  8. Place the mint and parsley for the sauce on a chopping, finely chop it and add it to the sauce.
  9. Heat a 30cm or 12" frying pan over a medium-high heat with 5-6mm (¼") of cooking oil in it, until it reaches 170°C or 340°F, when it is hot fry the meatballs for 7-10 minutes rolling them around so that they colour evenly.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 823Total Fat: 50gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 31gCholesterol: 275mgSodium: 1249mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 64g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

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