Maria's Greek Drunken Meatballs

Maria *


Keftedes (Greek meatballs) is a famous Greek appetizer, commonly served as part of a meze platter, along with lemon wedges like in my picture. This picture was taken when we had a few friends over and enjoyed a meze night.

Any way you choose to cook these meatballs (fried or baked or grilled) they're always wonderfully delicious as a main course or meze (appetizer). Their soft texture is the result of using plenty of bread, herbs & onions. Practical finger food, always well received and easy to manage. .Hope you enjoy them like we do.!


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Makes about 40, depending on size
40 Min
15 Min


  • 2 lb
    ground beef (orhalf beef & half pork
  • 3 Tbsp
  • 2 Tbsp
  • 4 slice
    day old bread, crusts removed, soaked in water and then squeezed to remove liquids or 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbsp
    parsley, finely chopped
  • 5 Tbsp
    mint, finely chopped
  • 2
    onions, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 large
    egg, slightly beated
  • ·
    salt & pepper
  • ·
    olive oil for frying
  • ·
    some whit flour for dredging if frying

How to Make Maria's Greek Drunken Meatballs


  1. In a large bowl add the ground meat and pour the vinegar and ouzo.
    The vinegar and ouzo break down the meat fibers and soften the meatballs.
  2. Make a hole in the center of the mixture. Grate the onion directly into the mixture as it needs all the fluids. Add the breadcrumbs, egg, herbs, salt & pepper
  3. Knead the ground meat mixture very well, until there are no lumps..Cover and leave in the fridge for at least30 minutes to an hour. The more you leave it, the more delicious the meatballs will taste.
    Take 2 Tbsp of the mixture and roll into meatballs. Repeat the process with the rest of the mixture.
  4. At this point, you decide to either fry or freeze and then bake or grill.
  5. If frying roll the shaped meatballs in flour, make sure to toss off the extra flour and then pan fry or dep fry in batches until well browned. Drain on kitchen paper towel. Serve hot with half a lemon wedge on the side.
  6. I usually freeze my meatballs. That way I always have these tasty treats ready to be enjoyed.
    If you want to freeze place meatballs on a cookie sheet, making sure they don'tstick together cause once frozen it will be hard to separate them.t and freeze. Once frozen take out and separate & place in poly bags & store in freezer.
  7. When needed take out of the freezer and bake or grill without thawing or dredging in flour., about 15 minutes. These meatballs can be eaten as a main dish, cooded in tomato sauce with any pasta you like or mashed potatoes.
  8. A quick, easy and tasty treat to enjoy with family and friends. Serve with a couple of lemon slices on the side with other mezedes (appetizers) accompanied with Tzatziki dip and Greek Village salad.


Printable Recipe Card

About Maria's Greek Drunken Meatballs

Course/Dish: Meat Appetizers
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: Greek

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