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  • Writer's pictureBobbi Jo Lathan

Keftedes With Tzatziki Sauce (aka Greek Meatballs with yogurt-cucumber sauce)

Updated: Dec 31, 2023


My mother-in-law was one scary Greek woman. She lived in the United States for 40 years and refused to learn English! But, I’ll tell you one thing…the woman could COOK! Here’s her Keftedes with Tzatziki Sauce. By the way, you’d better follow her directions to a tee or she’ll come after you! Opa! And YUM!



Keftedes With Tzatziki Sauce (aka Greek Meatballs with yogurt-cucumber sauce)

Recipe by: Bobbi Jo Lathan

Recipe type: Entree

Cuisine: Greek

PREP TIME

10 mins

COOK TIME

20 mins

TOTAL TIME

30 mins

INGREDIENTS

Meatballs:

1 pound ground lamb

½ pound ground pork

3 cloves fresh garlic (minced)

½ red onion (finely chopped)

¾ cup Panko breadcrumbs

1 egg (beaten)

¼ cup fresh parsley (finely chopped)

6 fresh mint leaves (finely chopped)

½ teaspoon fresh oregano (finely chopped)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

⅓ cup flour for dredging

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Tzatziki Sauce:

1 ½ cups plain regular Greek yogurt

½ cucumber (peeled and grated)

3 cloves of fresh garlic (minced)

Juice of one freshly squeezed lemon

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh dill (chopped)

½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Meatballs:

  1. Git yourself a big mixin’ bowl and throw all the ingredients into that mixin’ bowl.

  2. Wash your hands!

  3. Now, mix all them ingredients together with your sweet little hands, squeezing the mixture through your fingers.(My ex-Greek mother-in-law threatened me within an inch of my life if I used a spoon…so unless you want her hauntin’ you in your dreams –God rest her sweet, little, scary soul- I suggest you do the same!)

  4. Now, once all the ingredients are well blended, wash your hands and cover the mixture in the bowl with some plastic wrap and let it set in your ice box for about 30 minutes. (It’ll take you that long to get the lamb and garlic out of your nails!)

Tzatziki Sauce:

  1. While the lamb mixture is marinating in your ice box, let’s make the Tzatziki Sauce.

  2. Git yourself a medium-sized bowl. Add all the ingredients together in the bowl and whisk or stir ‘til nicely blended. Is this easy, or what?!

  3. Now, cover that with some plastic wrap and put it in the ice box ‘til you’re ready to serve up them meatballs.

Assembly

  1. Take the meat mixture out of the icebox.

  2. Place some flour, for dredging, into a pan or plate.

  3. Now, using your hands, roll some of the meat mixture (about the size of a big walnut) around in the palms of your hands, lightly dredge that meatball in the flour, shaking off any excess, and place the dredged meatball on a clean plate. Continue this until all the meat mixture is made into meatballs.

  4. Now, git out your skillet. Place it on the burner. Turn your burner on a medium heat and pour the 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the skillet.

  5. Once the oil is hot, add the dredged meatballs into the skillet, one at a time, and brown them on all sides. You’re gonna want to do this in batches and not crowd them balls so they will all cook evenly. (I usually fry about 6 or 7 at a time, turning them every minute or so in order that they brown evenly. You also don’t want to over-fry them or they’ll be too hard. I fry them in the skillet for about 7 minutes, turning every minute or two).

  6. Place the fried meatballs on a clean plate or pan with some paper towel in it to soak up any excess oil.

  7. To serve the keftedes up, place a few meatballs on a piece of hot pita bread, add some chopped tomatoes, a little chopped feta cheese, a bit of the kzatziki sauce over the top, pour yourself a glass of ouzo and dig in! Yum! And Opa!!

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