Keftedes (Greek Meatballs) in Spicy Tomato Sauce


  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely minced
  • 8 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup flour, for dredging
  • Oil for frying
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 can (28 ounces) pureed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, for garnish
  • In a large bowl,  combine meat, onion, half of the garlic, 1 tablespoon of oregano, mint, cinnamon, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, and mix thoroughly. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of the meat mixture, and roll into a ball. Repeat the process with the remaining meat. You should get about 24 meatballs. 
  • Roll each meatball in flour, place them single layer on a baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat, make sure you have enough oil to cover about 1/2 of the height of the meatballs. Fry meatballs in batches, until browned. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to remove excess grease.
  • In a large saucepan, melt butter, add the remaining garlic and chili flakes, sauté until fragrant. Add tomato puree, chicken stock, and 1 tablespoon of oregano. Season sauce with salt and pepper, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until the sauce is slightly reduced. 
  • Add meatballs into the sauce, continue cooking for about 5-10 minutes, until the meatballs are coated in sauce. Serve with basmati rice, and garnish with chopped parsley. Tzatziki sauce and Greek salad also make great companion for this dish.