Greek Turkey Meatballs, or Keftedes, are usually made with a combo of ground beef and, or lamb. This is a recipe with much leaner ground turkey instead. Because I'm baking these meatballs, and not frying them, there's no added fat.
Meatballs: a Global Cuisine
Although these are Greek turkey meatballs, you can find a meatball in the cuisines of nearly every culture. What other dish is so versatile, so affordable and so easy to make? So you can eat them in Italy (polpettes), Sweden (kottbullar), Mexico (albondigas), Indonesia (bakso), and all places in between. Read more about the origins of meatballs here A Food That Transcends Cultures.
There's no lack of yum though. All of the seasonings in these make them super flavourful. Meatballs are very easy to make, and they are the best for freezing. I love that you can flavour them however you like, or toss them in sauces, like these Sweet & Sour Meatballs and Hoisin Meatballs. You can even serve them as party snacks with a dip, like these Cajun Meatballs. These Greek Meatballs are delicious served on grilled pita smeared with Tzatziki.
Healthier Meatballs Are Easy
It's really easy to keep your meatballs healthier, too. If you use lean ground turkey or chicken and bake, instead of frying your meatballs, you are eliminating a ton of fat and calories. All of the flavour is from the seasonings that you use.
So Many Ways To Eat Meatballs
These tasty meatball morsels are perfect as appetizers on their own. (Maybe with a shot of ouzo).They are just as good cold as they are warm. But, for us, this was dinner. I grilled some pita and tossed cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives in lemon juice. We spread those warm pita with tzatziki and piled them up with meatballs and the tomatoes and olives, along with red onion slices. And, this was one fine dinner. Seriously good.
You can also serve these meatballs on their own, with a Greek salad. Or, put into a sub sandwich, or, really, these guys are versatile. That's why I always make extra to freeze. When I'm feeling crunched for time or just plain lazy, there's always meatballs.
You can easily make these gluten-free, or paleo, by eliminating the panko crumbs or subbing a gluten-free breadcrumb. Or, you can add one more egg to the meat mixture to eliminate the bread altogether.
Greek Meatballs – Keftedes
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ¼ cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- 3 tbsp dried mint
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano finely chopped
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°
- Line a baking sheet with parchment
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl
- Roll meat mixture into 2" balls, and place on baking sheet
- Bake 20 minutes, turning halfway through