Keftedes Recipe | Grilling

Joshua Bousel

A few weeks ago I had a good friend come over packing a giant tub of a ground beef mixture, which was formed into spheres and grilled into some of the best meatballs I've ever had. The next week I couldn't help myself from trying to show him up create my own little balls of excellence, choosing to do them Greek-style to up the ante.

What seemed like a ton of onion, garlic, oregano and mint in proportion to the meat at first, ended up being just the right amount of flavor to make these taste distinctly like the keftedes I so often enjoy at Greek joints in my neighborhood.

Although just a tad on the soft side for the grill, the meatballs cooked up into browned beauties that didn't necessarily need the accompanying tzatziki and lemon to make them delicious, but put them altogether, and they were outstanding.


  • 1 pound ground beef, 80% lean
  • 4 slices of white bread
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup of finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped mint
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For serving
  • Tzatziki
  • Lemon wedges
  • Type of fire: direct
  • Grill heat: medium-high


  1. Place the milk in a swallow bowl and dunk each piece of bread in and then squeeze the excess liquid out. Tear bread into chunks and place in a large bowl.

  2. Add the beef, onions, oregano, mint, garlic, eggs, salt and pepper in the bowl with the bread and then mix with your hands until thoroughly combined. Roll out meat mixture into balls 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

  3. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over the charcoal grate. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place the meatballs on the grill and cook until well browned all over and cooked through, about 8 minutes total, 2 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and serve with tzatziki and lemon wedges.