Well I think that I fancy a couple of juicy homemade Greek meatballs for our dinner today! Sounds like it’s about time we make keftedes at home then! But do you know what really makes or breaks this dish? It is the ground cinnamon to the minced meat!
Exactly, a small pinch of cinnamon powder takes this Greek classic to a whole new level.
And what a flavor explosion that is! You might think that these keftedes are just ordinary meatballs with a funny shape. However their taste is just out of this world.
Do you often make meatballs at home?
Homemade Meatballs From Scratch
Or do you prefer to buy the ready made? Nothing wrong with that. If I’m running out of time to cook dinner, I often go for the store bought already seasoned meatballs. But if I do find the time, then I prefer to make my meatballs from scratch.
With raw minced meat, so that I can add whatever seasoning to it.
And it depends on what I have in my pantry or spice rack.
Easy Greek Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
I also used to add eggs and breadcrumbs to the minced meat but now I tend to leave them out. To make sure that the meatballs stay fluffy, I usually add a little grated cheese, or a slice of bread without crusts that I soak in water.
Whatever you add to the minced meat, just don’t forget the cinnamon!
It’s a great flavor explosion. Cinnamon isn’t a spice that you would expect in meatballs. That’s what makes these meatballs below so unique and tasty.
You should try it. I made a tomato sauce from scratch that really goes well with the meatballs…
Do you love these Greek meatballs?
Then also check out my lamb meatballs in Greek avgolemono sauce with lemon! Another delicious Greek dinner.
Easy Greek Meatballs in Tomato Sauce Recipe
Homemade Greek meatballs: it's keftedes time! But do you know what really makes or breaks this dish then? The ground cinnamon!
- 9 oz ground beef (250 g)
- 1 slice bread crusts removed
- 9 oz canned chopped tomatoes (250 g)
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme or dried thyme
- 2 tbsp fresh mint chopped
- 1 medium garlic clove
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- ground cinnamon
- olive oil
Soak the bread in water for 3 minutes. Then squeeze it out well and add it to a blender. Add half of the chopped onion, half of the oregano, the fresh mint and half of the minced garlic. Season with a little pepper, salt and a dash of cinnamon.
Pulse into a fine crumble.
Then transfer this to a large mixing bowl. Add the beef mince and the egg yolk.
Mix well. Add some olive oil if the mince is too dry. Roll it into even meatballs. Then pour a splash of olive oil in a non-stick pan and add the meatballs.
Brown the meatballs in some olive oil for 5 minutes until cooked.
Transfer them to a clean plate and cover with some tinfoil. Heat a splash of olive oil in the same pan you browned the meatballs in and place it over medium heat. Then add the bay leave and the rest of the minced garlic and onion.
Stir fry for 1 minute. Then add the pureed tomatoes.
Stir quickly. Add the rest of the chopped oregano together with the tomato paste. Then season with a pinch of cinnamon, pepper and salt.
Bring all the ingredients to a boil and then turn the heat low. Put a lid on the pan and simmer the tomato sauce for 15 minutes. Check the seasoning and add extra pepper, salt or cinnamon to taste if necessary. Add the cooked meatballs to the tomato sauce.
Let them warm through for about 5 to 7 minutes. Then scoop them onto plates. Serve hot.