Keftedes (Greek Meatballs) with Olive Yogurt Dip – Gluten Free

To this day, I can clearly remember the night when I was five years old and my dad was standing in our kitchen in South Carolina making tiny hamburger patties over a frying pan.

I remember looking way up at him as he explained to me what a “keftedes” was in English and how the Greeks liked to use mint to flavor their burgers.

Keftedes is the Greek name for their meatball. It is traditionally made with lamb or ground beef and typically flavored with fresh mint and oregano.

It was about 14 years after that when my Yia-yia (Greek for grandmother) took me with her to the Greek Embassy in Washington D.C. for an event in which she was a translator.

There were no shortage of people speaking to me in Greek as if I understood them. Too shy to correct them, and with my Yia-yia nowhere in sight, I retreated to the dining room and the large buffet of Greek goodness. And what did I find? A huge platter of Keftedes with inviting toothpicks in every one!

I made these the other night for my children. I was inspired to try something a little different after reading the magazine, America’s Test Kitchen “30 Minute Suppers,” and decided to add a little feta cheese to my meatballs.

My dad’s recipe uses all ground beef, but in this one I used 1/2 ground lamb and 1/2 ground beef.

The terrific Olive Yogurt Dip was from the America’s Test Kitchen recipe on page 17 of the Summer 2011 issue.

This is a great dish to serve as an appetizer, a meal, or simply make them into hamburgers patties.

*For the gluten free breadcrumbs, Ener-G and Gillian’s both make a great pre-made gluten free bread crumb. If you can’t find those brands in your local store, toast 3-4 pieces of your favorite gluten free bread and put it in a food processor and grind into fine crumbs.

For the dip:


Chop olives, mint and garlic for the dip.

Mix with Greek yogurt.

Chill until meatballs are ready to serve.

Keftedes (Greek Meatballs) with Olive Yogurt Dip

4-6 servings


Yia-yia's Keftedes (Greek Meatballs) - Gluten Free
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped fine
  • 3/4 lbs organic ground beef
  • 3/4 lbs organic ground lamb
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp gluten free bread crumbs, finely ground
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, finely crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp milk
  • 1/4 cup egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup oregano
  • 1 whole salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 375 deg F and spray a 9 x 13 cooking dish with gluten free cooking spray.
  • For the dip, in a small bowl, combine the yogurt, olives, 1 clove of garlic and 2 Tbsp of the mint together. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients.
  • Shape into 1 1/2 inch meatballs and place in baking dish.
  • Bake uncovered for approximately 25 minutes or until lightly browned on top.
  • Serve with olive yogurt dip.
Prep Time: 15 - 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 - 30 Minutes
Total Time: 40 - 50 Minutes
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