Chicken Keftethes (Koto Keftethes)

“Chicken keftethes, or meatballs, are one of the most popular items at the Sweet Greek shop. We make a big dish of them every morning. The recipe I’ve given below is the one I use if I’m making them at home for my family. If you’d like to make the ones from Sweet Greek, just omit the lemon zest and cumin, and add 1 teaspoon of smoky red paprika. Either way, they are very versatile and can be served with salad, in a roll or sandwich, or with dips as a starter.” – Kathy Tsaples


PREP: 30 minutes
COOK: 30 minutes


1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/4 cup milk or water

2 onions, grated

1 cup firmly packed mint, chopped

1 cup firmly packed flat‑leaf parsley, chopped

½ cup firmly packed coriander, chopped

½ tsp ground coriander

½ tsp ground cumin

1 kg chicken mince

¼ cup Greek extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for frying

1 egg, lightly beaten

Zest of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk, or water, for as long as it takes to prepare the herbs and onions. Put all the ingredients in a large bowl, including the soaked breadcrumbs, and mix thoroughly by hand. Allow the mixture to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so the flavours develop — a few hours or even overnight is also good.

Roll the keftethes into balls about the size of a golf ball, then flatten slightly. Heat some oil in a frypan and fry the keftethes until golden on both sides. Place them in a baking dish and finish in the oven until cooked through.