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Vegetarian Keftedes (Greek Meatballs)

Updated on June 21, 2012

Vegetarian Keftedes Recipes

Keftedes, or Keftes are Greek Meatballs often served as appetizers at parties or in restaurants. There are a wide variety of vegetarian varieties made with chickpeas, rice, bulgur, faux meat, or eggplant, mixed with herbs and bread crumbs.

My family includes Greek vegetarians and they just love when I make vegetarian Keftedes and Tzatziki. They are great as an appetizer, or as a main dish when served with veggies and a salad. I also love the leftovers in cold sandwiches on pita bread with tzatziki or hummus.

Vegetarian Keftedes Photo, © Julianne Gentile

Vegetarian Keftedes
Vegetarian Keftedes

This vegetarian recipe includes eggs. Vegans can replace the vegetarian faux burger with a vegan faux burger and use Ener-G or other egg replacer instead of the eggs.

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 25 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: 8-10 people


  • 20 oz Vegetarian burger or other faux beef crumbles
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 -4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 cup oregano or Italian seasoning blend
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup oill for frying
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • or Cavender's Greek Seasoning to taste
  • Optional: 1 Tablespoon fresh mint


  1. Mix faux meat, eggs, and seasonings together in a large bowl
  2. grate onions directly into the mixture to get the onion juice in the mix
  3. add chopped garlic to the mix
  4. add breadcrumbs - I prefer to make my own by throwing crusty bread into a food processor
  5. Add mint if you prefer
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper or Cavender's Greek Seasoning
  7. Heat oil in a pan for frying
  8. Pour flour on a plate
  9. Shape mixture into balls and roll in flour
  10. Fry balls in the hot oil
  11. Once well browned all over, remove from oil and allow to drain
  12. Serve with tzatziki
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Vegetarian Burger

Worthington Vegetarian Burger, Low Fat, 20-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12)
Worthington Vegetarian Burger, Low Fat, 20-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12)

This is super tasty right out of the can! One can of Worthington Burger is perfect for use with the keftedes recipe above. You can use your favorite faux meat, but Burger is handy to have on hand and Amazon sells it by the case, so it's always available for making tacos, spaghetti, unmeatloaf, etc.


Vegetarian Keftedes...

Do they sound Tasty or Horrible?


Tzatziki Recipe

Tzatziki is super tasty and a perfect dipping sauce for keftedes. It's also delicious as a thick salad dressing, or a dip for chips, crudites, or pita.

Vegan option: simply replace the Greek Yogurt with your favorite plain Soy Yogurt, and strain through a cheescloth or coffee filter for at least 30 minutes before using.

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 45 min
Yields: 4-6


  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Peel English cucumber
  2. Slice cucumber the long way
  3. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds
  4. Chop the cucumber and place in a fine strainer or coffee filter
  5. Add salt to cucumber and let drain for about 30 minutes
  6. While draining, add chopped garlic to the yogurt
  7. Add dill, lemon juice to the yogurt mixture
  8. Blend yogurt mixture and cucumber in a food processor
  9. Salt and Pepper to taste

Cucumber Dill Dip

Cucumber Dill Dip, Stove, 4.5 oz
Cucumber Dill Dip, Stove, 4.5 oz

If you don't have the time or patience to prepare homemade tzatziki, this Cucumber Dill Dip from Amaerican Spice is delish! Just mix this with Greek yogurt and you have an instant dill dip, perfect to serve with pitas, gyros, keftedes, falafels, etc.


Vegetarian Keftedes

Vegetarian Keftedes
Vegetarian Keftedes

Have you ever tried Vegetarian Keftedes?

Keftedes Chatter

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  • profile image

    Sundaycoffee 4 years ago

    I'm sure these keftedes taste delicious. In Romania we knew them as "chiftele", and the composition was slightly different. Now I'm using textured soy protein instead of meat.

  • profile image

    othellos 4 years ago

    My family was looking for vegetarian keftedes and we tried some other recipes. Your idea of making them is different and very tasty indeed, especially with tzatziki. Very well done:=)

  • profile image

    julieannbrady 6 years ago

    Gosh, we were fortunate enough to actually have these meatballs when we traveled to Athens and Crete, Greece. Love the taste of Greek food.

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    anonymous 6 years ago

    Your vegetarian Keftedes recipe sounds absolutely inviting, I'm not vegetarian and they even read delicious!

  • hlkljgk profile image

    hlkljgk 6 years ago from Western Mass

    i can always count on you for a good vegetarian-izing of classic recipes. :)

  • profile image

    moonlitta 7 years ago

    My favorite meal from childhood -just we call them "kjufteta"- I live in neighboring Greece Bulgaria. Nothing tastes better! (Well ours were not vegetarian but the recipe is the same excluding the faux meat). And the Tzatziki is named here "Snowwhite" or Snejanka salad.

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    euneakme 7 years ago

    This sounds and looks very tasty. I am willing to try to make some. I am a lover of vegetables and anything vegetarian although I do eat meat.

  • profile image

    resabi 7 years ago

    Bet these would work with broccoli also. Thanks for the recipe. Great lens.