Meatballs in the oven (Mpiftekia)

Meatballs in the oven are a classic in Greek cuisine, but this version is light in fat like the air you breathe in the Mediterranean.

L’oignon et l’origan (herbe fétiche de la Grèce) apporte un caractère goûteux complétement différent du steak haché classique. De plus, leur consistance compacte permet de les déguster aussi froides à l’apéritif avec un peu de moutarde ou sans. En deux mots :

“I will break them like the wind blows the dust:
I will make them disappear like the mud from roads”

To Start...

difficulty easy
cooking - 25′
serves - 8 medium meat balls


  • 400gr of ground beef (max 5% of fat)
  • 1 medium or small onion
  • ½ of a big garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon of breadcrumbs
  • 1 medium egg
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of Xérès vinegar (or other red wine vinegar)
  • 10 turn mills of Kampot black pepper
  • 2 big pinches of oregano (optional)
  • Salt
  • a bit of lemon juice for serving (optional)
  • a bit of mustard for serving (optional)


  • Preheat the oven at 180°C
  • Chisel the onion finely
  • Put in a medium bowl:
    • the meat
    • the chiseled onion
    • the egg
    • the breadcrumbs
    • olive oil
    • the vinegar
    • salt, pepper and oregano (if you like it)
  • Mix everything with your hand in order to have an homogenous mixture at the end
  • Prepare 8 meatballs
  • Put the meatballs in a plate going into the oven and cook for 25’
  • Serve with a bit of lemon juice and mustard

What’s the story behind this recipe?

These meat balls are a Greek traditional dish. It’s called mpiftekia or μπιφτέκια. There are many versions (with or without lemon juice –and mustard- as well as potatoes during cooking) and above all with a lot of additional fat, especially when adding different types of meat like pork or lamb. 

My version is very light on fat and I avoid potatoes because they have calories. Nevertheless, you can add a bit more of olive oil (1 tablespoon) and some potatoes (1 or 2-if small- per 2-3 meat balls):

  • either into the pan going into the oven, and in this case, you should add 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano and a bit of water and then stir everything with a table spoon to cover potatoes with this seasoning
  • or cooking potatoes apart into some boiling water or in the steamer and serve them with a bit of fleur de sel

o-o C'est si bon ! o-o

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *