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Zucchini Meatballs: Greek Kolokithokeftedes

These zucchini and feta filled “meat”balls are crispy on the outside and so juicy on the inside. The fact that they can be assembled a day ahead of serving makes this recipe extra easy to serve at a dinner party. These are very popular appetizers in Greece and go perfectly with creamy tzatziki. They are part of my End of Summer Menu ebook that you can download right here.

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Kolokithokeftedes: Greek-Zucchini Meatballs

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By Dimitra Khan Serves: about 25


  • 4 (about 800 g) zucchini, washed and shredded with the skin on
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 cup (150g) crumbled feta
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190 g) breadcrumbs, plus more for coating
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • vegetable oil for frying



Place the grated zucchini in a colander and sprinkle with salt ( 1/4 teaspoon) and mix it well with your hands. The salt will help draw out the liquid. You will be surprised to see how much liquid will be released. Place the colander over a bowl to catch the liquid. Let it drain for at least 30 minutes.


Take the zucchini out of the colander in small bunches. Squeeze the bunches with your hands to remove as much of the remaining liquid as you can. Discard the liquid and place the strained zucchini in a dry bowl.


Add the sliced scallions, mint, feta and the pepper. Mix well. Add the beaten eggs, bread crumbs and salt. Mix until combined.


Heat the oil in a pot over medium- high heat.


Form the zucchini mixture into round walnut sized balls and place on a tray.


Pour some breadcrumbs into a shallow bowl and roll each zucchini ball to coat all around.


Fry them in the oil about 5-6 minutes until golden brown all around. Place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain the excess oil.


Serve them with tzatziki sauce or marinara. Enjoy!


Make Ahead Tip: Combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl and cover and refrigerate 1 day ahead. The next day discard any excess liquid and add 1/2 cup breadcrumbs. Mix to incorporate. Form into meatballs, coat in breadcrumbs and fry. These can be fried up to 2 hours before serving them as they taste great at room temperature. They can also be slightly warmed through in a preheated 350°F oven for 5 minutes.

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  • Reply
    Asha Martins
    November 15, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    Made these little gems last week for a dinner party and there were amazing. I’ve made the patty version, but these little balls are just the right size for pre-dinner drinks. 30 balls, 6 people… all gone in is under 15 minutes. The keftedes, not the people! 😉

    • Reply
      November 15, 2019 at 10:41 pm

      Haha! The people may be back soon, now that you fed them well 🙂 All the best xoxo

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