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  • Writer's pictureNikki Glekas

Vegetable Keftedes

It’s always important that I have a few delicious vegetarian and vegan main course dish options on hand. While my family is omnivorous, I have friends with dietary preferences that are different than my own. A lot of Mediterranean cuisine lends itself nicely to vegetarians and vegans since it is primarily plant based and emphasizes that use of delicious olive oils and spices for flavor. However, many of our main dishes include meat and eggs, which is where we need to think of substitutions.

These keftedes are made using a plant-based protein substitute that tastes a lot like meat. It isn’t a vegan dish since a single egg is used to bind it. However, you have a different binding agent this could be a vegan dish. I even serve it like I do my regular keftedes with ladolemano sauce ( ) or homemade tzatziki ( ) . Both taste wonderful and truly make this dish taste exactly like the meaty version.

These are very easy to make, only requiring one bowl and your prepared ingredients. You can also make them in advance and reheat them as needed to serve for your meal when everyone has gathered to eat. I’ve also made these and frozen them in the pasta, they can be reheated and served with the sauce of your choice.

Once you get used to working with the meatless protein source you’ll begin to see how easy it is to use for additional Greek dishes. I swap it out from time to time depending on our dietary needs or the restrictions of a guest and I honestly can’t even tell the difference because it tastes so good. It’s always good to know how to adapt classic Greek meals for a variety of eaters and I hope this recipe is a help to you. It’s delicious, easy to make, and will satisfy everyone at your table. Enjoy!

Vegetarian Kefetdes

This is a wonderful vegetarian alternative to classic Keftedes. I like it just as much as the classic version and sometimes make when I’m in the mood for a slightly lighter meal. It also fits the bill when my vegetarian or vegan friends come over for dinner. Serve them with Ladolemono Sauce or Tzatziki!


  • 1 large red onion

  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped mint

  • 1.5 lbs Meatless product

  • 1 egg

  • 1 large red onion

  • 1 1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt

  • 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs

  • 1 cup flour

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  1. Finely mince the red onion in the food processor. Set aside.

  2. Coarsely chop the mint and set aside.

  3. In large mixing bowl add in ground meatless product, egg, mint, red onion, salt, pepper, oregano, and panko breadcrumbs.

  4. Use your hands to mix well for a few minutes until the mixture is quite smooth and very well combined.

  5. Refrigerate mixture for at least 1 hour.

  6. Heat 3 tbs of olive oil in a large skillet

  7. Using a one ounce scoop portion the meatballs and roll into a ball. Dredge each ball in flour, making sure to remove excess.

  8. Cook in batches of 10-12 meatballs at a time. Cook for 5-6 minutes, until nicely browned all over. Remove from pan and let cool on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil.

  9. Serve while hot and enjoy with some ladolemono sauce or tzatziki

  10. Enjoy!

Nikki Glekas is the owner of Nikki Glekas Events, a full-service catering and events company located in Stamford, CT.. To discuss further please contact or call 203.658.8659.

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