Mpiftekia can be shaped into patties, wrapped around a skewer or shaped into ovals and grilled, baked or fried. Serve with a simple salad, tzatziki and lemon, or pack into pita bread and eat like a souvlaki.






Skill level

Average: 3.8 (20 votes)


  • ½ cup day-old vienna loaf or sourdough breadcrumbs
  • 1 kg beef mince
  • 2 tomatoes, puréed in a blender
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 1 red onion, grated, drained of excess liquid
  • 1 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp dried wild oregano, plus extra, to serve
  • 100 g kasseri cheese (see Note), grated
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • tomato and olive salad, to serve
  • lemon wedges, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Resting time 1 hour

The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.

Preheat the oven to 180˚C

Soak the bread in 60 ml (¼ cup) water for 5 minutes. Drain and squeeze out the excess water with your hands. Place the bread in a large bowl with the beef, tomato puree, olive oil, onion, parsley, egg, garlic, cumin, oregano and cheese and season with salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix until well combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour to firm up.

Using wet hands roll ¼ cupfuls of the mixture into oval shaped meatballs and arrange in a deep baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and pour 60 ml (¼ cup) water into the base of the dish.

Transfer the baking dish to the oven and cook for 50–60 minutes until golden.  

Serve with tomato and olive salad, tzatziki and lemon wedges.

© 2013 Maria Benardis. All rights reserved.


• Kasseri cheese is a pale yellow, semi-hard Greek cheese available from Greek food stores. If unavailable, substitute with provolone.


Photography by Alan Benson