Soutzoukakia: delicious beef meatballs in rich tomato sauce spiced with cumin and cinnamon. Perfect for sharing as meze or as a main meal.
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4.34 from 3 votes

Soutzoukakia – Greek meatballs in rich tomato sauce

Soutzoukakia: delicious beef meatballs in rich tomato sauce spiced with cumin and cinnamon. Perfect for sharing as meze or as a main meal.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Meatballs
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: Greek meatballs, Meatballs, Soutzoukakia
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 662kcal
Author: Lucy Parissi | Supergolden Bakes


  • 450 g | 1 lbs minced beef
  • 100 g | 3 1/2oz stale bread cubed
  • 120 ml | 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 shallots peeled and finely diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 onion granules optional
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp light olive oil to fry
  • fresh thyme to garnish

For the tomato sauc

  • 3 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 red onion peeled and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • red wine see method
  • 400 g | 14oz tin tomatoes in tomato sauce
  • 80 ml | 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


  • Soak the bread cubes in the wine. Leave to stand for a few minutes then squeeze dry and put the bread in a large bowl, reserving the wine to use in the sauce.
  • Add the mince, egg, shallots, garlic, cumin, onion granules, salt and herbs in the bowl with the bread and mix together thoroughly.
  • Form the meatballs with slightly wet hands – about the size of a walnut. You can form them into little balls or rugby ball shapes.
  • Put the flour on a large plate and roll the meatbals in it to coat. Roll them in your hands again to remove excess flour.
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan and then fry the meatballs, in batches in necessary, until browned on all sides. Use two tablespoons to gently flip the meatballs over – they can be a little delicate.
  • Remove from the pan, set aside on a plate and clean the pan to use for the sauce.
  • Heat the oil for the sauce and then cook the onion and garlic over low heat for 10 minutes.
  • Add the cumin and cinnamon sticks.
  • Add the reserved red wine and increase the heat until it is boiling.
  • Blitz the tomatoes in a blender for a smoother sauce (or you can also use passata) and add to the pan together with the water, sugar and vinegar.
  • Simmer for 15 minutes then add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for a further 20-30 minutes until cooked through. Add a splash of water if the pan gets too dry.
  • Serve garnished with fresh thyme, with steamed rice, mash or fries as a main or with pitta bread as a meze.


Calories: 662kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 528mg | Potassium: 681mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Vitamin C: 13.3mg | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 5.8mg