These traditional Greek meatballs made with cumin and cinnamon, then simmered in a rich tomato sauce is one of the country’s most loved mince dishes.

There are many variations but our recipe is based on a traditional version that originated in Smyrni.

These delicious meatballs can be served on their own, with rice, pasta or tiganites patates (fried chips).


  • 1 x kg ground beef mince
  • 6 x cloves garlic, garlic
  • 4 x slices vienna bread 
  • 1 x egg
  • 4 x tablespoons red wine
  • 1 x cup water
  • 1 x tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 x teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 x tablespoons olive oil, extra for frying

For the sauce

  • 6 x large ripe tomatoes, pureed
  • 4 x tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 x cup
  • pinch of sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Dip bread into water and red wine and using your hands, squeeze juices out. 
  • Place bread, mince, garlic, egg, cumin, cinnamon, salt, pepper and olive oil in a bowl and mix well, until all ingredients are combined. 
  • Cover with cling wrap and place in fridge for 20 minutes.
  • In the meantime add tomatoes, oil, water, sugar, salt and pepper in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes, or until it thickens.
  • When ready, use about 1 tablespoon of mince mixture and shape into oblong patties and set aside.
  • Heat frying pan with olive oil and cook the Soutzoukakia on medium heat until they are browned on all sides, about 7 minutes.
  • Place Soutzoukakia straight into the sauce and allow to simmer on low heat for an extra 20 minutes and serve. 

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Penny Zalalas

Executive Editor

At the age of 18, when starting her university degree in Media & Culture, Penny was offered her first role in the industry and began her career at Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited. Since then she has worked as a journalist & editor in both print & online publications, bringing with her 20 + years of experience in magazines. Her utter love for Greece, plus a constant urge to create, innovate & inspire is what led her to launch IN+SIGHTS GREECE.