Skip to content
Ships to Europe in 3-6 days!
Ships to Europe in 3-6 days!


This week, Elenas will take you on a little journey in Greek history with flavors from Anatolia and Asia Minor!

Soutzoukakia ”, refers to the traditional Greek meatballs in a delicious tomato sauce. This dish was introduced to Greek cuisine at the beginning of the 20th century and has its origins in the city of Smirni or Ismir as it is called in modern times, in western Anatolia, Turkey where the Greeks used to live. For this reason it is also called "smyrneika".   

What makes this traditional Greek quite special is the added aromas from cumin! Besides this, it differs from the typical Greek meatballs as there are no onions or eggs in the mixture, according to tradition.

Located on Turkey's Aegean coast, Smyrna used to be one of the richest cities of the Ottoman Empire, known as the "Pearl of the Orient", and hosted one of the largest populations of Greeks and Armenians. During the Greco-Turkish War of 1919 to 1922, Greek armed forces settled in Smyrna on 15 May 1919. When the Turkish army regained control of the city on 9 September 1922, a fire was lit which continued to burn for several days (as shown in the picture below). A large number of Greeks and Armenians were killed, while many Smyrna citizens were forced to abandon their homes and had to board Greek and international ships, which brought them to safety. September 1922 is one of the darkest moments in Greek history, but refugees from Asia Minor have brought their unique culture and cuisine, starting with today's delicious recipe.

A traditional Greek dish which is the perfect choice for a family dinner!

Preparation time: 10 min
Preparation time: 20 min (approx.)
Portions: 4-6 portions


For the soutzoukakia:

  • 500g minced beef (optional ½ beef and ½ minced pork)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 slices of toast (approximately 200g)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • salt and pepper

For the tomato sauce:

Preparation :

This traditional Greek dish only takes 5 steps to make and they are:

  1. Prepare your soutzoukakia: start by softening the bread in a bowl with the red wine. Drain the bread again and cut into small slices, as finely as possible. Place all the ingredients for your soutzoukakia mixture in a large bowl and stir thoroughly. Refrigerate the mixture for an hour to allow the flavors to combine.

    Tip: The red wine and bread (not breadcrumbs) will make the soutzoukakia more fluffy and is an important element for this recipe as it does not contain eggs. Remember to keep the wine for later, to shape your soutzoukakia!
    Tip: The longer the meat is in the fridge, the better it tastes! If you wish, you can prepare the soutzoukakia mixture the night before, the day you make it.

  2. Form your soutzoukakia: take a handful of the mixture and form in the palm of your hand, into oblong meatballs. Use the wine from earlier to moisten your hands when shaping these.

  3. It is now time to bake your soutzoukakia in either the traditional method which is to fry them (2-3 minutes on all sides) or bake them in the oven (200 C for about 20 minutes) for a healthier alternative.

  4. Now prepare your tomato sauce: in a saucepan start by sauteing the onion until golden and then add cinnamon and a little salt and pepper. Finally, add the garlic and sauté for a few more minutes. Now add a bit of water to the sauce. Let it simmer over low heat until it starts to thicken (10-15 minutes). Season with salt and pepper if necessary.

  5. Now combine the soutzoukakia and the tomato sauce! Gently place the soutzoukakia into the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce is thick.

Serve this tasty Greek dish with some mashed potatoes, French fries or basmati rice, and a traditional Greek salad !

Remember to share your photos of this dish with us!

Kali oreksi/ Welcome!

Previous article Imam
Next article Dolmadakia with Yoghurt Sauce


Jannie Kanstrup - November 8, 2021
Tænker de hakkede tomater skal I tomatssaucen.

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields