Greek Beef Patties (Biftekia)

Much easier and less time consuming than Greek meatballs, these beef patties are both tasty and easy for a weeknight supper. The uncooked patties freeze well, so you can make an extra large batch to have some on hand for future meals. There’s nothing easier than pulling a few frozen biftekia out of the freezer; you don’t even have to thaw them before you cook them!


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • black pepper
  • a pinch or two of crumbled dry oregano
  • 2 or 3 slices bread, soaked in milk and then squeezed


Put the bread slices in a shallow container and pour milk over them.

Soak bread in milk for greek beef patties, biftekia recipe.

Put all the other ingredients in a bowl.

Ingredients for greek beef patty recipe, biftekia.

Squeeze the soaked bread to remove excess milk.

Squeeze excess milk out of bread for greek beef patties recipe, biftekia.

Tear the soaked-and-squeezed bread into pieces and add them to the bowl. Then mix everything together with your hands.

Mix the ingredients for greek beef patties recipe, biftekia.

Now make whatever size beef patties you like out of the mixture. We typically make them rather thin so that they’ll cook through fairly quickly. Each patty should be coated with oil; I find it easiest to do this as I form them.

Form the patties for the greek beef patty recipe, biftekia.

Wrap any patties that you want to freeze in plastic wrap or foil, and put the others in a baking pan. You might want to oil the pan a bit, it depends on how thickly you’ve coated the patties with oil.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and put in the pan of biftekia. Bake for about 10 minutes, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes. Turn the broiler on and broil on each side for a few minutes. Watch them closely once you’ve turned the broiler on! As soon as they’ve taken on the amount of browning that you like, turn them or take them out.

Greek beef patty, biftekia recipe, finished.

Typically served topped with a pat of butter and a generous squeeze of lemon.

I’ll be making this as one of the meals during a family vacation on the coast. It seems like it would be a kid friendly dish, so I think my nieces would like it. Or maybe I should make the beef and green beans. Hmmm.. What do you think? I’ll let you know how it went when I get back in ten days. I probably won’t have internet access until then, so please don’t think I’m ignoring comments and emails.

Kalo Kalokairi!


  1. Comment by Peter G

    Biftekia are the best Lulu!…nothing easier or tastier! Have a great holiday…

    Peter G’s last blog post..Time For A Coffee…

  2. Comment by Laurie Constantino

    Love love love biftekia. I hope you have fun at the coast and get plenty of rest and relaxation!

    Laurie Constantino’s last blog post..Recipes for Sausage and Lentils with Spiced Figs & Crostini with Gorgonzola and Spiced Figs

  3. Comment by maria verivaki

    and you know how easy they are to freeze and eat whenever you need them!

    maria verivaki’s last blog post..Staycating in Hania

  4. Comment by FoodJunkie

    Hey Lulu
    Try some Worcestershire sauce in there and a bit of mustard. Also, you can add some water in the mince for them to become softer. My mother cuts potatoes thinly and places the biftekia on top. Drizzels olive oil and some tomato sauce, salt pepper and some water and bakes them until potatoes soften and biftekia have cooked. They usually cook sooner so remove them and contune cooking the potatoes. It becomes yummy and is always devoured by friends and family alike.

  5. Comment by Ivy

    Lulu whenever I make them, I make at least 2 kilos of ground meat and have some at hand just like you say. Ingredients may vary according to your taste but the essential part is to make them soft (afrata). If your nices like vegetables beef and green beans sounds great but why not make both. My advice is if you make biftekia for your nieces, don’t chop the onion but mince it. Children don’t like onion when it’s visible.
    Have a nice time.

  6. Comment by Lulu

    Peter, Laurie, Maria, FoodJunkie, and Ivy, I enjoyed reading your comments and will definitely try out the suggestions. Thanks! Heading out now! Whoopee! :-)

  7. Comment by Paula

    Oooh, these biftekia look fantastic! Hope you have a great vacation!

    Paula’s last blog post.."Flatty Patty" Smothered Burgers

  8. Comment by FoodJunkie

    Have a nice time!

    FoodJunkie’s last blog post..Pot au chocolat et caramel

  9. Comment by Cheryl

    I hope that you’re having a nice time! Let us know how the bifteki work out :)

    Cheryl’s last blog post..Alexandra’s Baptism- Part 2

  10. Comment by noobcook

    putting milk-soaked bread into patty – this is something new to me. Greek cuisine is so full of nice surprises!

  11. Comment by manju

    What an interesting addition of butter and lemon at the end…I didn’t see that coming! Of course, now I’ll have to try this… Hope you’re having a swell time at the shore!

    manju’s last blog post.."Three Tastes of Hawaii" Prize Package

  12. Comment by Lulu

    Paula, FoodJunkie, Cheryl – Thanks! I did have a great time!

    noobcook – The milk soaked bread makes it lighter and fluffier than it would be otherwise.

    manju – In the interests of full disclosure, I should probably say that putting butter on ground beef is overkill for me. I prefer a bit of olive oil and some lemon. Ironic that that makes me less Greek ! :-) Still, it is good with butter and lemon.

  13. Comment by Sam Sotiropoulos

    I made a batch of biftekia just last week, and froze a bunch for later consumption. You are right, theyare so easy to make, store, and cook that everybody should learn how to make them! Biftekia 101. :) Have a good vacation Lulu!

    Sam Sotiropoulos’s last blog post..Loukoumades, The Ancient Olympic Treat

  14. Comment by North Cyprus northern hotel

    I like very much the writings and pictures and explanations in your adress so I look forward to see your next writings. I congratulate you.

  15. Comment by frankie

    I just tried your recipe today and wanted to say thank you, because it was really tasty! :)

  16. Comment by Lulu

    Thanks, frankie, glad you liked them!

  17. Comment by Yiannis

    Hi Lulu thank you for posting this recipe :) First time here and look forward to checking out and making some of these! I’m a Greek American in my 30’s and just started to get into Greek cooking being that my father born in Sifnos is a pretty good cook and I want to continue with the cooking traditions I grew up with.He makes the beftekia just like you do with one exception instead of oregano he uses Mint or Diosmo.I’m curious…Have you ever tried it in your beftekia?

  18. Comment by Tina

    Loved it. I added cumin and a little bit of cajun spice.

  19. Pingback by Manos Greek Taverna in Tagaytay City « Biyaherong Barat

    […] of Beftekia Scaras, or Greek Beef Patties, with plain rice, fries and vegetables. I researched the Beef Patty recipe and found out that bread soaked in milk are used as fillers instead of using radish or sweet […]

  20. Comment by Natalie

    I love the way you add herbs and soak the bread.
    The patties have nice texture instead of tasting
    Like raw veggies. Nice

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