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romanian beef and pork meatballs piled on a large platter

Romanian Meatballs - Chiftele Recipe

Romanian meatballs, also known as chiftele or parjoale: juicy, garlicky, full of herbs and flavor. Grandma-style pork and beef meatballs, these are one of the most popular Romanian dishes.
Course Meat Recipes
Cuisine Romanian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 -8
Calories 174kcal
Author Adina


  • 2.2 lbs mixed ground meat 1 kg, mixed pork and beef (Note)
  • 5.5 oz white bread 150 g
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying


  • Soak bread: Tear the white bread into smaller chunks and let them soak in water until needed. Grate the onion and the garlic on the fine grater.
  • Combine: Place the ground meat into a large bowl. Squeeze the soaked bread very well and add it to the meat. Add onion, garlic, milk, lightly beaten eggs, chopped dill, and parsley. Add the salt and pepper and mix very well with your hand. If you want to make sure that there is enough salt in the mixture, fry a very small meatball and taste it. Adjust the taste again accordingly.
  • Form the meatballs. They should be rather large, slightly elongated, and flat.
  • Coat with flour: Place the flour onto a large plate and turn the meatballs into the flour. Pat them carefully to remove the excess flour.
  • Fry meatballs: Heat about 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large cast-iron skillet or a non-stick pan, turn the heat to medium-low and fry the meatballs in batches, turning once, to brown on both sides. Add more oil between the batches, if necessary.
  • The cooking time depends on the size of the meatballs. They should be deeply browned and cooked through. I cooked mine about 3-4 minutes on the first side and a bit less on the second side. Check one meatball and adjust the cooking time accordingly. The fact that they are flat means they will cook a bit quicker than round meatballs of the same size.
  • Serve: Place the fried meatballs on kitchen paper to absorb the excess fat and keep warm. Serve as suggested above.


Or only ground pork.


Serving: 1meatball | Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 144mg | Sugar: 1g