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side view shot of a bowl full of romanian meatballs with a fork stuck in one
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4.67 from 65 votes

Romanian meatballs (Chiftele)

Romanian Meatballs, known as "Chiftele" are one of the most popular Romanian dishes. Learn to make the mother of all meatballs, nothing beats these meatballs.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Romanian
Keyword: meatballs, romanian meatballs
Servings: 8
Calories: 395kcal


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 small onions or 1 large one, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 2 pound ground pork
  • 2 medium potatoes grated
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs I used Panko
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon pepper or to taste
  • ¼ cup parsley finely chopped
  • ¼ cup dill fresh, finely chopped
  • oil for frying


  • Heat the tbsp of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic and saute until tender. Add the grated potato and cook for a few minutes until it becomes tender. Let this cool.
  • In a large bowl, add the onion/potato mixture, ground pork, eggs and breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, add the chopped parsley, chopped dill and mix well.
  • You can form these into balls, or traditionally they are formed into small patties.
  • Add oil to a large skillet and fry the meatballs on all sides.
  • Serve over spaghetti, or mashed potatoes.


  1. These meatballs can also be baked. Bake at 400 F degrees for about 30 to 45 minutes or until cooked through.
  2. Recipe will yield about 40, give or take a few, depending on the size of your meatballs.
  3. Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.


Serving: 5meatballs | Calories: 395kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 134mg | Sodium: 285mg | Potassium: 581mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 356IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 3mg