Israeli Meatballs (Ketzitzot) Recipe

Ketzitzot Israeli Meatballs

There are some foods that my husband and I really miss from our years living in Israel.

Fresh produce. (Yup, any and all of it.)

Pita. Fresh, soft, squishy.

Falafel. No — I mean good falafel. Really good.

And ketzitzot — those rank up there, too.

If you’re unfamiliar, ketzitzot are essentially spicy meatballs. A smokey Israeli, Middle Eastern flavor erupts from every scrumptious bite.

Ketzizot seem to be something that most Israelis learn how to make in the way that Americans learn to make scrambled eggs. Which means that as an American, my eggs rock, but my spicy meatballs – not so much.

Until I tried this recipe from the very funny How to Be Israeli blog (sadly no longer active) — and we all ate in total, appreciative silence.

If you like this recipe, I’d love for you to pin it.

Are you a fan of Israeli food? What’s your favorite dish? Please share any and all recipes below as well!




  1. Dumb question…is sumac the same as zaatar?

  2. One of my favorites. My Israeli MIL taught me to make these. But I do half ground turkey and half chicken (since the turkey alone is dry) and I add cinnamon, salt and pepper. Yummy!

  3. Thank you so much for this recipe! I just made them last night for my Israeli husband and he LOVED them. I followed the recipe to a T, the only change I made was I used fresh lemon juice with a sprinkle of pepper to substitute for the sumac because I didn’t have any. It came out great. Thank you so much!

    • Mara Strom says:

      Awesome! I’m so glad he liked it — I do think they are delicious, but getting a sabra’s approval is always a good sign.

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