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Tefteli (Russian Meatballs)

Tefteli recipe, also known as Russian Meatballs with rice cooked in tomato sauce, is an easy comfort meal made in just 30 minutes.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 363kcal


  • 1 1/5 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 cup rice (half cooked)
  • 1 medium onion (grated)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (14.5 ounces)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • sea salt ground pepper, paprika and ground sugar ((for seasoning))


  • Add ½ cup of rinsed rice and 1 cup of water to a saucepan. Bring it to boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid, and let it simmer until all the water is absorbed. The rice should be cooked only halfway through! Then let it cool off before adding to the rice.
  • When the rice is cooled, add ground beef, rice, and half of grated onion to the mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix until all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Roll the mixture into the balls (standard meatballs size).
  • In a large heavy bottom skillet, add tomato sauce, minced garlic, and the remaining grated onion. Stir and season with salt, pepper, and ground basil. Bring to boil, then reduce the heat to medium/low and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes (stir occasionally).
  • Add the meatballs, cover with the lid and cook for 20 minutes over medium heat. Turn the meatballs over every 5 minutes.


1. Make sure you reduce the tomato sauce before adding the meatballs. Depending on the brand, it may take between 5-15 minutes.


Calories: 363kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 77mg | Potassium: 379mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 2mg