Ukrainian Kotleti (Meatballs)

Disclaimer: Though I usually post a lot of vegan and vegetarian dishes, the following dish is NOT vegan. 

My husband is Ukrainian. Russian-Ukrainian-Polish-Slavic and whatever else is in that Heinz 57 goodness of him. I have to admit, though we’ve been together for a long while, I haven’t been making that many Ukrainian or Russian dishes. Yes, I’m a bad wife on that part. But I’m getting better!

I wanted to try something different for a change and something that wasn’t the typical Ukrainian fare. You see, if we want really good Ukrainian food, we would go to a restaurant that specializes in it or we’ll make it ourselves. Unfortunately, L.A. doesn’t have that many Ukrainian restaurants (I can only think of two, really) so it’s off to Google I go.


I found the recipe for kotleti (pronounced as it’s spelled) here. I wanted something different but still tasty. The recipe claimed it would only take 30 minutes from start to finish but as I soon realized (as I found out with other Ukrainian dishes I’ve made), that’s just a nice estimate. I was in the kitchen for a loooooooong time making these.


I didn’t have mayo on hand so I used sour cream. I don’t know how it would’ve tasted with the mayo but hubby – who’s opinion on anything Ukrainian I make is very important – said it came out great. Boom!


After I was done with the mixture, I rolled the nuggets in bread crumbs and fried them in olive oil. I imagine you could also fry them in coconut oil as well.


The recipe said each side needed about 4-5 minutes of frying time to ensure the meat is properly cooked through. I’m a sucker for not getting salmonella so I cooked it a bit longer.


I dried the nuggets on a paper towel. Again, olive oil. I don’t have any particular olive oil to recommend.


I apologize for how blurry this photo was but I wanted a close-up.

The nuggets came out great! Bear wasn’t interested in them (he’s quite picky about his nuggets and will only eat Chik-Fil-A’s) but hubby loved them!

I made a lot of nuggets (about 36) so these would be great for parties or family gatherings. It was quite a bit for us but they preserved well overnight. Just pop them back in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes.

If you try the recipe, let me know how it came out!



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