Tefteli in a Cream Sauce

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Russian Tefteli are basically amazing meatballs in a cream sauce which can be served for lunch, dinner or as an appetizer with toothpicks. Amazing.
Author: Natasha of
Skill Level: Medium
Cost to Make: $12-$15
Servings: 60 + tefteli


Ingredients for Tefteli:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 2 cups cooked white rice 1 cup raw = 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 onion grated or finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 slices of soft white bread mine was wheat-ish, but that's besides the point
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups Progresso Italian Style Breadcrumbs

Ingredients for the Sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 large carrot grated
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup chicken broth or stock
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Canola oil or grape seed oil


  1. Cook your rice and cool to room temp or so it's just warm, not hot.
  2. Break up your bread and soak it in as separate bowl with milk.
  3. Add your ground pork and chicken to a large bowl.
  4. Add the following to the meat bowl: 2 cups cooked white rice, 2 large garlic cloves pressed, 1/2 onion finely chopped or grated, 1 egg, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper.
  5. Drain the excess milk from the bread (it should still be very juicy). Add the bread to the meat mix. Mix everything well.
  6. Pour your Progresso bread crumbs into a medium bowl.
  7. Shape your meat into 1" balls and roll them in the bread crumbs. It's best to have all your meatballs breaded before starting to saute them.
  8. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup oil and let it heat up. Saute about 3-4 minutes on each side until browned.
  9. Once the meatballs are done, start making your gravy.

How to Make Tefteli Gravy:

  1. Heat a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 chopped onion and 1 large carrot grated. Saute until carrots and onion are soft.
  2. Sprinkle in 2 Tbsp flour and whisk quickly to blend. Add 1 Tbsp sour cream and stir.
  3. Add 1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup chicken broth and 1/2 to 1 tsp paprika and bring to a simmer.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring everything to a light boil and pour it over the meatballs. Stir and enjoy.