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A plate of kofta in skewers
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4.88 from 54 votes

Kofta Kebab

Lamb kofta recipe is a popular Middle Eastern dish but these are not just another lamb koftas. I will share with you my family's recipe for a tender and juicy kofta, that everyone has been asking me about. A must-make Middle Eastern food for special occasions.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle East
Diet: Halal
Servings: 35 pieces
Calories: 145kcal
Author: Amira


  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 lbs ground lamb
  • 1-2 medium onion finely grated
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste.
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon baharat , Middle Eastern Spices.
  • 1 hotdog bun


  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • Flat leaf parsley For garnishing.


  • Soak the bun in water until soft.
  • In a large bowl, mix all other ingredients together.
  • Squeeze water out of the bun and add to the meat mixture.
  • Mix everything until well incorporated.
  • If you are making meatballs, roll them into little balls (two tablespoons) or else wrap the lamb mixture around wooden skewers.*
  • Place kofta kebabs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Cover the kofta with aluminum foil and cook in a 350F oven for 10-15 minutes.
  • While the kofta are in the oven, fire up your grill on high and grease the racks well.
  • Place the kofta fingers on the preheated grill for 5 minutes or less to get those nice grill marks.
  • Enjoy with your choice of side dishes and dips like toomeya, taktouka and tahini sauce. Garish with fresh herbs



  • In order to get delicious kofta that is tender and juicy we will need fat. In Egypt kebab shops usually use lamb tail fat or what we call "lyieh". It is not easy to get it here in the US so instead we use ground lamb meat. If you would like to make it with beef only use ground beef that is no less than 20% fat.
  • You can skip the lamb and make an all beef kofta, but it will not be as tender.
  • Use any type of onions you have yellow, white or red onion.
  • You will need to finely grate/process or chop the onions then squeeze the juices out as much as you can. Just throw the onions in your food processor then squeeze through a cheese cloth or a fine mesh much like what I did here in this lamb chops recipe.
  • This juice can be used in many ways, first you can soak your bread in it for more flavor. When you squeeze the bread though, you will be left with some so do not discard. Wet your hand in this water while shaping the kofta, gives even more delicious flavor. Some even brush the kofta with the onion juice.
  • Adding a bit of flour, although optional but highly recommended. It helps in shaping the kofta and maintaining its shape. This little amount of flour also absorbs unnecessary liquids that might cause the kofta to break apart.
  • You can add a bunch of fresh parsley to the meat as well, this is very common.
  • Add a teaspoon (less or more) of cayenne pepper for a little extra heat.
  • Bake in the oven before grilling: I like cooking kofta in the oven for 10-15 minutes before grilling them for another 5. Covering the pan with foil and letting them cook in the oven helps kofta stays tender and juicy and not to dry so fast also it prevents sticking to the grill racks. Then you just put them on the grill to get those grilling marks and to brown a little more.
  • Or bake them entirely in the oven: If you do not have a grill or your weather does not permit grilling then bake kofta in your oven. Preheat oven to 350, place the kofta on the middle rack for 15 minutes, then move up to the upper rack for 10 minutes but do not turn the broiler on. Of course, every oven is different so just use your cooking senses or meat should reach 160 degrees F on an instant meat thermometer.
  • Make ahead tip: You can freeze them in a single layer until firm then place them in a zip-lock bag. Bake right from frozen there is no need to thaw. Just give them a couple of minutes more.


Calories: 145kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 172mg | Potassium: 134mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg