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A plate of kofta in skewers
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4.95 from 19 votes

Kofta Kebab

This is not just another meatball recipe, Kofta is the middle eastern take on meatballs. I will share with you my family's recipe for a tender and juicy kofta, that everyone has been asking me about.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle East
Diet: Halal
Servings: 35
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.
  • 1 hotdog bun.


  • 1 Tablespoon flour


  • Soak the bun in water until soft.
  • 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 into little balls or else wrap the meat around skewers.*
  • 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 grill for 5 minutes or less to take the grilling marks and be browned.
  • Enjoy with your choice of side dishes and dips like toomeya, taktouka and tahini sauce.


  • In order for your kofta to be 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 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 the 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.
  • 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