Kofta Kebabs

There are a bunch of Middle Eastern restaurants in my neighborhood. From shawarma spots, to Persian, Greek and other restaurants, I love the flavors in Middle Eastern cuisine. A common food among many of these spots is food on a pita. Whether it is a shawarma, gyro or doner, I love food this regions handheld ‘pocket’ food – or wrap!

Lamb Kofta Kebabs text

One of my favorite things to eat is one of the more common Persian dishes. It is called a kofta kebab and it is essentially a long meatball grilled on a skewer. What makes this dish truly unique is the amazing blend of spices, ranging from ginger, cumin, coriander and fresh parsley and mint. Each bite is an experience and these kofta kebabs are great on rice, with a salad, tzatziki, or throw it in a pita with for an awesome pita pocket!

Lamb Kofta Kebabs-3

Traditionally, kofta kebabs are made with ground lamb. Alternatively, you could use beef, chicken or even pork. They all can work well. I have used a half beef and half pork mixture which turned out great.

Lamb Kofta Kebabs-5

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5 from 7 votes

Kofta Kebabs

Easy kofte recipe with ground lamb or beef and a mix of spices including garlic, ginger, mint, parsley, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and more. Serve with tzatziki, rice or on a pita.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Steve Cylka


  • 1 pound ground lamb (or ground beef)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 inch piece ginger , peeled
  • 2 shallots , peeled
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Add all the ingredients, except the ground lamb, to a food processor and pulse until the garlic and ginger are finely minced - about 20-30 seconds.
  • Add the spice mixture to the ground lamb and knead until well combined.
  • If using bamboo skewers, soak for 15 minutes before using.
  • Take a handful of the meat mixture and form into a meatball. Thread onto the skewer and roll the meat in your hands to flatten it into a long egg type shape. Do this with the remaining meat mixture.
  • Heat grill to high heat. Place kebabs on grill and cook for about 6 minutes. Turn and cook another 6 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink. Remove from the grill.
  • Serve with tzatziki. Recipe here.

About Steve Cylka

Steve is the author of The Black Peppercorn. He is a recipe developer and food photographer. His recipes have been featured on websites like Bradley Smoker, Times Picayune, Buzzfeed, and Basil & Salt. He has also authored and co-authored a couple cookbooks.


  1. I love these type of kebabs. It’s one of my favorite at a Middle Easter Kebab house down here. 🙂

  2. Hey, I’m an amateur just learning my way in the kitchen. I’m pretty good with a grill but I’m interested in ways to cook this indoors. How would I go about doing this in the oven and/or on the stove top?

    Thank you!

  3. Hi Steve — I made these last week and we loved them! I wrote about them and linked back to your recipe on my blog post. Thank you, it’s a great recipe!

  4. The print function on this website doesn’t work. It only goes to save. Can you fix this? Thanks.

  5. Wow! The flavors are incredible. Thank you for sharing!

  6. This recipe looks great. Do you mean 2 tsp of ground coriander seed or dried coriander leaves?
    Thank you

  7. Made this tonight and it’s a keeper! Used 1/2 lamb and 1/2 ground chuck, also substituted parsley for the mint (since we didn’t have any) and it was great! Will definitely make this again. Thanks for sharing!

  8. This recipe looks great! I especially like those skewers you used. I didn’t see them in your product reviews; can you please let me know where to find them, if possible? Thanks!

  9. Hi, can one omit the ginger please?

  10. I followed the recipe but the meat would not stay on the skewers, just fell off right away. So I made lamb patties.

  11. Absolutely fantastic recipe! So much flavor! Thanks.

  12. Can you make this recipe with ground chicken or turkey?

  13. Greece is in Europe, not the Middle East.

    Looks a tasty recipe tho, will give it a bash tonight.

  14. Prepared the meat and sauce the night before and stashed the in the fridge.

    I thought I had the perfect cooking tool, a vary old Farberwaer rotisserie with the kabob attachment. It would have worked perfectly had I made the kabobs a little thinner and longer. As they started to heat up they just couldn’t hold their shape and started to slid off the screwers. My bad! Had I gone thinner and longer I’m sure they would have come out as good tasting as the pics show them to be good looking.

    Had to resort to baking but there’s always next time.

    BTW, now the kitchen sells wonderful!

  15. As usual, you are making me hungry! I need to try these too! Looks delicious!

  16. Absolutely wonderful! Kafta kebabs are so good, and yours sound utterly delicious!!

  17. I love the combination of herbs and spices that you used… Craving these kebabs so much right now! Can’t wait to try them!

  18. Absolutely delicious!!!!! I do love spicy, but i thought there was a little too much pepper. The back of my throat burned a bit! I will decrease the amount next time.

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