These Grilled Lamb Kofta Kebabs are spiced middle eastern meatballs that you can grill or bake in the oven!
Are you noticing a new theme here? Pita, hummus, now kofta! Have you ever had kofta? Kofta is basically spiced meatballs on a stick. You add a bunch of spices and herbs to the meat and then grill them, and when done right they are amazing. There is a middle eastern restaurant that Mr. Briar and I have been to a few times. Twice now I have ordered the lamb kofta, and both times I was just a little dissapointed with it. Don’t get me wrong, the restaurant is great and I usually love everything I order there. But for some reason the kofta is never quite as flavorful as I want.
So when I was working on this recipe I wanted to get the spice mixture right, and also add lots of other flavor enhancers. The first time I made them I added waaaay too much onion. They were far too wet to hold together on the skewer, and we ended up grilling them like burger patties. They still tasted great, but in order to keep these firm enough to hold up on the skewer I reduced the onion and liquid going into the mixture.
The other thing that helps these hold together is forming them and then letting them chill in the fridge for at least an hour. This makes a huge difference. After they chill, you thread them onto the skewers. I use metal skewers on the grill, but if you use wooden ones be sure to soak them in water first so they don’t burn. If you don’t want to grill these, you can also make them in the oven! You just “grill” them under the broiler. The smokey flavor from actually grilling them is of course the best, but sometimes you just can’t get outside to grill so the broiler is the next choice.
I served these with a yogurt mint sauce and of course some homemade pitas! Now what are you waiting for? Run down to your Fred Meyer (Kroger for you non PNW people!) and pick up these ingredients, then get grilling!
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Lamb Kofta Kebabs
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1/4 cup grated onion drained of extra liquid
- 4 garlic cloves finely minced or pressed
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper* see note
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
For The Mint Yogurt Sauce
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup fresh mint
- 2 ounces feta cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Place onion, garlic, mint, and parsley in a food processor and pulse until finely minced. (if you don't have a food processor, you can just finely chop everything). Drain off any excess liquid.
- In a large bowl, add meat, onion herb mixture, and all other ingredients. Mix until incorporated.
- Divide meat mixture into six portions, form each into an oblong shaped ball.
- Place on a lined baking sheet and chill in the fridge for at least an hour. (*this is important in order for them to hold up on the skewer)
- After meatballs have chilled, thread onto skewers*. Leave plenty of space between each meatball, about two meatballs per skewer.
To Make The Mint Yogurt Sauce:
- Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until smooth.
On The Grill:
- Place kebabs on hot side of the grill and cook 4-5 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
In the Oven:
- Move rack to the top position in the oven. Turn on broiler onto high.
- Line a baking sheet with foil and fit with an oven safe rack. Place skewers on top of rack and place under the broiler. Broil for about 10 minutes or until cooked through.
- Serve with mint yogurt sauce and pitas, if desired.
**Chilling is very important in order for the kofta to hold their shape.
***You may be tempted to add more onion or not to drain the liquid, but this may result in kofta that are too wet and will not be able to stay on the skewer. If you do end up accidentally making them too wet, you may be able to just grill them like hamburger patties.
****I used metal skewers, but if you use wodden ones be sure to soak them in water before grilling so that they don't burn.
Mint Yogurt Sauce Adapted from Martha Stewart
Disclaimer: I partnered Fred Meyer for this recipe, however, my opinions, as always, are 100% my own. Integrity is important to me, and I only share brands and products that I think are awesome. Thank you for supporting Fox and Briar!
Would I be able to do this on the metal skewer with the rotisserie setting in an air fryer? How do you think that will work out?
Hi Melissa – I haven’t tried that but it sounds like it would work! Let us know how it turns out!
This recipe is nice and easy, and yields tasty lamb kofta! I loved it and have even tried to recipe with lean ground beef and it’s definitely a keeper! Thank you!!
So glad to hear that Linda!
This was super yummy and easy to make! I love all of the fresh ingredients and spices. The mixture smelled amazing before even cooking it! I had a friend try these and he’d never had lamb! He really liked them and requested them again. I was wondering if the herbs/spices would go well with ground beef? I’m probably going to be trying this tonight! Thanks, again for the recipe!
Hi Linda – yes, I think the spices would be great with beef too! I’m so glad the recipe was a hit!
We had 2lbs of ground lamb to use, and immediately I wanted something like this! Absolutely delicious! Plus, when I saw something about Fred Meyer, I was excited to find out you were in the Seattle. Area. We live in Sweden, but my heart is in the PNW, so it was nice to be close to home so to speak 🙂
Aww, I am so happy you loved it Laura! I hope you get to come back to the PNW soon!
Liat ankonina says
I don’t have a grill, so I tried to make this in the oven as stated in the notes. 10 min on broil was not enough, and the pan started to smoke significantly. We broiled the kabobs 10 m on 1 side, 5 min on the next, and then cooked them on 400F for 10 min. They turned out delicious, but I will try them on a grill once I buy one. also worth noting that this is my first time making lamb and my dog has a serious panic attack. She is a bomb proof German Shepherd and I had never seen her like this. After some research I learned this is a common reaction in dogs so if you want to make this in the oven and have a dog make sure you put them in another room or something…
Hi Liat – thanks for your comment! I had no idea that was a reaction some dogs have. How strange! I’m glad they turned out tasty though!
These kebabs were delicious! Every bite was full of flavor. I doubled the recipe to have leftovers, but otherwise followed the instructions and they came out amazing! Even my toddler loved them, broken up, and topped with the mint yogurt sauce! I will definitely make them again in the summer when I can use mint from my garden.
Yay! So happy you loved it Gwen!
Sandi (@fearless_dining) says
I had never thought to make my own kabobs like this. They look like the perfect recipe for one of our pool parties.
Oh these would be perfect for a pool party! Thanks Sandi!
Jennifer A Stewart says
I haven’t had Kofta before but I love any meats on sticks! I am on a Greek food kick right now so this is right up my alley!!
Thanks Jennifer! They are totally perfect then!
Dini @ The Flavor Bender says
I am drooling right now! I LOVE lamb kofta! Seriously adore it! Definitely need to try your recipe too! It looks so good 😀
Thank you so much Dini! I do hope you try it!
This dish is so close to my heart as I’m Iranian and lamb, yogurt and mint are some of my all time favorites! Lamb is just so delicious!!
Thank you Shadi! I agree, lamb is so good.
These kofta kebabs look and sound so incredibly delicious! Love that you came up with a much more flavorful version that the local restaurant 🙂
Thank you Naina!
Christine | Mid-Life Croissant says
OK, I opened this post and immediately had to go get myself a snack. I just knew I’d never make it through if I didn’t have something in my mouth. Unfortunately, it was ham and cheese and not these amazing kofta. But that will change!! It was a good call, though, because without a snack, by the time I got to the yogurt mint sauce I would have been out cold on the floor.
And THANK YOU for including oven directions. My NYC living, sixth floor apartment family really appreciates that.
Haha! Thank you Christine! One of the perils of food blogging – looking at food all day! I’m glad the oven instructions were helpful!
Michelle @ Giraffes Can Bake says
These look soooo good, I love all spices so much flavour!
Loving the middle eastern theme you have going on at the moment – so yummy!
Thanks Michelle! I have been into these themes lately! Just can’t help myself!
I LOVE koftas!! I’ve never made them myself before and it’s time I fixed that! Your recipe looks great- can’t wait to try it!
Thank you Traci! It totally goes with your theme, I bet you would love it!
Julie at Hostess At Heart says
This dish looks absolutely delicious! I can’t wait to try it Meghan!
Thank you so much Julie!
demeter | beaming baker says
Meghan, how cool is it that you dine out, maybe try out a few dishes that aren’t up to par, and then go ahead and whip up something MUCH better at home? Few people have those skills, my dear! Meanwhile, I enjoyed hearing about your rounds of recipe testing–all of that labor just makes the final product so much tastier. As usual, your photos are ridiculously on point! Can’t wait to see whatcha cook up next. 😉
Aww, thanks so much demeter! You are the sweetest!
Looks really delicious, I love Middle Eastern food. I’ve made koftas quite often, unfortunately not with lamb, I like lamb but have never seen it minced around here. And I don’t have a “mincing mashine” (I know that’s the wrong word for it, but I cannot remember the right one). 🙂 But I am sure this recipe would be delicious with beef as well.
I bet these would be great with beef too. Ground lamb is actually a little harder to find around here too, but I can usually find it at some stores. We also have used our food processor to grind meat before we started using the kitchen aid attachment! Thanks so much Adina!
Tina Marie says
Wow! Sounds amazing and delicious. Your mint sauce looks divine. I’ll have to check with out local grocer to see if he can get us some ground lamb in and give this a try. I also see you have some delicious hummus on the side – one of my favorite things.
Thank you Tina! Yes, ground lamb can be harder to find but that is a great idea to ask the butcher, they usually have the connections to get it done 🙂
Lisa @ Chocolate Meets Strawberry says
I’m loving this Middle Easter theme, Meghan! I spy that delicous hummus and those pita breads in the corner of these photos – I bet they would be soooo good with these koftas. Honestly, when you can make food this good at home, why go out to a restaurant?! I’ve been in that same situation as you, when I go out and have worked up a dish in my head to be amazing but it turns out to be mediocre, or good, but not quite good enough to justify the price. I have been seeing so many lovely Middle Eastern dishes pop up on my feed lately, and it is making me want to try my hand at some at home. Thank you for the delicious inspiration! 😀
Thank you Lisa! I agree, sometimes it is better to cook at home! I hope you are inspired to try some new dishes, let me iknow what you come up with!
These sound delicious! I love how you experiment to get your recipes just right before sharing~~(and having yummy meals along the way~??)
The combo with the mint sauce & pita sounds genius!! Your photos make me want to get right in the kitchen and create these recipes~
Once the Spring rains stop, we can try it on the grill~~love the options of oven or grill!
Summer is almost here! I bet you guys will love these!
Dawn @ Girl Heart Food says
Spiced meatballs on a stick? Yes please! That’s even fun to say and I bet even better to eat! Great spice mixture in these! Sounds delicious. And, it’s always so awesome (and better) when you can make a tastier version of what you love to eat at home, isn’t it? Oh, and that mint yogurt sauce sounds divine! Love the feta in there 🙂
Thank you so much Dawn!
Megan @ Meg is Well says
I love how you just created a whole meal for me over the week! I’ve never made lamb kofta kebabs but I have some chickpeas soaking in water for hummus so I’m on it!
Yay! Thank you Megan, I hope you have a marvelous feast!