Middle Eastern Lamb Kofta

Tested & Perfected Recipes
Lamb Kofta

Made with fragrant spices, roasted nuts, herbs and aromatics, this lamb kofta will take your taste buds on an adventure.

middle eastern lamb kofta

Kofta is a Middle Eastern dish made from ground lamb or beef mixed with onions, garlic, and spices. The meat mixture is shaped into balls, patties or logs, and then grilled and served with pita, salads, dips, and sauces. There are endless variations of kofta throughout the Middle East — I have a fantastic recipe for Persian beef kofta in my cookbook — but I learned this version from a kebab maker in the Old City of Jerusalem when we were there celebrating our kids b’nai mitzvah. His secret was to add minced vegetables, toasted nuts, herbs, and spices to the meat to give the kofta deep, complex flavor.

Guys, this recipe will take your taste buds on an exotic Middle Eastern adventure. Forget boring grilled chicken and burgers — this is what you should be serving at your cookouts this summer.

What you’ll need To Make Middle Eastern Lamb Kofta

How To Make Middle Eastern Lamb Kofta

To begin, place the nuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade.

Pulse until finely chopped but not pasty.

Transfer the nuts to a small dry skillet over medium heat; cook, stirring frequently, until the nuts are lightly browned and fragrant, 5 to 6 minutes. Set aside to cool. (But don’t leave the nuts in the pan, as the residual heat may cause them to burn.)

Place the onion, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, and cilantro in the bowl of the food processor (no need to clean it first).

Pulse until the vegetables are finely minced but not puréed.

Set a fine sieve over a bowl. Transfer the minced vegetables to the sieve and use a rubber spatula to press out as much liquid as possible.

In a large bowl, combine the minced veggies, nuts, lamb, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, salt, and white pepper.

Using your hands, mash the mixture together until evenly combined.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Form the mixture into patties about 2 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick (they will puff up on the grill to look like meatballs). Place on the baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and oil the grates. Place the kofta on the grill and cook, covered, until browned, about 4 minutes per side or until cooked through.

Serve the kofta with tzatziki and hummus, and enjoy! For more Israeli-inspired recipes, check out my hummus, sufganiyot, shakshuka and creamy whipped feta.

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Middle Eastern Lamb Kofta

Made with fragrant spices, roasted nuts, herbs and aromatics, this lamb kofta will take your taste buds on an adventure.

Servings: 6 (about 28 golf ball-sized meatballs)
Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 40 Minutes


  • 1/4 cup each pine nuts, almonds, and walnuts (total 3/4 cup)
  • 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, roughly chopped (see note)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, gently packed (okay to substitute parsley)
  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • Tzatziki and hummus, for serving


  1. Place the nuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse until finely chopped but not pasty. Transfer the nuts to a small dry skillet over medium heat; cook, stirring frequently, until the nuts are lightly browned and fragrant, 5 to 6 minutes. Pour the nuts into mixing bowl large enough to hold all of the ingredients, and set aside to cool. (Don't leave the nuts in the pan, as the residual heat may cause them to burn.)
  2. Place the onion, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, and cilantro in the bowl of the food processor (no need to clean it first). Pulse until the vegetables are finely minced but not puréed. Set a fine sieve over a medium bowl. Transfer the minced vegetables to the sieve and use a rubber spatula to press out as much liquid as possible. Add the strained vegetable mixture to the bowl with the nuts.
  3. To the veggies and nuts, add the lamb, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, salt, and white pepper. Using your hands, mash the mixture together until evenly combined.
  4. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Form the mixture into patties about 2 inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick (they will puff up on the grill to look like meatballs). Place on the baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate until ready to cook.
  5. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and oil the grates. Place the kofta on the grill and cook, covered, until browned, about 4 minutes per side or until cooked through. Serve with tzatziki and hummus.
  6. Note: If you like your kofta spicy, reserve some of the seeds from the jalapeño pepper and add them with the vegetables. Also, be sure to wash your hands well after handling hot peppers, and do not touch your eyes while working with them.
  7. Make-Ahead: The patties can be made and refrigerated up to two days ahead of time.
  8. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The uncooked patties can be frozen for up to three months. (Freeze the patties on a baking sheet or plate so their shape sets, then transfer them to a sealable plastic bag for easy storage.) Defrost the burgers overnight in the refrigerator prior to serving and then cook as directed.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 4 meatballs
  • Calories: 438
  • Fat: 36 g
  • Saturated fat: 14 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4 g
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 23 g
  • Sodium: 382 mg
  • Cholesterol: 95 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Fantastic. We put them on skewers but other than that, followed recipe exactly. Had your tzatziki and a grilled eggplant, pepper, and onion salad with it. We will make it often.Thank you!

    • — Pat on November 22, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn – if frozen precooked, do I need to defrost before grilling or broiling in the oven?

    • — Laura on October 23, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yes, I would defrost them first. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 23, 2020
      • Reply
  • Excellent flavor – I felt like I was in Turkey as I smelled the grill. But I subbed beef for lamb which was much drier so I will add olive oil in the future so the meatballs stick together better.

    • — Val on October 2, 2020
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  • So worth the effort. Unreal flavor

    • — Scott Mackenzie on September 24, 2020
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  • Tonight I made the Lamb kofta. It was delicious! I was nervous sending the patties out to the grill with my husband, thinking they would pull apart. I told him 4 minutes on each side. They arrived 8 minutes later absolutely perfectly cooked. Juicy and tender. So delicious. Wow !

    I will share one thing I did that everyone commented on and it was a garlic sauce I made using the lovely juice extracted from the onion, garlic, pepper and jalapeño (vegetables from the kofta) use Greek yogurt, a little mayo, and a little sour cream. Add the drippings and extra garlic, some salt and lemon juice. I also added a full teaspoon of dried dill and let it sit in the fridge for a while.

    So the lamb was served with naan ( made from my husbands sourdough ), hummus, and the Garlic dipping sauce
    Five star meal.
    Thanks Chef 💛

    • — Carina Cantelon on September 14, 2020
    • Reply
  • Oh My Gosh !!! These are fabulous!!! I make them as often as I can and am now substituting ground chicken for heart health 🙂 I have frozen and used later, chopped up a couple, add some tabbouleh and voila, fabulous wraps! It lasts for a few days with only myself and my husband eating at home.

    • — Ange on September 3, 2020
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  • These were delicious!!! I figured out the tomato, cucumber, red onion salad from the picture before I saw the ingredients in the comments. That was so delicious too with fresh summer tomatoes. I plan to make them again next weekend, will add a little more jalapeño – I like them spicy! Fabulous and super easy to make!

    • — Cynthia S. on August 22, 2020
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    • Made tonight for the third time! We love this recipe!!

      • — Cynthia Selmi on October 17, 2020
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  • These look amazing. I will be surely giving this recipe a whirl soon. Could you share the details of the delicious tomato & cucumber salad in the main photo?

    • — Ambra on August 15, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Ambra, That’s not an actual recipe of mine — it’s just a combo of tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion mixed with olive oil, lemon, cilantro, salt, pepper, and za’atar. You could give that a try. This would also be good with my Israeli salad.

      • — Jenn on August 15, 2020
      • Reply
  • I thought these were pretty good, but a bit bland. I followed the recipe precisely, but left out the walnuts. I will make them again, but will probably double the spices.

    • — joan on August 14, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    How do you recommend reheating these kofta? They are delicious and we have some leftovers. I am worried that they may dry out when heating them the next day. Thank you.

    • — Stephanie on August 4, 2020
    • Reply
    • I’d probably just microwave them briefly to heat through. Glad you liked them!

      • — Jenn on August 5, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi there ! Love all your recipes !
    Quick question : I don’t have a grill. It would be ok to bake this in the oven ? Thanks! Regards from Lisbon, Portugal.

    • — Cristiani Oliveira on August 1, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Cristiani, I would broil it to get a little browning and color. Hope you enjoy it!

      • — Jenn on August 2, 2020
      • Reply
  • I’ve now made this a few times as it has become my go to recipe for middle eastern kofta. You cannot go wrong with the mix of ingredients & blends of spices. I would have anarchy in my home if I used cilantro, so I use Italian parsley instead and this time only had almond meal and no other nuts. Regardless of the changes, my family loved the authenticity of the taste (including my picky eater). Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. It is a keeper!

    • — Sonia on July 21, 2020
    • Reply
  • Lots of ingredients but really easy to source (nothing I’ve never heard of or can’t find in my local store) and they take a bit of time, BUT they are definitely worth it. These are the most delicious home made koftas I’ve ever tasted. A no fail, authentic middle eastern recipe. Thank you for sharing it.

    • — Rachael Olson on July 13, 2020
    • Reply
  • These were sooo good. Hubby & I both loved them!! I will admit that I swapped in ground turkey for the lamb. Neither hubby nor I care for lamb. I made them with the Israeli Salad with Feta, Tzatziki, and Zucchini Fritters with Feta – all from this site. Everything was wonderful!!

    • — Bunny on June 26, 2020
    • Reply
  • I have never cooked with lamb but always enjoy lamb at restaurants. I am very inspired by your recipes and now you have me cooking things I would have never thought of on my own to try or even search up a recipe for. All your recipes have been 5 star recipes. If anyone is debating on making this, don’t, make this and you will not regret it!

    • — Christy on June 18, 2020
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  • Absolutely delicious and enjoyed every bite! We grilled them and would like to try baking next time. Jenn-what temperature do you recommend Baking these at and time?

    • — Rebekah Hartkopf on May 20, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed them! You can broil them in the oven — cook time will be about the same.

      • — Jenn on May 21, 2020
      • Reply
    • I actually shallow fried them and then baked them in a hot oven for 7 mins 🙂

      • — Rachael Olson on July 13, 2020
      • Reply
  • Made this last night, first kofta attempted they are absolutely amazing. Used half the amount of mince, and only had almonds (used 45g) and also used parsley instead of coriander. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed them. Will be doing them again and again, and next time will try coriander and the different nuts.

    • — Mirth on May 16, 2020
    • Reply
  • This was my first time to cook lamb at home. I love Kofta at restaurants, but I was afraid it would taste gamey at home. Thanks to all those wonderful spices it came out SO GOOD w your carrot salad and other vege on the side. I’ll have to repeat. Next time with pine nuts and home made tzatziki sauce. Husband raved about it. Thank you!

    • — Joy on May 1, 2020
    • Reply
  • Certainly the best kofta recipe I’ve ever made and possibly the best I’ve ever eaten – and this even with cooking them on a grill pan indoors rather than bbq’ing them! The spicing was intriguing, the vegetables added a marvellous juiciness and the nuts brought a whole new dimension to the flavour. Served them on pita with an Israeli salad, tahini and roasted aubergine and we were in East Med culinary heaven!

    • — Debbie on April 29, 2020
    • Reply
  • Omg best kofta recipe. I use my gowise USA kabob rotisserie with this recipe. I didn’t put the nuts in it and it turned out great! I cooked until internal temp at 145 degrees and they were so juicy!! Thank you!! I also added a little sumac in ground meat mixture. It was wonderful. Everyone loved it

    • — CHris on April 18, 2020
    • Reply
  • Made this for dinner last night. I used half ground lamb half ground beef. I might grind the nuts a little finer next time. Used a pan grille indoors but they browned nicely. Great flavor! With tsatziki sauce and pita. I also made the Israeli salad with feta. (I swear by Bulgarian feta) My wife said she could eat this salad everyday. I also ordered your cookbook on Amazon. Thanks so much for your Mediterranean recipes.

    • — Bernie on April 17, 2020
    • Reply
    • You’re welcome (and thank YOU for your support with the cookbook)! 🙂

      • — Jenn on April 17, 2020
      • Reply
  • Fab fab fab!!!! I baked them for 20mins 200degreesC and they were delicious! Only thing I would do better next time is more salt 😆

    • — Belinda on February 2, 2020
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  • These were great! I used vegan beef (Beyond Meat brand) instead of lamb, baked them instead of grilling, and served with a simple coriander chutney (cilantro, lime, olive oil, salt). Highly recommend!

    • — Maggie on December 24, 2019
    • Reply
  • THESE were the BEST!!! The flavors, your recipe ….intense BUT well worth the time!! Made this for Thanksgiving, along with some of your other recipes Jenn, we LOVED it!! Thanks much!! I’m a brand new fan!

    • — Gigi on December 1, 2019
    • Reply
  • I have never made kofta before, but tried this recipe today and my husband grilled them on the bbq. It was relatively easy and ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! I will definitely do this again soon!!! Thank you

    • — Deborah on September 21, 2019
    • Reply
  • The first time I made this was soon after you posted it. I had never had, much less made, a kofta before. Thank you very much for introducing it to me! It is delicious! And making it goes much faster than one would think given a long ingredient list. Grilling is a hassle at my house, so I have broiled them and sometimes I bake them. I served this dish to a friend in her 80s who had never had lamb before. She loved it, too.

    • — Andrea on July 16, 2019
    • Reply
  • I want too make these for a party but am aware that a couple of people have nut allergies. Can nuts be excluded from the recipe without changing the flavor of the finished kofta too much? I could safely use the pine nuts but what can I substitute for the almonds and walnuts?

    Thanks! I’m looking forward to making these!

    • — sandra on July 11, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Sandra, You can definitely replace the almonds and walnuts with more pine nuts.

      • — Jenn on July 12, 2019
      • Reply
      • Hi Jenn,
        I cannot say enough complimentary things about your recipes, many of which have become beloved staples in our household.
        I want to make the lamb kofta ahead of time for a cottage vacation and then freeze them. Do you think they would freeze well for a week or two?

        • — Marie Rose Phaneuf on June 21, 2020
        • Reply
        • Yes, they will freeze nicely. (And thanks for your nice words about the recipes — so glad you like them!!)

          • — Jenn on June 22, 2020
          • Reply
  • I’d love to bring these to a picnic. Could I grill them at home and serve them at the picnic at room temperature?

    • — Liz on July 10, 2019
    • Reply
    • Sure, Liz, that would work. Just from a food safety perspective though, I wouldn’t let them go for too long. Hope the picnic is fun!

      • — Jenn on July 10, 2019
      • Reply
  • Made a few modifications (1/2 Beef 1/2 Lamb) and omitted the Jalapeno.

    The flavors in this were amazing! Probably the best Kofta I’ve ever had, and will absolutely be addd to our regular rotation. Thanks for sharing!

    • — Matthew Herring on June 22, 2019
    • Reply
  • This was fantastic will make again. Everyone one of your recipes are a keeper, love the cookbook.

    • — Eileen Malejko on June 13, 2019
    • Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed the kofta and like the cookbook! 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 13, 2019
      • Reply
  • Delicious! I found 4 mins per side too much cooking time though at the heat of my BBQ, so will reduce next time. I halved the recipe but forgot to half the nuts yet it turned out great and had the benefit of sneaking in nutrition that my 7 year old otherwise refuses to eat.

    • — Ciara Brady on May 13, 2019
    • Reply
  • Tried this out the other night for something different. I omitted the jalapeno to accommodate the sensitive palates of our 5 & 7-year-olds. Even so, we all loved it! It was great to enjoy the flavourfulness of the koftas – no carriers needed. It was a resounding, let’s make this again!

    • — Journeyer on January 14, 2019
    • Reply
  • Absolutely loved this recipe. I made it ‘as-is’ except that I halved it as I only had 1lb ground lamb and I didn’t have propane to grill so I baked in the oven for about 18 minutes at 350 and they turned out great. Don’t skimp on the spices! It’s a wonderful, full flavor experience with nuts, veggies, and spices. I also made the hummus (amazing!) and served together with whole wheat pitta. This has been my favorite meal in the last month and that includes all of the holiday meals. Simple, good food! Thank you for sharing the recipes!

    • — Jennifer on January 3, 2019
    • Reply
  • These were the BEST!!!! My grocery store was out of ground lamb, so I used ground chicken breast. It was wonderful! The ground nuts definitely put these over the top. Don’t skip the roasting step. I cooked these in the frying pan with olive oil and served these with tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, and warm pita with garlic yogurt sauce. My whole family loved these. They are a keeper. Thank you for this recipe!

  • Loved these! The combo of herbs and nuts is amazing!

    • — Sherry Downing King
    • Reply
    • Delicious! I Made a salsa of finely diced tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion. Seasoned with salt, pepper, Olivie oil and oregano. Served with small naan rounds and topped with the tatziki, salsa and Kofta.
      A winner with the kids

      • — Grace on August 5, 2019
      • Reply
  • I made these on Sunday and my husband grilled them. They smelled just as good as they tasted. I thought we had frozen pine nuts but was wrong so made up the difference with an even mix of walnuts and almonds. Still incredible. Next time I think I’ll grind nut types separately as the almond chunks were bigger. We’re planning a holiday party and these will be served. Another excellent recipe. Thanks, Jennifer!

  • Top 5 flavor bombs ever. Sooo yummy. I followed recipe to a T and made the sides. We love lamb and always looking for new ways to prepare. I don’t think very many restaurants could top this one. Outstanding.

  • Hi Jenn,

    I’m very lucky to have a source of lamb from a great little family farm north of Detroit. I’ve been looking for a recipe to do justice to this amazing meat.
    Your recipe was – stunning. Flavors just explode. I just got another 2lbs of fresh lamb, and I’m making it again tonight.
    Thank you!

  • Delicious, thank you for a fabulous recipe. I made the whole amount for two. Meals for this week are sorted, and some to share with my colleagues!

  • This is the best Lamb Kofta recipe I have come across. I served it on couscous topped with Jalapeño Chilli Relish, hummus and tadziki for an easy and super tasty meal.

  • Very tasty! Basically just made golf ball sized meatballs out of the mixture, baked them in the oven for 20 minutes and served them with pocket breads, salad and tzatziki. Will definitely be adding this to our dinner rotation!

  • This recipe was great! Easy to follow and had incredible flavor. I’ve made these several times along with the tzatziki.

  • Delicious. Made them Sunday evening with the suggested sides. There were only three of us so I have frozen the uncooked koftas for another meal.

  • What can I use instead of pinenuts? They are really pricey here in Sweden.

    • Hi Alexandra, you can just replace the pine nuts with additional walnuts and/or almonds. Hope you enjoy!

  • I have limited counter space and no food processor. Do you think this recipe would work if I smashed the nuts and finely minced the veg?

    • Hi Selina – yes that should work. I’d love to know how it turns out!

  • I have tried many of your recipes over the last 6 months, this kofta included just this past weekend. I served the kofta with your hummus and tzatziki with cucumber & tomato salad and naan. The most common response I get from my friends when I make your recipes (including the kofta) is, “This tastes like food I would order at a restaurant.” I can’t wait to get your cookbook – I pre-ordered it today! Thank you for sharing these delicious dishes with us!

    • You’re welcome! (And thank you for your support with the cookbook!) ❤️

  • We raised lamb, which means that I have tried many recipes with lamb. This is by far the best recipe I have tried. My family loves this recipe, and I have even had great success serving this at a party by grilling everything first, refrigerating overnight, and then putting the kofta in a crockpot so that they were warm for the guests. Even the non-lamb eaters loved these!

  • I made this recipe tonight and it was SENSATIONAL. Not having a grill, I pan-fried the meat patties in olive oil. They were divine. Will be making this again!! Thank you!

  • Fish sauce…I’ve tried it a couple of times and just can’t. Any substitution you can suggest?

    • Hi Diane, I’m assuming you must be referring to a different recipe as this one doesn’t have fish sauce. Which recipe were you referring to?

  • Thank you. Love your recipes. Can’t wait for the cookbook!

  • Our son is allergic to almonds and walnuts. Could I just use the pine nuts and omit the other nuts?

    • Yep- that should work!

  • I love the flavour and texture combination! The ground nuts with the vegetables and herbs raise these tasty morsels into the stratosphere.

  • Could I use chickpeas in place of lamb to make this vegetarian kofta?

    • Hi Pamela, I can’t guarantee the chickpeas will work here but have you tried my falafel recipe? I think that’s your best bet.

      • Thanks for your reply, Jenn. And Yes, my family and I love your falafel recipe!

  • PERFECTION!!! These were the BEST! Having lived in Turkey and visited Israel, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, I can say that these were as good, if not better, than anything I ate there. I’m SO GLAD you went to Israel Jen, so we could all enjoy the fruits of your travels! Now I’m wondering if it would be too ambitious to make these for a buffet dinner for 18 people!!! ???

  • This is an excellent recipe. I often fix it for a buffet with the suggested sides along with saffron rice and a salad.

  • Wow, Jenn. These were amazing! We loved the texture with the chopped nuts, and the flavors were just delicious. My husband did them on the grill and I served it with your now famous feta dip, flatbread and a simple salad of tomatoes, cucumber, kalamata olives, fresh dill, olive oil and red wine vinegar. His comment was…restaurant quality and you can make this once a week! Fortunately, there are a lot of them, so we have another meal in the freezer. You are simply the best!

  • Absolutely delicious :0)
    Thanks Jenn!

  • I made these last night and cooked them on the BBQ. I have tried about ten recipes from this site and each is a winner. So much so that I don’t want to repeat but continue trying more. Anyway the family like them and I thought there seemed to be too many favours competing. We have plenty of lamb mince so I might try it without the spices as there seemed to be too little or too subtle for my taste. Cookbook- I’m in.

  • I made these this week and they were amazing. I have been looking for a kofta recipe and this is it! The nuts were a really unexpected ingredient but they really add to the authentic flavor.

  • Made these yesterday with the tzatziki recipe and a sun dried tomato and basil humus. Made as directed except I made small logs with the meat and skewered them instead of making meatballs. Served with small pita which we cut in haf to make little pocket sandwiches, was excellent!!

  • Fantastic!

  • My husband won’t eat onions but by cooking them until translucent he can’t find them. Will this impact the recipe? Should I saute’ all the vegetables?

    • Hi Kathie, Would he be opposed to grated onions?

  • Oops! Also, if freezing, freeze before cooking or after?

    • Hi Vivian, you can do either, actually. If you freeze them before cooking, first put them on a baking sheet or plate so their shape sets, then after about 30 minutes, transfer them to a sealable plastic bag for easy storage.

  • Can this be made with meatball mix, beef/veal/pork? Can’t get ground lamb.
    Thank you for this awesome blog!

    • Yes, I think that’d work well ?.

      • I have cooked this recipe on the grill and in the oven. I think they came out better (and cooked faster) using grill method but worked well enough in the oven (400 degrees for 15-20 minutes). It’s nice to have the flexibility. Either way, they are VERY TASTY. And since my husband began following a ketogenic diet a couple years ago, we eat a lot of meatballs, so I appreciate the diverse taste this recipe offers. Meatball recipes in general are easily adaptable to a keto diet. Thank you, Jenn, for sharing your recipes and cooking wisdom!

        • — Andrea Laine on April 21, 2019
        • Reply
  • Made these tonight using the oven broiler. I had to omit all the nuts and also sauteed the vegetables before adding them to the ground lamb and they were still very flavorful. Wish I had cilantro (coriander) but I had to go without this too.

    One thing to be careful with is the high fat content – nearly started a fire in the oven! (At least I know my smoke detectors are working properly….)

    The meatballs tasted great though, despite being overly charred and over-done. Next time I will keep a closer eye on them when in the oven!

  • I made the kofta and we loved it! The only change that I made is that I broiled them since I couldn’t bear to stand outside in 97 degree heat to grill them. The bonus is that I have a large bag of them in the freezer for future meals. We served it with your suggestions: pita, hummus, tzatziki, my version of your cucumber/tomato salad. Great summer meal. I love your recipes because they are so reliable.

  • Can’t wait to try this recipe. However, the boyfriend can’t eat cilantro (tastes like soap enzyme). Can I trade it out for parsley? Or another herb? Thank you!

    • Definitely, Kaylan – parsley or mint will both work well. Hope you guys enjoy!

  • AMAZING! Did not change a thing! Thank you Jenn!

  • Delicious and worth the effort! Next time I will likely add a bit more heat with the the ribs and seeds of the jalapeño, but so flavorful. I made fresh pita bread and reheated on the grill, served with homemade hummus and tzatziki and crudités. Wonderful summer dinner!

    • We have a non-lamb fan amongst our clan so want to sub ground turkey for this delicious sounding recipe. Do you think it’s doable?

      • — Laura on April 13, 2019
      • Reply
      • Hi Laura, Ground beef would be the better substitute if your guest will eat that. Turkey might work — just don’t purchase the extra lean as the kofta will turn out dry. If you try it, please LMK how it turns out. 🙂

        • — Jenn on April 14, 2019
        • Reply
        • Okay the spices worked well with the turkey and I also added some duck fat to the mix! Delicious because of your recipe and encouragement. Thank you🤗

          • — Laura on July 10, 2019
          • Reply
          • So glad they turned out well!

            • — Jenn on July 10, 2019
  • My mouth was so happy…..once again a delicious recipe. Putting it to the test here at work today. Thank you for going to Israel!

  • I made these last night for dinner. So delicious!! My son is allergic to nuts so I just omitted the nuts and they were really tasty. Super easy to make as well. Served with hummus and tzaztiki, couscous and your zucchini & cherry tomato salad.
    So glad you are sharing recipe ideas from Israel. Thank you !

  • What a hit! The kofta were delicious and the recommended sides of hummus and tzatziki received rave reviews, as well. Thanks for making me look like a star.

  • Hi,

    What a great, authentic recipe. I’m a vegetarian, but I knew my husband would love this. It came together so nicely and the textures and spices even I could appreciate.

    Thanks again for another terrific recipe!

  • This looks and sounds delicious! I would like to make this for our BBQ at the park, however, the grill at the park doesn’t have a cover. How much longer do these need to be cooked for in that case?

    • Hi Beatrice, I definitely think it will work but it’s really hard to say what the cook time will be as every grill is so different. Cook them until they are nicely browned on all sides, then just cut into one to make sure it’s done.

  • Could I bake these in the oven instead of grill? My husband would love this!

    • Sure KC, I’d broil them – cook time will be about the same.

      • Thank you for your quick reply. I’m excited to try. There’s not one recipe of yours that we don’t love!

  • I love pinning your recipes butI don’t like the large double photos with the large script. It makes the boards look loud and “sloppy”. Is it possible to just pin a photo? Thanks!

    • Hi Julia, If you use the pin button on your browser’s toolbar (rather than the pin button on the site), you should have a selection of many small images to pin rather than the long graphic image. Hope that helps!

  • Hi Jenn making these right now and was wondering if I could freeze them? Thanks!

    • Hi Abbie, Yes, they’d freeze well. Enjoy!

      • I don’t have to worry about freezing ’cause there ain’t gonna be any left!!!!! These bite sized balls of flavor are INSANELY delicious. You are truly one amazing chef and because of you..so am I!

  • Made this tonight with the Hummus and other dish my auto correct won’t allow me to spell. It was fabulous.

  • Jenn, what is that salad in the picture?

    • Hi David, That’s not an actual recipe from the blog — it’s just a combination of tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion mixed with olive oil, lemon, cilantro, salt, pepper, and za’atar.

      • I was lloking for the recipe of that salad on the picture on your menu and I could not find it so I cam here to see if anyone had asked 🙂 so glad they did!

        I am making the kofta today and will be making this salad because it sounds and looks beautiful!


  • Jenn, As soon as this recipe arrived in my inbox yesterday, I knew I had to make it for dinner. Well, let me just say it did not disappoint! Even my 8 yr old liked it. So much flavor – loved the spices in this!

  • Hi There…this looks amazing. I am interested in your response to another question about the salad. I never heard of za’atar until you listed it in the ingredients. It sounds so good…do you have a brand you recommend? I looked on Amazon but quickly got overwhelmed! Folks are very particular about how “their” za’atar should taste! Thank you!

    • Hi Mary, This is a good one. It’s wonderful on everything — I even sprinkle it on buttered popcorn!

  • Hi Jenn, I was going to ask the same thing – I’d like the recipe for that salad. Guess you might have to do one for that! 🙂

  • Can I replace the lamb with either ground chicken or turkey, but use same seasoning?

    • Hi Sue, Ground beef would be the best substitute but turkey might work (and no need to adjust seasoning). If you try it, please lmk how it turns out.

  • We have a nut allergy in our family. Is there a best substitute? Thanks!

    • Hi Amy, You can just leave the nuts out. Hope you enjoy!

      • Can you substitute the nuts with breadcrumbs?

        • Hi Donna, If you don’t want to use the nuts, I would just leave them out. Enjoy!

  • I do not eat lamb, could I substitute turkey, buffalo, elk, or wild boar?

    • Hi Anne, I’d probably avoid turkey or anything too lean. Ground beef works well.

  • Could you provide a link to the recipe for the salad shown in the photograph?

    Many thanks!

    • Hi Tony, That’s not a recipe I have on the site — it’s just a mix of cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onion with olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper, cilantro, and za’atar. Easy!

      • How much z’aater?

        • Hi Leeann, I use about a half teaspoon but you can sprinkle it on to taste.

  • This recipe looks wonderful, but could I substitute lamb with something else?

    • Hi Melissa, Ground beef would work well. Enjoy!

  • Love the look of this recipe but aren’t big on lamb and can’t BBQ cause we live in an apartment. Given this, if we use beef instead should we adjust any of the spices? Also can these be cooked in the oven or fried on top of the stove instead? Thanks in advance. We live so many of your recipes!

    • Hi Laura, Go ahead and use 80-85% lean ground beef (no changes needed) and either broil or pan-fry on the stovetop.

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