Kofta Kebabs are a popular Middle Eastern dish made with beef, veal, lamb or combination and filled with mint, garlic and spices. A simple weeknight meal that is deliciously exotic!
During the summer months we grill on the barbecue as much as possible and making kebabs is always a favourite. There is something special about meat on a skewer that makes it feel like summer.
These Grilled Kofta Kebabs are sort of like a hamburger but wrapped around a skewer and filled with unique flavours and perfect for dipping in Homemade Tzatziki Sauce. They take only about 10 minutes to prepare and can be eaten on the stick, wrapped in a pita (take off the stick) or over a salad.
Ingredients needed for Kofta Kebabs
Speaking of sticks I should be clear I do not mean sticks you picked up in the forest. Look for barbecue skewers at your local grocery store. They come in various sizes but my family likes the longer ones that let me make the skewers bigger. You can also get metal skewers that can be reused.
Since you are barbecuing the skewers with the meat you need to prepare the skewers ahead of time. Allow wooden skewers to sit in clean water for about 10 minutes before adding the meat or veggies to any skewer. This way the skewers won’t set on fire while cooking!
I like to use deep cake pan with water but any deep-sided dish will do. Just make sure the entire skewer can be soaked not just the tips.
Then to make this kofta kebab recipe all you need to do is throw all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix by hand until combined.
Be sure not to over mix otherwise the kofta will become dry and tough. Just enough so that the ingredients are combined and you can form a long tube of meat with your hands.
When done mixing I like to first make a ball of the beef mixture like you would a hamburger and then mold it to form a longer ball. Once that is done carefully insert the skewer through the centre and set aside while your grill heat to medium-high heat.
The portion of kofta meat on each skewer will depend on the size of your skewers and personal preference for how you want them to look or be portioned out. I have used 2 lbs of beef for this recipe which for our family preferences makes about 10 skewers.
If you have a smaller household simply cut the recipe in half if you like. Or make this recipe and freeze the other half for another time.
Some of our favourite sides to serve with this Kofta Recipe are:
- Greek Pasta Salad Recipe
- Cilantro Lime Fire Roasted Veggies
- Easy Potato Salad
- Fattoush Salad
- Tangy Homemade Coleslaw
How to store kofta kebab leftovers
If you have some leftover store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Can you freeze this kofta recipe?
Yes, absolutely! In fact I highly encourage you to make more than you need and freeze some for a quick weeknight dinner. They freeze just like a hamburger would. Make them as instructed and place the skewer through the centre. Then store in a large airtight container with each layer separated by wax paper for up to 2 months.
Pull out what you need and place on the barbecue on medium-high heat like you would a hamburger and grill for about 7 minutes per side if completely frozen or until the internal temperature reaches 160 F.
what kind of beef should I use?
I like to use lean ground beef because it is a bit healthier of course but it still has a little fat so that the hamburger meat does not taste dry.
Alternatively, you can also use ground lamb, and or veal as well. We like to use 2/3 ground beef and 1/3 ground lamb when we can find it.
Grilled Kofta Kebabs
- 10-12 skewers for grilling
- Large Bowl
- Measuring Spoons
- Measuring Cup
- 10-12 wood or metal grilling skewers
- 2 lbs lean ground beef can use lamb and or veal as well
- 2 eggs
- 2 slices whole wheat bread torn into tiny pieces by hand
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup fresh mint finely chopped
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- Preheat the barbecue to medium-high heat.
- Place skewers in a water bath for 10 minutes to avoid skewers from burning. This step is not necessary if using metal skewers.
- Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and mix by hand. Form into meat balls and then roll into long skinny tubes. Thread the skewer through the centre of each and set aside.
- Grill over medium-high heat for 5 minutes per side or until the internal temperature has reached 160F. Serve.