Kofta Burgers

Kofta burgers are a version of the classic spiced Lebanese kofta–highly seasoned ground lamb (beef works too!), char-grilled. Typically kofta is served in the shape of a log, pressed to a skewer to hold its shape.

Don’t get scared off of these burgers thinking that “kofta” (also: kefta, also: kafta) can’t mean burger. Traditionally the highly seasoned ground lamb is pressed to a stick and grilled. You also see kofta shaped and grilled as a log without the stick.

All of that is fine, but that look, that log look…frankly this does nothing to tell us that what we’re about to eat is out of this world. Incredibly flavorful. Delectable.

Enter the lamb kofta burger. I figure as long as the paper placemat and the fattoush are getting reinvented this week, how about the kofta too?

You can eat the lamb burger my way, with toum garlic sauce, or your way, with anything you want (ketchup, or as Sitto would say: cats-up, mustard, or even hummus spread on top). If you want the garlic but are not about to make any toum, substitute mayo with minced garlic stirred in.

Tuck the burger into a bun, or roll it up in a big flat pita with some veggies. Or eat it as my mom and I do, with fork and knife and no bun whatsoever. That’s not how Dad would be eating his; he’d want that soft bun cradling his burger, thank you very much.

Line up your lamb burgers with your hummus, your fattoush and potato salads, your veggie skewers and almond-cherry ice cream–and there’s a cookout to love..

Kofta Burgers

Maureen Abood
The size of the burgers can be whatever you’d like; just be sure to flatten them out as much as possible when shaping, so that they don’t get too thick and puck-ish when they cook. The raw meat mixture becomes quite soft with all of the seasonings and onion, so it’s helpful to chill it for a half hour or up to a day before grilling. Dress the burgers with toum garlic sauce, or standard mustard and ketchup. A quickie garlic sauce is mayonnaise with some minced garlic stirred in.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Total Time 23 mins
Servings 4


  • 2 pounds ground lamb or beef
  • 2 tablespoons grated yellow onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley, flat or curly
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Few grinds black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-6 hamburger buns, kaiser rolls, or pita bread


  • Combine the lamb with the onion, parsley, mint, salt, pepper, sumac, and cinnamon. Shape into 4-6 flat patties. Dip your hands in cold water if they become sticky, and to help smooth the meat into the patty. Place the patties onto a wax paper lined plate and chill for ½ hour or up to one day, covered.
  • Heat the grill to medium high heat. Brush the patties with olive oil. Grill about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Serve on buns with condiments.


(Visited 10,039 times, 1 visits today)


  1. Amanda on June 13, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Had your potato salad last night with lamb burgers, grilled eggplant and grilled zucchini. Safe to say I have never enjoyed a burger meal so much. The potato salad, all lightened and brightened with mint and lemon, and the lamb burgers…will have to try this recipe too soon, because it is my new favorite meat. Just mayonnaise, cucumbers and tomatoes. Amazing. Thanks for the inspiration and recipes!

    • Maureen Abood on June 13, 2013 at 1:12 PM

      That is music to my ears (and eyes), Amanda!

  2. Dania on June 14, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    So glad I discovered Rose Water & Orange Blossoms, your wonderful stories and mouthwatering recipes. I grew up watching my Lebanese grandmother make these amazing meals and would give anything to have her recipes. I am going to try the Kofta burgers this weekend with ground turkey as I don’t care for lamb or beef. Do you think substituting turkey will work ok?

    • Maureen Abood on June 14, 2013 at 3:57 PM

      Thank you Dania! Yes, by all means use ground turkey, perhaps adding a touch of olive oil into the mixture to prevent it from being too dry. It’ll be great!. Let us know how you liked it!

  3. Sabrina on May 22, 2015 at 5:25 PM

    Sounds delicious! I love lamb kofta 🙂

  4. Anis Salloom on June 4, 2015 at 4:01 AM

    When making the Lamb Kofta Burgers, try using American (Colorado) lamb meat. Australian and New Zealand lamb meats are too strong and gamey for this recipe. Grass fed Colorado lamb meat is Halal meat and is very tender. For me and my family, it is the only choice.

  5. Pokey Huffman on June 14, 2021 at 10:25 AM

    we–our ENTIRE FAMILY…… are in Turkey….at this very moment!!!! cruising the Southern Coast of Turkey/ the Agean and now the Med…TODAY!!!
    we had kofta for lunch…a FAVORITE of our ‘grands’…(almost a daily event!!) and we all were wishing for a recipe…you must have been reading our minds…sharing with Shawna and Alexandra…. YUM!!! THANK YOU!!! pokey xox❤️xox

    • Maureen Abood on June 14, 2021 at 11:18 AM

      Pokey, that is SO neat!!! Have a beautiful trip and know that you can enjoy kofta any time you want with this (very delicious) recipe! Hugs to all!

  6. Gary Brownell on June 14, 2021 at 10:48 AM

    Has anyone done a vegetarian version of this?

    • Maureen Abood on June 14, 2021 at 11:18 AM

      Gary, will give that a think and would love to hear from anyone on it!

  7. Louise Frances on January 31, 2022 at 2:04 PM

    These kofta’s are so delicious they remind me of the lamb burgers my grandmother used to make. Her Lebanese cooking was amazing and so is this recipe. I cut the recipe in half and was able to form 9 smaller patties, which are a perfect luncheon size. I added a handful of pine nuts for extra flavor and texture. Thank you Maureen for bringing me back in time to my grandmothers kitchen.

    • Maureen Abood on February 2, 2022 at 8:52 AM

      Love what you did here Louise!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Maureen Abood in the kitchen

I'm so glad you're here! You'll find among these pages the fresh and classic Lebanese recipes we can't get enough of! My mission is to share my tried + true recipes -- and to help our Lebanese food-loving community keep these culinary traditions alive and on the table. What recipes are you looking for? Let me know!

Read More

Favorite Posts


Sign up for Lebanese recipes, tips, and info here
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.