Killer Kofta Bites

Killer Kofta Bites are a play on one of the all-time greatest spiced meats of the world, kofta kebab. Kofta is typically loaded onto a skewer, grilled, and eaten with tahini sauce or toum, bread and trimmings. My kofta bites are loaded with fresh herbs and spices (find them in my shop here!) and baked. Easy. Killer.

kofta in a dish with tahini sauce

What is Kofta?

Could not be simpler: start with ground meat. Traditionally kofta is made with lamb or beef, or even chicken or pork. Then, season, highly! Seasonings can be adjusted to your tastes and spice drawer, but great kofta flavor is made with onion, finely chopped fresh mint and parsley, dried mint and sumac or 7 Spice.

Ground beef with spices in a bowl for kofta

kofta meat with spices in a bowl

Can I use any meat?

For kofta bites, where we’re making little popper meatballs, a lower fat ratio is best. I use ground beef most often, with a 90-10 lean fat ratio (that means just 10% fat).

kofta meatballs in a sheetpan

Fried, Grilled, or baked.

Kofta is grilled on skewers, but taking the kofta meat concept and shaping it in burgers  or meatballs gives us a lot more options to eat kofta more often.

The meatballs are of course wonderful pan-fried in a saute pan with some olive oil. But baked kofta bites are so delicious baked that this is my preferred cooking method. Be sure not to over-bake them, which means staying close by and taking their internal temp up to 135 degrees.

Grilled meatballs would also be flavorful, but the meatballs would need to rest on a grill pan so they don’t fall through the grates. Use indirect heat to avoid torching the exterior before the interior is done.

kofta bites baked on a sheetpan

Sauce it up!

Killer kofta is killer all on its own because of the flavor bomb created by the seasonings. But who doesn’t love to dip? Use tahini sauce, garlic toum sauce, or cool yogurt laban/labneh mixed with dried mint and/or fresh herbs.

When you have a crowd, make a ton of kofta bites and serve them with an array of several sauces. Fun!

Tahini sauce in a bowl with a whisk

Make ahead.

Kofta bites can be shaped, frozen on a sheet pan, then combined in freezer bags. Bake them from frozen, allowing an extra 10 minutes or so.

kofta in a dish with tahini sauce

kofta in a dish with tahini sauce

Killer Kofta Bites

Maureen Abood
Killer Kofta Bites are a play on one of the all-time greatest spiced meats of the world, kofta kebab. Kofta is typically loaded ontoa skewer, grilled, and eaten with tahini sauce or toum, bread and trimmings. My kofta bites are loaded with fresh herbs and spices and baked. Easy. Killer! The recipe expands very easily for a crowd.
Servings 18 kofta meatballs

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound lean (90-10) ground beef or lamb
  • 2 tablespoons minced or grated yellow onion
  • 10 fresh spearmint leaves, finely chopped
  • Handful Parsley leaves (flat or curly), finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon crushed dried mint
  • 1 recipe tahini sauce (click here!)

Instructions
 

  • Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper. Heat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a medium bowl, gently mix the ground meat with all of the seasonings.
  • Shape the meatballs using a heaping tablespoon of the meat mixture. Be ginger about shaping; too much handling makes these less tender. Place the meatballs on the prepared sheet pan about an inch apart.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes, or until a thermometer registers 135°F.
  • Serve the kofta meatballs immediately with tahini sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Carol McNail on June 27, 2022 at 11:32 AM

    Maureen thank you so much for sharing your delicious recipes. I’m Lebanese on my mother side and I love the crunchy bread that’s in Fattoush but the spice of sumac I can taste it all day it just doesn’t settle with my stomach. And I’m reading your recipes and I was wondering if there’s anything that will substitute that spice. I cook the Lebanese food that I was raised on and learned from my Sitto and my mom. It’s so strange because we are a Abraham and Zakia Haddad family, next to my grandmother lived by a family Amos and Agnes Farhat next door they had 2 children Rosemond and Joe Farhat. Watched your video with your cousin about making bread. My Sitto made flat bread we called it Talama. Like a big pizza I seem to remember sesame seeds were in it. No one in the family has her recipe. I have some for meals she and mom made. Not for any of the bread dough. Are they all in your cookbook. Where can I get your book and how much is it. Thank you and God bless you Maureen.

    • Maureen Abood on July 8, 2022 at 1:36 PM

      Carol thank you for all of this! Wonderful. You can get my signed cookbook in my shop here. You can leave the sumac out and you can increase the lemon juice. Also za’atar is delicious here, or more dried mint.

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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!

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