Lamb koftas with yogurt vinaigrette


these Lamb koftas are a long-time favorite Middle Eastern recipe! Made with minced lamb meat (minced lamb) and a good dose of spices, the smell of this cooking is intoxicating!

You’ll be surprised how many spices you already have for this lamb koftas recipe – these are pantry standards. Stuff them into warm pita breads with a Cabbage, carrot and mint salad and one side of Pilaf with Nuts and Dried Fruits Where Mejadra (spiced lentil rice) to create your own Middle Eastern banquet.

Lamb Koftas on a platter, ready to stuff in pita bread with mint salad and yogurt sauce

Lamb Kofta Recipe

middle eastern food is one of my favorite cuisines because I’m all about big flavors, and the strong spice flavor of Middle Eastern dishes like these Koftas, shawarma chicken, Lamb Shawarma and Doner Kerbabs really hits my sweet spot!

The other reason is that most spices are pantry staples. It always surprises me when I read a middle eastern recipe and realize that I have everything I need to make it (other than fresh produce).

Spices like cumin, coriander, cinnamon and paprika which are used in other popular cuisines such as mexican food (which also makes a regular appearance around these pieces).

And of course cinnamon, a must in baking – Apple cake, churros, Muffins, Oatmeal cookies with raisins. I’m never without cinnamon!

It is the combination of spices used in Middle Eastern cuisine that gives it such an exotic taste and smell. – and these Lamb Koftas are no exception!

Cinnamon is the secret ingredient in lamb koftas that is so distinctly Middle Eastern and makes them intoxicating!

Hand holding lamb koftas stuffed with pita bread

What are lamb koftas?

Koftas refers to a dish made from spiced minced meat (chopped). Sometimes it’s made on skewers (this recipe) although they also come in an unskewered form, often in a torpedo/football shape.

Typically, they are stuffed inside flatbreads with fresh salad or pickled vegetables and sauces, although they can be served over rice with fresh sides.

Where do lamb koftas come from?

No country can claim to be the creator of lamb koftas! But they’re commonly associated with the Middle East and Mediterranean countries like Turkey, not least because they’re made with lamb, a common protein associated with food from that region.

What goes into lamb koftas

Here is what you need. How many of these spices do you I have already?? πŸ™‚

(PS, I realize panko breadcrumbs aren’t from the Middle East, but they’re so much better than regular breadcrumbs, considering they’re bigger and fluffier = softer koftas!)

(PPS Although these are Lamb koftas, this recipe works just as well with beef!)

What goes into lamb koftas

How to make lamb koftas

Just throw everything in the bowl, mix and then thread onto skewers. I even grate the onion directly into the bowl. And there’s just avoid getting your hands dirty to make sure the spices are well blended throughout the meat. That’s half the fun!

These can be made ahead and chilled or frozen, making them ideal for busy mid-week meals or large gatherings!

Remember: skewers are optional! In addition, there are many shape options:

  • Skewers – smooth (photo) or flat and honeycombed

  • Without skewer – balls, football-shaped, short cylinders, long cylinders

So unleash the creative demon within you! 😈

How to make lamb koftas

The best way to cook lamb koftas

  1. Barbecue – the ultimate and traditional way! The extra smoky flavor is so good;

  2. a barbecue – second best, and the way I usually cook them for gatherings;

  3. Stove – the way I cook them most often; and

  4. Grill/grill – a fallback option, even if you don’t get as good surface browning.

Yogurt sauce for lamb koftas

The heavy spices and rich flavor of the lamb make koftas a perfect candidate for a tangy yet creamy lemon-garlic yogurt sauce. Sometimes I like to add a dollop of tahini which adds another layer of richness.

And if I serve them at a gathering, I’ll usually add Hummus as another sauce option.

Lemon yoghurt sauce for lamb keftas

What to serve with lamb koftas

The most common koftas are served as wraps. Here’s how I serve it:

Some alternative salad options for wraps:

  • Shredded lettuce or other leafy greens, sliced ​​tomato and onion (the easy option)

  • Tabbouleh – see recipe in the notes of this doner kebab recipe

  • This Middle Eastern Chickpea, Tomato and Cucumber Salad would also pair beautifully, although I would skip the spicy chickpeas (make sure to dice the veggies small enough to stuff them inside)

  • A big fat Greek salad – a different cuisine I know, but this one is at home with the strong flavors of these Koftas and I love stuffing them into pita bread! (Again, make sure the vegetables are chopped smaller)

The other option is to serve it with a side of rice pilaf instead of (or in addition to) pita bread. Here are some pilaf recipes that will go wonderfully with these lamb koftas:

Lamb koftas on a platter served with pita bread, mint coleslaw and yogurt sauce

These lamb koftas first appeared on my website in 2014 when I started this blog. Patience was never my greatest virtue, so I made all my favorite recipes right from the start. And finally, I start going through them and creating videos along with new photos – because I’ve come a long way in both areas since then! πŸ˜‚

This is a great recipe for entertaining because you can make everything ahead of time and then just toss the koftas on the BBQ when your guests arrive. Stack everything on a tray and let your guests help themselves! I’ve done this for my friends many times – here’s a typical example Arabic party menu they know very well, and I don’t think anyone gets tired of them….. – Nagi xx

Watch how to do it

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Lamb Koftas on a platter, ready to stuff in pita bread with mint salad and yogurt sauce

Lamb koftas with yogurt vinaigrette

Servings8 skewers

Tap or hover to scale

VIDEO RECIPE ABOVE. The smell of Middle Eastern spices while cooking is totally intoxicating!! Try this Kofta Lamb recipe once and you’ll be hooked for life! Traditionally cooked over charcoal, brilliant on the BBQ, but I usually cook them mid-week on the stovetop. **great recipe for get-togethers, DIY spread, make-ahead**


  • Yogurt sauce: Combine the ingredients for the yogurt sauce and leave in the fridge for at least 20 minutes for the flavor to develop (overnight even better!).

  • Koftas: Grate the onion into the bowl using a standard grater. Add the rest of the Kofta ingredients and mix well with your hands.

  • With damp hands, divide the meat into 8 equal pieces and push and shape the meat onto 8 skewers. Make them smooth (prettier, in the photo!) or a little grainy (no more surface area to brown!).


  • Stove: Preheat 1/2 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook in batches for a total of 5 minutes, turning to brown evenly throughout.

  • A BARBECUE: Cook on the barbecue over medium heat for about 6 minutes, turning to brown all over.

  • Grill/grill oven: preheat and cook koftas 10″/30cm from heat source for 12 minutes, turning as needed, until lightly browned (you won’t get as good a browning as on the stovetop/ barbecue).

Recipe Notes:

To note: I did 1.5x for the photos. The recipe makes 8 skewers with 500g/1lb of meat.
1. Soak the skewers – If using wooden or bamboo skewers and planning to cook on the barbecue grill or under the broiler, soak them for 30 minutes before threading the meat.
If you’re using metal skewers, cooking on the stove or on the side of the grill griddle, you don’t need to.
2. Flatbread – any flatbreads that can be wrapped around koftas will do here. If using pita rolls (pictured), stuff each with 2 koftas (that’s enough for a normal meal, I find), or make them with 1 kofta each (pictured in post). Or use large flatbreads (like Lebanese bread) and make 1 long.
You can also make your own – try these easy yeast-free flatbreads!
3. Salad for stuffing – I usually make this mint themed red cabbage slaw and also the fresh mint flavor goes wonderfully here. The other options are:

  • Shredded iceberg lettuce (or just handfuls of leafy greens) with sliced ​​tomato and onion (like how Doner Kebabs are made), fresh cilantro/cilantro, parsley or mint would be also delicious
  • Tabbouleh – see recipe in Doner Kebab recipe

More options:

4. Nutrition per kofta, assuming 2 stuffed koftas in 1 pita bread and assuming fatty ground lamb is used (supermarket ground meat is leaner and therefore lower in calories). Assumes all sauce is used (full yogurt).

Nutrition Information:

calories: 305callus (15%)Carbohydrates: 23g (8%)Protein: 15g (30 %)Fat: 17g (26%)Saturated fat: 7g (44%)Cholesterol: 50mg (17%)Sodium: 739mg (32%)Potassium: 340mg (ten%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 2g (2%)Vitamin A: 1838UI (37%)Vitamin C: 3mg (4%)Calcium: 102mg (ten%)The iron: 3mg (17%)

Lamb koftas recipe was first published in November 2014. Updated in September 2019 with new photos, a complete rewrite, slight recipe improvements, a brand new video and, most importantly, Life of Dozer section added!

The life of the bulldozer

He knows very well that he is not allowed on the white leather sofa…. Always pushing the limits!!!

(PS It’s at my mom’s house, and she’s going to be peeeeeeeed when she sees this picture! πŸ˜‚)

Dozer White Leather Sofa

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