Persian Turkey Kofta Kebabs
With Memorial Day around the corner, I thought these would be fun! A cross between a grilled meatball and a hamburger on a stick. You can skip the stick if you wish or even cook them in a skillet.
My Persian neighbor introduced me to kofta a few years ago. He often has backyard parties complete with Persian music, family and plenty of food. His were made of beef and I never actually got his recipe. BUT I’m pretty good at replicating flavors and these came pretty darn close. And of course using turkey instead of beef makes these a lot lighter.
Serve them as an appetizer or main dish. I served them with a simple cucumber-tomato salad and cucumber yogurt dipping sauce but you can also serve it on a pita, over rice pilaf or even with tabouleh.
There are so many variations of Kofta throughout the Middle East, each country has a unique recipe which may include beef, goat, chicken or fish and each is flavored with their own unique spices. What is your favorite?
For best results prepare the meat ahead and refrigerate to allow the flavors to blend, this also helps the meat stay together when you grill it. I chopped my onions, garlic and parsley in my mini food processor for quick prep.
Persian Turkey Kofta Kebabs
- 20 oz 93% lean ground turkey
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic. minced
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp bread crumbs
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- salt and fresh pepper, to taste
- In a large bowl combine the ground turkey, onion, garlic, parsley, breadcrumbs, spices, salt and pepper until evenly blended.
- Divide into a heaping 1/4 cup portions so you get 12; roll into log shaped ovals.
- Place on a cookie sheet and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
- If using wooden skewers, soak in water at least 30 minutes before grilling.
- When ready to cook, preheat grill to high heat.
- Carefully insert the skewer through the formed meat.
- Grill for 15 minutes covered over indirect heat, then finish over a low flame 3 to 4 minutes on each side, turning occasionally, until meat is no longer pink.
93 comments on “Persian Turkey Kofta Kebabs”
I made these last night and they were absolutely delicious. My husband loved and definitely wants to have these again.
I made the Skinny Tzatziki to go with it. Both recipes are great!
Any suggestions on air fryer cook times/temp?
Yet another excellent recipe from Gina!! Loved it and SO super easy, especially for a weeknight meal! I made it with a side of Rice Pilaf (from a box!) + a simple Plain greek yogurt/squeeze of lemon/salt/pepper/diced cucumbers + and tomato/cucumber/lemon salad. To the kebabs, I added just a couple tablespoons of grated zucchini to increase the moistness of the kebabs, and as others directed: 400 degrees for 15 minutes on a parchment lined baking sheet. Wonderful and cant wait to try other kebab recipes from Gina! Thanks!!
Made these up for the bbq – just delicious. authentic tasting and super simple!
I used this recipe to make turkey burgers. I didn’t have parsley so I just left it out. Absolutely delicious! This will be my go to recipe!
My husband and I loved this recipe. I had some of the Kofta meat left over so I made open faced burgers with naan and tzatziki tonight. Even better the second time around!! Thanks Gina!!
These were amazing! Followed others suggestion to freeze for 20 minutes while prepping the orzo, and it worked wonderfully. I also baked mine in the oven followed by a quick broil. Perfect! My kids gobbled these up, and asked that we do these as a burger one night in the future.
It was ok, a little dry. I would definitely try this with ground beef that has a lot of fat. That’s what it will make it good.
You might try grating up a little zucchini and adding it into the mixture. It will add moisture without changing the taste. I add grated zucchini to turkey burgers and they stay really moist, even when I make them with all white meat ground turkey.
Could I do these in oven?
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Gina — Your recipe says it’s 5 Freestyle points, but when I put the recipe into the Weight Watchers menu builder, it’s telling me it’s zero. Should I still be counting it as five freestyle points?
I will double check.
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Gina, the link to the dipping sauce is broken.
Try again? It shows it is working, it should link you to a Skinny Tzatziki sauce.
These came out great baked in the oven- I used convection setting at 400F for 15 min and then broiler setting for 3 min. I was out of breadcrumbs so I just used flour, considering it was only a couple tablespoons. The kofta was moist and flavorful and paired so nicely with the yogurt dip.
I wanked into it whilst listening to Ministry. My guests enjoyed it very much.
Delicious!! I made a few changes, cinnamon instead of allspice, added 1/4 tsp each of cumin and smoked paprika. And used almond flour instead of bread crumbs. I added a little olive oil as well, but I don’t think I would do that next time, they wouldn’t stay together very well at first, so I had to add more almond flour. People were asking for the recipe and the kids loved them too!
Gina – we have made these twice for our own eating and love them! Now we are taking them as an appetizer for our wine club dinner. Can I make up the mix several hours ahead (like 8)? That would fit my schedule best. Bill
These were lovely, I didn't add onion but onion powder instead. We had them on flatbread, with tabouli and a made up yoghurt/garlic sauce and toasted them in the sandwich toaster. My fussy, non meat loving daughter loved them and went back for seconds. So glad I found this site, I have lots of other recipes planned to try. Thank you Gina.
I substituted Mint Leaves for the parsley and added 2 large finely minced Jalapenos. Delicious!
I made these this evening with fresh parsley from my garden and it was DELICIOUS! I used my food processor, as you suggested, to blend the parsley, onion and garlic and it turned the mixture into a nice consistency.
The flavour in these kofta kebabs is so wonderful and the turkey stayed moist, even on the barbecue. I've added this to my list of favourite recipes! Perfect for entertaining.
Thanks for all you do!
This is the first recipe I make from your website, I have to say these were awesome!!! My BF loved them! The Tzatziki sauce was great as well, I would definately repeat this recipe (I made them on a small oven, not the BBQ), thank you so much!!!
Made these for dinner tonight–delicious. My husband, who isn't really a fan of the middle eastern flavors that I adore, enjoyed it as well! I baked mine on a broiler pan at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes, then flipped them over for another 12 minutes. Served with a store-bought tzatziki-style yogurt dip (it had some feta in it, too) and a simply dressed cucumber-tomato salad. Wonderful!