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5 from 1 vote

Turkish Kofta Kebabs (Grilled Beef and Lamb Skewers)

Kofta Kebabs are a popular and flavorful Mediterranean street food. Ground beef and lamb are flavored with aromatic spices and fresh herbs and pressed onto skewers before being grilled over charcoal. Serve with creamy tahini sauce and sumac onion salad.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Turkish
Keyword: kebab recipe, kofta kebab, Turkish kofte kebab
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 391kcal
Author: Samantha Ferraro
Cost: $10




Kofte Kebab

  • 1/2 pound ground beef 80/20 ratio
  • 1/2 pound ground lamb
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or pinch of red pepper flakes for heat
  • Small bunch of fresh mint and parsley chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Olive oil for drizzling on pan/grill/indoor grill

Sumac Onion Salad

  • 1 medium sized red onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 1 Lemon juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Small bunch of fresh parlsey leaves roughly chopped


Kofte Kebab

  • In a bowl, combine ground meats and all the spices and herbs except for the salt.
  • Mix everything together very well until the meat mixture becomes "sticky" and let marinate for 15 minutes.
  • Season meat mixture with salt and mix again.
  • Using metal skewers (or you can form into meatball/disc shapes), take ¼ of the mixture and form into an oval shape. Place meat on the skewer and use your hands to firmly press the kofta onto the skewer into a long, oval and flat shape. You can also your use fingers to form crimps for texture and looks.
  • Lightly oil the grill (or indoor grill pan, if using) and on medium-high heat, grill the kofta until the first side is lightly charred (about 4-5 minutes), then turn over and continue cooking the other side.
  • Once kofta are cooked, remove from grill and place directly on lavash or pita bread so the meat juice can soak onto the bread.
  • To serve, drizzle tahini sauce over kofta and top with sumac onion salad.

Sumac Onion Salad

  • Add all ingredients to a bowl and toss to combine.
  • Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed (more salt or more sumac, for example).
  • Let marinated while you prepare the rest of your meal.


Season the meat with salt right before cooking so the salt doesn't draw out any excess moisture from the meat.
This recipe can also be made on an indoor grill pan or skillet.
If you have more time to marinate the meat (sans salt), you can make the mixture ahead and refrigerate overnight.
The ration of 80/20 in ground beef means that there is 80% beef and 20% fat, which is the more common ratio that you see in grocery stores.


Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 980mg | Potassium: 410mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 98IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 3mg