Make a Mediterranean-inspired meal that the whole family will love! This beef kofta with Greek yogurt sauce comes together in just 35 minutes using simple ingredients combined with savory spices. A wonderful recipe for gatherings, meal prep, or even a quick and simple weekday dinner.
After sharing that tasty quinoa tabbouleh in my last post, it became obvious that the Pass Me Some Tasty recipe library needed a centerpiece recipe that we can turn to when we're craving a full fledged Mediterranean-inspired meal. And while there are SO many directions one could go with a Mediterranean feast, I am a HUGE fan of kofta.
🍴What is kofta?
There are dozens of variations of kofta, each of which are influenced by geographic and cultural origins tracing from the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Central and South Asia. Essentially though, kofta is a type of savory spiced meatball made from either beef, lamb, chicken, seafood, or a combination such as beef and lamb.
Kofta can be formed into round meatballs, football-shaped oblongs, or pressed onto skewers in a longer cigar-like shape. They can be pan-fried, baked, or grilled. They can also be served dry or nestled in a saucy gravy, but for this version I am slathering them with a simple lemony Greek yogurt sauce with a hint of cumin. No matter how you decide to shape, cook, or serve kofta they will be T-A-S-T-Y!
🌟 Why you'll love this recipe
Kofta is straightforward and simple. And so is the Greek yogurt sauce. No fancy equipment is needed. Just a few mixing bowls and a cooking vessel such as a skillet, a baking sheet, or a grill and some skewers depending on your preferred method for cooking the meat.
35 minutes from start to finish. I know I'm not alone in my love for a meal that requires little time in the kitchen while delivering big flavor and enjoyment. And to make the dinner hour run even more quickly and easily, the koftas and yogurt sauce can also be prepped earlier in the day and stored in the fridge until it's time to cook.
Perfect for both busy weeknights or a chill weekend dinner party with friends. There is always a place at the table for a Mediterranean feast no matter the occasion. Kofta is a fantastic go-to dish whether you're needing to serve a large group or small (or just want some awesome leftovers!).
🛒 Ingredients & suggestions
- Ground beef (80% lean/20% fat): You might be tempted to opt for a leaner mix of ground beef but keep in mind that the fat is going to render out, which will result in a juicy, flavorful kofta. Ground chicken kofta would also be tasty or consider trying a 50/50 mix of ground beef and lamb.
- Za'atar: While kofta typically includes an array of aromatic and savory spices you won't need an entire spice cupboard to get that same amazing flavor with this version. Za'atar, which can be easily found in most grocery stores, is the perfect all-in-one spice blend of aromatic Mediterranean flavors for seasoning the beef.
- Shallot: A type of onion that is smaller and milder than a typical onion. If you don't have shallots on hand you can swap them out for any type of onion of your choice.
- Egg: This helps to bind the beef, onions, garlic, and herbs. I don't suggest skipping it.
- Greek yogurt: The main ingredient for the Greek yogurt sauce. Plain, whole milk, full-fat Greek yogurt is the way to go for this sauce.
For a full list of ingredients and quantities see the recipe card at the end of this post.
🔪 Step-by-step instructions
Step 1: Add all the ingredients for the Greek yogurt sauce into a small bowl.
Step 2: Stir until fully combined and your Greek yogurt sauce is ready to be served! How easy was that?!
Step 3: Let's make the beef kofta! Add all the kofta ingredients to a large bowl.
Step 4: Mix until combined.
Step 5: Using your hands form small oblong patties with the meat mixture.
Step 6: Place the patties on a skillet to cook. (Or they can also be grilled or baked.) Do not overcrowd them in the skillet. Depending on the size of your skillet you may need to make them in batches.
Step 7: Cook uncovered 12 to 14 minutes turning the kofta every couple of minutes allowing it to brown on each side. Continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into the thickest part of the koftas registers 160°F.
Step 8: Serve the kofta with Greek yogurt sauce and EAT!
👩🍳 Recipe tips!
- If the meat begins to stick to your hands when forming the kofta, rub a small amount of olive oil on your hands and you should be good.
- Allow the kofta to cook long enough on one side so that when you turn them you are able to easily do so without them falling apart.
- The thicker you make the kofta the longer they will take to cook through to the middle. Likewise the smaller you make them the more quickly they will cook. The best way to determine if they are done cooking is to insert an instant-read food thermometer into the center of the kofta. Cook the kofta until they reach an internal temperature of 160°F.
💭 Frequently asked questions
They are basically the same thing. Kebab is just kofta served on a skewer. Instead of forming the meat into oblong meatballs with your hands shape the meat into long, thick sausages and insert a metal or wooden skewer through each kofta squeezing the meat onto the skewer. If using wooden skewers be sure to soak them in water for about 1 hour beforehand.
Yep! Just be sure to cover it tightly before storing it in the fridge.
Yes, bake at 350°F for approximately 25 minutes, rotating halfway through. Bake until browned and the internal temperature of the kofta reaches 160°F.
🍽 Create a Mediterranean feast!
Beef kofta, Greek yogurt sauce, and a few additional simple sides can set the stage for a full Mediterranean-inspired spread that looks impressive but is light on time spent in the kitchen. With these optional quick and simple side dish additions, you'll have a feast fit to feed the whole family or a wow-worthy spread for dinner guests to enjoy.
Serve kofta with:
- Quinoa tabbouleh served on lettuce leaves
- Mediterranean bean salad
- Cubed feta drizzled with high-quality extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, and finely chopped fresh herbs such as thyme, mint, dill, parsley, or oregano
- Kalamata olives
- Halved cherry tomatoes
- Sliced cucumber
- Gluten-free flatbread or pita
And you can bet that I'll be dipping and spreading that Greek yogurt sauce on ALL the things. ♡
✨ More tasty dinner ideas!
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? If so, I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment and a star rating below! I greatly appreciate your feedback and it is also so helpful for other PMST readers who are thinking about making the recipe. Remember to snap a photo and tag @passmesometasty on Instagram so I can see!Print
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