Lamb Kofta

Lamb Kofta with Tzatziki Sauce

Tzatziki dipping sauce with dill and cucumber mellows out the earthiness of the lamb kofta and with a spike of garlic, each bite is a total flavor burst.

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This “Lamb Kofta with Tzatziki Sauce” recipe is a guest blog post from the wonderful foodie blogger, Heidi Larsen, of Foodie Crush.

We’ve all had beef, chicken, pork and fish on the grill, they’re are most sought after go-tos. And while they’re most often served as a whole, sometimes you’ll find these main meal ingredients grilled as kabobs after marinating in sauce then threaded with vegetables. They’re a popular way to prepare for the grill, because let’s face it, serving dinner on a stick is always more fun.

But when time is of the essence and there’s no seconds to spare on the clock for marinades to seep in and flavor or veggies to cut, these simply skewered Lamb Koftas are an incredibly flavor-filled dinner on a stick.

Kofta may sound a bit exotic and unusual, but they’re as much a staple to Mediterranean, Persian and Lebanese eaters as burgers are to Americans. And they’re really just as easy to prepare.

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Traditionally made with ground lamb (chicken and turkey work well too), koftas are essentially elongated meatballs on a stick, minus any fillers like bread crumbs or binders like egg. They’re just pure meat with a handful of flavorful fresh herbs and warming spices like cumin, coriander and cinnamon. Grated onion and minced or pressed garlic add another layer of heat to these simply prepared skewered meats.

Tzatziki dipping sauce is what really adds to the flavor of these skewers. Greek yogurt flavored with fresh dill and grated cucumber mellow out the earthiness of the lamb and with a spike of garlic, each bite is a total flavor burst of its own.

I used wooden skewers soaked for 15 minutes in water for each kofta. I prefer the wooden skewers because I can cut them to a shorter length for serving as an appetizer instead of a main meal. If you prefer metal skewers, by all means, use those instead.

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Lamb Kofta with Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup white onion, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Ingredients for Tzatziki Sauce:
  • 1 seedless cucumber
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  • In a large bowl, combine the lamb, parsley, cilantro, onion, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Gently mix the ingredients together. Wet your hands and scoop about ⅓ cup of the meat into your hands and shape into oval shaped logs. Place on a sheet pan or plate covered with parchment paper and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  • If using wooden skewers, soak the skewers in cold water for 15 min to ½ hour.
  • Once the grill is hot, oil the grates with grapeseed oil. Grill the skewers for about 5-6 minutes, turning occasionally so that grill marks form. Reduce the heat and cook the skewers for another 5-8 minutes or until they begin to caramel in color and the meat is cooked through.
  • Serve with Tzatziki sauce and garnish with additional parsley or other herbs if desired.
  • Directions for Tzatziki Sauce:
  • Peel and grate the cucumber; press out the excess water from the cucumber. Add the cucumber to a bowl with the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and dill and mix well. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.

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Looking for a side that pairs perfectly with the flavors of this dish? Try our Grilled Stuffed Mediterranean Tomatoes for one mouthwatering meal. Bon appétit!

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