Lebanese Koftas with Tabbouleh & Yogurt Sauce

Koftas are middle eastern meatballs, usually made from lamb, beef, pork, chicken or a mixture with spices, herbs and nuts. They are shaped into balls, patties or logs, sometimes on skewers and then grilled and served with bread, salads & dips. 

It's the perfect recipe for dinner with friends over the summer, and also pairs perfectly with my flatbreads and dips if you want to turn it into a full Lebanese style spread.

Makes: 32 koftas



  • 500g of lamb mince
  • 500g of beef mince
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch of parsley finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of your choice of spices:
    • Sumac
    • Smoked paprika
    • Allspice
    • Cinnamon
    • Nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon of chilli oil
  • 2 tablespoons worth of coriander, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses
  • 2 eggs


  • 1 cup of dried Bulgur
  • 3 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 cucumbers, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks of spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch of curly parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 lemons

Yoghurt Sauce

  • 1 cup of greek yoghurt
  • ½ cup of tahini
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon 
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil


  1.  Place all of the kofta ingredients into a bowl and combine using a stand mixer for 1 minute.
  2. Grab a teaspoon of the kofta filling, and using your hands (and a little bit of olive oil), start to shape them until they look like mini American footballs. Then place them onto an oiled baking tray. Once you've rolled all of your koftas, leave them in the fridge for 20 minutes so they can set. 
  3. Start to boil your bulgur into a pot of boiling salted water per packet instructions. 
  4. Then into a bowl, add in all of your Tabbouleh ingredients making sure that everything should be finely chopped. Mix well until everything is combined. 
  5. For the yogurt sauce, add in all ingredients into a blender and blitz until everything is well combined. Transfer to a bowl, and place in the fridge until you are ready to eat. 
  6. Now add your cooked bulgur into the tabbouleh, season with salt & pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. 
  7. Now its time to cook the koftas! Heat a pan with some oil and pan fry on each side until they are golden brown. 
  8. Then place them in an oven dish, and you can keep them in the oven on a low heat if you like your beef cooked for longer, or if you need to keep them warm until you are ready to serve.  

Watch the process



How many koftas approx. per serving?

With 1kg of mince, I made 32 small koftas

Can you alternate the beef and lamb mince for other types of meat like pork?

Yes you can use any meat mince you wish! You could use one or a mixture. I personally like using beef & lamb together but just like dumplings or any meatball, you can just use whatever you prefer or have on hand.

I can't find bulgur at the shops, any tips/substitutes?

If you can't find bulgur, you can use another pulse/grain like couscous, quinoa, freekeh etc. Otherwise, best place would be to go to your local spice/but stall at the market and they should stock plenty of bulgur in the grain/pulses section.

Can I substitute pomegranate molasses?

Yes, you can use a balsamic glaze or some lemon & honey. Pomegranate molasses is sweet but tart and used in a lot of middle eastern cooking and if you look out for it, you'll find it at your local supermarket or market. But if you can't find it, don't add it in, the recipe will still be fine.

What's the best way to avoid tabbouleh going mushy in the food processor?

I usually chop everything by hand because a food processor will turn your tabbouleh into a mushy pesto versus a finely chopped salad. 

If you have to use a food processor, my biggest advice would be to use the pulse function and only do one ingredient at a time (tomatoes, parsley) so that each ingredient chops down into uniform sizes and then combine all of the chopped ingredients in a bowl after.

Is it possible to omit the egg in the kofta?

Yes you can. Egg is the binder that turns your mince into a paste, but I'd suggest adding a bit of cornflour, to thicken the mixture. 

Can the koftas be frozen to serve later on? Or would they be best served freshly made?

Yes you can absolutely freeze them just like what I do with dumplings. It's perfect if you can't eat a whole batch in one sitting, plus it saves you time for your next meal!

Just freeze them on a tray once you've rolled them out still raw, and once full frozen transfer to snap lock bags or a container. Then simply defrost the next time you want to eat them and fry in a pan or on the BBQ.

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