Turkish Kofte Meatballs

Prep Time
Cook Time
8h 20m
Ready In

"Homemade Turkish Meatballs known as kofte are the best things to happen on your dinner table. These are spicy, tender and perfectly juicy. It’s not a secret any more to make meatballs at home that are much tastier than store-bought ones. Note that prep time includes the time that meatballs sit in the refrigerator. Source: Give Recipe"

Original recipe yields 10-20 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (137.2 g)
  • Calories 271.6
  • Total Fat - 15.7 g
  • Saturated Fat - 5.4 g
  • Cholesterol - 80.7 mg
  • Sodium - 716.5 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 6.8 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 1 g
  • Sugars - 2 g
  • Protein - 24.6 g
  • Calcium - 27.6 mg
  • Iron - 3.4 mg
  • Vitamin C - 3.1 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.1 mg

Step 1

In a large bowl, combine ground beef, breadcrumbs, finely diced onion and mashed garlic.

Step 2

In a small bowl, mix baking soda, water and lemon juice. Pour this into the ground beef mixture and the spices.

Step 3

Mix well with your hand. Knead it for 10 minutes so that everything is combined well.

Step 4

Cover and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight or at least 2-3 hours. This helps flavors to meld and results in a better end-product.

Step 5

Roll them into meatballs.

Step 6

Brush a cast iron pan with little oil and heat it through.

Step 7

Cook the meatballs over the highest heat, flipping them over so that all sides are slightly cooked.

Step 8

Bring it to the lowest and continue cooking until done for about 10 minutes, shaking the pan or flipping them over occasionally.

Step 9

Cook the meatballs in batches until they finish or save some to freeze.

Step 10

Makes about 50 meatballs.

Step 11

This dish is great served with a yogurt-based sauce, Turkish Payaz salad http://www.recipezazz.com/recipe/piyaz-salad---tomato-onion-salad---turkey-26476 or any regular salad of your choice.

Step 12

*NOTE: If you can’t find 80% lean beef, use a mixture of lamb and beef (50% lamb, 50% beef)*

Step 13

Prep time includes waiting the meatballs in the refrigerator.

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.



I made these as instructed, using gluten free breadcrumbs and they turned out tasty. I served them with onion gravy and rice.

review by:
(16 Jan 2020)

Mia in Germany

Just the real thing the way my Turkish friends make them! I halved the recipe and used gluten free breadcrumbs, followed the recipe to the letter apart from that. Great with salad and yoghurt sauce. Thanks for sharing! Will make these again. Made for CQ 2017 Turkey for the Happy Campers

review by:
(23 Jul 2017)

Susie D

I prepared only half a recipe. The only change I made was to use only half of the onion. The whole amount of finely diced yellow onion looked massive compared to the pound of meat. I wasn't sure of the purpose of the baking soda and water, but plowed ahead. We were rewarded with tasty, well flavored meatballs. I thought they would have benefited from some type of glaze or sauce. I served the leftovers for lunch in homemade pitas with a tahini/yogurt sauce. I'd make these again! Made for the Culinary Quest #4.

review by:
(20 Jul 2017)