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Every Middle Eastern country has a version of grilled Kofta Kebabs. It's hard to imagine anything more delicious! Especially with garlicky yogurt sauce! This recipe shows you how to make authentic Turkish Kofta Kebabs at home.


  • Author: Lisa
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x


Grilled skewers of spiced-up ground lamb or beef, served Turkish style with fresh vegetables, pita and garlicky yogurt sauce.


  • You will need long 6 skewers, preferably flat (12 inches or more) or 12 shorter ones. If you use bamboo skewers, soak them in water first, for at least 30 minutes.
  • For the Garlicky Yogurt Sauce:
  • 1 1/4 cups plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove, pressed or finely minced
  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sumac (plus more for the meat and vegetables)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • For the Lamb:
  • 2 pounds ground lamb or beef
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and grated, blotted with towel to soak up excess liquid
  • 1 large bunch flat leaf parsley, just the leaves, divided
  • 3 tablespoons Urfa pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sumac, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • For The Accompaniments:
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, sliced in half through the core, each half sliced thinly
  • 1 english cucumber, washed and thinly sliced, crosswise
  • 1 red onion, peeled, slivered, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes, drained
  • Parsley leaves (about 1 1/2 cups or whatever's left of the bunch)
  • 12-18 romaine lettuce leaves (depending on size), washed
  • 3-6 pitas, sliced in half, warmed


  1. Make the Garlicky Yogurt Sauce: Mix all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Store in the fridge until you're ready to use it.
  2. Make the Kebabs: Finely chop 1/4 cup of the parsley leaves. Set the rest aside for the salad.
  3. In a large bowl combine lamb, onion, chopped parsley, urfa pepper, 2 teaspoons sumac, and salt. Work the ingredients together with your hands for a couple of minutes until they are fully incorporated.
  4. Divide the meat mixture into 6 or 12 equal portions, depending on the size of your skewers. You can simply skewer them them squeeze them into long sausage shapes or you can try the ridge techqnique: Keep a bowl of ice water handy to dip your hand in, if the meat starts to stick to you. Slide a portion of meat onto the skewer and stand the skewer upright - pointy side down - holding the top with one hand. Use the other hand form the meat into a long, ridged, sausage shape by gently squeezing it from top to bottom, and pressing the side of your thumb in as you go, to make the ridges. Flip the skewer and repeat the process, squeezing and ridging the other side. Keep flipping and repeating until you have a long, flat, ridged kebab. Store the kebabs in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap, until ready to grill.
  5. Arrange Accompaniments: Put tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, parsley and lettuce in piles on a platter. Sprinkle onions and cucumbers with 1/2 teaspoon sumac.
  6. Grill the Kebabs: Heat the grill to high. Charcoal grilling is more authentic but gas works well, too. Oil the grates of the grill to prevent sticking. Grill the kebabs for one minute on each side to seal them. Cook them for about 8 minutes longer, flipping them after 4 minutes. Turn off the grill and warm the pita on the hot grates for a few minutes, while you unskewer the kebabs.
  7. To Serve: Carefully remove skewers (they'll be hot!) and set meat on a platter with the warmed pitas. Serve with accompaniments and garlicky yogurt sauce. Divide remaining 1/2 teaspoon sumac, sprinkling some over meat and some over the yogurt sauce.


Nutrition calculation includes everything in the recipe except the pita bread.

Nutrition Information: The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and is not a substitute for the advice of a professional nutritionist.

  • Prep Time: 35 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Barbecue
  • Cuisine: Turkish

Keywords: Grilled kofta kebabs, grilled spiced lamb or beef skewers, Turkish beef kebabs, Turkish lamb kebabs