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Super juicy and made with a flavourful blend of herbs and spices, this Grilled Kofta Recipe will be on repeat all summer long. They’re quick, easy and versatile enough to be served with a wide variety of sides. Keep things Whole30 and Paleo by serving them over a bed of delicious Tahini sauce and a tomato salad on the side. Or, if you’re living your Food Freedom, add a side of steamed basmati rice and some pita.

Grilled Kofta Recipe with Tahini and Tomato Salad

Ingredients You Need for Grilled Kofta

  • Ground Lamb: I personally love to make this grilled kofta recipe with ground lamb because it’s a very flavourful and fatty meat. Lamb also tends to be more commonly grass-fed and pasture-raised, making it a healthy option. You can substitute ground beef if preferred. For the best flavour, use something with a medium-fat content, around 70/30.
  • Onion: For added flavour and juiciness, try adding some coarsely grated yellow onion to your kofta recipe. I recommend squeezing out as much of the liquid as possible before adding it to the meat, otherwise the kofta can be a bit watery.
  • Garlic: As always, measure this ingredient with your heart and don’t let anyone tell you there’s such a thing as too much.
  • Fresh Herbs: I like to use a combination of fresh parsley and fresh cilantro here. If cilantro tastes like soap to you, just substitute with all parsley.
  • Spices: For the absolute best flavour, try toasting whole cumin and coriander seeds in a dry skillet for a couple of minutes before grinding them by hand with a mortar and pestle. The flavour and aroma will take your kofta to another level.
  • Salt and pepper: Adjust these to your taste but generally speaking, you want around 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper per pound of meat. Note that the brand of salt you use will affect the overall taste of the kofta because of the size of the crystals. For reference, I always develop my recipes with Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt.
  • Baking Soda: This is the SECRET ingredient! Adding a small amount of baking soda will tenderize the meat and give the grilled kofta a soft and fluffy texture that you will never be able to achieve otherwise.
  • Oil: If you plan on grilling the kofta, it’s a good idea to very lightly oil them just before placing them on the grill to prevent sticking. It’s best to use a high-heat oil, such as avocado oil, but if you’re in a pinch you can use extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Aleppo Pepper: If you like it spicy, try garnishing the grilled kofta with some Aleppo pepper (or any dried chile flakes of choice) before serving. You can also add the chile flakes to the kofta mixture before grilling, but I prefer not to do that because there are often people who don’t like it spicy, such as kids!
seasoned ground lamb kofta patties before grilling
seasoned ground lamb kofta patties after grilling

What is Kofta?

Kofta typically refers to type of meatball commonly found in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Mediterranean cuisines. Recipes and ingredients vary depending on the country, region and household, but kofta are most commonly made with ground meat (usually beef or lamb, though chicken and turkey can also be used) along with various spices, herbs, and sometimes onions or garlic.

Depending on the kofta recipe, the mixture is either shaped into small meatballs, larger patties, or pressed onto a skewer, before being grilled, baked, or fried. Kofta can be served as a main dish, or it can be added to soups, stews, or curries. It’s often accompanied by rice, bread, or a dipping sauce, and it’s popular in various forms across different cultures.

tomato salad with onion, parsley, lemon and sumac
tomato salad with onion, parsley, lemon and

Serving Suggestions

  • Tahini: Make a super quick and easy tahini dressing to serve with the grilled kofta. It’s nutty, lemony, garlicky and pairs perfectly with the Middle Eastern flavours of the kofta.
  • Salad: Because the kofta are rich and fatty, it’s nice to have something light and refreshing on the side. For something quick, easy and healthy, try tossing together some sliced tomato, onion, parsley, sumac and lemon juice. You can also add cucumber and bell pepper if you want to make it more hearty.
  • Rice: You can’t go wrong with some steamed basmati rice here. It will help soak up some of the tahini and also pairs beautifully with the flavours of the kofta.
  • Pita: If you’re living your Food Freedom, serve the kofta with some fresh pita or use it as a vessel to make a delicious kofta wrap.
  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes: One of my favourite sides for these grilled kofta are my Roasted Sweet Potatoes. They’re actually intended to be served with tahini so the two recipes go very well together.

Finally! Grill Marks on a Traeger!

If you own a Traeger and have had a hard time developing those beautiful sear marks that come with cooking over direct heat, you might want to consider getting a ModiFire Sear Grate.

This accessory is designed to fit the newest generation of Traeger ModiFire models – specifically the newly released Ironwood, Ironwood XL, Timberline and Timberline XL. It is reversible, with raised grill grates on one side and a flat surface on the other, and delivers competition level grill marks at just 475F.

If you don’t have one of the ModiFire grills listed above, I think you can simply place the Sear Grate directly on top of your existing Traeger grill grates and still achieve similar results.

Kofta being grilled on a Traeger Timberline XL

Can You Make the Kofta In Advance?

You can prepare the ground meat mixture 1 hour or up to 1 day in advance. The longer you let the meat marinate, the better it will taste because it will give the flavours a chance to develop and also allow the baking soda to fully tenderize the meat.

I recommend serving the grilled kofta while still hot and juicy, but they can also be prepared as part of your meal prep for lunches or dinners throughout the week.

Can You Freeze the Kofta?

You can also freeze the kofta mixture for up to 6 months in a freezer-safe bag. To make your life easy, form the kofta into patties before freezing and lay them flat so they defrost quickly. That way you won’t wait long when it comes time to cook them and they will already be portioned out.

homemade tahini dressing sauce
Grilled Kofta Recipe with Tahini and Tomato Salad
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5 from 3 votes

Grilled Kofta Recipe with Tahini and Tomato Salad

Super juicy and made with a flavourful blend of herbs and spices, this Grilled Kofta Recipe will be on repeat all summer long.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Marinating Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 18 minutes
Servings: 5 kofta


  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, substitute ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, substitute ground coriander
  • 1 pound ground lamb, substitute ground beef or use half beef and half lamb
  • 1 yellow onion, coarsely grated and drained of excess liquid
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Tahini Dressing

  • 1/2 cup 100% pure toasted sesame seed paste, AKA tahini
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup ice-cold water, plus more ore less as needed

For the Tomato Salad

  • 3 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sumac


For the Grilled Kofta:

  • Add the cumin seeds and coriander seeds to a dry skillet. Set over medium-low heat and toast the spices, stirring often, until fragrant, around 4 minutes. Transfer the spices to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grind to a fine powder. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the ground lamb, ground cumin and coriander, grated onion, parsley, cilantro, baking soda, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined and slightly tacky. Divide the mixture into 5 equal-sized portions, around 3 ounces each. Lightly wet your hands with water and shape each portion into oval-shaped patties around 1/4-inch thick. Transfer the kofta onto a plate lined with parchment paper to prevent sticking, cover and refrigerate 1 hour to overnight.
  • Preheat your Traeger Grill to 500F (if using the Traeger SearGrate, preheat to 475F). Place the kofta onto the grill and cook until grill marks form, around 4 minutes. Flip and cook until grill marks form, around 4 more minutes. Transfer the kofta to a platter and serve with the tahini sauce and tomato salad.

For the Tahini Sauce

  • In a medium-size bowl, combine the sesame seed paste, garlic, lemon juice and salt. Whisk until combined and a paste forms. While continuously whisking, slowly pour in the water a little bit at a time until the sauce is smooth and can coats the back of a spoon. It should be the consistency of a thick pancake batter. If the tahini sauce is too loose, add some more sesame seed paste. If the tahini sauce is too thick, add some more water. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt, garlic or lemon juice as desired.

For the Tomato Salad

  • In a bowl, combine the tomato, onion, parsley, lemon juice and sumac. Toss everything to coat. Cover and set aside at room temperature until ready to serve.



Calories: 434kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Monounsaturated Fat: 14g, Cholesterol: 66mg, Sodium: 764mg, Potassium: 598mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 1197IU, Vitamin C: 24mg, Calcium: 85mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe? Leave a comment below!

About the Author

Hi, i’m Ronny! In 2013, after a lifetime of struggling with my weight and body issues, I rehabilitated my relationship with food, lost over 40 pounds and completely changed my life.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I made this recipe last night and took Ronny’s suggestion of using 1 lb lamb and 1 lb grass fed beef. I didn’t have skewers, but I did use a grill pan, and I followed the recipe as written. Talk about outstanding! This is a new favorite and I will make it regularly.

  2. 5 stars
    So delicious!!
    I popped them in the oven for ease and served with a whole 30 style dill mayo sauce, roasted peppers and onions and beets! Half lamb half beef so tender and juicy, thanks

  3. 5 stars
    I did not have sumac, I just added a little lemon juice and lemon zest. They were still really good. I will make again, but use less salt. They were a tad salty to me. Thank you for the recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    Fantastic recipe! We’ve made this many times already. If you can, make a double batch, you’ll be so happy to have leftovers 🙂