Here’s a recipe for simple Grilled Lamb Kofta Kebabs made with onion and spices and then shaped and skewered. They are a grain-free and paleo entree for the spring grilling season.

four kofta kebabs on a platter with cucumbers and tomatoes

I originally shared this recipe on April 26, 2015. I have updated the images and some of the text today.

Why We Love This Kofta Recipe

If you love the flavors of Middle Eastern Kofta, and want to try making it at home, this recipe for grilled Lamb Kofta is the perfect recipe for beginners!

Not only are the ingredients easy to find and you probably have all the seasonings on hand already but it is simple to prepare and ready in only 30 minutes.

This recipe is great to make for a spring or summer cookout (you can double the recipe to serve 8 people.) Or you can make it for a Mediterranean inspired weeknight dinner.

It only takes a few minutes to mix the ground lamb with the onion, parsley and spices and shape them into kebabs. Then from there, all is left to do is grill them! Wrap them in pita and add on yogurt sauce. They pair well with Cucumber Salad, tomato salad, roasted red pepper hummus and tabbouleh.

One of the great thing about this Kofta (sometimes called Kefta) is that it doesn’t have any breadcrumbs or wheat in the meat mixture, so it is gluten-free, Whole30 and paleo!

I should note that this recipe was inspired by a Lebanese Kafta recipe by Diane Kochilas from the Summer 2003 issue of EatingWell. Her Mediterranean grilling story was one of the first stories I tested when I worked in the EatingWell test kitchen.

Ingredient Notes For This Recipe

ingredients with labels for these kofta

Ground Lamb

Look for lean ground lamb if possible. This will make the recipe overall lower in saturated fat and calories, and it will help to prevent flare-ups on the grill. You can ask your butcher to grind leg fresh if you like.

Onion

Finely chopped onion will add moisture and flavor to the lamb. Read more about how to finely chop the onion here.

Spices

You will need cinnamon, allspice and ground cloves in addition to salt and pepper. We also added in fresh chopped garlic too for traditional and authentic flavor.

Parsley

Parsley is a major component of traditional kofta. You can use either curley or flat leaf parsley. Wash it and spin it dry. Remove the stem and then finely chop it. You will need 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley for this recipe

How To Make This Recipe

the ingredients fo the kofta in a bowl, mixed together

Step 1a: Place the lamb, onion, parsley, garlic and spices in a large bowl.

Step 1b: Gently knead the lamb and ingredients together, but avoid overmixing.

divide the mixture into four even portions. Shape and skewer

Step 2: Once the meat is mixed in, divide it into four portions. Then shape into sausage shapes with your hands and run a skewer through them. If you have a flat skewer, use those, because they’ll help keep the kofta from rolling as you try to turn them on the grill.

oil the grill rack, then grill the kofta

Step 3: Get your grill nice and hot, and be sure to brush it off. Right before you place the lamb kebabs down, run an oil soaked paper towel along the grates.

You’ll want to use a set of tongs and be sure to pull the towel toward you in case there is a brief flare up as the oil drips down. Oiling the rack will help to prevent the kofta from sticking.

Step 4: Add the lamb to the grill, and let it sit without turning until it releases from the grill. It may stick a tiny bit, but if you are patient, it shouldn’t stick very much at all. Use a spatula to help loosen any areas that stick.

FAQs For This Recipe

Can I substitute another meat?

If you are not a fan of lamb, then try this with ground venison or grass-fed beef. Please note that ground turkey and chicken are too soft to hold together when you are grilling them, so I don’t recommend using them.

How do you prevent flare ups on the grill?

If your lamb is not very lean you may end up having flare-ups on the grill. If this happens while you are grilling the kofta, turn off one of the burners, and set the skewers over the extinguished side of the grill. Close the lid and use indirect heat to finish cooking them. For a charcoal grill, move the kofta to the edges of the grill grate, over a section where there isn’t any charcoal below.

What to Serve With Grilled Lamb Kofta Kebabs

You can serve these kofta on their skewers if you like. Or to serve them in pita, slide them off into the pita. Or if you want, you can remove the skewers and slice them into large bite-sized chunks.

Home-made tzatziki is a really wonderful accompaniment. Or if you’re in a rush, even serving with a dollop of plain full-fat Greek yogurt is also delicious.

Serve warm pita or flatbreads. There are some great gluten-free ones if you are gluten-free.

Cucumbers are a great addition. You can make this 15 minute chopped Greek Salad.

For something a little unexpected, you can make this lemony carrot salad, grilled carrots or this Roasted Eggplant Salad.

This Chickpea Salad and this Mediterranean Black Lentil Salad are nice hearty sides that can be made ahead. I also love the flavors of this Panzanella with these kebabs.

Hot Moroccan Carrots, Simple Tabbouleh, and Roasted Garlic Hummus would also be great pairing options.

overhead of table with yogurt sauce, pitas and lamb kofta with blue napkin

More Easy Grilling Recipes:

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter or follow me on instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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overhead of table with yogurt sauce, pitas and lamb kofta with blue napkin

Grilled Lamb Kofta Kebabs

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 16 minutes
  • Cook Time: 9 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Lebanese

Description

Grilled lamb kofta made with onion and spices and then shaped and skewered onto kebabs. It is an easy middle eastern inspired main course that’s ready in under 30 minutes, perfect for grilling season.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground lamb (sub beef if you prefer)
  • 1 medium Spanish onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped curly parsley
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Knead lamb, onion, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, cinnamon, allspice and cloves in a medium bowl with clean hands until the seasonings are evenly distributed through the meat.
  2. Divide into 4 portions. Shape each portion into a 8-inch sausage shape. Thread meat onto a heavy metal skewer.
  3. Soak a folded paper towel with oil. Hold the towel with tongs. Drag it along the grill grate toward you to oil grill rack. Do this immediately before adding the meat, as the oil will cook off quickly.
  4. Grill kebabs, turning every 3 to 4 minutes, until cooked through, 9 to 13 minutes. Let rest on a cutting board for 4 minutes before removing skewer and slicing.

Notes

Prevent flare ups:

If your lamb is not very lean you may end up having flare-ups on the grill.

For Gas Grill:  If this happens while you are grilling the kofta, turn off one of the burners, and set the skewers over the extinguished side of the grill. Close the lid and use indirect heat to finish cooking them. For a charcoal grill: Plan ahead and bank your coals to one side. Use indirect heat grilling by placing the kebabs over a section where there isn’t any charcoal below. Cover the grill.

Prevent Sticking: Oiling the grill will help prevent sticking. Make sure not to try to force the kebabs to turn them. They will release from the grill once the meat has set. 


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 kebab
  • Calories: 245
  • Sugar: 1
  • Sodium: 322
  • Fat: 15
  • Saturated Fat: 7
  • Carbohydrates: 4
  • Fiber: 2
  • Protein: 22

Here is one of the original images associated with this post.

Grilled Lamb Kofta Kebabs