Chef John's Kofta Kebabs

Chef John's Kofta Kebabs

I'm excited to share what is one of my all-time favorite things to grill. This is perfect for those times when you want to take a break from grilling burgers, but you also kinda want a grilled burger, since this is basically a Mediterranean-style meatball on a stick. I know "shish" gets more love, but "kofta" might be the best kebab. Serve over a tomato, onion, and cucumber salad with flatbread or pita and a lemony tahini dressing.
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Cut toasted bread slice into thin strips on a cutting board; cut strips across into a small dice.
  2. Step 2

    Place onion, parsley, and garlic on top of diced bread on the cutting board; chop until mixture resembles tabbouleh.
  3. Step 3

    Season beef and lamb with kosher salt, black pepper, allspice, paprika, cardamom, nutmeg, and cayenne. Add onion mixture and water. Mix and mash with your hands until well combined.
  4. Step 4

    Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour, up to overnight.
  5. Step 5

    Remove meat from the refrigerator and roll ¼ of the mixture into a ball using wet hands. Pierce in the middle with a bamboo skewer. Shape meat into a uniform log, about 6 inches long and 2 inches wide.
  6. Step 6

    Meanwhile, preheat a charcoal grill until coals are very hot.
  7. Step 7

    Place kebabs on the hot grill until browned and cooked through, about 12 minutes, turning every 3 minutes or so. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a kebab should read at least 145 degrees F (63 degrees C). Serve.