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Turkish Meat Rolls

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Turkish meat rolls or Turkish kofta in a minty yogurt sauce, these juicy and flavorful meatballs can be served as a light appetizer or as a main meal with bulgur or rice.




Turkish Meat Rolls In Yogurt Sauce - Where Is My Spoon


These Turkish meat rolls are exactly what you need when you want to make the usual meatballs a little more exotic. It is still a beef meatball, but spiced differently and served on a minty sauce with mint, which definitely is not the usual sauce you would choose.

A typical Turkish dish, hearty yet refreshing, bursting with new flavors.


Turkish Meat Rolls In Yogurt Sauce - Where Is My Spoon



I once read in a cookbook that the variety of the Turkish cuisine is only topped by the variety of  the Chinese cuisine.

I was really surprised to learn that because despite the huge number of Turkish restaurants in Germany, I only knew döner (flatbread filled with meat and tzatziki), lahmacun (Turkish pizza), börek (pastry filled with spinach or ground meat) and some other things like tzatziki, peppers stuffed with cream cheese and a few more.

Which all taste great, but as all the Turkish takeaways around here serve more or less the same dishes, I had never spent a thought on all the other delightful possibilities offered by the Turkish cuisine.

My knowledge on this subject increased after I took more interest in cooking in general and especially after eating in a real Turkish restaurant, not just a takeaway, while living in London.

We ordered a plate for two full of countless little things  and it was just amazing, a revelation. I have to say that afterward I have never managed to enjoy the usual döner or lahmacun the way I did before, it does always taste good, but lefts me wishing I could just have the other things instead.


Turkish Meat Rolls In Yogurt Sauce - Where Is My Spoon



  • I chose to make the meat rolls with beef, because ground beef is available anywhere.
  • But should it be possible for you to get ground lamb, you can use a mixture of lamb and beef instead.

Onions and garlic:

  • Chop the onions as finely as possible, they will not be cooked before they are added to the ground meat mixture and it is not nice to bite on larger pieces later.
  • Ideally, grate the onion on the fine grater. It is not a pleasant task (lots of tears), but it is well worth it.
  • Grate the garlic as well, that works great.

Frying the meat rolls:

  • Usually, in any traditional meatball recipe you will use lots of oil to fry the meatballs.
  • I prefer to use a large non-stick pan, which allows me to use less oil.
  • My pan has a diameter of 30 cm/ 12 inches, so I was able to fry the Turkish meat rolls in two batches. Don’t overcrowd the pan, if your pan is smaller, fry the meatballs in more batches.
  • Keep the meatballs warm in the oven at about 100 degrees Celsius/ 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Yogurt sauce:

  • Mixing the yogurt with the cornstarch stops the yogurt from curdling while you heat it, so don’t skip the cornstarch.



As appetizer:

As main dish:

  • The Turkish meatballs with yogurt sauce are also great as a main course served with bulgur, rice or flatbread.


Stuffed Peppers with Mince – a Turkish or Eastern European style of cooking stuffed peppers.

Easy Turkey Kebabs – super healthy kebabs with finely spiced, tender turkey breast cubes.

Beef Kofta Recipe – an easy to make beef kofta recipe or spicy Turkish meatballs, always delicious and perfect for any kind of gathering.

Turkish Börek – Phyllo pastry filled with spinach, feta and Parmesan, this börek can be eaten either hot or cold.




platter with turkish meat rolls in yogurt sauce


turkish meat rolls with yogurt sauce on a plate

Turkish Meat Rolls

Turkish meat rolls or Turkish kofta in a minty yogurt sauce, these juicy and flavorful meatballs can be served as a light appetizer or as a main meal with bulgur or rice.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Beef, Pork and Lamb
Cuisine: Turkish
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 497kcal
Author: Adina


  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb full-fat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 small bunch mint
  • 3 scallions
  • fine sea salt and black pepper


  • Meatballs: Chop the onion and the garlic cloves very finely. Mix with the ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg, mustard, ground cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Form about 14-16 little rolls.
  • Cook: Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan and fry the meat rolls in two batches. Turn repeatedly so that they get brown on all sides and are cooked through. It took me about 7 to 8 minutes to have one batch ready. Remove all the meat rolls from the pan and keep them warm.
  • Yogurt sauce: Stir together the yogurt and the cornstarch. Finely chop the mint leaves. Place the yogurt mixture and the mint in the pan and heat gently. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve the meat rolls with the sauce sprinkled with chopped scallions and more sweet paprika.


Serving: 1/4 of the dish | Calories: 497kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 153mg | Sodium: 409mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @adinabeck or tag #WhereIsMySpoon!

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Recipe Rating

Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

Thursday 10th of December 2015

Turkish food really is fabulous and you're right, most people have no idea how rich and varied it is. These meat rolls look similar to a Turkish dish I had in a restaurant in England (apparently England has quite a few good Turkish restaurants!). This dish looks and sounds wonderful. I'm craving it now!

Angie@Angie's Recipes

Tuesday 1st of December 2015

My hubby will love this too since he is a fan of meatballs and Greek yoghurt sauce. Must try this warm version of zatziki.

Chris Scheuer

Tuesday 1st of December 2015

These look wonderful. I love all the flavors of Turkish food, so vibrant!


Tuesday 1st of December 2015

Thank you, Chris. Turkish food is just great!