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close up of turkish meatballs sprinkled with parsley

Turkish Meatballs - Beef Kofta Recipe

Turkish meatballs or beef kofta: easy to make, always delicious, and perfect for any gathering.
Course Meat Recipes
Cuisine Turkish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 30
Calories 279kcal
Author Adina


  • 1 lb ground beef 450 g
  • 1 onion about 75 g/ 2.6 oz
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 oz white bread 60 g, weighed after removing the crust (about 1-2 white bread slices, depending on size)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • ¾ teaspoon Turkish red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon all spice
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt



  • Combine: Place the ground beef to a bowl. Grate the onion and the garlic cloves and add to the bowl together with the chopped parsley. Lightly beat the egg and crumble the crustless white bread with your hands or in a food processor. Add both to the bowl. Add the red pepper flakes, cumin, coriander, allspice, baking soda, salt, and pepper.
  • Mix thoroughly with your hands, at least 3-4 minutes. You can cover and refrigerate the mixture now and cook the meatballs a few hours later.
  • Form small meatballs, between 30 and 35 of them.


  • Fry meatballs: Heat one tablespoon oil in a large non-stick or cast iron pan. Fry the meatballs on medium heat in two batches for about 8-10 minutes, turning every few minutes to prevent them from catching to the pan or becoming too dark. Turn the heat down slightly if you notice that the koftas are getting too dark before being cooked through.
  • Check after 7-8 minutes by cutting one kofta in the middle.
  • To fry the second batch of koftas, add the second tablespoon oil to the pan and repeat.


  • To bake the meatballs, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/ 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the meatballs on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for about 13-15 minutes until cooked through but not overcooked.


Freeze uncooked meatballs: Shape them into balls and freeze. To do so, place them into airtight containers, layered between sheets of parchment paper. Freeze for up to two months and defrost slowly in the refrigerator, preferably overnight.


Serving: 5g | Calories: 279kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 456mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g