This Lamb Kofta is full of warm spices, sautéed onions and garlic, Italian parsley and baked in the oven. These lamb kofta can be made in under 30 minutes; and are made with 100% New Zealand grass-fed premium ground lamb from Silver Fern Farms. Eat these Middle Eastern meatballs with hummus, pita, rice and your favorite salad.
This is my dream meal. I could easily eat this for dinner at least three times a week. It’s everything I want from a well-balanced dish: there’s a lean–yet super flavorful–meat component, creamy, silky smooth hummus, rice and a refreshing salad. This type of meal truly never gets old to me! Let’s dig in.
Silver Fern Farms 100% Grass-Fed Lamb from New Zealand
Have you ever been to New Zealand? A few months ago, I was very lucky enough to visit New Zealand with Beef + Lamb New Zealand. We spent all week visiting farms throughout the country. On the third and final property tour, we visited Silver Fern Farms. They produce 100% grass-fed and pasture-raised beef and lamb and venison, with no added hormones or antibiotics.
This ground lamb is so delicious. I usually put a tablespoon of olive oil in my ground lamb to make it a bit more moist, but this ground lamb didn’t need the added fat—it’s flavorful and delicious as is. I also usually add panko bread crumbs to my meatballs (and you can if you like), but I found that they weren’t needed either.
What Is Lamb Kofta
Kofta is a ground meat mixture from Middle Eastern and Central Asian cuisine. It’s found in many forms, using ground or minced beef, chicken, pork or lamb. And sometimes it’s a mix of a few meats together. Generally, there are spices, minced onions and garlic involved; other times, you’ll find kofta in gravy or a thick delicious sauce. It really does vary depending on the region, country and town!
Today I’m using 100% New Zealand grass-fed ground lamb, mixing it with onions, garlic, spices, salt and minced Italian parsley. My favorite part about this recipe is that it is super easy. Baking the meatballs in the oven makes it super hands off with a super easy clean-up.
Often times you’ll find lamb kofta kebabs vs. meatballs. I like doing both depending on the time and situation!
How to Make Lamb Kofta
- Toast the pine nuts. I love the pine nuts in this recipe. It adds a lovely amount of nuttiness. And then transfer them to a food processor.
- In the same pan we were using for the pine nuts, add a bit of olive oil. Add the roughly chopped onion and garlic. No need to mince it because we’re going to do that in the food processor. Cook both until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Pour the onions and garlic in the food processor.
- And then add the spices and salt. This creates a thoroughly blended spice mixture. This will help avoid little pockets of spices and salt in the meatballs. I didn’t do this the first time I tested them and one meatball was SUPER salty while another was barely seasoned. Amateur moves!
- Pulse until it’s a ground up onion and spice mixture.
- Pour the spice mixture in a bowl with the ground lamb. And then add in the fresh minced Italian parsley.
- Mix it up. You don’t want to be too rough with the mixture because you don’t want dense meatballs.
- Brush a baking sheet with about a teaspoon of olive oil or avocado oil. You don’t need a ton.
- Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop out meatballs onto the baking sheet. I went back over the scoops and rolled them into more proper round-shaped meatballs.
- Transfer to the oven to bake for about 10 minutes. They’ll be toasty on top!
As you’ll notice, these lamb kofta aren’t made on a skewer. Well, that’s because my dog ate a skewer last year and had to go to the hospital and have surgery, so long story short, skewers are no longer allowed in our house. If you want, you can put these on skewers and grill them!
Tips and Tricks
- Be sure to add the spices and salt to the onion mixture. This will help avoid any pockets of salt and/or spices.
- Don’t over mix the lamb mixture. This will create tough meatballs. However, you still want to mix them up because you want to be sure the onion mixture is evenly dispersed.
- The high heat from the oven ensures super moist but delicious meatballs.
- Lamb beef kofta – There are variations to this recipe and sometimes people combine ground beef and ground lamb. You can definitely do that with this recipe!
- Lamb kofta accompaniments – I like to serve this with rice, grilled lemons, hummus, a little tomato and cucumber salad and pita.
What to Serve with Lamb Kofta
I’ve made lamb kofta before, kept them in the fridge and warmed them back up and served them up over a bed of lettuce with cucumbers and tomatoes. A salad!
That scenario works great for a weekday lunch but ideally there’ll be hummus, a salad, rice and pita.
If you make this Lamb Kofta Recipe, let me know on Instagram!
Looking for more easy dinner ideas? Here are a few favorites:
- Lamb Bolognese
- Braised Lamb Shanks
- Lomo Saltado
- Easter Recipes
- Best Caesar Salad
- Smash Burgers
- Lamb Burgers
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 pound Silver Fern Farms 100% grass-fed premium ground lamb
- 2 tablespoons finely minced Italian parsley, (from a small handful of parsley)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil, for baking sheet
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a medium skillet, set over medium heat, add the pine nuts. Toast for about 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Transfer to a food processor and allow to cool.
- To the same medium skillet, pour in a teaspoon or two of olive oil. Add the onion and smashed garlic. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to the food processor, along with the salt, cumin, paprika and coriander. Pulse until everything is minced into small bits.
- Pour into a medium bowl. Add the lamb and finely minced Italian parsley. Mix together gently until everything is combined. Brush a half baking sheet with a teaspoon of olive oil. Using a medium cookie scoop, add mounds of the lamb kofta to the baking sheet, placing them about 2-inches apart.
- Transfer to the oven to bake for 10 minutes, until lightly golden brown on the tops and cooked throughout. Feel free to halve a lamb meatball in order to ensure doneness.
- Serve with rice, hummus, cucumber and tomato salad and pita.
- To Store: Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can reheat them in a microwave on high for 1 minute. OR you can add them to a skillet set over medium-low heat with a lid covered and cook until warmed throughout, about 5 to 7 minutes.
(This post is sponsored by Beef + Lamb New Zealand. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that keep A Cozy Kitchen cozy.)