Beef Kofta Kebabs with Tzatziki Sauce

October 27, 2021

I love weaving my Armenian heritage into my recipes, and these Beef Kofta Kebabs are no exception. These warm, flavorful kababs were a favorite of mine growing up, and to this day, they remind me of home. Plus, in this recipe, we’re pairing them with a delicious homemade tzatziki sauce, which makes for the perfect combination. But don’t just take my word for it – make this recipe with me and you’ll see just what I’m talking about!

While I love sharing cookie recipes and healthy twists on desserts, my Armenian recipes have to be my some of my favorites. After all, they’re a part of my heritage, and are my way of paying homage to my family. These are the recipes that I grew up on, and will always hold a special place in my heart!

These Beef Kofta Kebabs are no exception. I ate these regularly growing up, and they’re a quintessential Armenian dish. Now that I’m raising my own family, it’s important to me that I make these for my boys (so that they can know the foods that I grew up on), and the good news is, they love them too! It makes me happy, one because they’re loving my favorite foods, but two, because that means I get to eat this more often.

I love pairing these Beef Kofta Kebabs with my homemade tzatziki sauce (duh) and warm pita bread. It makes for the most delicious and comforting combo! And if you’re feeling fancy, you can add in some pickled onions, tomatoes, dill, and mint. It makes for the most delicious little Armenian “wrap” that’s perfect for lunch or dinner.

What Are Kofta Kebabs?

Kofta Kebabs are a cross between two slightly different things: koftas and kebabs! Kebabs are spiced meet skewers that are sold on the street or by kebab shops, often seasoned generally with spices and sometimes served alongside pita.

Kofta, on the other hand, is skewered beef and/or lamb that’s mixed with parsley, onion, mint, spices, and is often served over curry or with a creamy sauce.

For this recipe, we’re combining the two by making our koftas and serving them with pita like a kebab would be. And for our creamy sauce, we’re using the tzatziki. It’s a delicious mix, and I can’t wait for you to make it with me!

What You Need to Make These Beef Kofta Kebabs

  • Ground Beef: For this recipe, we’re using ground beef, and I like to make sure mine is at least 93% ground beef. You can also use 85%, but your kebabs will be fattier. That’s okay!
  • Onion: Any type of onion will work well! I use a red onion.
  • Herbs: Fresh parsley and mint are a MUST in this recipe!
  • Garlic: I like using fresh garlic whenever possible. You can use garlic powder, but it will change the flavor slightly.
  • Egg: Egg is crucial for binding the breadcrumbs to the kofta kebabs.
  • Spices: In this recipe, we’re using a combination of Cumin, Oregano, Coriander, and Cayenne Pepper. And, of course, traditional sea salt and pepper!
  • Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs: I use gluten-free breadcrumbs to keep this recipe, well, gluten-free! But you can use normal breadcrumbs if you prefer. It doesn’t make a difference!
  • Oil: I use avocado oil, but any neutral oil works!

What You Need to Make The Tzatziki Sauce

  • Greek Yogurt: I love greek yogurt because it’s thick, and it’s gentler on tummies that are sensitive to dairy. I personally don’t do great with dairy, but do much better with greek yogurt!
  • English Cucumber: English cucumbers are crisp and perfect t for this tzatziki sauce, because they don’t get mushy!
  • Garlic: Again, I highly recommend using fresh garlic here.
  • Lemon Juice: A little lemon juice adds the perfect amount of acidity!
  • Fresh Dill: Fresh dill is one of my favorite flavors, and is crucial to tzatziki sauce.
  • Salt: And of course, you need a little salt!

How to Make These Beef Kofta Kebabs with Tzatziki Sauce

  1. Add all of your kofta ingredients to a medium bowl and mix them together by-hand. You can use a spoon if you prefer, but I think mixing by-hand works better!
  2. Next, form your meat into the kofta kebabs. The meat will be sticky, so wet your hands and then pick up small handfuls of meat and form a tube around the skewer, about 4 inches long and 1 inch wide. Repeat using all of the meat. You *should* get 12 skewers. But if you don’t that’s ok too! Since we’re working by-hand, the actual amount may vary.
  3. Grab a cast iron skillet and heat it, along with your oil, one the stove over medium-high heat.
  4. Gently place your kofta skewers into the pan.
  5. Let them sit for about 2 minutes (don’t touch them while they’re cooking). Once the 2 minutes is up, turn them every minute or so, until they are brown on all of the sides. Once done, remove from the heat and set aside on a plate.
  6. Next, make the tzatziki sauce. Chop all ingredients and add to a box, mixing well. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  7. Serve your kofta kebabs over some pita bread, with your tzatziki sauce and desired garnishes (more herbs, pickled onions, tomatoes), and enjoy!

How to Store These Beef Kofta Kebabs

Store your cooked kebabs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. In a separate container, your tzatziki will store for about the same.

To warm your koftas, you can put them back on the stove, bake them in the oven, or, in a pinch, microwave them. All of these methods works equally as well, and you can have delicious kofta kebabs anytime you want!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! And, since I practically live on Instagram, be sure to tag me in your creations so that I can repost them! xx

Beef Kofta Kebabs with Tzatziki Sauce

Author: Nicole Modic of @KALEJUNKIE

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
SERVES 12 Kebabs
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I love weaving my Armenian heritage into my recipes, and these Beef Kofta Kebabs are no exception. These warm, flavorful kababs were a favorite of mine growing up, and to this day, they remind me of home. Plus, in this recipe, we're pairing them with a delicious homemade tzatziki sauce, which makes for the perfect combination. But don't just take my word for it - make this recipe with me and you'll see just what I'm talking about!

Ingredients

For the Kofta Kebabs

  • 1 Pound Ground Beef 93% lean if possible, but 85% is also okay
  • 1/4 Cup Onion grated
  • 1/4 Cup Parsley finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Mint finely chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic grated or finely minced
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Oregano
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Coriander
  • 1 Pinch Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons Neutral Oil of Choice I use avocado oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

For the Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1 1/2 Cups Greek Yogurt
  • 1 English Cucumber peeled and copped into small cubes
  • 2 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 3 Tablespoons Fresh Dill chopped
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Sea Salt

Instructions

  • Add all of your kofta ingredients to a medium bowl and mix them together by-hand. You can use a spoon if you prefer, but I think mixing by-hand works better!
  • Next, form your meat into the kofta kebabs. The meat will be sticky, so wet your hands and then pick up small handfuls of meat and form a tube around the skewer, about 4 inches long and 1 inch wide. Repeat using all of the meat. You *should* get 12 skewers. But if you don’t that’s ok too! Since we’re working by-hand, the actual amount may vary.
  • Grab a cast iron skillet and heat it, along with your oil, one the stove over medium-high heat.
  • Gently place your kofta skewers into the pan.
  • Let them sit for about 2 minutes (don’t touch them while they’re cooking). Once the 2 minutes is up, turn them every minute or so, until they are brown on all of the sides. Once done, remove from the heat and set aside on a plate.
  • Next, make the tzatziki sauce. Chop all ingredients and add to a box, mixing well. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  • Serve your kofta kebabs over some pita bread, with your tzatziki sauce and desired garnishes (more herbs, pickled onions, tomatoes), and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to see what you made - tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!

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  1. 5 stars
    These are SO good! I don’t cook with a ton of herbs so I was wondering how these would come out and they are delicious!!!!

    I made them to celebrate my husband on Veteran’s Day and we will definitely be making them again! He felt very special!

    • I’m so glad to hear that you and your husband loved them, Nico! Thank you so much for your review!

  2. 5 stars
    I made these yesterday for my weekly try-a-new-KJ-recipe challenge (even though it’s not a challenge at all and more of a fun relaxing way of spending my time, but I digress!) and WOW. I am truly in love! I don’t buy meat often and hardly cook with it myself, but these looked too good and I couldn’t resist. I made them with ground turkey instead (I’m more of a turkey gal) and oh my goodness, they were amazing! The tzatziki sauce was literally SO GOOD. These kabobs are so flavorful and delicious! Make them for your next gathering, or meal prep them for the week! These last me 4 meals with 1 pound of turkey and a whole lot of yum!

    • What an AWESOME challenge!!! I love that so much! I’m so glad this recipe turned out so well for you – it’s one of my personal favorites 🙂 Thank you so much for your sweet review!