Köfte; Turkish meatballs

Köfte; Turkish meatballs

I don’t know why; but the Dutch kitchen is REALLY bland. Even after stealing some spices during the Dutch East Indian Company period; we kept it plain and simple. REALLY plain and simple. It’s the culture. Being plain and simple is a virtue. “Just being plain is silly enough” is a popular phrase.

THANK YOU migrants to help us who do not fit in the “plain” ; out.

Turkish has become one of my favourite kitchens. It’s still simple; uses cheap ingredients..but they actually knoooow how to make it interesting..

Köfte can also be found in countries surrounding Turkey; and just like Italian or Swedish meatballs; every family has it’s own recipe. I’m going to share my personal favourite one. It’s a combination of many köfte recipes I tried over the years in Turkey and from Dutch people with Turkish roots; and combined everything I liked in it into this köfte recipe.

I like to eat köfte with lebanese bread; but any other flat bread will do; Turkish bread is offcourse awesome with it. A salad from cucumber, tomatoes, olive oil and feta cheese (I’m poor so use the “white salad cheese we are not legally allowed to call feta” knock-off). Raw red onions mixed with parsley and sumac. Turkish (or Greek) full-fat yoghurt mixed with salt, pepper, mint, garlic and dried red pepper flakes, a lemon slice and this tomato rice. Instead of tomato rice you could also do cooked/baked potatoes with or without the skin on, french fries, beans & rice, or beans or rice.

I put them on fancy sticks. Because you know; I’m fancy like that (cough…someone left them at my place after a BBQ 3 years ago….) But you can also turn the meat in patty’s or any shape you want.

For the meat I use ground lamb meat. You can use half beef/half lamb or only beef. I like lamb and I like fat; so 100% lamb it is. But they are all technically köfte.

 Afiyet olsun!

Köfte; Turkish meatballs

Recipe by Smodder.com (Stef Bruurs)Course: DinnerCuisine: Turkish


Prep time


Cooking time



A flavourfull recipe of Turkish köfte.


  • 300 gr/10 oz ground lamb meat

  • 1 egg

  • 75 gr/2 oz tomato paste

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

  • 3 teaspoons chili powder (smoked or not, sweet or hot; which one you like. In case of smoked I would use 1,5 teaspoon)

  • 1/2 teaspoon grounded black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons really finely chopped/grated onion

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried or fresh mint

  • 15 gr/0,5 oz breadcrumbs/panko


  • Step 1 you will be able to handle easily. Mix it all together.
  • Make balls of the meat-mixture and/or put them on a stick. Wet your hands with water while shaping the meat so it sticks less to your hands
  • It’s the best on a grill or in a grillpan. But any pan will do; as long as it is done inside. This will take around 15 minutes. For oven see step 4.
  • You can also put it in the oven for 15 minuten on 200 degrees celcius/390 degrees fahrenheit. Put some oil first on what kind of pan/tray/rack/etc. you are going to use to prevent sticking; turn them after 7,5 minutes


  • Most recipes only use egg-yolk. But I don’t know what to do with the left-over egg-white so just toss it al in there.
  • Köfte can be eaten cold and put in your lunchbox.