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Homemade Köfte With Salad
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5 from 1 vote

Classic Köfte Recipe - Homemade Turkish Meatballs

There are many different types of köfte in Turkey but this is arguably where it all begins: Homemade Turkish meatballs can be grilled or fried - and they're always a winner.
Course Main
Cuisine Turkish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 320kcal
Author Turkey's For Life


  • 500 grams minced beef or lamb
  • 1 onion peeled & grated
  • 1 clove garlic peeled & grated
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons baharat
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli optional
  • salt & pepper to season


  • Place all of your meatball ingredients into a bowl or onto a large plate.
  • Now use your hands to mix and knead the mixture.
  • Knead the köfte mix for a few minutes.
  • Now take a golf ball size of the mixture and roll into a ball in your hands.
  • Pat it down to form a flat, circular köfte.
  • Keep doing this until you have used all the meat mixture.
  • You should end up with roughly 20 köfte meatballs.
  • If you have time refrigerate the meatballs for at least 30 minutes to firm them up.
  • When you're ready to cook your köfte, heat a non-stick frying pan on a medium to high heat.
  • Fry your köfte in batches for around 5 minutes on each side until brown.
  • Rest your köfte on kitchen paper for a couple of minutes before serving.


  • We use chia seeds in our köfte because of their nutritional content but you can substitute them with breadcrumbs if you like.
  • There is no one true classic köfte recipe so feel free to adjust spices and seasoning to your own taste.
  • We have said this köfte recipe serves 5 people. This is assuming each person has one serving of 4 köfte each and an accompaniment.
  • To make köfte, lamb or beef can be used. Some butchers will mix the two for you.
    As with all of our recipes, the calories are meant as a rough guide only. In Turkey, you can buy your minced beef with different levels of fat content.
  • If you are using lean minced beef or lamb, add a small amount of sunflower oil to your pan before adding the köfte.
  • If you are barbecuing your köfte and you are using standard minced beef or lamb, wait until your barbecue has just passed its highest heat level before placing the köfte onto the grill. The fat in the köfte can cause them to set alight.