Turkey Kofta with Tahini Sauce

Turkey Kofta with Tahini Sauce

5 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine July/August 2013

Kofta is the common term for the combination of ground meat, onions and spices shaped into balls and cooked. In this turkey kofta kebab recipe, ground turkey and minced onion are mixed with cumin and allspice to make a delicious grilled dinner. Look for tahini, a sesame paste, with Middle Eastern ingredients or in the natural-foods section of the supermarket.

Ingredients 4 servings

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  • 1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 cup coarse fresh or dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs (see Tips)
  • 5 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus 1/8 teaspoon, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. Combine turkey, onion, breadcrumbs, 4 tablespoons cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, allspice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and cayenne in a large bowl; gently knead together. Do not overmix. With damp hands, form the mixture into two ovals on each skewer; use about 1/3 cup for each and place at least 1 inch apart.
  3. Oil the grill rack (see Tips). Grill the kebabs until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165 °F, about 4 minutes per side.
  4. Combine yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, the remaining 1 tablespoon cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon cumin and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Serve the kebabs with the sauce.
  • Equipment: 4 (10- to 12-inch) flat metal skewers
  • To make your own fresh breadcrumbs, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. To make fine breadcrumbs, process until very fine. To make dry breadcrumbs, spread coarse or fine breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until dry, about 10 to 15 minutes. One slice of bread makes about 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs or about 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs. For store-bought coarse dry breadcrumbs we like Ian's brand, labeled “Panko breadcrumbs.” Find them at well-stocked supermarkets.
  • Oiling a grill rack before you grill foods helps ensure that the food won't stick. Oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.) When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to coat the food with cooking spray.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 2 kofta & 2 Tbsp. sauce
  • Per serving: 254 calories; 12 g fat(3 g sat); 2 g fiber; 13 g carbohydrates; 26 g protein; 15 mcg folate; 66 mg cholesterol; 3 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 150 IU vitamin A; 4 mg vitamin C; 59 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 474 mg sodium; 390 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Iron (15% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1/2 vegetable, 3 medium-fat meat, 1 fat

Reviews 5

August 18, 2016
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By: cale mccluskey
I didn't make the tahini sauce as I'd already made some houmas but I'd give the sauce a go next time... I really liked this and will make again.... I was out of both breadcrumbs and bread so I used a 1/4 cup of coconut flour and a 1/4 cup of ground almonds... it worked really well with the flavours... I also added some mint
August 03, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
An absolute favorite among my family and friends This has become an absolute favorite. Every time I serve this (which is often) my family and guests rave over it. It's an unusual combination of flavors that we don't typically find in our food so folks find it somewhat exotic and very interesting. Everyone always asks for the recipe...a great sign that it's a hit. We have found it easiest to grill these without skewers--just right on the grill (like a burger); it's easier to flip them that way. As an indicator of how much we like this, we are going to try making it for 80 people for a post-wedding celebration for our son! Pros: healthy, exceptionally tasteful, easy to prepare, unusual combination of tastes
August 16, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
no breadcrumbs instead of breadcrumbs, just use grated zucchini or carrots, or both, but people pls don't combine bread with meat! Pros: good protein Cons: too many ingredients, poor digestion
July 31, 2013
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By: lauren.a.rivera
I got my husband to eat it! I was pleasantly surprised by this dish. My husband is a relatively picky eater and he really enjoys having this for dinner. I made it with the zucchini couscous and it was great. The sauce makes the dish! This is a definite repeat in our home. I actually thought it was very flavorful and juicy as long as you don't overcook the turkey. Pros: Easy to prepare, great flavors, great leftovers Cons: The turkey can be a bit difficult to keep in a ball on the skewer.
July 02, 2013
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By: sparklepictures
Especially liked the Tahini Sauce My husband and I particularly like the tahini sauce. It reminded us of hummus. We'll definitely make that again. The turkey kofta was okay and had a mild middle eastern flavor, but it wasn't amazing. It was kind of bland overall. If you'd like to see pictures, check out my food blog at www.eatdrinkandbeme.com. Pros: The tahini sauce is very flavorful, creamy and delicious; the turkey kofa is easy to prepare Cons: The turkey kofta isn't as flavorful as I'd like.