Chicken Kofta is tender, packed with flavor, and easy to make. Combine ground chicken, fresh herbs, spices, and a few simple ingredients. Then form into oval patties before grilling or baking.
It is a common item in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines and is great served with couscous, pita, hummus, and more!
Why I Love It:
- Flavorful – The combination of fresh herbs and spices makes this dish super flavorful!
- Endless Servings Options – I love serving chicken kofta in bowls with couscous, hummus, and veggies or they are also great stuffed in pita or on top of a Mediterranean salad.
- Grills in 10 Minutes – They grill up quickly with beautiful grill marks!
- Ground Chicken
- Onion – I used a white onion, but you can use yellow or even red. I recommend grating the onion so the pieces are super fine.
- Fresh Herbs – Parsley and Mint
- Spices – Cumin, Cardamom, Allspice, Salt, Pepper
- Oil – For greasing grill or pan
How To Make Chicken Kofta
- Preheat – Either preheat the grill to medium-high heat or preheat the oven.
- Mix Chicken Mixture – In a large bowl, add all ingredients and mix together. It’s easiest to do this with your hands.
- Form Kofta – Use your hands and form the mixture into oval shaped patties. If making kabobs, skewer the kofta onto metal skewers or water-soaked wooden skewers.
- Grill – To cook on the grill, start by greasing the grill grates with cooking oil. . Grill for 4-5 minutes per side. The kofta should release easily from the grill. The Kofta are cooked when they are lightly browned on both sides and have an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- OR Bake in the Oven – To bake in the oven, place the skewers of kofta patties onto a lightly greased baking sheet (have space in between). Bake in the preheated oven for ~15 minutes until lightly browned and have an internal temp of 165 degrees F.
- Serve – Allow to rest for just a few minutes then serve.
- Fresh Herbs – The fresh herbs add so much flavor and freshness, but you can adjust the amounts used. Don’t like mint? Omit and add more parsley. Love mint? Add more and cut back on the parsley!
- Other Ground Meat – Instead of chicken, you can also make kofta using ground beef, ground lamb, or even ground turkey.
- Spices – Other spices that are great to add are ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes for spice.
- Grill Pan – Instead of using an outdoor grill or baking in the oven, you can also cook these on a grill pan indoors. Heat the pan to medium-high, grease, and cook as directed.
- Air Fry – Try air frying the chicken patties in a 350 degrees F oven for 13-15 minutes until fully cooked.
- Large Bowl – You’ll need a medium-large bowl to mix up the ground chicken mixture.
- Baking Sheet or Plate – Something to place the formed kofta on until ready to cook.
- Skewers (Optional) – I like to thread the kofta on skewers to make kabobs, but they can also be placed directly on the grill, grill pan, or baking sheet to cook as well.
- Grill, Grill Pan, or Baking Sheet – For cooking. Grilling is my favorite method, but you can cook chicken kofta indoors and get great results too!
- Grilling Tongs or Spatula – To flip/turn the kofta kabobs if grilling.
Leftovers and Storage
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat leftovers in the microwave, in a 375 degrees F oven, or in a 350 degrees F air fryer until warmed.
- Wet your hands – Using wet hands when forming the patties helps keep the ground chicken mixture from sticking to your hands.
- Chill before grilling – After forming the chicken kofta, I like to chill in the fridge for a few minutes while the grill preheats. This helps them keep their shape while grilling.
- Grease grill – Greasing the grill grates or grill pan will help keep them from sticking. They will also release from the grill when they are ready to flip/turn.
- Soak Wooden Skewers – If you’re using wooden skewers to make kabobs, you need to soak the skewers in water for 15 minutes before using so they don’t burn on the grill or in the oven.
- Be careful turning on the grill – When cooking them on the grill, be careful flipping. Instead of picking up the skewer, I find it easily to gently roll them over to the other side using a spatula. The kabobs are fragile until cooked.
Frequently Asked Questions
While the word “kofta” is believed to have originated in Iran, there are also other variations of the word found in other countries. Such as the Persian word, Kufte. Translated it means ‘pounded meat’ or ‘finely chopped meat’. Although the spices added can vary by country and culture, they are all made from a ground meat of some kind.
Chicken kofta is made of ground chicken that is mixed with lots of fresh herbs, spices, onion, and breadcrumbs/egg to bind. The mixture is formed into ovals similar to a meatball.
The flavors of chicken kofta depends not he herbs and spices added. It typically has a fresh flavor from the herbs that complements the warm spices (cumin, cardamom, allspice, and sometimes cinnamon) added.
In Lebanon, the dish is called Kofta but it is called Kofta in other Middle Eastern countries. Both kofta and kafta are similar to a meatball but with Middle Easter spices and herbs added.
There are lots of great options to serve with kofta – some of my favorites are:
- Fresh Chopped Cucumber, Tomatoes, and Red Onion
- Fresh Pita
- Tzatziki Sauce – buy store-bought or make from scratch
- Roasted or Grilled Veggies – like roasted mini peppers
Other Kabob Recipes
- Grilled BBQ Chicken Kabobs – Toss chicken in some simple spices to add lots of flavor and then thread on skewers with pineapple and onion. Grill them up and brush with bbq sauce.
- Mediterranean Chicken Kabobs – Marinate chicken to add lots of flavor and then thread on skewers with veggies. They cook on the grill in as little as 10 minutes for an easy summer dinner!
- Grilled Shrimp Kabobs – The lemon marinade for grilled shrimp is so flavorful and fresh tasting.
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Chicken Kofta is tender, packed with flavor, and easy to make. Combine ground chicken, fresh herbs, spices, and a few simple ingredients that is then formed into oval patties before grilling or baking. It is a common item in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines and is great served with couscous, pita, hummus, and more!
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 egg
- 1 small white onion, grated
- 1–2 minced garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
- 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Oil – for greasing pan or grill
- Preheat – Either preheat the grill to medium-high heat or preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Mix Chicken Mixture – In a large bowl, add all ingredients and mix together. It’s easiest to do this with your hands. Make sure all the spices are evenly distributed.
- Form Kofta – Use your hands (it’s easiest if you wet them) and form the mixture into oval shaped patties. I made 12. If making kabobs, skewer the kofta onto metal skewers or water-soaked wooden skewers. You may need to press them back together to fix their shape. Place them on a baking sheet or plate and set in the fridge for a few minutes until ready to cook.
- Grill – To cook on the grill, start by greasing the grill grates with cooking oil. I use an oiled paper towel and tongs to do this. Place each kofta skewer (or the individual patties) over direct heat. Close the lid and grill for 4-5 minutes per side. The kofta should release easily from the grill. Be careful turning them – I use a spatula to gently flip them over vs picking up the skewer as they are fragile until cooked. Kofta is done when they are lightly browned on both sides and have an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- OR Bake in the Oven – To bake in the oven, place the skewers of kofta patties onto a lightly greased baking sheet (have space in between). Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned and have an internal temp of 165 degrees F.
- Serve – Allow to rest for just a few minutes then serve with your sides of choice such as couscous, pita bread, hummus, cucumber, tomatoes, and more.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Main
- Method: Grill, Oven
- Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Keywords: Chicken Kofta, Mediterranean Chicken, Grilled Chicken Kofta