Beef Kofta with Tzatziki Sauce

By: Susan Joy

Kofta is a type of Middle Eastern meatball or rissole dish. I’ve used beef mince, but lamb or chicken mince is also suitable.

Kofta is typically mixed with herbs, spices, and breadcrumbs, but my paleo/gluten-free version swaps breadcrumbs with almond meal. These koftas are packed with lots of flavours and are simple to make. Serve in wraps or with my Garlic and Coriander flatbread, topped with refreshing Tzatziki sauce and salad.


  • 1 Lge or 2 sml onion(s), finely diced
  • 4 tsp garlic, minced or grated
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 500g beef mince, or lamb mince
  • 1/2 cup almond meal/flour
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 bunch mint, picked leaves chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt, and 1/3 tsp pepper


  • 200g Greek style coconut yoghurt
  • 3/4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 bunch mint, picked leaves chopped (1/4 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper, ground, to your taste


Add the onion and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan. Start sauteing the onions for 1 minute (you don’t want them to brown), then sprinkle over 1/3 teaspoon of sea salt. The salt will bring out the liquid and prevent the onions from browning. Stir the salt through the onions and cook for a further 2 minutes, then add the garlic. Cook until the onions are tender, approximately a further minute. Set aside to cool while you prepare the sauce and the rest of the Kofta ingredients.

For the Tzatziki Sauce, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and check the seasoning to ensure it is to your taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve with the Beef Koftas.

Combine the almond meal, mustard, spices, mint, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, then stir in the cooled onion mixture.

Add the minced meat to the bowl. Work all the ingredients together well. I find it best to combine with your hands to ensure all the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

Divide the mixture into 10 balls, each weighing 80 – 85g. I find it easier to weigh each portion (it’s about 1/3 cup). Shape the balls into firm sausage shapes, approximately 10 – 11cm in length. You can prepare the kofta earlier in the day, place them on a lined baking tray, and refrigerate until you are ready to cook.

Heat some of the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Cook the koftas in two batches. Cook for 7 – 8 minutes, turning over to give an evenly brown colour, caramelised and cooked through.

Serve koftas with my Garlic and Coriander flatbread or Paleo wraps from my Bread Cookbook, and topped with the Tzatziki sauce and salad.

Article supplied with thanks to The JOYful Table.

About the Author: Susan is an author of The JOYful Table cookbook containing gluten & grain free, and Paleo inspired recipes for good health and wellbeing.

Feature image: Supplied

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