Turkish Meatballs (Kofte)

Turkish meatball recipe

Meatballs rank first among the dishes made with meat in Turkey. Many provinces have their own Turkish meatball recipe varieties, and some of them have become known across Turkey. If you have visited, there are many meatball restaurants in Istanbul’s tourist center, Sultanahmet. After tasting some local meatball types in several countries, I can say that my favorites are Turkish meatballs. Turkish meatball recipe contains a variety of spices to highlight the meat flavor. Compared to those in European and Slavic cuisines, it has a more dense and tight structure. But in fact, it is said that meatball recipes came to Turkey from the Balkans.

This meatball recipe doesn’t actually belong to any particular place. After trying and blending a few recipes myself, I decided on this recipe. Although there are minor changes in other Turkish meatball recipes, there are apparent flavor differences. But in almost every meatball, the necessary steps are the same.

Cooking meatballs in a cast iron pan or barbecue will give the best results. You should continuously flip the meatballs without letting them overcook to help you obtain an excellent cooking level. Steak meats can be eaten undercooked, but meatballs must be cooked well since they are made of ground beef and added many ingredients. Also, while cooking, you should prefer medium heat rather than excessively high heat.

When the meatball mixture is ready, it is usually separated into small pieces by hand, giving an ellipse shape. You can still give the form you want. The most important thing is that the meatball mixture is well kneaded, and the spices are combined into the meat. It is necessary to keep the meatballs in the refrigerator as a mixture or shaped into pieces. If you are interested, you can continue with the description of the recipe below. 🙂


Turkish meatball recipe

Turkish Meatball Recipe

My meatball recipe, which has been created by blending many Turkish meatball recipes with proven taste.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Resting Time 6 hrs
Total Time 7 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Turkish
Servings 4 people
Calories 250 kcal


  • Grill pan


  • 500 grams ground beef
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • tsp lemon juice
  • Pinch of cumin


  • Grab a large bowl to mix the ingredients.
  • Peel the onion and grate it. Squeeze the onion juice with a strainer's help or with your hand to make onion puree.
  • Add all the ingredients to the bowl and start kneading. Using food safe gloves will make your job even easier.
  • Mix the ingredients thoroughly for about 10 minutes and knead well with your hands.
  • Get a large plate or tray that can fit in your fridge. Put some water in a small plate as well.
  • Cut ping-pong ball-sized pieces from the mixture and shape them into half-hand-sized flat pieces.
  • Arrange these meatballs in a tray, cover with plastic wrap and put them in the fridge. Leave it on for a minimum of 4 hours and a maximum of 1 day.
  • Cook your meatballs by turning them frequently on the grill pan. Keeping it on the same side for a long time will cause it to burn and the inside of your meatball to not cook well.
  • Take the cooked meatballs and serve, afiyet olsun!


  • You can serve your meatballs with mashed potatoes or rice pilaf.
  • Also, fresh Mediterranean salad can be a good option with meatballs.


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