You know we’re big fans of our air fryer, and these Beef Kofta Meatballs are a prime example of why! They’re tender, juicy, and downright delicious. Kofta is one of our family’s all-time favorites, and it never fails to please a crowd.

kofta with tahini and salad

What is kofta

Kofta is a type of meatball or meatloaf. It’s almost always composed of minced or ground meat, spices, onions, and bread crumbs. This dish is popular across a variety of countries in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Most commonly kofta is made from beef, but it can also be made with lamb, chicken, or even seafood sometimes! In fact, if you are a fan of kofta, you have to check out our Easy Chicken Kofta

Kofta can be cooked in a variety of ways. You can make kofta kebabs by rolling the meat into balls and arranging them on skewers with some veggies in between. We like to grill kofta kebabs when we are having a barbecue, but we have found that kofta kebabs can also be made in the oven! Sometimes kofta is rolled into an oval-shaped piece of meatloaf. This shaping doesn’t really impact the cooking method you can use!

We absolutely love our air fryer because it cooks everything quickly and is super easy to clean. So, it was a no-brainer to make this recipe in the air fryer. It’s such a hands-off way of cooking, and it’s lower in fat than deep frying or pan frying. We highly recommend getting an air fryer if you don’t have one yet!

What is garam masala

Garam masala originated in India but is now a common spice blend used around the world similar to shawarma spice . It directly translates to mean “Hot Spice/Sauce.” Every blend of garam masala might be slightly different, but for the most part, it’s composed of cinnamon, peppercorns, cardamom, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cloves, mace, and nutmeg.

Typically these spices are toasted and ground to further bring out the flavors of the dish! You can use garam masala in a wide range of foods, everything from vegetables to meats. We love to use garam masala to season our beef kofta meatballs because of how dynamic it is!

Why we love beef kofta meatballs

These meatballs are such a simple, easy-to-make dish. It is a nutritious, hearty meal and the flavors are absolutely top-notch. Beef kofta is a versatile component of a meal. We like to serve it with some pita, yogurt sauce, and veggies, but you could easily make a pita sandwich or a Greek salad with them!

We love the light kick that the jalapeño gives, and we’re absolutely obsessed with the freshness the mint and cilantro bring to this recipe. In all, it’s a brilliant combination that’s as satisfying to eat as it is to make!

kofta bowl with tahini and salad

How to make beef kofta meatballs

  1. Add ground beef, grated onion, jalapeño, bread crumbs, egg, cilantro, mint, garam masala powder, salt and pepper to a large bowl.
  2. Mix everything together until the ingredients in the beef meatball mixture are evenly distributed. 
  3. Using a small ice cream scooper, scoop the meat mixture into your hand and shape it into meatballs. If you don’t have an ice cream scooper you can use a heaping tablespoon! 
  4. Spray the air fryer and place the meatballs inside in a single layer. 
  5. Set the air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes. 
  6. Baking: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cooked through.

beef kofta in a pita with cucumber salad and tzatziki

Beef Kofta Meatballs

5 from 6 votes
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 12 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 27 minutes
This kofta is flavorful, spicy, and so simple to make! Make this in the air fryer or bake in the oven for a simple kofta recipe!


  • 1 pound 85% lean ground beef
  • 1/2 medium grated white onion
  • 1 chopped jalapeño seeded for less spice
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
  • 1 Tablespoon garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to taste


  • Add ground beef, grated onion, jalapeño, egg, bread crumbs, cilantro, mint, garam masala powder, salt and pepper and to a large bowl.
    1 pound 85% lean ground beef, 1/2 medium grated white onion, 1 chopped jalapeño, 1 egg, 1/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, 1/4 cup fresh chopped mint, 1 Tablespoon garam masala powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Mix ingredients together until everything is incorporated. 
  • Using a small ice cream scoop, shape into meatballs or use about 2 tablespoons of beef mixture.
  • Spray air fryer and place meatballs inside in a single layer. 
  • Set air fryer to 375 degrees F for 8-10 minutes. 
  • Baking: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cooked through.



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Serving: 1serving | Calories: 100kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 242mg | Potassium: 141mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 118IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

5 from 6 votes (1 rating without comment)

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  1. l love your names – Alia was a dear friend to me for many years- she was beautiful too – had a gorgeous husband and 2 kids – nice memories for me – and very muslim but very progressive and could not understand where all the anger and hatred for gay people came – said that,would,never be allowed in her family

  2. What is the yummy looking cucumber tomato red onion medley in the photo? I’m so excited I’m gonna try this recipe this week!

  3. This recipe was so easy and absolutely delicious 🤤 sooo good 😊 I served it on a pita with all my favorite veggies and some hummus and garlic sauce

  4. 5 stars
    When I saw this recipe I knew I wanted to make it for dinner! It was incredibly tasty, and I even didn’t have the mint which I know is a must! It took some time to put together but the air fryer was helpful. I paired it with turmeric rice and made some tzatziki sauce and I felt like I was in a Greek restaurant. Thank you!!