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Easy Chicken Kofta

Today’s recipe is a super-simple, easy Middle Eastern kofta bowl! This is so delicious, and we’re absolutely nuts over it. We think you’ll also really enjoy this tasty dish, and it’s pretty simple to make, too. It’s a palate-pleaser for sure!

What is kofta?

Kofta is a type of meatball dish that can be found in various global cuisines. Although a common one is the Indian/Pakistani kofta, today’s dish is a Middle Eastern style. At its most basic, kofta is made with meat ground to make a paste, then spiced up with garlic, onions, and spices.

The resulting meatballs are then grilled or fried (we are air frying ours) and served with a mix of traditional veggies and sauces. 

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What does kofta mean?

The word “kofta” comes from a Persian word, kufte, meaning “pounded meat” or “finely chopped meat.” In various cultures and languages where kofta is a staple, the word for this dish has taken on a variety of phonetic pronunciations and spellings.

But at its heart, the word means what the dish is!

What meat can I substitute for chicken?

If you’re not feeling the chicken today, there are a handful of other meats you can substitute out! A traditional kofta is often made with lamb, but beef and, on occasion, seafood can work great, too. It’s not common to use pork in kofta; many of the cultures around the world where kofta grew to prominence have large Muslim populations, and of course Muslims wouldn’t eat pork, so that’s not a common kofta ingredient. 

There are of course, also vegetarian and vegan kofta options, often featuring potatoes or paneer. 

How to make chicken kofta bowls

  1. Place chicken breast in the bowl of a food processor. Grind chicken until minced.
  2. Add fresh mint, parsley, shallots, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, shawarma spice, and salt.
  3. Pulse until everything comes together thoroughly.
  4. Using a small ice cream scoop shape them into small meatballs. Approximately 2 tablespoons.
  5. Place in air fryer, spray with olive oil spray or brush with a little olive oil.
  6. Cook at 350 degrees F. for 13-15 minutes.
  7. If you don’t have an air fryer, bake at 375 degrees F. for 18-20 minutes or until cooked through.
  8. Serve with hummus and a salad or throw it in a wrap.!

How to store kofta leftovers

Storing and reheating any leftovers you may have is super simple. You’ll want to store the meatballs separately from any sauces or sides you served it with, and then just put it in an airtight container. It will keep for up to three days.

Once you’re ready to eat the leftovers, just power up your air fryer and pop them in! They’ll be just as good as fresh in no time. 

How to Make Shawarma Spice

  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp all-spice
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Mix all spices. Store in an air tight container.

Chicken Kofta Bowls

Grind your own chicken in the food processor with shallots, herbs and seasonings for this easy and moist kofta. Option to air fry or bake in the oven!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course dinner
Cuisine middle eastern
Servings 12
Calories
Ingredients
  
  • 1 lb boneless and skinless chicken breast
  • 2 small shallots
  • 3 tbsp homemade shawarma spice (see recipe below or store bought shawarma spice)
  • 1 tsp sea salt (less if you are using shawarma spice with salt added)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 6 leaves of fresh mint
  • 1 small bunch of flat leaf Italian parsley
Instructions
 
  • Place chicken breast in the bowl of a food processor. Grind chicken until minced.
  • Add fresh mint, parsley, shallots, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, shawarma spice, and salt.
  • Pulse until everything comes together thoroughly.
  • Using a small ice cream scoop shape them into small meatballs. Approximately 2 tablespoons.
  • Place in air fryer, spray with olive oil spray or brush with a little olive oil.
  • Cook at 350 degrees F. for 13-15 minutes.
  • If you don't have an air fryer, bake at 375 degrees F. for 18-20 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Serve with hummus and a salad or in a wrap. 

Notes

Shawarma Spice:
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp all-spice
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
Mix all spices. Store in an air tight container.
Keyword chicken kofta, easy chicken meatballs, easy chicken recipe, ground chicken meatballs, healthy kofta, middle eastern kofta recipe
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8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made my version of this dish tonight. Made with with ground Turkey and added Serrano peppers 🌶 for that extra heat. They turned out amazing. Not the first time I’ve used they’re recipes and they’re always a hit! Love the inspiration and getting me to love cooking !