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Easy Chicken Kofta

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This recipe is a super-simple Middle Eastern easy chicken kofta bowl! Our chicken kofta recipe is so delicious, and it’s incredibly good for you. We know that you and your family will thoroughly enjoy this tasty dish – especially when you find out how easy it is to make, too.

chicken kofta in a bowl with hummus, tomatoes, cucumbers, and tzaziki sauce

What is kofta?

Kofta is a savory meatball common in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Over the years, varieties of kofta have made their way around the globe. Kofta is almost always comprised of ground meat, spices and herbs, bread crumbs, garlic and onions. It is simple and scrumptious!

We make our kofta with chicken, but you can make it with lamb, beef or seafood! You can even make plant-based kofta with beans if you are vegan or vegetarian. You cook kofta by grilling or frying them! You can also bake kofta if you’d like.

If you’ve been with us for a while, you know that we love our air fryer. So it’s no surprise that we air fry these amazing chicken kofta meatballs. For another yummy air fryer kofta recipe, check out our Beef Kofta Meatballs!

What does kofta mean?

The word “kofta” is believed to have originated in Iran. The Persian word, kufte, directly translates to mean “pounded meat” or “finely chopped meat.” No matter where you find it in the world, each cultures’ take on kofta involved some sort of ground meat. That is why this word is the perfect descriptor for this food!

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!

  • If you are trying to stay in the poultry aisle, then ground turkey is a wonderful alternative to chicken! It has a similar fat content so the cook time would be the same!
  • Lamb is extremely common in Mediterranean versions of kofta. It is truly delish!
  • Beef is also a great alternative to chicken. In fact, we often make Beef Kofta Meatballs in our home!
  • Seafood is far less common, but not off the table! For instance, many asian cultures have minced fish kofta meatballs as a part of their cuisines. 
  • You can use ground pork, but this is actually the least common alternative to use for Kofta. That is because many of the cultures around the world where kofta meatballs grew to prominence have large Muslim or Jewish populations. Both religions have restrictions when it comes to pork, which is why it is not popular!

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

chicken kofta in the air fryer basket

How to make chicken kofta bowls

  1. Place the chicken breasts in the bowl of a food processor. Grind chicken until minced.
  2. Next, add fresh mint, parsley, shallots, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, shawarma spice, and salt to the food processor.
  3. Pulse everything with the ground chicken until it all comes together thoroughly.
  4. Use a small ice cream scoop to measure portions of the meatballs and scoop them into your hand. Shape the chicken mixture into small meatballs. They will be approximately 2 tablespoons.
  5. Place in air fryer, spray with olive oil spray or brush with a little olive oil. Because of this oil, the chicken kofta shouldn’t stick to the air fryer basket!
  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 this easy chicken kofta is super simple. As a result, they will stay good for up to 5 days in the fridge! 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. 

Because you’ve made them in the air fryer, they are super easy to heat back up! 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

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

Mix all spices. Store in an air tight container.

closeup bowl of chicken kofta

Optional Sides for Chicken Kofta

Moroccan Zaalouk

Vermicelli Rice

Egyptian Cucumber and Tomato Salad

a bowl of chicken kofta meatballs

Chicken Kofta Bowls

Food Dolls
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 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course dinner
Cuisine middle eastern
Servings 12
Calories 61 kcal


  • 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


  • 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. 



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.


Serving: 12g | Calories: 61kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 260mg | Potassium: 166mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.5g | Vitamin A: 39IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Keyword chicken kofta, easy chicken meatballs, easy chicken recipe, ground chicken meatballs, healthy kofta, middle eastern kofta recipe
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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    loved these back to make them a 2nd time but can’t find fresh parsley how much dry parsley would you substitute

  2. 1 star
    Seasoning was to overpowering for me and my boyfriend. Made the recipe according to instructions. Wouldn’t recommend

  3. 5 stars
    These were so easy to make and so delicious. Simple ingredients that all came together so nicely. Have worked this into my meal prepping! So good with a salad or rice!

  4. Is the creamy stuff at the top of the plate Tzatiziki? If so can I have the recipe? If not what is it and can I have the recipe? 😁

  5. 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 !