These Shrimp Kofta Meatballs are a playful twist on the classic Middle Eastern recipe! Packed with protein-rich shrimp, fresh herbs, onions, and garlic, these savory bites bring a burst of flavor to your table. Whether pan-fried or cooked on the grill, they’re a mouthwatering experience. Pair them with your favorite sides and sauces for a unique meal that’ll have everyone excited to gather around the table!

Shrimp kofta on a serving platter.

What Is Shrimp Kofta?

Shrimp kofta is a seafood take on our more classic beef kofta or chicken kofta recipes. Traditionally, kofta is a type of meatball or meatloaf made up of minced or ground meat, spices, onions, and breadcrumbs. 

This version takes that same concept and swaps out what is traditionally beef, lamb, or chicken with shrimp! The end result is a high-protein kofta meatball that is full of savory flavor. 

What Is Shrimp Kofta Made Of?

Just a handful of simple ingredients work together to create a bold, herbaceous flavor that’s nothing short of magical. Here’s what you need for this flavorful shrimp kofta:

  • Shrimp – For convenience’s sake, we recommend using peeled and deveined shrimp with their tales off. Otherwise, you’ll have to do it yourself! 
  • Fresh Herbs – Fresh parsley and fresh cilantro add a bright, peppery, refreshing flavor. 
  • Flour – Use all-purpose flour to help bind the ingredients together. If needed, a 1:1 gluten-free flour can be substituted.
  • Seasonings – Cumin, salt, and black pepper enhance the savoriness of the kofta and add just a hint of spice. 
  • Aromatics – Onion and garlic enhance the texture and add a sweet, pungent taste.

How to Make Easy Shrimp Kofta Meatballs (3 Ways) 

We love to make this recipe all year long either on the stovetop, in an air fryer, or over the grill! 

Stovetop Option 

  • Prepare the Herb Mixture. Add the herbs, flour, seasonings, onion, and garlic to the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until the herbs are finely chopped and the ingredients are well combined. Scrape down the sides of the food processor as needed to ensure all the ingredients are blended. 
  • Add the Shrimp. Add the shrimp to the food processor, and pulse again until they’re finely chopped and the mixture forms a smooth paste. 
  • Shape the Kofta. Transfer the shrimp mixture to a bowl, and use wet hands to shape it into small ovals or round patties. 
  • Pan-Fry. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the kofta for a few minutes on each side until they’re golden brown and cooked all the way through. 

Air Fryer Option

Follow the recipe steps listed above, combining the ingredients and shaping the patties. 

  1. Prepare. Preheat the air fryer, and grease the basket with cooking oil spray. 
  2. Air Fry. Arrange the shrimp kofta in a single layer, leaving space between each piece. Close the door, and air fry until they’re cooked through, flipping them over once halfway. Work in batches, if needed! 

Grill Option 

Follow steps one through three listed above in the stovetop option. 

  1. Prepare. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. 
  2. Skewer. Carefully place the kofta on skewers. 
  3. Grill. Cook the kofta on both sides until they have grill marks and are cooked all the way through.
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03/13/2024 02:04 pm GMT

Serving Suggestions 

Savor the scrumptious shrimp kofta by serving them hot with your favorite dipping sauce. Whether it’s tzatziki, toum, tahini, or a simple yogurt and garlic sauce, the choice is yours! To transform them into a complete meal, consider pairing these flavorful sides:

Storage Options 

Shrimp kofta is not just a delectable meal; it’s also a fantastic option for meal prep. Store these savory bites for later, and you’ll have a tasty treat ready to enjoy throughout the week.

  • To Store: Once cooled, leftovers can be transferred to an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to two to three days
  • To Freeze: Arrange your kofta in a single layer on a baking sheet, and transfer it to the freezer for a few hours or until they’re solid. Transfer the balls to an airtight container or sealable bag, and keep them frozen for up to two to three months
  • To Reheat: Transfer your frozen kofta to the fridge, and allow it to thaw overnight. Then, warm leftovers in the oven or air fryer at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until your desired temperature is reached. 

Note: Make sure to store any leftover kofta in an airtight container on its own, separate from any sides or sauces! 

Shrimp kofta meatballs.

Common Questions About This Easy Shrimp Kofta Recipe

What does kofta taste like? 

This recipe is savory, herbaceous, and made with just a touch of spice. 

What’s the difference between kofta and meatballs? 

Kofta is a Middle Eastern dish made from ground meat mixed with spices and often shaped into elongated cylinders or patties. Meanwhile, meatballs are typically round or oval-shaped and are commonly associated with Italian, Swedish, or American cuisine, often containing breadcrumbs and various seasonings not found in kofta recipes. 

What’s the difference between kabob and kofta? 

Kebab refers to skewered and grilled pieces of meat, often marinated and served on a stick. However, although we sometimes serve our kofta on skewers, it is most often kofta shaped into patties or cylinders, seasoned with herbs and spices, and then grilled or cooked. Both are popular in Middle Eastern and South Asian cuisines, but they differ in their preparation and presentation.

More Middle Eastern-Inspired Recipes

Looking for more mouthwatering Middle Eastern recipes? Dive into the rich flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine with some of our favorite recipes below.

Shrimp kofta meatballs.

Easy Shrimp Kofta Meatballs Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 12 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Make this easy shrimp kofta recipe with eight ingredients and less than 20 minutes for a fun, seafood twist on a Middle Eastern dish!

Ingredients  

  • 2 pounds (~900 grams) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup fresh parsley roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 onion roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced

Instructions 

  • Make sure the shrimp are peeled and deveined.
    2 pounds (~900 grams) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • In a food processor, combine the fresh parsley, fresh cilantro, flour, cumin, salt, black pepper, chopped onion, and minced garlic. Pulse the mixture until the herbs are finely chopped and everything is well combined. Scrape down the sides of the food processor as needed.
    1 cup fresh parsley, 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 onion, 2 garlic cloves, 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Add the peeled and deveined shrimp to the herb mixture in the food processor. Pulse the mixture until the shrimp are finely chopped and the mixture comes together into a smooth paste. Be careful not to overprocess! It should still have a little texture.
  • Remove the shrimp mixture from the food processor, and transfer it to a bowl. Using wet hands or an ice cream scoop, shape the mixture into small oval or round kofta patties. If needed, insert a skewer into each kofta to grill them on skewers.
  • Pan-Fry Option: Heat a skillet or pan with a bit of oil over medium-high heat. Cook the kofta for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until they are golden brown and cooked through.
    Grill Option: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Grill the kofta on skewers for about 2-3 minutes on each side until they are cooked and have grill marks.
    Air Fryer Option: Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees. Grease the basket with cooking oil spray, and arrange the kofta in a single layer, leaving space in between each piece. Air fry for 10 minutes or until they’re cooked through.
  • Serve the shrimp kofta hot with a dipping sauce of choice such as tzatziki, tahini sauce, or a simple yogurt and garlic sauce. They also go well with a side of rice or pita bread and a fresh salad!
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.

Equipment

Notes

To Freeze: Place the cooked kofta on a baking sheet, and transfer them to the freezer for a few hours or until solid. Place them in an airtight container or sealable bag, and freezer for 2-3 months. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 70kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 0.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 287mg | Potassium: 244mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 469IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 1mg

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

Like this recipe?Please leave a comment!

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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!

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4 Comments

  1. My aunt who passed away used to make this dish and then cook the balls in a tomato sauce but I have no idea how she prepared the sauce. It was delicious and served it with rice. Any idea how to prep the sauce?

  2. Hi! There is a glitch, and it won’t let you print this particular recipe like it usually does. Would you be able fix the link?

    1. Hi Jen!

      It’s working on our end. Have you tried clearing your cache/cookies? Let us know if that doesn’t work!

      Xo,
      Alia & Radwa