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Chicken Kofta

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Chicken Kofta is the perfect Mediterranean meal that you can eat on its own, in a pita sandwich, hummus or rice bowls. Ground chicken is mixed with fresh herbs, warm spices, garlic, onion and breadcrumbs to create a delicious kebab. You can easily grill, bake or cook these on a skillet. 

Chicken Kofta on platter

CHICKEN KOFTA

Some of my most popular recipes on my website are these Grilled Beef Kafta Kebabs, Beef Kafta Meatballs and these Mediterranean Beef Kabobs.

My kids gobble this Chicken Kofta up.

I love it because it is easy to prep and you can refrigerate the meat mixture until you are ready to grill later in the day. 

They work nicely with hummus, in rice bowls, in pita sandwiches or on their own with roasted vegetables. 

I recently had kofta at my favorite Middle Eastern restaurant and knew I had to create this Chicken Kofta recipe to share with you guys. 

Ground chicken is combined with warm spices, herbs, onion and garlic creating a flavorful chicken kebab. 

Chicken Kofta rice bowl

WHAT IS KOFTA?

Kofta or kafta is a Middle Eastern kebab recipe using ground meat like lamb, beef or chicken along with minced onion, garlic, warm spices and fresh herbs.

The meat is combined with the other ingredients and is formed into kebabs that are grilled and then served in pita sandwiches, alongside hummus, or on a rice bowl. 

If you have eaten in a Mediterranean or Middle Eastern restaurant you have probably had a chicken kofta sandwich.

Today’s recipe would be great in that type of sandwich with fresh vegetables, a tahini yogurt dressing and hummus

Chicken Kofta on white plate

TIPS FOR MAKING THIS RECIPE

  • Even though it is not traditional, I like to add the breadcrumbs into this recipe. It helps to keep the kebab mixture together before grilling. 
  • I suggest putting the formed kebabs into the refrigerator for about 5-10 minutes before grilling. This will help your chicken mixture stay together better when they are on the grill. 
  • You can make this recipe on the grill, bake them or cook them on a skillet. I prefer to grill them but any method works. Just make sure to cook until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. 

 

  • The spices in this recipe can be modified to your liking. I know some people do not like cinnamon – you can cut that in half or even leave it out. If you don’t like spice you can leave out the crushed red pepper and cayenne red pepper. 
  • I like to form my mixture on the skewers but you don’t even need to use the skewers. If you make the kofta patties big enough they can be grilled without skewers. 

Chicken Kofta ingredients

WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN THIS CHICKEN KOFTA RECIPE?

CHICKEN: Ground chicken is the star of the show in this recipe.

The nice thing about ground chicken is a lighter option but still has protein and a lot of flavor. 

ONION & GARLIC: Minced onion and garlic help to create a nice flavor in this chicken kafta recipe. 

SPICES & HERBS: The spices and herbs are my favorite part of this recipe.

It features fresh parsley and mint along with cumin, coriander, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, crushed red pepper and oregano. You can adjust the spices to fit your tastes.

 

If you aren’t a fan of cinnamon you can cut that in half and if you do not like spice you can leave out the crushed red pepper. 

BREADCRUMBS: The breadcrumbs help to hold this recipe for kofta together and I use plain, regular breadcrumbs. Typically you won’t see breadcrumbs in a kofta recipe but I think it is a nice addition to help hold everything together.

EGG: The egg also helps to bind the kebabs together when you are forming the mixture on the skewers. 

Chicken Kofta on rice bowl

HOW TO MAKE KOFTA

If you are using wooden skewers you will want to soak them for an hour before you grill.

If you are using metal skewers set about 6-8 aside depending on how big you want to make your kebabs.

Preheat the grill on medium-high heat for 10- 15 minutes before you start grilling.

In a food processor chop the onion and garlic until finely chopped.

Chicken Kofta spices

Add the ground chicken, parsley, mint, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, oregano and give it a few pulses.

Chicken Kofta in food processor

Add the egg and process until the chicken starts to become a thick mixture and everything is pretty well mixed together.

Add the breadcrumbs and process until everything is combined.

Remove the chicken mixture from the food processor and put it into a large mixing bowl.

Use your hands to form 1 to 1 1/2 inch thick kebabs around the skewers making them as long as you want.

Chicken Kofta formed skewers

Do this using each of the skewers until your chicken is done at a temperature of 165 degrees F.

Put the kebabs on the grill and grill them over the medium-high heat for about 4-5 minutes on one side, flip and grill another 4 to 5 minutes.

Serve the kebabs with your favorite pita, hummus, tabbouleh and a drizzle of the tahini garlic sauce.

Chicken Kofta in wrap

WHAT SHOULD I SERVE CHICKEN KOFTA KEBABS WITH?

These kebabs work nicely paired with hummus like this Lebanese Hummus Recipe, Lemon Hummus, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and this Spicy Hummus

I also like to serve a Mediterranean style salad with them like this Easy Lebanese Salad, Fattoush Salad and this Balela Salad. 

These kebabs work nicely as an addition in grain bowls like in these Mediterranean Buddha Bowls, Beef Kafta Meatball Bowls or this Chicken Shawarma bowl.

Vegetables are a nice addition with these kebabs like these Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables, Za’atar Roasted Carrots or this Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower.

Chicken Kofta rice bowl

Chicken Kofta

Yield: 4-6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Chicken Kofta is the perfect Mediterranean meal that you can eat on its own, in a pita sandwich, hummus or rice bowls. Ground chicken is mixed with fresh herbs, warm spices, garlic, onion and breadcrumbs to create a delicious kebab. You can easily grill, bake or cook these on a skillet. 

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CHICKEN KOFTA:
  • 1 1/2 pound ground chicken
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 of a medium sweet onion
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes {optional}
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper {optional}
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • FOR THE TAHINI GARLIC SAUCE:
  • 1 cup tahini
  • 3/4 cup warm water {you might need more depending on the consistency you like}
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, or more to taste {1 lemon usually does the trick}
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste

Instructions

FOR THE CHICKEN KOFTA:

If you are using wooden skewers you will want to soak them for an hour before you grill. If you are using metal skewers set about 6-8 aside depending on how big you want to make your kebabs.

Preheat the grill on medium-high heat for 10- 15 minutes before you start grilling.

In a food processor chop the onion and garlic until finely chopped. Add the ground beef, parsley, mint, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, oregano and give it a few pulses.

Add the egg and process until the beef starts to become a thick mixture and everything is pretty well mixed together.

Add the breadcrumbs and process until everything is combined. Remove the beef mixture from the food processor and put it into a large mixing bowl.

Use your hands to form 1 to 1 1/2 inch thick kebabs around the skewers making them as long as you want. Do this using each of the skewers until your beef is done.

Put the kebabs on the grill and grill them over the medium-high heat for about 4-5 minutes on one side, flip and grill another 4 to 5 minutes.

Serve the kebabs with your favorite pita, hummus, tabbouleh and a drizzle of the tahini garlic sauce.


FOR THE TAHINI GARLIC SAUCE:


Put all the ingredients for the Tahini Garlic Sauce in a food processor and process until everything is combined and the sauce is smooth.

Add more water to reach the consistency you like.

Notes

These work great in many meals. Try adding them on top of Fattoush or alongside Tabbouleh. Make a pita sandwich out of the beef along with tomato, a scoop of tabbouleh, hummus and the tahini garlic sauce.
Traditional chicken kafta doesn't always use breadcrumbs but I like to add that in to help with the consistency of the meat and make it easier to form into kebabs on the skewers.

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