These miniature Turkish Kofte Pita bites are loaded with bold spices, tangy yogurt sauce, and greens tossed in a bright dressing. Try something new for dinner tonight!
What is it that is so craveable about mini versions of our favorite foods?
For me, I think it’s because I like to eat with my hands. Somehow, food just tastes better that way.
Also, I feel like I get to eat more food when I’m enjoying mini-versions of my favorites.
I recognize that eating 3 sliders isn’t *actually* more food than one full-size burger, but in a weird way it satisfies my desire to over indulge.
I think this is because I come from a large family and I always worry a little bit that someone else is going to get their hands on my share of the food on the table.
I could tell you lots more about my middle-child issues, but I know you really don’t want to hear about all of that. Or, more accurately, I probably shouldn’t write about it all over the internet.
Please keep thinking that I am normal.
Okay, lets talk about Kofte.
Also known as Kofta, Kefta, Keftes, Kufta, Kafta, and seriously just SO MANY other names.
I’m REALLY generalizing right now, so please don’t leave me comments about how I’m misrepresenting a traditional food in a specific region or country, because, again, I’m going to GENERALIZE.
(Also known as plagiarizing from Wikipedia.)
Kofte is a ball of ground meat mixed with onions and/or spices.
Sounds like a meatball, right? Mostly, it is.
You can find about a million variations of this dish in anywhere from Albania to Israel to Turkey, and I bet that everyone and their mother in each of these countries has their own recipe.
I tried Kofte in Turkey and Keftes in Greece and (*forgive me*) they tasted pretty much the same to me.
Just make this recipe and try these mini koftes for yourself; you’re going to be HOOKED. Any other form of meatball just won’t cut it for you anymore.
Topped with a tangy yogurt sauce and served on a bed of dressed lettuce and pita, you’ll be in Turkish food heaven. Which is a good place to be.
I used ground lamb as well as ground beef in this recipe, but if you’re not into lamb or you can’t find any, feel free to replace the lamb portion with more ground beef.
The Kofte I had in Turkey were served in an elongated loaf shape, so I did the same for this recipe. I’m sure they taste equally delicious in regular-old-meatball form.
If you can’t find mini pita bread, use full size pitas and place two or three koftes onto each piece.
Okay, that should about cover any and all excuses or objections you may have toward making this recipe.
Go forth and eat.
Here’s the Recipe!
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped pistachios
- 6 ounces ground lamb
- 6 ounces ground beef
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Juice of one lemon, divided
- 1 1/2 cups butter lettuce or other salad greens
- 1/4 cup sliced red onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 6 mini pitas (or 3 regular pieces of pita bread)
- 3 ounces nonfat Greek yogurt
- Combine the pistachios, lamb, beef, cumin, thyme, and coriander in a large bowl. Use your hands to work the spices into the meat. Gently form the mixture into 6 equal rectangular patties.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the meat patties and cook 2-3 minutes per side, about 8-12 minutes total, until medium-rare or cooked to your liking.
- Meanwhile, whisk the remaining tablespoon of olive oil into half the lemon juice and add a dash of salt and pepper. Toss this dressing with the butter lettuce, red onion, parsley, and mint.
- Whisk the remaining lemon juice together with the Greek yogurt.
- Form the kofte pitas by topping each piece of pita bread with the dressed green salad and one piece of meat. Top with the Greek yogurt mixture and a sprinkle of lemon zest (if desired).
I like to warm my pita: Preheat an oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and wrap the pita bread pieces in foil. Place the foil package in the preheating oven while you prepare the rest of the meal.
Nutrition InformationYield 3 Serving Size 1
Amount Per ServingCalories 788 Total Fat 33g Saturated Fat 10g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 20g Cholesterol 107mg Sodium 779mg Carbohydrates 76g Fiber 4g Sugar 7g Protein 45g