Persian Turkey Kofta
with flatbread salad / herb yogurt dressing
A Persian-inspired combination of spices give these meatballs a truly unique flavor. Add a fresh and crispy salad and creamy yogurt sauce for a meal with many layers.
Smarts: Keep in mind that the larger / thicker the kofta the longer they will take to cook. Though traditionally rolled into long ovals so that they can be cooked over a grill, these will work great if just rolled into meatballs. Use any shape you prefer.
- Onions, medium - 1/4, finely chopped
- Salt - 3/4 tsp
- Cumin, ground - 1 tsp
- Cinnamon - 1/2 tsp
- Coriander, ground - 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
- Ground turkey - 1 lb (look for dark meat ground turkey for the most flavor)
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Stock, any type - 1/4 cup (sub water)
- Pistachios, shelled - 1/2 cup
- Pomegranate seeds - 1/2 cup (look for these removed from the pomegranate shells in the produce section)
- Cucumbers - 8 oz, chopped
- Mixed greens - 5 oz
- Cheese, feta - 4 oz, crumbled
- Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp, more if needed
- Lemon juice - 1 Tbsp, more if needed
- Persian flatbread - 6 oz, broken into small pieces (sub pita chips)
- Garlic - 1 clove, chopped
- Parsley - 2 tsp, chopped
- Yogurt, plain or Greek - 1 cup
- Vinegar, white wine - 2 tsp
- Honey - 1/2 tsp
- Onions / Pistachios (if not already shelled) / Pomegranate seeds (if not already shelled) / Garlic / Parsley - Prep as directed. Store onions, pistachios, and pomegranate seeds in their own separate containers. Combine garlic and parsley in another container. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make dressing - Whisk together garlic, parsley, yogurt, vinegar, and honey. Season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make kofta - Combine onions, salt, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, black pepper, and ground turkey in a mixing bowl and mix gently until even. Form into meatballs - you can make these into long skinny meatballs as in the photos or into regular round meatballs. Estimate about 4 meatballs / serving. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
- Cucumbers - Chop cucumbers.
- Heat a large skillet with cooking oil over medium heat. Add kofta and sear on all sides until deep golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add stock and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook, covered, until kofta are cooked all the way through, 3 to 4 minutes more.
- While kofta cooks, combine pistachios, pomegranate seeds, cucumbers, mixed greens, and feta in a large bowl.
- Just before serving, toss salad with olive oil and lemon juice, adding more as needed to lightly coat all ingredients. Gently fold in flatbread (or pita chips), breaking it apart into bite-sized pieces as you go. Season with some salt and pepper.
- Give dressing a good stir.
- Serve kofta with salad on the side and dressing over everything. Enjoy!
We LOVED this meal! It was quick to put together and delicious. Even the kids ate it all up. We skipped the pomegranate seeds because my husband can never find them, but we didn't feel like we were missing them. I'm going to add this to the rotation. It's a great meal for the spring and summer. We also thought it would be really good in a warm pita with the meatballs, salad and dressing!2 Helpful
The turkey kofta were tasty, but I think they'd have been better if they were lamb or beef. The salad, however, was a definite keeper!0 Helpful
This was a simple meal that was a hit with the whole family.0 Helpful
Really loved this. Subbed ground lamb and added smoked paprika and parsley to the spice mix. Can't get pomegranates this time of year so I subbed dried cranberries and used sunflower seeds and pita chips in the salad.0 Helpful
Turkey balls were yummy. COuldnt make the salad cause my greens went bad :( Would make again!0 Helpful
Whole family gave thumbs up. Cooking meat in broth made it juicy and yummy. Loved the salad!0 Helpful
I was surprised how good these tasted with turkey - I considered splurging for lamb to make these but am glad I couldn't find any. To the cooksmarts team, our grocery only carries pomegranates when they are in season in the fall. Would love some of these pomegranate inclusive meals to show up then! We subbed a tomato-lettuce-feta salad with plenty of oregano and EVOO instead.0 Helpful