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Chicken Kofta Kebabs with Garlicky Yogurt Sauce (and a dairy-free option!)

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Are you looking to try something new for dinner? Make these easy, flavorful, healthy Chicken Kofta Kebabs with Garlicky Yogurt Sauce in 30 minutes, and serve with rice and veggies on the side.

chicken kofta kebabs with yogurt sauce on a plate

Kofta kebabs

Kofta kebabs are kebabs (skewers) made with ground meat and lots of seasonings and fresh herbs. They're super flavorful and juicy. These chicken kebabs are a healthier, lighter version of the classic Kofta kebab.

Kofta kebabs are usually made with ground lamb. The sometimes have other ground meat mixed in, such as ground beef, turkey, or ground chicken.

Kofta kebabs have LOTS of flavor because there is a lot of minced onion and fresh herbs mixed into the ground meat. This makes them wayyy tastier than you would imagine ground meat to taste.

The herbs and onion also make the kebabs very juicy, tender, and never dry. Since there is so much flavor in the kebabs, they are often served with a savory yogurt sauce. This yogurt sauce adds even more flavor to the kebabs and adds a nice contrast in flavors.

chicken kofta kabobs with yogurt sauce
Related recipe: Chicken Sloppy Joes

Chicken kofta kebabs

Ground lamb can be tricky to find if you don't live near a specialty meats store. Because of that, I made my kofta kebabs with the healthiest, leanest ground meat available: ground chicken. Now these chicken kofta kebabs are NOT bland, even though I make them with ground chicken. As I mentioned above, there are so many flavors that go into these kebabs:

  • a whole bunch of parsley
  • minced onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic (though feel free to use more if you're the 3-4 garlic cloves type!)
  • ground coriander (one of my FAVORITE spices to use, you can get some here
  • ground allspice
  • ground cumin
  • ground cardamom (this is soo fragrant and flavorful! Get it here)
  • salt and pepper (obvs)

 

All these seasonings and spices give the kebabs LOTS of flavor without making them spicy.

Related recipe: Moroccan Meatballs with Polenta

30 minute recipe

This recipe take only about a half hour to make: 15 minutes of prep and 15 minutes of baking.

If using wooden skewers, soak them in water while you prepare the kebabs. This will keep them from burning while the kebabs are in the oven.

Prep all the ingredients and combine them in a bowl.

bowl of ingredients for chicken kofta kebabs

Form the kebabs by making an elongated patty and putting a skewer through the meat mixture. Then bake at a high temperature (400F) for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.
cooked chicken kofta kebabs on a baking sheet
Related recipe: Ground Chicken Burgers with Guacamole

Garlicky yogurt sauce

As I said above, these chicken kofta kebabs are GREAT with a little bit of yogurt sauce. For this recipe, I use plain unsweetened yogurt (though feel free to use Greek yogurt!), and mix it with a bit of fresh parsley, lemon juice and zest, salt, and pepper.

Easy.

It takes a minute and adds a lot of flavor to this dish.

If you're avoiding dairy, you can substitute plain unsweetened coconut yogurt, almond yogurt, or cashew yogurt to make a dairy free yogurt sauce. Or skip the yogurt altogether and make this easy tahini sauce from my Roasted Radishes recipe or my Buckwheat Bowls recipe.
squeezing lemons over kofta kebabs platter

What to serve with kofta kebabs

Kofta kebabs originated in the Central Asia / Mediterranean area, so it's no surprise that they are often served with rice.

We often make a simple rice with parsley in it, and serve kofta kebabs with a side salad, yogurt sauce, and a generous drizzle of fresh lemon juice.

Or try this Instant Pot Vegan Rice Pilaf - the flavors and spices in this rice dish would make a perfect side dish for kofta kebabs.

Are you willing to give these a try?? If you make these kofta kebabs, please take a picture and tag me on Instagram or Facebook. You can find me at @babaganoshblog on both. I love seeing your creations!

Looking for more easy recipes with ground meats or ethnic inspired recipes?

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

chicken kofta kebabs pinterest graphic

chicken kofta kebabs with yogurt sauce on a plate
Print Recipe
4.7 from 13 votes

Chicken Kofta Kebabs

Are you looking to try something new for dinner? Make these Chicken Kofta Kebabs with Garlicky Yogurt Sauce in 30 minutes, and serve with rice and veggies on the side.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 kebabs (4-5 servings)
Author: Kate
Cost: $7

Ingredients

For the kebabs

  • 1 small onion peeled and roughly chopped or finely diced (or ½ medium-large onion) (see step 2)
  • 1 bunch parsley large stems removed
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper or more to taste

For the garlicky yogurt sauce (see notes for dairy-free options)

  • ½ cup plain unsweetened yogurt Greek or plain, fat-free or low fat
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon parsley leaves finely minced
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper or more to taste

Instructions

Prepare the kebabs

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a large baking sheet with oil or line with parchment paper. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 15 minutes to prevent them burning in the oven.
  • In a small food processor, combine the roughly chopped onion, parsley bunch, and garlic cloves and pulse until everything is finely chopped and well combined. You'll have some liquid in there, this is fine and should be added to the chicken mixture in the next step as well.
    OR
    Finely chop the onion, parsley leaves, and garlic.
  • In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the kebabs and stir well, making sure all the spices are mixed evenly into the meat.
  • Use your hands to form elongated patties, then push the skewer through each of the patties. Use your hands to "fix" their shape, if needed.
  • Place on the prepared baking sheet and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165F. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve with the garlicky yogurt sauce, rice, and a side salad.

Prepare the garlicky yogurt sauce

  • Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Drizzle over the chicken kofta kebabs to serve. Store leftover sauce in a closed container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Notes

  • It's your choice whether to use the food processor to chop the onion-parsley-garlic mixture or to dice them by hand. Using the food processor makes a more fine onion mixture so the kebabs won't have little bits of onion, but makes for more dirty dishes. Dicing it by hand takes a few minutes longer but still makes delicious chicken kofta kebabs.
  • You'll need minced parsley and minced garlic for both the kebabs and the yogurt sauce, so prep for both at the same time!
  • Feel free to substitute ground turkey for ground chicken, or use a combination of ground meats.
  • If you're not a huge fan of parsley, feel free to combine it with other herbs. I do not recommend substituting 100% of parsley for 100% of one other herb (for example, a whole bunch of cilantro or basil might be too strong), but recommend using a mixture of herbs, such as cilantro, basil, oregano, marjoram, tarragon, or even a little fresh mint. You should have about ¾ cup fresh herbs, but feel free to reduce that to taste.
  • For a dairy-free garlicky sauce, you can use a plain unsweetened coconut yogurt or almond milk yogurt, or try the tahini sauce from this recipe to add some healthy fats to your diet. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Chicken Kofta Kebabs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 104 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 41mg14%
Sodium 251mg10%
Potassium 308mg9%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 526IU11%
Vitamin C 9mg11%
Calcium 42mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* The nutritional information shown here is just an estimate and not meant to be used as dietary/nutritional advice. Please consult a nutritionist for exact nutritional information based on the exact ingredients you use.

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