Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean eating bland and flavorless food. Using dried and fresh herbs to enhance the flavors of lean protein is a smart way to cook. Kofta Kebabs or Turkish Meatballs as they are sometimes called, are most often made with ground lamb and beef, but I thought why not lighten them up by using extra lean ground turkey for a healthier option?
Turkey Kofta Kebabs are prepared in a food processor and grilled on the stove top, for a uniquely fresh meal. The Mediterranean spices enhance the ground turkey with a bit of warmth, but not spicy heat. The Tzatziki sauce is a quick preparation of Greek yogurt and sliced cucumbers and adds a nice cool contrast to the moist turkey.
These Turkey Kofta Kebabs with Tzatziki Sauce are the perfect weeknight meal, but they are especially fun to eat on the weekends, while taking in a game or watching The Golden Globes. You can easily double the batch for larger groups and parties as well. Healthy Eating!
1/2 white onion, peeled and cut into quarters
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon sumac or chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 sprigs cilantro + more for tops of kofta
1 cup 2% Greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 Bibb lettuce leaves
8 wooden skewers
1. Soak skewers in warm water, while preparing the kofta ingredients.
2. In a food processor, add the chunks of onion and garlic. Pulse until the mixture resembles small coarse pieces. Add the allspice, cardamom, nutmeg, sumac, salt, pepper and fresh cilantro, pulse 12 times, until incorporated into the onion mixture.
3. Add the extra lean ground turkey and pulse 10 times, until combined with the spices.
4. On the stove top, heat the grill pan to medium. Drizzle pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and spread over the surface with a paper towel. Using your hands, form an oblong meatball in your palm. Pierce with a skewer and set on a plate. Form each kofta by gently pressing the turkey down the skewer slightly. Repeat 7 times more times and drizzle the kebabs with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
5. Place each skewer on top of the grill pan and cook for 3 minutes. Using a spatula, flip each skewer over and grill another 3 minutes. Remove the kofta to a plate, while you prepare the Tzatziki sauce.
7. Slice the cucumber into chunks. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumber, onion powder, salt and juice of 1/2 lemon. Stir to combine.
8. Place each Turkey Kofta Kebab on top of a Bibb lettuce leaf with dollop of Tzatziki sauce and a leaf of cilantro, place on a platter. Repeat until all the kofta are complete and serve with the additional Tzatziki sauce. Enjoy!