Chicken Kofta made with Middle Eastern spices, ground chicken, and garlic piled high on brown rice with veggies, hummus, and cheese if your new favorite meal. Jump to Recipe
Healthy Chicken Kofta is an easy 15 minute recipe that takes all the flavors of a traditional Kofta kebab and combines them in an easy to prepare bowl made with ground chicken, tons of spices, and all your favorite toppings. Use it for meal prep, serve it with Israeli Salad and Artichoke Hummus, or add it to pita bread for a delicious sandwich.
When it comes to eating out, we can almost always agree on some kind of Middle Eastern food. I love it because there are so many super delicious and healthy choices. I'm looking at you salads, kebabs, hummus, baba ganoush, and tabbouleh. And my meat obsessed husband is happy because he can load up on kofta kebabs, shawarma (don't miss this healthy chicken shawarma recipe), and copious amounts of rice.
This love for Middle Eastern food inspired today's quick and easy ground chicken kofta recipe. We usually eat something similar with beef, but I have been trying to cut back on red meat so I wanted to experiment with some ground chicken and we loved it. The chicken really soaks up the spices and it has so much delicious flavor.
While you could use this kofta chicken for just about anything, I love to build a grain bowl. Start out with some cooked brown rice, cauliflower rice, or farro. Toss in some greens like arugula or spinach. Then pile on the chicken, chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and all your condiments. I added hummus, baba ganoush, feta cheese, and some Trader Joe's Zhoug. It's seriously so good.
How to Make Chicken Kofta
- Make the spice blend: The key to making this dish taste like your favorite restaurant-style Kofta kebabs in the spice blend. Everyone has their own specific recipe, but we love ours with cumin, coriander, dried mint, allspice, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. One note about the mint, make sure to use dried spearmint. Peppermint has a much stronger flavor and doesn't work in the recipe. Better to use fresh mint or leave it out if you only have peppermint.
- Add it to the ground meat: Traditionally kofta is made with ground lamb, ground beef, or a combination of the two. This recipe is lightened up with ground chicken. You could also use turkey. To make the kofta meat mixture, add your spices to the ground meat along with some fresh parsley and garlic.
- Cook: To keep things quick and easy, this recipe simply uses the kofta spice blend to season up cooked ground meat. However, you could also use the same mixture to make meatballs or traditional kebabs if you prefer a more authentic presentation.
What is Kofta?
Kofta, sometimes called kefta, is a traditional Middle Eastern ground meat kebab dish. Usually, ground lamb is seasoned with lots of Middle Eastern spices and then formed into logs and placed on skewers. Once they are cooked, they are traditionally served with flatbread or pita bread and yogurt, garlic, or tahini dressing.
What to serve with Chicken Kofta
There are so many different options when it comes to serving this dish. Traditionally it would be served with rice pilaf and roasted tomatoes, but since we are turning it into a bowl, here are some ideas of things to add to your bowl.
- Reach for traditional condiments like baba ganoush, hummus, tzatziki, tabbouleh, garlic sauce, harissa, or zhoug. To be honest, I usually add a little bit of anything I happen to have in the house. The more, the merrier.
- Add some extra veggies - roasted red peppers, artichokes, or celery for some crunch.
- Grab some of your favorite olives and slice them up to add on top.
- Serve the bowl with pita or flatbread. To make it extra delicious, heat it up on the stove before serving.
- Swap out the protein and make these with ground beef, ground turkey, or ground lamb instead.
- For some sweetness, dice up some raisins, dates, or dried cranberries to add right into the kofta meat.
- Form the kofta chicken meat into meatballs or go the traditional route and make kebabs.
- Instead of serving them with hummus, serve them with a quick yogurt sauce. Simply combine Greek yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, fresh parsley or dill, mashed garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Use the ground chicken filling to make Middle Eastern pita sandwiches layered with arugula, tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese.
- Keep things light and healthy by making lettuce wraps.
- Add some freshness with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or lemon zest.
- Make things spicy by adding some zhoug (I am obsessed with the one at Trader Joe's) or harissa.
Meal Prep and Storage
This is a really great recipe option for meal prep and can be made in advance. Here are some quick guidelines.
- Meal prep: Make the ground chicken and then pack it in individual containers with the rice. Pack the toppings separately so they don't get soggy. The chicken will stay good in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Freezer: If you want to freeze this meal, I recommend making the mixture into meatballs, which tend to freeze better. You can also make patties. They will last in the freezer for 3-4 months,
- Leftovers: Store the leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. For the best results, don't add the toppings and vegetables until you will be eating the leftover kofta bowl.
Chicken Kofta Bowls
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- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1.33 lbs. 99% lean ground chicken
- 1/4 cup parsley, minced
- 2 U garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp dried mint (spearmint not peppermint)
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 cup cucumbers, chopped
- 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup hummus
- 1/4 cup reduced fat feta cheese
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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