The Chicken Kofta is made with ground chicken cooked in Middle Eastern spices and garlic for a flavor-packed bowl that's served with brown rice and vegetables. It's easier to make than traditional kofta and still has all the same great flavor.
If you've never tried a chicken kofta bowl, you are seriously missing out! It's made with a mixture of homemade Middle Eastern spices, ground chicken, and garlic. It is typically served in a bowl with brown rice with some yummy veggies. Trust me - this is going to be your new favorite dinner recipe!
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 yet healthy choices. I'm looking at you salads, kebabs, hummus, baba ganoush, and tabbouleh.
Plus, my meat-obsessed husband is happy with this cuisine because he can load up on kofta kebabs, shawarma (don't miss this healthy chicken shawarma recipe), and copious amounts of rice. Our love for Middle Eastern food inspired today's quick and easy ground chicken kofta recipe.
We usually eat something similar with beef, but as I have been trying to cut back on red meat, I wanted to experiment with some ground chicken - and we loved it! The chicken really soaks up the spices giving it 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!
This 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. Use this recipe for meal prep, serve it with Israeli Salad and Artichoke Hummus, or add it to pita bread for a delicious sandwich.
What is kofta?
Kofta, sometimes called kefta, is a traditional Middle Eastern ground meat kebab dish. Usually, ground lamb is seasoned with lots of spices and then formed into logs and placed on skewers. Once they are cooked, they are traditionally served with flatbread, pita bread, yogurt, garlic, or tahini dressing.
Key Ingredients and Easy Swaps
Even though this is a Middle-Eastern recipe, you'll easily find all the ingredients for it at your local grocery store. Here's more information about what you'll need in order to make it.
- Ground Chicken: You can use any type of ground meat in this recipe. Try it with ground turkey, as it is just as lean.
- Spices: This is what really sets the recipe apart from other meat and rice dishes. I used a combination of parsley, cumin, coriander, dried mint, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, and allspice. They are earthy and slightly spicy herbs that will light up your mouth with flavor.
- Garlic Cloves: For this recipe, go with fresh garlic cloves. Dried garlic powder will not have the same taste when you cook it.
- Rice: Use brown rice, which you can even cook ahead of time and store in the refrigerator. Cauliflower rice, farro, quinoa, or white rice all work as well. Or skip the rice and serve it on a bowl of greens.
- Cucumbers: They add a nice crunch to the bowls without adding calories. Chop them into bite-sized pieces.
- Tomatoes: Use your favorite type of tomatoes. Slice some cherry or grape tomatoes or chop up a big juicy vine-ripened variety.
- Hummus: Any type of hummus will taste delicious in these bowls. Try red pepper hummus if you want it to have a little spice.
- Feta Cheese: Crumble some reduced-fat feta cheese. You could also use blue cheese crumbles instead.
Note: For a full list of ingredients and detailed instructions on how to make chicken kofta, take a look at the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post!
How To Make Chicken Kofta
Here's a breakdown of how to make this Middle Eastern recipe!
Make the spice blend:
The key to making this dish taste like your favorite restaurant-style Kofta kebabs is 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.
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 spices 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, or you could use turkey. To make the kofta meat mixture, add your spices to the ground meat along with some fresh parsley and garlic.
Cook the chicken kofta:
To keep things quick and easy, this recipe simply uses the kofta spice blend to season up cooked ground meat for your bowls. However, you could also use the same mixture to make meatballs or traditional kebabs if you prefer a more authentic presentation.
Recipe Tips And Ideas
Follow these tips and ideas to make your chicken kofta bowls stand out and taste completely different each time.
- 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 meat.
- Form the kofta ground chicken 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 mixture 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 it spicy by adding some zhoug (I am obsessed with the one at Trader Joe's) or harissa.
Side Dish Ideas
There are so many different options but traditionally, this dish would be served with rice pilaf and roasted tomatoes. Since we are turning it into a bowl, reach for traditional condiments like baba ganoush, hummus, tzatziki, tabbouleh, garlic sauce, harissa, or zhoug.
You could also try this quinoa tabbouleh with lentils or add some extra veggies like roasted red peppers, artichokes, or celery for some crunch. Slice up your favorite olives to add on top too! Heat up some pita or flatbread on the stove to go with your bowl to make it extra delicious.
To be honest, I usually add a little bit of anything I happen to have in the house. The more, the merrier.
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.
More Delicious Chicken Recipes You'll Love:
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions I frequently get asked about by some readers...
This is a really great recipe option for meal prep and can be made in advance. 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.
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.
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
- Print Recipe
- Download PDF
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1.33 lbs. 99% lean ground chicken
- 1/4 cup parsley, minced
- 2 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
* 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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