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Lamb Kofte Kebabs with Tahini Garlic Sauce

Enjoy this classic Middle Eastern dish with a creamy tahini garlic sauce, served on a skewers or inside some pita bread!
lamb kebabs on a plate with pomegranate seeds and fresh veggies

Lamb kebabs are a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine. Some would even consider it the Middle Eastern meatball! They usually have an aromatic spice blend, which is very specific to that part of the world. Za'atar seasoning, for example, is one of the most classic dry herb spices from the region. It's crazy how spices, like Za'atar and coriander, can elevate a piece of meat and make it so different from a different type of dish. This recipe can be served on a skewer, but can also be put into a pita bread as a sandwich or served on a bed of rice with tahini sauce.

Nutrition: 570 calories, 44 g fat (14 g saturated), 955 mg sodium, 1.5 g fiber, 2.7 g sugar, 11 g protein


For the Lamb Kofte Kebabs

2 lb. ground lamb
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp. ground coriander
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. za'atar seasoning
1 tsp. hot smoked paprika
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
24 bamboo skewers, soaked 2 hours, or 12 flat metal kofte skewers
Neutral oil like canola oil for oiling grill grates
Shredded romaine lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced red onion, and warm pita bread (optional)

For the Tahini Garlic Sauce

Juice of 2 large lemons
2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2/3 cup tahini paste
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. cold water

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How to Make It

  1. To make Tahini Garlic Sauce, in a small bowl stir together lemon juice and garlic. Allow to sit 5 minutes. Add tahini, parsley, salt, and the water to thin to a dressing-like consistency.
  2. Serve with kofte skewers.
  3. To make Lamb Kofte Kebabs, in a large bowl gently mix together lamb, garlic, coriander, cumin, za'atar, paprika, salt, cinnamon, and pepper using your hands. Mixture can be made several hours or up to 1 day ahead. Refrigerate until ready to form patties.
  4. Form twelve 5-inch-long by 1-inch-thick oval patties. If using bamboo skewers, thread two skewers through each patty lengthwise to give stability. If using flat metal skewers, use one skewer for each patty.
  5. Preheat grill to high. Generously oil clean grill grates with a paper towel dipped in canola oil and held with tongs. Grill kebabs 5 minutes on each side until deep golden grill marks appear. Serve with Tahini Garlic Sauce and, if desired, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, pomegranate seeds, and pita bread.

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