Juicy and bursting with Middle Eastern flavor, these Grilled Lamb Kofta are like little oval meatballs spiked with pine nuts, aromatic spices and fresh herbs. Here they are grilled and wrapped up in refreshing lettuce cups with cool and crunchy cucumber, summer tomatoes, fresh mint and Tzatziki. I love the contrast of cold and heat. A light, protein- filled, low carb meal, perfect for active summer days.
This week I’m honored to be partnering with the American Lamb Board to help share how lamb can be part of our summer activities. Whether it’s outdoor activities, or simply grilling on the patio, this versatile protein has a multitude of uses. To celebrate our summer “lambventures” they are offering up some very generous prizes – gift cards to Lululemon, Anthropologie, REI, and fresh lamb! Get all the amazing details and enter here! I would seriously love if one of you won!!! There is also an amazing grand prize valued at $2000- an incredible gift for those of you who like to grill.
Biking, paddling, swimming, camping, skating boarding, hiking- this summer has been all about movement in some form or another for Brian and I. The best thing about where we live ( Spokane) are all the wild outdoor areas to explore and discover. This is one of our favorite places, Riverside State Park, full of trails to hike, run and mountain bike.
Yesterday, we hiked on the trails overlooking the Spokane River.
There is a glorious bridge to cross, where I feel the all energy of the water rushing beneath me- a good way to clear the mind and a reminder to let things go.
The light is magical here.
The views, breathtaking.
And after our long hike we whipped up these delicious healthy guys – Grilled Lamb Kofta made with ground lamb, spices and fresh herbs.
I prefer to use sustainably raised, locally grown, American lamb, which is raised closer to home compared to imported lamb that travels from great distances to get here. For one, it’s fresher and but more importantly, it supports our local community. It’s produced in nearly every state and is available fresh year round, just check your local farmers market. In years past we’ve bought ½ or ¼ of a lamb locally and kept it frozen, which is always an option too.
American lamb is always raised hormone-free and producers go to great lengths to give their animals healthy, comfortable lives, letting them graze and forage on a variety of nutrient-dense grasses and legumes – producing succulent, sweet and tender meat.
For some, lamb may seem too rich for hot summer months, but this Grilled Lamb Kofta recipe is surprisingly light, flavorful and sooooo refreshing! Look at all the fresh mint and parsley!
These are also surprisingly fast and easy to make, and the flavors will seriously blow you away.
Roll the lamb into little oval egg-shaped meatballs and grill.
While the Lamb Kofta are grilling, assemble the easy wraps, using butter lettuce, cucumber and tomato. Feel free to add other cool crunchy veggies- grated carrot, radish, cabbage- have fun with it!
When the kofta are done, just place them in the wrap- or you could have people just assemble themselves.
Add a dollop of flavorful Tsatziki. I’ve included a link ( in the recipe) to make your own simple Tzatziki, or feel free to use store-bought, if pressed for time.
Three to four wraps are the perfect amount of food- the kofta are about 1 oz. each. On average, a 3 oz. portion of lamb contains only 175 calories, and is packed with hunger-curbing protein. Together with all the fresh veggies, it’s healthy, satisfying meal.
Top with sprouts and fresh torn mint leaves.
Grilled Lamb Kofta Wraps
Bursting with flavor, these Lamb Kofta Lettuce Wraps are light and refreshing and perfect for summer dining on the patio. Can be served as a main course ( 3-4 wraps) or as an appetizer.
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4-5 entrees 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: Grilled
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
- ¼ cup toasted pinenuts
- ¼ of a medium red onion- rough chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley – packed
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves- packed
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika ( not smoked)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice ( this adds really great flavor-try not to leave it out)
- generous pinch alepo chili flakes- optional, or regular
- butter lettuce leaves ( or baby romaine, little gems)
- 2–3 turkish cucumbers, sliced or cut into thin spears
- handful cherry tomatoes, halved
- Tzatziki – store-bought or homemade
- Garnish with fresh mint, sprouts
Bowl : serve Lamb kofta over rice or other whole grain with tomato, cucumber, tzatziki,fresh mint and sprouts.
Preheat grill to Med-high heat.
Place pinenuts, onion, garlic and fresh herbs in a food processor, and pulse repeatedly until coarsely ground but not smooth.
Place ground lamb along with salt and all the spices ( paprika, cumin, allspice, chili flakes) into a medium bowl. Add pine nut -herb mixture to the bowl and with a wet hand, mix well, kneeding to combine.
With wet hands ( run under faucet) form sixteen 1 ounce balls. You could shape these into ovals like an egg and slightly flatten, or just make round balls, and slightly flatten. Place on a plate or sheet pan.
When the grill is hot, clean and grease well. Place lamb koftas on the grill, turn heat to medium and cover for 3-4 minutes. Using a metal spatula, flip, as they develop grill marks they should release their hold on the grill. After you flip all, turn heat down to low, cover and continue cooking until cooked through, about 5 more minutes- be sure to check one for doneness.
Assemble wraps: you could let guests assemble these themselves, or pre-assemble the wraps with the butter lettuces laid out on a platter, topped with tomato, cucumber and tzatziki and refrigerate while the kofta cook. Or just assemble as you cook, up to you. 🙂
Top with tzatziki, torn mint leaves and sprouts.
For a heartier version, serve wrapped in pita or over rice and create “Bowl”.