This Easy Beef Kofta Recipe is an easy 30 minute meal with tons of flavor. Perfect for any weeknight – and your kids will love to eat dinner just like Princess Jasmine! Raise adventurous eaters through creative and fun recipes they can relate to!
Welcome to the Eat Like A Princess Series!
I designed this series as a fun way to teach my daughters about new cultures through the Princesses in hopes that they will become more open to trying new foods, to understand other cultures better, and to enjoy exploring the world around them. And still staying within the 30 minute weeknight dinner theme. You can see other recipes in this series here.
I remember really enjoying watching “Aladdin” growing up. Fun music, a sassy princess, and (for a girl who was raised in Iowa) an exotic land. What’s not to love? In an attempt to bridge the gap between strong/brave/clever girls and the stereotypical damsel-in-distress princess, we have been talking a lot about the empowering characteristics of each of the Princesses. We have been really playing up how they they are brave, smart, courageous and kind. Princess Jasmine is definitely an independent, clever, head-strong girl who is so not afraid to speak her mind and stand up for what is right. I like that!
Easy Beef Kofta Recipe
Kofta is a great way to begin to explore Middle Eastern/Arabic cuisine (they are also found in Central and South Asia, too). It’s very similar to a meatball or a meatloaf – made with various ground meats, spices, and various veggies. Often it is placed on a kebob and grilled (but they can be poached, steamed, fried, baked, or cooked in any other number of ways as well). I specifically chose to make kofta since most often meatballs are very familiar and a “safe” food, yet it still introduces lamb (mixed in with ground beef) and a slightly different spice and herb mix than you might be used to.
**Note: This recipe is not intended to be 100% authentic. Princess Jasmine is a fictional princess who lives in a made-up land called Agrabah loosely based on Arabic culture. This recipe is intended to be easy enough that children can help you prepare it. It is my hope that it is interesting enough to pique their interest in new cultures and foods.
Interested in adding more middle eastern recipes to your meal plan? Read the Beginner’s Guide to Kid Friendly Midde Eastern Cuisine for easy recipes and kid-friendly tips!
How to Make Beef Kofta Ahead of Time:
This Easy Beef Kofta Recipe is easy to fit into your meal plan, no matter your schedule.
Prep these steps ahead of time to make this meal quick and easy:
- The Mix for the Kofta can be prepared in the morning and stored in an air-tight glass container in the fridge for up to 1 day.
- You can skip the skewers, too, and just make these into meatballs! These bake and reheat well! They are excellent to freeze, too!
- If you don’t have enough time to make tahini sauce, you can serve this with store-bought hummus.
- You can also skip the tabouleh and serve with plain whole wheat couscous. Or buy some tabouleh pre-made (I can often find it at the lunch bar at Whole Foods!).
How to Make Beef Kofta Kid Friendly:
Beef Kofta is really fun for kids to eat! Not only is this a mild but flavorful meal that kids will enjoy, but its also really easy to adapt and fit into your meal plan.
Tips on Family Dinner Conversations:
Dinner time is a great time to talk to your kids! But beyond discussing how recess and lunch went, bring the conversations around to the food you are eating. Discussing each part of the meal, and making observations about what you are eating often help kids think about their food in a more analytical way and with less emotional stress about trying something new. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Talk about the textures of the food you are eating. What does the couscous feel like in your mouth? Is it smoother or rougher than the tahini sauce? Which part of your meal is juicy? Can you find something crisp on your plate?
- Talk about the smells of your meal. What does the smell of your kofta remind you of?
- Talk about the flavors of the beef kofta. How does the taste of your kofta change when you pair it with the sauce? What about when you pair it with the sauce and a cucumber? What would you change to make this meal yummier next time? Would you like it served differently?
How to Serve this Easy Beef Kofta Recipe to your Family:
There are so many different ways to plate and serve this meal, so feel free to mix and match and create a meal that fits your family best.
- You can serve these as sandwiches (build up a wrap with pita, tahini sauce, kofta and veggies to create a sandwich you like).
- You can put the couscous or tabbouleh into the pita sandwiches or serve it on the side.
- If serving them on the skewers is too much for your kids, try making these into meatballs instead.
- This meal is fun to serve family style, with all the various components on the table, allowing each family member to serve themselves and create their own meal the way they like it.
Get your kids in the kitchen:
- soaking the wooden skewers
- picking the parsley leaves off the stems
- measuring the spices
- forming the kofta (depending on how old your children are)
*Please note that these recommendations are generalized, and to please use your personal discretion with your child’s skill level. And always, always supervise! Read more about how to have your children help you in the kitchen.
There’s nothing I love more than seeing you having an amazing meal with your family! If you make this easy beef kofta recipe, take a picture of you making or sharing them with someone you love!
Then post your photo on Instagram or Facebook and tag @thegingeredwhisk and use the hashtag #LittleFoodieAdventures. I can’t wait to see what you’re cooking and share it!
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- 1 medium yellow onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 bunch parsley, stems removed
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 lb ground lamb
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp mild chili powder
- 1/2 tp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp ground sumac
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground paprika
- Pita bread, hummus, tahini sauce, fresh sliced tomato and cucumber, couscous or tabouleh
- Prepare a broil-safe rimmed baking sheet with foil and set aside.
- Preheat the broiler to high.
- In a food processor, chop the onion, garlic and parsley until finely chopped.
- Dump this in a large mixing bowl and add in the ground meats and the spices.
- Mix thoroughly.
- Take a handful of the mixture and form a ball, then roll it between your hands to form a log (My children called it a turd, which is lovely and awesome when talking about food, but it totally works to describe it. So there you go.)
- Slide the skewer up the middle of the kofta log and place on the baking sheet.
- Broil for 20 minutes, or until browned and cooked through, turning halfway through cooking. (When you turn the skewers use some tongs – remember they are hot!)
* If you like, you can skip the skewer and just make meatballs. You can bake these at a 350 oven for ~25 minutes, or you can cook them in a skillet until browned on all sides. The choice is yours.
** We enjoyed making sandwiches with the pita, hummus, tabouleh, tahini, cucumbers and tomatoes all wrapped up together. You can also enjoy them all separately. Again, the choice is yours.
*** If using wooden skewers, remember to soak them for 20 minutes before grilling.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 719 Total Fat: 37g Saturated Fat: 13g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 20g Cholesterol: 156mg Sodium: 963mg Carbohydrates: 41g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 4g Protein: 53g
Serve this meal with some whole wheat couscous or tabouleh, pita, hummus, fresh sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, and a garlic tahini sauce. Your kids will love to eat a meal inspired by Princess Jasmine!