This Easy Beef Kofta Recipe is an easy 30 minute meal with tons of flavor. Gently spiced beef patties served with flatbread, hummus, crisp cucumbers and juicy tomatoes. 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!
The Eat Like A Princess Dinner Series!
The "Eat Like A Princess" dinner is was designed as a fun way to teach kids about new cultures through the Princesses they already know and love, 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, like:
- Homemade Swedish Meatballs inspired by Princess Anna and Elsa from "Frozen"!
- Easy Sausage Rolls inspired by Princess Merida from "Brave"!
- Chicken and Sausage Gumbo inspired by Princess Tiana from "The Princess and the Frog"!
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 a fun sandwich concept 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. Start to finish, this meal takes about 30 minutes to make, but there are steps you can do to make it even quicker.
Prep these steps ahead of time to make this meal quick and easy:
- The onion/parsley puree 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 measure out your spices and additional kofta ingredients and store until ready to make dinner, which cuts down on prep-time.
- You can skip the skewers, too, and just make these into meatballs!
- This beef kofta bake and reheat well, so if you need to make these ahead of time you can.
- Make extra and freeze these kofta for an evening when you need a quick dinner.
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 family's eating habits. Part of making any food "kid friendly" is all in how you serve it, talk about it, and get your kids interested and involved.
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 hummus? What about when you pair it with the hummus 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, hummus, 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.
- Slice the meatballs into strips to make it easier for kids to eat in their pita.
Make a full meal inspired by Princess Jasmine and include dessert - this Basbousa Cake recipe is an easy one-bowl semolina cake that is soaked in a flavorful simple syrup. Its an easy and delicious dessert that Princess Jasmine would have loved.
Get your kids in the kitchen:
One of the best ways to get kids interested in eating new foods (besides making food inspired by their favorite characters, books, and movies…) is to get them involved! Here are some easy ways your kids can help you cook these beef and lamb koftas:
- Kids aged 1-3 can help you measure and mix the dry ingredients for the kofta, and help get out the rest of the ingredients for the kofta sandwiches.
- Kids aged 4-6 can do everything above, plus help you prepare the onion-parsley puree mixture.
- Kids aged 7-10+ can help you do everything above, plus help you form the kofta patties.
*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
- 2 lb ground beef
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp mild chili powder
- ½ tp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp ground sumac
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ 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.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 578Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 680mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 46g
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!