Grilled Meat Balls (Izgara Köfte) | Turkish Eats

This is the Turkish alternative to the hamburger - a standard component of the contemporary Turkish kitchen.


  • 2 lbs ground meat (beef, lamb or ½ and ½ )
  • 1.5 medium onions
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons blackpepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1.5 oz (~ 50 gm) chopped fresh parsley
  • 5 oz (~ 150 gm) bread crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil


  1. Grate the onions.  You can use the rotating grater of your food processor if you prefer.
  2. Chop the parsley. If you choose to use your food processor - do not overdo this - you do not want a green goo! 
  3. Store bought bread crumbs may contain salt, sugar, herbs and spices, which can interfere with the authentic taste of the meat balls. Therefore, it is best if you make your own bread crumbs from 2- 3 day old bread. Use Italian French baguette, sour dough or similar bread that has flour and salt as the only ingredients. You can use your toaster or oven to dry a few slices of bread.  Cut the bread slices into smaller pieces and use your food processor.
  4. Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl- you have to use your hands to achieve the desired consistency. Make elliptical balls (~ 3 inches long)
  5. You can grill the barbeque the meat balls or grill them on a non-stick or caset iron pan.  The best taste is achieved with an old-fashioned, coal barbeque.
  6. If you do not want to grill all of them at once, you can freeze them for later use after wrapping them in plastic wrap.
© Mehmet Ozturk 2017