Persian style beef kofta

Persian style beef kofta

This Persian style beef kofta recipe is an aromatic take on oven roasted meatballs. I mix ground beef with chopped scallions, fresh parsley and an Iranian-inspired spice mix. Finely chopped walnuts, ground turmeric and saffron take center stage and bring a fragrant twist to traditional meatballs.

Persian style beef kofta

Oven roasted meatballs are a game changer when it comes to weeknight meal planning. Ground meat is relatively affordable and you can add a myriad of seasonings and flavor combinations. Rolling the meat into small portions and baking the meatballs together saves time and energy when both are in short supply. Even when the summer heat strikes, I would rather turn the oven on for a brief roast rather than stand over a hot stove browning meatballs individually.

I like to mix the ingredients for these Persian style beef kofta in advance and refrigerate the seasoned meat overnight. After a long day of work, I simply form the koftas and roast them up. While the koftas are baking, I assemble a Shirazi salad and let the rice cooker prepare our brown rice. We have a nutritious, yummy dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes. That’s a work-night win in my book!

Need more inspiration for healthy, weeknight meals? You might like these other recipes:

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Persian style beef kofta

Persian style beef kofta

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  • Author: Sepideh Campos


  • 1 ½  pound ground beef, 85% lean
  • 6 Green onions, white and light green parts finely chopped (reserve the dark green portions for garnish)
  • ½ cup fresh flat leaf (Italian) parsley, finely chopped (plus extra for garnish)
  • 3 cloves garlic (if your garlic cloves are very small, use 5)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground Turmeric
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½  teaspoon Black pepper
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs (replace with almond meal to make it gluten free)
  • Avocado oil spray
  • Optional: ¼ teaspoon ground saffron threads
  • 2 cups cooked brown basmati rice (for serving)
  • Plain greek yogurt (for serving)
  • Shirazi salad (for serving)


  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the ground beef, green onion, parsley, garlic, walnuts, turmeric, salt, black pepper and bread crumbs. Combine fully with clean hands, cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour or preferably overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with avocado oil.
  4. Divide mixture into 16 portions and roll into torpedo shaped meatballs.
  5. Arrange the koftas on the lined baking sheet and spray the meatballs with avocado oil.
  6. Roast the meatballs until they’re fully cooked and browned on the surface, 10-15 minutes. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer and remove from the oven when the temperature registers 165 degrees.
  7. While the meatballs are roasting, prepare the saffron (if using).
  8. In a small bowl, combine the ground saffron with 2 Tablespoons of hot water and stir to combine.
  9. Pile the cooked rice on a platter.
  10. When the meatballs come out of the oven, immediately place them on top of the rice and spoon the saffron ‘broth’ over the hot meatballs, allowing the drippings to soak into the rice.
  11. Serve the kofta and rice with yogurt and shirazi salad.


You can also serve this kofta recipe with roasted mini bell peppers: 


  • 1 pounds mini bell peppers
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Roast in the 425 degree oven with the koftas for 20-30 minutes. 

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