Lebanese Kofta Recipe | Grilling

Each week Joshua Bousel of The Meatwave drops by with a recipe for you to grill over the weekend. Fire it up, Joshua!

My enthusiasm for lamb is not mutual in my relationship, so it's always a treat when I cook it up at home--it doesn't happen all that often. Last weekend was one of those sporadic times when lamb graced my grill, and it was extra special since these Lebanese kofta skewers were some of the best lamb creations I've ever made.

It started with fatty pieces of lamb shoulder, which I finely ground, combined with parsley, onion, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt and pepper. The lamb mixture was then formed around skewers and grilled. The spices were subtle against the distinct flavor of lamb, but there was just enough to give the meat a complexity behind its deceptively simple looks. With an under-oiled grate, a couple of the skewers fell apart when I tried to turn them, but despite the fallback, thankfully no meat was lost. They grilled up and were gladly eaten all the same.


  • 2 1/2 lbs finely ground lamb
  • 1 bunch of parsley, washed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Bamboo Skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes prior to using


  1. Pulse onion and parsley and onion in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl and add the ground lamb, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt, and pepper and mix with your hands until thoroughly combined.

  2. Form lamb mixture into 1 1/2" meat balls. Thread one meatball on a skewer, then form meat into a log shape around the skewer. Repeat until all lamb is used.

  3. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread coals out evenly over the charcoal grate. Clean and oil your grilling grate.

  4. Grill skewers over high heat until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and serve.