Turkish lamb köfte with tahini sauce and smashed cucumber salad

Turkish lamb köfte with tahini sauce and smashed cucumber salad

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free

2 Servings, 580 Calories/Serving

25 – 35 Minutes

This paleo and gluten-free main course will appeal to anyone who loves a good meatball.


  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 or 3 cloves peeled fresh garlic
  • 10 ounces ground lamb
  • 3 scallions
  • 3 or 4 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • Köfte spice blend (onion powder - sweet paprika - ground cumin - granulated garlic)
  • Wooden skewers
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon tahini

Chef's Tip

Raw garlic can taste harsh to even the most sophisticated palates. Letting it stand with the lightly smashed cucumbers, bell pepper, and a sprinkling of salt for a few minutes will mellow the flavor.

Nutrition per serving



Smash the cucumber and bell pepper

  • Trim the ends from the cucumber; cut the cucumber lengthwise into quarters, then crosswise into ½-inch pieces.
  • Remove the stem, ribs, and seeds from the bell pepper. Cut the pepper into ½-inch pieces.
  • Finely chop, press, or grate enough garlic to measure 2 teaspoons. Set aside half for the tahini sauce.
In a resealable plastic bag, combine the cucumber, bell pepper, and half the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Using a wooden spoon, lightly smash the vegetables. Let stand while you prepare the rest of the meal.


Make the lamb köfte

  • Cut a small corner from the ground lamb packaging and drain off any excess liquid. Transfer to a plate and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Trim the root ends from the scallions; thinly slice the scallions.
  • Coarsely chop the cilantro.
In a large frying pan over medium-low heat, toast the pine nuts, stirring often, until warm and just starting to brown, about 1 minute. Add the köfte spice blend and toast, stirring often, until fragrant and the pine nuts are lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl; wipe out the pan.
Add the ground lamb, scallions, and cilantro to the pine nut mixture, season with salt and pepper, and mix gently until just combined. Using wet hands, shape the lamb mixture into 4 ovals, each about 1-inch thick; thread each onto a wooden skewer.


Cook the lamb köfte

In the same pan used for the pine nuts, add 1 tablespoon oil and warm over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the lamb köfte and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. While the lamb köfte cooks, prepare the tahini sauce.


Make the tahini sauce

  • Juice the lemon.
In a small bowl, stir together the tahini, 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and the remaining garlic; season to taste with salt and pepper.



Transfer the lamb köfte to individual plates and top with the tahini sauce. Serve with the smashed cucumber salad.

Protein: 30g (60% DV), Fiber: 6g (24% DV), Total Fat: 45g (69% DV), Monounsaturated Fat: 18g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.5g, Saturated Fat: 17g (85% DV), Cholesterol: 105mg (35% DV), Sodium: 370mg (15% DV), Carbohydrates: 17g (6% DV), Total Sugars: 5g, Added Sugars: 0g (0% DV).
Contains: Tree Nuts