Lamb Kofta Meatballs with Cucumber-Mint Yogurt Sauce
Want to shake up your normal keto lunch or dinner options?
If so, maybe a trip to India—or at least a trip for your tastebuds—is the perfect thing for you.
Kofta is a family of meatball or meatloaf dishes found in the Indian subcontinent, South Caucasian, Middle Eastern, Balkan, and Central Asian cuisines. In the simplest form, koftas consist of balls of minced or ground meat—usually beef, chicken, lamb, or pork—mixed with spices and/or onions.
These keto lamb kofta meatballs only take 20 minutes to prepare and cook, but they're packed with distinct Middle Eastern flavors that'll delight and satisfy your tastebuds.
Whether you're a fan of Indian food in general or need a new recipe to try for dinner, we're sure you're going to love them.
Plus, they're served with a rich, satisfying dipping sauce made from full-fat Greek yogurt and spices. High in fat and full of flavor, you might find yourself using this part of the recipe for other meals, too.
If you make this recipe, be sure to post a photo on Instagram and tag @ketologic!
Ingredients Used in This Recipe
- Ground lamb
- Olive oil
- Full-fat Greek yogurt
- Fresh mint
- Healthy spices like turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon
Why You Should Try This Keto Kofta Meatballs Recipe
Let's be honest: there are lots of meatball recipes out there. A quick google search will turn up several thousand options at least.
But there are two things about these keto kofta meatballs that make them the clear winner over other recipes.
First, most meatball recipes use breadcrumbs as binding. This helps them from falling apart while they cook, but also significantly ups the number of carbs you're eating, which isn't ideal for a keto diet.
Some meatball recipes have as many as 12g of carbs per serving (about 5 meatballs). Our recipe has less than half of that, so you'll have no problem staying in ketosis.
Second, most meatball recipes are kind of boring. You know—ground beef, egg, salt, pepper, and red sauce. Sometimes, you just want to change things up, and give your palate something different than what's standard (the Italian meatball, in this case).
This recipe achieves that. Ground beef is substituted for delicious and healthy ground lamb, which has a more unique flavor profile.
And the spices in the recipe give the meatballs an aromatic, earthy flavor with a light spice, while the yogurt-based dipping sauce helps cool it down.
Plus, they're just as easy to make as a regular meatball recipe. So you really have no excuse!
If you're not sold yet, let's look at some of the health benefits of these keto kofta meatballs.
Top 3 Health Benefits of This Recipe
1. Packed with protein
The meatballs and the dipping sauce are full of protein. Lamb has nearly 20 grams of protein per serving, while one cup of Greek yogurt (we like Fage or Chobani) has 18 grams .Protein is your friend on the keto diet, especially if you're trying to lose weight. Multiple studies show it's a powerful weight management tool as it curbs hunger cravings and keeps you full longer after meals .
2. Good source of healthy fats
Olive oil, full-fat Greek yogurt, and the naturally-occurring fats in the lamb make this recipe perfect for a keto diet. After all, there's 37 grams of fat in one serving of meatballs.
Plus, the fats in the olive oil are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which improve heart health and may help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease .
3. Full of antioxidants and micronutrients
Turmeric, ginger, garlic, mint, and cinnamon make the flavor profile of these meatballs unique, and also very healthy.
- Turmeric and ginger both have powerful anti-inflammatory effects, which are good for fighting diseases and reducing joint pain .
- Garlic has been shown to improve heart health, and contains powerful antioxidants, which can reduce your risk of certain cancers .
- Mint is rich in micronutrients like vitamin C, and has been shown to be good for digestive health .
- Cinnamon helps lower blood lipid levels, protects against certain neurological disorders, and also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties .
Pretty crazy that spices can be this good for you, right?
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 small yellow onion, minced
- ¼ cup mint, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons mint, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large mixing bowl, mix all of the kofta ingredients with your hands until well incorporated.
- Form the mixture into eight 2-inch long oval-shaped meatballs. You can flatten into patties for easier cooking if you prefer.
- Heat up some olive oil or coconut oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
- Pan-fry the kofta for 3-4 minutes per side until cooked through.
- For the yogurt sauce, mix all the ingredients and season to taste.
- To serve, plate 2 kofta meatballs/patties and ⅓ cup yogurt sauce.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 4
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