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Turkish Kofte in Tomato Sauce

Made with only a few ingredients, these healthy oven baked Turkish meatballs are tender and juicy. The red tomato and pepper sauce keeps them moist and extra delicious.
Servings 6


  • 250 g ground beef
  • 250 g ground lamb
  • 1 medium onion very finely chopped or grated
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4+1/4 cup flat leaf parsley finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin powder optional
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic minced
  • 400 g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp pul biber / Turkish red pepper flakes optional, for spicy version


  • Preheat oven to 230 C.
  • Take minced meat in a large bowl and combine together with the grated onion, breadcrumbs and 3/4 cup parsley. Season with salt and pepper and knead for good 3 minutes with your hand.
  • Add milk and mix well.
  • Make small meatballs and arrange them on a baking tray.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 10 min.
  • In a pan, saute the minced garlic and cubed paprika in olive oil.
  • Add in the canned tomatoes and the water.
  • Season with the salt and cumin.
  • Cook on medium high and allow the water to reduce.
  • Add sugar, black pepper and pul biber.
  • Transfer the meatballs into the sauce and cook for another 3-4 min.
  • Add parsley and stir.


  • You can use only beef or only lamb mince.
  • Canned tomatoes can be replaced with fresh tomato puree. The cooking time will increase according to how watery the sauce is.
  • Avoid overbaking the meatballs to retain the moisture.
  • The meatballs and sauce can be made in a big batch and frozen.
  • The shape of kofte can be made round or oval or flat. Whatever your heart desires!