Summer Dinner Recipe: Turkey Koftas with Toasted Pita

published Aug 1, 2011
Turkey Koftas
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(Image credit: Olga Massov)

Turkey is not just for Thanksgiving – it’s great all year round. This take on a traditional Middle Eastern lamb dish is perfect for the hot summer months when lamb might be too heavy a meal. The herb-yogurt is refreshing and packs a flavorful punch. A few toasted pitas to complete the meal – and your weeknight dinner dilemma is solved.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Do you like to use turkey all year round? Or do you save it for the holidays?

Turkey Koftas

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 1/4 teaspoon

    coriander seeds

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    cumin seeds

  • 1 pound

    ground turkey (dark meat preferable)

  • 1/2 cup

    spring onions (or a mild-tasting onion such as Vidalia), finely diced, divided

  • 2 tablespoons

    finely chopped mint

  • 2 tablespoons

    finely chopped dill

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoons

    freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 2

    Kirby cucumbers

  • 1 cup

    plain Greek yogurt

  • 3 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 2

    medium tomatoes cut into 1/4-inch slices

  • 4

    whole wheat pitas, warmed in an oven or a toaster


  1. In a small skillet over medium-high heat, toast the coriander and cumin seeds until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and grind, using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.

  2. In a large bowls, combine turkey, 1/4 cup spring onion, 1 tablespoon mint, 1 tablespoon dill, ground spices, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix together until well combined and form into 8 oval patties.

  3. Finely dice one of the cucumbers; slice the other cucumber into 1/4-inch slices and set aside by the tomatoes. In a small bowl stir together the diced cucumber, yogurt, and the remaining onion, mint, dill, salt, and pepper.

  4. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook the patties until browned on all dies and cooked through about 12 minutes. Divide the patties, the tomatoes and sliced cucumber among the pitas. Top generously with the yogurt-cucumber sauce, fold to enclose and serve.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)