Baked Beef Kofta with Saffron Aioli

Okay, so if you follow me on instagram and watch my instagram stories… you saw my moments trying to get these beef koftas figured out. If you don’t follow along, here is the story: so I scoured the internet trying to figure out the authentic way of making “Kabob Koobideh“, aka these beef koftas. Kabob Koobideh (کباب کوبیده) is a grilled, minced beef kabob and one of the most popular kabobs in Iran. It is typically made with ground lamb or beef or a combination of the two. I tried to make them the authentic way, grilled over charcoal, and it was a fail! The meat tasted fantastic; however, trying to get that minced meat to stay on the metal skewers that I bought was way more difficult than I ever anticipated. 

On this blog here, I try to keep things as simple and fool proof as possible– which is why I decided to bake them so that everyone can enjoy beef kofta in their kitchens. As much as I love to get things authentic and perfect, if I am struggling to keep the beef on the kabobs, I know everyone else will likely encounter that problem. So, I am going to keep practicing my grilled beef kofta skills at home and figure out what the trick is to get them perfect. But until then, here is a FANTASTIC way to cook them at home. They taste absolutely delicious and I hope you enjoy making this easy, no-fuss koobideh in your kitchens at home. I also made a delicious Saffron Aioli to fancy them up a bit and boy is it YUMMY.

If you are a koobideh master and have tips and tricks for grilling them, feel free to leave me some tips in the comments below! I love it when you guys share your tips with me! 🙂

Baked Beef Kofta with Saffron Aioli
Serves 6
Easy, no-fuss baked paleo beef kabobs!
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
For the Beef Kofta
  1. 1 lb. ground beef
  2. 1/2 lb. ground lamb
  3. 1 yellow onion, peeled and cut into fourths
  4. 2 cups parsley, loosely packed + more for garnish
  5. 3 cloves garlic
  6. 1 egg
  7. 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  8. 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  9. 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  10. 1/2 tsp paprika
  11. 1/2 tsp cumin
  12. 1 tsp. allspice
  13. salt and pepper, to taste
  14. Parchment paper for baking
  15. 15 (12inch) wooden skewers
For the Saffron Aioli
  1. 1 tsp. hot water
  2. small pinch of saffron threads (10-12 threads)
  3. 1/2 cup Homemade Mayo
  4. 2 cloves garlic
  5. juice of 1/2 lemon
  6. salt and pepper, to taste
For the Beef Kofta
  1. Presoak the wooden skewers for about 30 minutes prior to cooking.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Place lamb and beef in a bowl with the spices, the egg, and be sure to season with salt and pepper, too.
  4. Place the onion, parsley, and garlic in a food processor. Blend until it is all finely chopped. Transfer to a sieve or fine colander and press on it with a spoon to drain all the liquid. Discard the liquid and mix the onion pulp with the ground meats.
  5. Mix the meat and onion pulp with the rest of the ingredients and knead with your fingers. After kneading the mixture for a few minutes it will resemble a paste that will stick together and will not fall apart when you pick it up in your hand.
  6. Scoop up a ball (about 1/3 cup) of the mixture and wrap it around the middle of the skewer and start spreading the meat on t the skewer by opening and closing your fingers to stick the mixture securely to the skewer. Leave a few inches from the tip and handle section of the skewer clear. The thickness of the meat mixture should be about 1/2 inch all around the skewer.
  7. Line up the skewers on 2 separate baking sheets lined in parchment paper.
  8. Bake the skewers in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through. I cooked mine for exactly 15 minutes and they were perfect!
For the Saffron Aioli
  1. Place saffron threads in a small bowl with 1 tsp of hot water. Let soak for 15 minutes.
  2. Place the water/saffron mixture in a food processor with the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
  1. If you'd prefer making meatballs, roll meat into large 2 inch meatballs. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through (mine took closer to 20). These are great meal prepped meatballs to keep in the fridge for an easy grab-and-go protein to top on salads (or anything) throughout the week!
The Defined Dish http://www.thedefineddish.com/
  • Neha
    July 30, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    I have made these koftas a few times and love them. This time i need to make it for a family that doesn’t eat beef. What can i replace the beef with ? ground chicken?


    • Alex
      July 31, 2017 at 1:48 am

      Yes, ground chicken or turkey will be good! 🙂

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