Kofta in tomato sauce with a yoghurt-mint dip

Kofta in tomato sauce with a yoghurt-mint dip

The mediterranean kitchen has always been my safe place, probably because we often went on holidays in Mediterranean countries like Greece, Italy and Turkey. Food from those places is warming, comforting and often pretty healthy, as the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest on the planet. In my opinion, the mediterranean kitchen often has a great balance between the warming stuff and more fresh tastes. This kofta in tomato sauce with a yoghurt-mint dip recipe is a great example of this.

The indulging taste of the kofta in tomato sauce is perfectly balanced by the fresh taste of the yoghurt-mint sauce, which keeps this dish interesting. This recipe is not too difficult to prepare, but it does take some time. However, most of the time is spend with the dish in the oven, so you can just do other stuff in-between if necessary.

You could also make a bigger batch, as these are perfect to heat up the next day as well and the yoghurt-mint sauce is also nice with some flatbread or on a sandwich. This makes it a great recipe to prepare for bigger groups or to meal-prep. After all, the Mediterranean kitchen is all about sharing and enjoying life. So, without further ado, here is the recipe!

meatballs in a red sauce on a white plate with rose wine in the back.


I made this recipe for 2 people. If you need more or less, scale the ingredients up. or down accordingly.

For the kofta

  • 300 grams of minced meat
  • Half a red onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Half a hand of fresh parsley
  • 4 teaspoons of breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • Pul Biber, black pepper and salt to taste
  • Olive oil

To make the tomato sauce

  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 red onions
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Half a hand of fresh parsley
  • Half a hand of fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • Half a bell pepper
  • Black pepper and salt to taste
  • Olive oil

For the yoghurt-mint sauce

  • 5 tablespoons of Greek yoghurt
  • The leaves of 3 branches of fresh mint
  • Half a hand of fresh parsley
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of oregano-infused olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Making Kofta in tomato sauce

We start by heating up the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and oiling up the baking dish with a dash of olive oil. I used a traditional clay Mediterranean pot, but anything to put in the oven would be okay. Just make sure it’s not too big, as you want the Kofta to be covered in a thick layer of tomato sauce later.

Kofta with tomato sauce and white rice on two off-white plates on a wooden table.

Mixing the meat

Chop up the fresh parsley for both dishes, so about 1 hand of parsley. You should also chop up 1 onion and two cloves of garlic. Divide the parsley, the garlic and the onion in half and add one half in a bowl. Add all the minced meat to the bowl. Also add the breadcrumbs, Pul Biber, black pepper, salt and a raw egg.

Now, massage all the ingredients with your hands and make sure everything is well mixed. Then, you make small minced meat rolls with your hands. It’s similar to making meatballs, but make them more oval shaped. Put them in the baking dish one by one. You should have about 6-8 kofta in the end depending on the size.

Heart-warming sauce in the making

Then you chop up half a bell pepper and the fresh basil. Take the rest of the onion, garlic and the bell pepper and cook them in a dash of olive oil for two minutes. Now, add the diced tomatoes the rest of the parsley and the basil, the cinnamon, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and dried oregano. Stir and let it simmer for a while, so a lot of the fluids will disappear. This will leave you with a thick chunky sauce. I personally chose to mix it all with a hand mixer to make it a smooth sauce. However, I’ll leave that to you depending on how small you’ve chopped up your ingredients.

Once you’re happy with the result, pour it over the kofta and make sure they’re all covered and almost swimming in sauce. Put the dish in the oven at 180 Degrees Celsius and leave it in for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of your kofta. Now, it’s time to start with your yoghurt sauce!

Tomato sauce in 2 jars with a plant in the back against a black background.

Some white sauce to add some freshness

Obviously, you put the Greek yoghurt in a bowl first. Then, you chop up the mint, parsley and you divide the lemon in 2 parts. Although the recipe only asks for the juice of half a lemon, you could use the other half to make lemon water, which goes perfectly with this dish as a refresher.

Add the chopped herbs and the juice of one half of the lemon to the yoghurt, add some salt and pepper to taste and add a decent splash of olive oil. I had some fancy olive oil that’s infused with oregano, but you could also use regular olive oil. In that case, you could always add some (dried) oregano to the mix as well. Mix all the ingredients well and put the bowl in the fridge until you can serve everything.

Time to serve!

I prefer serving the Kofta in my Mediterranean baking dish because of the authentic look. But, you could also serve them on plates or even on (metal) skewers. I serve the yoghurt sauce seperately, as I know some people like to put it on the Kofta and some prefer to eat it with the side dishes.

Speaking of side dishes, this is a meal that’s often eaten with rice on the side, flatbread like lavash or crispy, baby potatoes. I personally love it with rice as one big meal, or with lavash and a couple of other dips. It’s a staple when it comes to a good mezze platter as well.

Kofta with white and red sauce on top op pita bread with a salad on the side.

To conclude

This dish is the perfect heart-warming type of food I’m looking for when I need emotional support or when I’m cooking for friends. It’s meant to be shared and enjoyed. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t know a good vegetarian or vegan alternative, although falafel is of course a great substitute for meatballs. The recipe is one that takes a little bit of effort, but it’s one that everyone will thank you for once they get to enjoy it.

If you liked this kofta in tomato sauce with yoghurt mint sauce recipe or if you have ideas on how to improve it or mix it up, let me know in the comments below! And if you are looking for more recipes like this and other (healthy) lifestyle tips, please subscribe or follow me on X and Instagram for more content.

Lots of love,


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