Making Içli Köfte – Turkish Stuffed Meatballs!

Another foodie post, I’m not turning into a food blog, honestly! But with plenty of free time recently, I tried a recipe to make one of my favourite dishes from my travels around Turkey. Içli Köfte are meatballs mixed with middle eastern spices encased in bulgar, they can be boiled or fried, but fried is much more tasty in my opinion. It creates a crispy outer shell filled with a juicy flavoursome filling, I loved them so much I had to try give them a go myself.



500g Minced beef

3 Onions

1 tablespoon of Paprika & Parsley (and/or any other spices you like)

300g/2.5 cups fine bulgar

130g/1 cup semolina

130g/1 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon red pepper or tomato paste

250ml/1 cup water

1 egg

1 – Place all of the bulgar in the water and leave it for around 10 minutes for the bulgar to soak up the water.

2 – Meanwhile, chop and fry the onions with the beef and spices, then once cooked through leave to cool.

3 – Mix the bulgar with the tomato/red pepper paste, then add the semolina, flour, egg and salt and mix well until all combined to a sticky dough-like mix.

4 – Break some of the dough and flatten to create a circle around 0.5cm thick, place some of the meat mixture in the middle and close to create an oval shape meatball with pointed ends. (To be honest, i don’t know the perfect way to do this but the mixture is very easy to mold and more water can be added to create the shape you want).

5 – Next you have 2 options! You can either fry or boil them, I prefer to fry as it gives a crispy exterior and juicy filling, though boiling gives an all round softer texture. Simply fry in some olive oil, turning them regularly until they are golden brown all over. Or boil for around 10-15 minutes.

Içli Köfte is traditionally served with salad and a simple tomato sauce made from tomato paste, garlic and butter. They are surprisingly filling and mine were a big success, replicated the texture and flavours of the real thing, let me know if you give them a go!

My related Turkish adventures below!

Antalya: Old Town, Paradise beaches & Land of Legends

Istanbul: 3 Days exploring the sights

Pammukale: Cotton candy mountains and Hierapolis

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