These vegan kofte kebabs are made with a mixture of spiced chickpeas, rolled up and cooked on skewers with summer veggies. Serve with pita bread and hummus or vegan Tzatziki sauce for a hearty Mediterranean-inspired meal.
One of my favorite recipes back when I first went vegetarian was for meatless kofte kebabs. It was from one of the first vegetarian cookbooks that I acquired, and I loved it. I have no idea what real kofte kebabs taste like, but I did some browsing of authentic kofte dishes and found a bunch of recipes for big hunks of meat on a stick. My vegetarian version was made from bulghur and a bunch of spices, rolled into little meatballs and cooked up on skewers. I could never quite manage to get a vegan version to work. I think some heavy duty egg is required to hold all those little grains together.
So I decided to give chickpeas a try. I also seasoned up my vegan kofte kebabs quite a bit when compared to the version that I used to make. All these meat-based kofte recipes I browsed online had stuff like ginger, cinnamon and lots of cumin. I love all that stuff, so I threw it on in.
The result was kind of falafel-ish, but honestly, better. All those spices make it delicious! Also, and this is why I'm sharing this recipe right before a big grilling holiday weekend, they're on sticks. Grill friendly, though I cooked mine in the oven, in typical me fashion. (I do hope to break out the grill soon, but yesterday was seriously the first remotely warm day of the year where I live.)
Turkish Style Vegan Kofte Kebabs
- 1-14 oz. can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 small onion coarsely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp. gound flaxseed
- ¼ cup fresh parsley loosely packed
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. ground coriander
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 ½ tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 small zucchini cut into large chunks
- 1 medium red bell pepper cut into large chunks
- 1 to 2 tbsp. olive oil
- pita bread
- hummus tahini or vegan tzatziki sauce
- hot sauce
Preheat oven to 450°. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
Place chickpeas, panko, onion, garlic, flaxseed, parsley, cumin, coriander, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, soy sauce and lemon into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped and well mixed, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Taste test and adjust seasonings as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste and pulse a few more times to incorporate.
Roll an eighth of chickpea mixture into about a nugget or cylinder shape (see photos). Place on a skewer. Repeat with remaining mixture, placing two koftes on each skewer. You should have four skewers total. Place a few veggies on each skewer.
Arrange skewers on oiled baking sheet, and if you have any leftover veggies, simply arrange them on the baking sheet alongside skewers. Brush koftes and veggies generously with olive oil. Bake about 15 minutes, turning halfway through cook time, until koftes and veggies are browned in spots.
Serve over pita bread with hummus, tahini or vegan tzatziki sauce. Dress with a little hot sauce, if you'd like.
If you cook these on the grill, I recommend placing a layer of foil under them, just in case some of your koftes break apart.