Dinner with Shann

Middle-eastern inspired lamb kofta meatballs with quinoa salad and tzatziki

Yield: Serves 5

This recipe originated from earlier in the year when I was living in Canberra. My darling housemate prepared me the most amazing dinner, which incorporated this quinoa salad with lamb backstrap and tzatziki. I have modified the recipe slightly by substituting the backstrap for lamb kofta meatballs, because I find that it is more affordable and a great option when you’re entertaining guests…but still absolutely delicious!

Thanks so much for the recipe inspiration Claire!


For the koftas

  • 800g lamb mince
  • 1 tbsp. dried thyme (or 2 tbsp fresh)
  • ½ tbsp. ground chilli
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1½ tsp. sumac
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. chilli flakes
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced (green part only for low FODMAP)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic oil
  • 1 egg

For the salad

  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 4 spring onions, finely diced (green part only for low FODMAP)
  • 2 tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 100g pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • Large handful mint, chopped
  • Large handful coriander, chopped
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Garlic oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the tzatziki

  • 300g greek yoghurt (If you are lactose intolerant try using chobani plain greek yoghurt, which has less than 5% lactose)
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and finely diced
  • A small bunch of mint, finely chopped
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • A splash or two of garlic oil
  • Salt and pepper


  • Pita bread (or spelt wraps if you’re okay with spelt, otherwise this recipe is fine without any bread)

Please note: Some of the recipes on this website are not strictly low FODMAP, please be mindful of your own tolerances and refer here for more detailed information.


  1. Combine the lamb mince, spices, lemon zest, salt and pepper, egg and a splash of garlic oil. Mix together well – using your hands is best!
  2. Cook a small sample ‘tester’ of the lamb mixture in a pan, over medium heat. Have a taste and see how you like it. Usually at this point I might decide it needs more seasoning, more garlic oil or a touch more spice. It’s up to you!
  3. Once you’re happy with the taste, wet your hands and start rolling your kofta meatballs – wetting your hands makes it easier to roll the meat without it sticking to your hands! I make them round because they are more appealing to the eye, and easier to shape. Don’t make them too much larger than a golf ball.
  4. Now move onto prepping the salad. Combine the cooked and cooled quinoa with the spring onions, tomatoes, carrot, pine nuts, coriander, mint, lemon juice, salt and pepper and garlic oil. At this point, taste the salad and see what you think. Does it need more bite? Add lemon. Does it need more seasoning? Add salt and pepper. Adjust to suit your own tastes.
  5. Prepare the tzatziki by combining the yoghurt, cucumber, mint, lemon juice and garlic oil. Season to taste.
  6. Warm your pita bread or spelt variations in the oven, whilst you get onto cooking the koftas.
  7. Cook the koftas in a heavy bottomed saucepan over a medium heat. Fry on each side for 3 or so minutes until nice and golden. They will be ready when slightly pink in the middle and golden on the outside.
  8. Serve the pita bread, salad, tzatziki and koftas all together and be happy! What a good meal!

Shann’s tips:

  • For a healthy alternative, try grilling the koftas in the oven. In the past I have created foil ‘boats’ for the meatballs, and cooked them in an oven at 180 degrees for approximately 15-20 minutes (or until golden brown and cooked through).
  • Make sure you test the lamb mixture, by cooking a ‘tester’, before rolling into kofta meatballs. This will ensure you have the seasoning just right!
  • This recipe is all about taste – modify the seasonings and spices as you see fit.
  • As I mentioned in the description above, this recipe is also fantastic if you substitute the lamb koftas for lamb backstrap.

Dj’s verdict:
“Amazing flavours and healthiness aside, resist the urge to eat these too quickly because chest pains will follow. I think Shann has been cheating on me, because I didn’t know she had any middle-eastern in her!”

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  1. YUM, thank you for sharing going to make these :)

  2. […] all the low FODMAP recipes that I find, adapt and create. My favourite dish at the moment is these lamb kofta meatballs with quinoa salad and tzatziki . I really love creating and adapting dishes that ordinarily I couldn’t order when I’m at a […]

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