Vegan Koftes With Savoury Rice &A Minty Soya Yoghurt [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 3-4
Prep: 30 mins
Baking Time: 20-30 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Grater, serving plate(s), clean tea towel, chopping board, sharp knife, colander, non-stick frying pan, frying spatula, food processor, silicone spatula, mixing bowl, 6 metal or wooden skewers, baking tray, parchment paper, small non-stick pot w/lid (for rice), large serving dish
Recipe adapted from: Jamie Oliver

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & K, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, no added sugars and is low in added salt and fats!

Firstly, we would like to thank Jamie for this great recipe! 

Classic koftes (which include various and many!) are typically made with ground meat, spices, onion and some sort of binding agent such as, bulgur wheat, bread crumbs or rice. Apart from containing meat, this recipe tries to use the same principles. It’s one of the many creative recipes that has come out of Jamie’s kitchen!

This recipe is easy to follow and tastes delicious! It’s also great to see chefs inspiring people to cook healthy and delicious recipes (that also happen to be vegan!); great recipes don’t always need to include butter, cream, milk or loads of salt! These types of recipes also help to break down the stigma that surrounds vegan foods; it’s a great example that supports the argument that vegan foods are not boring, bland, or gross! Thanks Jamie! 

We prepared his recipe once before (last Christmas…when we also trialled his ‘vegan nut roast‘!) to the letter! However, we’re not big fans of shallow/pan frying (and we’re pretty sure trying to pan fry these beauties with low-fat cooking oil just wouldn’t cut it in this case!), nor do we love using coconut products. So we have adapted some of the ingredients along with the preparation and cooking methods used this time around.

When we make these koftes again, we will probably also add some chopped mint into the kofte mixture and use a bit more spinach.

We think that this recipe could be used to make ‘baked falafels’- especially if you are short on time. Check out our falafel recipe for similar preparation instructions! 

Whether these are incorporated into your main meal or used as a quick snack, we would thoroughly recommend them and hope they make you as happy as they did us.

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂


Ingredients..check! Let’s start cooking!




Nutritional Info (Koftes only)




 Wash, trim the ends and coarsely grate the courgette.

…Or ‘zucchini’ for everyone in North America!



Take another serving plate and place a clean dish cloth over it.



Place the courgette into the middle of the cloth. Sprinkle it with some salt. Gather and bunch the cloth together. Leave it for about five mins; the salt will help draw out some of the moisture from the courgette.



In the meantime, peel and dice the onion and garlic. Wash, peel and coarsely grate the ginger.



Meanwhile, heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat. Spray with some low-fat cooking oil.



Over the sink, twist and squeeze the cloth to remove the excess moisture from the courgette.

Leave the courgette on the cloth until you need it.



Meanwhile, add the onion, garlic and ginger to the pan. Gently fry for 1-2 minutes or until softened. Remove from the heat. Allow it to cool slightly

Just be careful not to burn it!



In the meantime, place the bread into a toaster or under a heated oven grill; gently heat and until crispy and golden brown. Place the toast into a food processor. Blitz until breadcrumbs are achieved. Do not remove.



Meanwhile, open, drain and rinse the chickpeas. Wash and dry the coriander and the spinach. Wash and then zest half of the lemon.



Place the chickpeas, 4g ground cumin,4g  ground coriander and 2g sweet paprika into the food processor. Gently rip the fresh coriander into half and drop that in too! Season it to taste with some salt and black pepper.



Add the courgette, spinach and half of the quantity of the zest.



Pulse until chunky and smooth.

NB: You might have to use your spatula to press and move the mixture around one or two times whilst you pulse the mixture.



Remove and transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Divide the mixture into equal portions.

Annoyingly, we only had six skewers …other wise we would have made eight koftes!


Meanwhile, heat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Lightly spray it with some low-fat cooking oil. Get out six to eight cooking skewers (NB: We recommend using metal ones).


  • Take one portion and roll it on a clean work surface (or use your baking sheet) to form a long ‘sausage’ shape.
  • Slide the skewer into the centre of the kofte (lengthways); gently re-roll the kofte if the positioning of the skewer is not exact.
  • Leave the prepared kofte to one side of the baking tray. Repeat these steps until all of the mixture used been used.
  • Light spray them with some low-fat cooking oil. Place the baking tray onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for about 12 mins.

NB: If necessary, use lightly floured  or wet hands for this step.

NB: Some of our skewers initially poked out of the sides!



In the meantime, cook the rice according to the packet instructions.



Meanwhile, prepare the minty yoghurt! Wash, dry and remove the mint leaves off the stem; roughly chop. Wash, trim the ends and dice the cucumber. Add the mint and cucumber to a small bowl with the yoghurt. Add the lemon juice. Mix together. Taste and season as necessary.

The original recipe recommends removing and discarding the fleshy seeds, but we left them intact.



Meanwhile, remove the baking tray from the oven. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C/400°F. Using a palate knife or spatula, gently turn the koftes over. Respray with some low-fat cooking oil. Place the baking tray back into the oven. Bake for a further 15-17 mins or until lightly brown and firm to the touch. Remove. Leave them on the baking tray. Allow to cool slightly.

Turned, sprayed and ready for round two!

Through the magic of time- baked koftes! *We baked ours for a further 17 minutes.



In the meantime, prepare any other ingredients you want to include in the rice.

We used some leftover roasted vegetables along with some fresh ones! NB: We placed our tomatoes in a sieve to remove any excess water.



Transfer the cooked the rice into a large mixing bowl. Fluff the grains with a fork. Add the mint, coriander, tomatoes and the remaining zest. Mix together. Season it to taste with some salt and a few grinds of black pepper.



Serve warm. Now it’s decision time everyone! The serving style is up to you…but we went for the big, bold/sharing method!

 Follow our lead!

Transfer the rice into a large serving dish.

We also added a dish of low-fat houmous!


Add the remaining vegetables. Garnish with the radish, nuts and lemon wedges.


Top with the koftes…


Serve with minty yoghurt…


…and drizzle over some tahini sauce (if desired)!

As soon as the picnic season returns, this tray is going to be joining us in the park- there’s no doubt about that!! NB: You can make your own tahini sauce or buy a low-fat one (like us). Alternatively, try Jamie’s ‘nutty sauce’ in his original recipe! 🙂






Refrigerate any leftovers in resealable containers; ideally refrigerate any rice within an hour after cooking. Reheat and consume any rice within 1-2 days; the koftes and yoghurt are best consumed within 2-3 days.

NB: When reheating, always check to make sure the rice is steaming hot all the way through and do not reheat the rice more than once. 



If preferred…

  • As always, serve your meal with many, many vegetables!
  • Use a dried (and cooked) variety of chickpeas (or try some broad beans) instead!
  • Serve with some millet, couscous, quinoa, a warmed wholemeal or multi-grain pita or some tabbouleh instead of rice.
  • Replace the spinach for some wild rocket or steamed (and dried) kale!
  • Add some fresh green or red chilli to the kofte mixture… if you prefer things a little spicier!

11 thoughts on “Vegan Koftes With Savoury Rice &A Minty Soya Yoghurt [Vegan & Gluten Free]

  1. Ooo… that’s something I never thought of doing! 🙂 Now when my in-laws eat loads and loads of kofte (on picnics funny how you mentioned that) I’ll be able to join them! 🙂 🙂 🙂 This is such a big deal I think I have to make them… and link to your post … so those in (near &) far countries (in-laws)! can see them! 🙂 THANK YOU! 🙂


    1. Hi! Thanks for the lovely comments; we must thank Jamie too! We hope that you enjoy them. We tried his original recipe but aren’t great fans of frying vegan burgers etc. We seem to have lost spring, but hopefully the weather picks up again soon so that we can all have tasty picnics! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 I just got myself a new webbed frying pan that doesn’t need any fat and is amazingly non stick! It’s great for getting some quick colour before finishing off in the oven 🙂 Hopefully our picnic weather will be here soon! 🙂



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