Turkey Kibbe Kebabs with Two Sauces


Paula Wolfert learned this unusual dish from Burhan Cagda, the kebab expert of Gaziantep, Turkey. Bulgur mixed in with the ground meat makes the kebabs light and tender. The two sauces—one tangy, herbal and nutty and the other creamy and garlicky—play off the smoky kebabs and off each other as well. Slideshow: Incredible Kebab Recipes 

Turkey Kibbe Kebabs with Two Sauces
Photo: © James Baigrie
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
6 kebabs



  • 2 lemons

  • 3/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint

  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

  • Pinch of Aleppo pepper

Yogurt-Garlic Sauce

  • 2 cups plain low-fat Greek yogurt

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Turkey Kebabs

  • 1 pound ground turkey, dark meat

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

  • 1 cup medium-grade bulgur, rinsed and drained well

  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper

  • Warm pita bread, for serving


make the parsley, lemon and walnut sauce

  1. Using a sharp knife, cut the lemons into eighths and discard any seeds. Cut the lemon flesh from the peel and coarsely chop the flesh. Transfer to a small bowl and add the parsley, mint, walnuts, garlic, olive oil, water, salt and black and Aleppo peppers. Let stand for 1 hour.

meanwhile, make the yogurt-garlic sauce

  1. In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt with the water. Whisk in the parsley, garlic and salt. Let stand for 1 hour.

make the kebabs

  1. Light a grill or preheat the broiler. In a food processor, combine the ground turkey with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the bulgur, onion, flour, salt, black pepper, allspice, cumin and Aleppo pepper and process to a paste, about 30 seconds. Form the mixture into six 7-by-1 1/2-inch logs on metal skewers.

  2. Brush the kebabs with olive oil and grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Serve the kebabs with warm pita bread and the 2 sauces.

Make Ahead

The parsley sauce can be made up to 2 hours ahead. The yogurt sauce and formed turkey kebabs can be refrigerated overnight.

Suggested Pairing

Cranberry-scented, medium-bodied Pinot Noir.

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