Vegetarian Kofta Pitas with Plant-Based Meat and Yogurt-Tahini Sauce

Crispy lamb patties stuffed into pita have been pleasing eaters from the Mediterranean to the Middle East for centuries. This version trades lamb for plant-based “beef,” seasoned with tangy pomegranate molasses, fresh mint, and hot paprika to evoke the flavors of the classic. The plant-based meat mixture is somewhat loose; getting a good hard sear is the key to helping these patties stay together. A tangle of tart, sumac-tinted onions and a drizzle of tahini-laced yogurt sauce make these plant-based pitas a hearty and flavorful meal.

Plant-Based Kofta Recipe
Photo: Photo by Ellen Mary Cronin / Food and prop styling by Radin+Croney Collective
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
Servings:
4

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds plant-based ground “meat” (from two 12-ounce packages)

  • ½ cup finely chopped mint, plus more for serving

  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

  • 1 tablespoon hot paprika

  • 2 tablespoons finely grated red onion, plus 1 cup thinly sliced red onion

  • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated with a Microplane grater

  • 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt, divided

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt

  • 2 tablespoons tahini

  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • ½ teaspoon sumac (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • Warm pita bread and lemon wedges, for serving

Directions

  1. Stir together Impossible ground beef, mint, molasses, paprika, grated onion, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl until well combined. Shape mixture into 8 (1-inch-thick) oval patties and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

  2. Whisk together yogurt, tahini, and lemon juice in a small bowl until combined. Season with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and set aside. Place thinly sliced red onions in a single layer on a plate and sprinkle with sumac (if using); set aside.

  3. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Season patties evenly with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Add patties to skillet and cook, turning once, until lightly charred and a thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 140°F, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer patties to a platter. Serve kofta with pita, mint, lemon wedges, yogurt sauce, and sumac-dusted red onions.

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