Lentil Soutzkoukakia (Kofta) from Smyrna ★★★★1 review

These tender, lentil-based soutzoukakia (kofta) by Konstantinos of Beets Me are rich in flavour as well as nutrients. They can be served with either rice, mashed potatoes or fries, plus a side salad.

Serves 4 | Prep time: 15 mins + resting time | Cooking time: 25 mins


For the soutzoukakia

  • 240 g boiled lentils (approx. 115 g dried)
  • 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 4 Tbsp water
  • 100 g of walnuts
  • 70 g oats
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 230 g chopped portobello mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cloves garlic (pressed)
  • 1 Tbsp thyme
  • 1 – 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice powder
  • Black pepper
  • Oil for the pan

For the sauce

  • 1 onion grated
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 500 ml tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp iodised salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp allspice powder
  • 1/4 tsp clove powder
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • Black pepper


For the soutzoukakia

  1. Boil the lentils. When they are ready, set them aside. Mix the ground flaxseed with the water and set aside.
  2. Place a pan over medium heat. Once the pan is warm, add the walnuts. Stir every now and again until they are browned and release their aroma.
  3. Add the walnuts and oats to a blender and blend them until they become crumbs. We do not want them to be too fine!
  4. In the same pan where we roasted the walnuts, over medium heat, add a little olive oil then the onion. Sauté for 3 minutes and then add the chopped mushrooms. Sauté until they release their liquid. Then after the liquid evaporates, leave them for a few more minutes until they turn brown.
  5. In a large bowl add the boiled lentils, oats with the walnuts, mushrooms, the flaxseed mixture, the spices, the salt and the garlic. Mix very well with a ladle. Then knead very lightly with your hands (do not overdo it) as soon as we see that the mixture can start forming the kofta we stop. Leave the mixture in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  6. Then shape the soutzoukakia, which are traditionally an oval shape. In a non-stick pan over medium heat add olive oil or sunflower oil. Once warm, add the soutzoukakia one by one. Fry until they turn brown on all sides (about 3-4 minutes on each side). Take them out of the pan and leave them on a paper towel. Alternatively, bake them in a preheated oven at 200 C for about 25 minutes and halfway through, turn them on their other side.

For the sauce

  1. In the same pan used for the soutzoukakia, (wipe the pan a little) over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp olive oil. Once warm, add the onion and sauté until it turns brown. Add the garlic, stir in the cinnamon stick and sauté for another minute.
  2. Add the sauce, water and all the spices together with the molasses. Stir well and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
  3. Once the sauce has set, place the soutzoukakia in it and leave for 2-3 minutes on each side to cook together with the sauce. Alternatively, when the sauce is ready, remove from the heat and pour it onto the soutzoukakia on your plate.
  4. Serve with rice, mashed potatoes or french fries.


– If the soutzoukakia are too moist due to the lentils and mushrooms then you may need to add some more oats than what is mentioned in the recipe (from 10 to 30 g). You will be able to see it in the mixture, which we want to be relatively firm but not crumbly.

– To achieve the perfect texture, place them in the pan and then in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Then continue with the sauce.

– If you opt to place the soutzoukakia in the sauce and cook, then be careful not to overcook as they may crumble.

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Guest Blogger Konstantinos – Beets Me

Konstantinos is the owner and creator of the vegan food blog Beets Me. He started cooking at the very young age of 9. And though at first he followed a career at art and design his passion for cooking won him over. After going vegan back in 2008, he began experimenting with all the new ingredients he was learning about at the time and started working on new recipes or trying to veganize traditional Greek recipes. See all recipes by Konstantinos

Leave a Rating or Comment

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  • Silvia ★★★★
    26 August 2021

    How could I resist those scrumptious looking lentil balls! And this recipe does not disappoint as it is packed full of flavour. I made it with rice so I could soak up the tomato goodness.