A casserole dish full of log shaped Albanian beef Qofte Meatballs. Served alongside labneh, hummus, a village salad, and pickled vegetables.
Homemade Takeout, Mains

Albanian Qofte (Pan-Fried Meatballs)

After several years of tweaking my Albanian Qofte të Skuqura (Pan-Fried Meatball) recipe, I’ve finally found my forever recipe. My husband and I agree; it tastes juuuust right! 

I’ve watched Rez’s Nëne Vale make Qofte when we visit Albania and picked up on a few things. She uses dried mint and oregano but always fresh flat-leaf parsley, so I stuck with that combination. Takeaway: it must be fresh parsley, never dried.

She also taught me that it’s very important to grate the onion and reserve its juices, as opposed to finely dicing with a knife. This method adds a ton of moisture and flavor to the Qofte.

Take care not to over mix your meat mixture because over-mixing will result in a tough Qofte. They will feel a little wet when you roll them out but don’t add more breadcrumbs! They’re supposed to feel a little wet before you fry them.

Vuno, Albania; a quaint village I just adore.
The Albanian Riviera is a gem that’s not-so-hidden anymore.
Flying the drone above our villa in Qeparo, Albania. Can you spot me?
Rolling hills on our drive from Tirana to Sarande.
Tzatziki, grilled vegetables, qofte, and sliced cucumber & tomato.

What should I serve with Albanian Qofte? Check out some of my ideas below.
1. Labneh
2. Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini
3. Zucchini and Feta Fritters
4. Tzatziki
5. Dolmas with Meat
6. Whipped Feta with Roasted Tomatoes and Honey
7. Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Dip (Tirokafteri)
8. Lebanese Cabbage Salad (Salatet Malfouf)
9. Yogurt Dip with Fresh Herbs
10. Grilled Halloumi with Strawberry Salsa

A casserole dish full of log shaped Albanian beef Qofte Meatballs. Served alongside labneh, hummus, a village salad, and pickled vegetables.

Albanian Qofte (Pan-Fried Meatballs)

Sacha Hirschfeld
My forever recipe! I've sampled countless Albanian Qoftes and watched my husbands Nëne in action; this is my version after many times experimenting.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Marinating Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Mains
Cuisine Albanian, Mediterranean
Servings 6
Calories 365 kcal


  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 pair of tongs
  • 1 box grater


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ lb ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup white onion plus its juices; grated
  • cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup Italian parsley stems removed, packed, and chopped
  • 2 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper


  • Using a box grater, grate the onion into a bowl (juices included); set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients (including onion + its juices). Using clean hands, fold in the mixture until just combined. Don’t over-mix because it will result in a tough Qofte. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
    A stainless steel bowl filled with Albanian Qofte meat mixture.
  • Remove the meat mix from the fridge. Take about ¼ cup of meat in your hands and shape into patties or logs. I typically do small logs and then press down of them with a fork when I add them to the frying pan.
    A plate of freshly rolled out Albanian Qoftes.
  • Fry the Qofte in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until browned and slightly crispy, about 5 minutes. Turn the Qofte halfway through to ensure both sides are cooked evenly. Remove using tongs and place Qofte on a plate lined with paper towel.
    Albanian Qoftes cooking on two twin grill pans.


If you have a grill at home, feel free to cook on that. This version is tailored to apartment living. 
Keyword Balkans, Fresh Herbs, Meatballs, Pan-fried, Qofte të skuqura


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