RUSSIAN KOTLETI (with a healthy twist)

Russian cuisine and kotleti go hand in hand. (kotleta- singular, kotleti- plural)  Flavorful, tender, meaty deliciousness that comes in a  perfect tablespoon size... I can never stop myself at having just one and my kids, especially my 5 year old that loves all things meat and fish, asks for seconds...three times! 🙂 
Traditional recipes call for breadcrumbs or flour and milk to be added to your shopping list to make kotleti.  But, as fate has it, we do not follow original or traditional recipes that use wheat or milk so I spent countless hours in the kitchen trying to come up with a recipe that would be post worthy.  My first try at breadcrumb-less and flour-less kotleti ended up in a waste basket since the meat mixture decided to not stay in shape and just melted away into one giant...meat crepe? Fast forward several trips to the waste basket, and I finally got the best recipe that not only stays in place on your frying pan but is also full of vitamins and nutrients and will satisfy even the hungriest and pickiest eaters.  My claim has been validated on multiple fussy little boys and girls 🙂 
I like having dinner prepared early in the day so when the kids come home from school I can give them all my time and not spend time in the kitchen making dinner.  This recipe is perfect for that!  I can prepare and mix all the ingredients in the morning or the night before, allowing the flavors to marinate and marry and then shape and fry kotleti right before dinner.  They are also great reheated in the oven or frying pan with a teaspoon of ghee.  My kids often ask for them in their school lunches.  
Leeks are an excellent source of vitamin K, manganese, vitamin B6, copper, iron, folate and vitamin CCooked spinach is rich in vitamins A and E, zinc, thiamin, calcium and iron.  
Nutrition Facts
RUSSIAN KOTLETI (with a healthy twist)
Amount Per Serving (2 kotelti)
Calories 63 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 30mg10%
Sodium 28mg1%
Potassium 161mg5%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 675IU14%
Vitamin C 2.7mg3%
Calcium 14mg1%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Russian
Servings 24 kotleti
Calories 63 kcal


  • 2 lbs ground turkey organic
  • 1 egg organic, pasture-raised
  • 3 cups leeks white and light green parts sliced
  • 4 cups spinach organic
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 2 TBS ghee for frying
  • 1 bay leaf


  • Heat ghee in the frying pan. Cook sliced leeks in the frying pan on medium heat until soft and starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Add spinach to the frying pan with leeks.  Cook until spinach has wilted, or about 2 minutes. Set aside and let it cool.
  • Add meat and egg to the leeks-spinach mixture in the medium mixing bowl.  Season with salt and pepper and mix well. 
  • Heat ghee in the frying pan.  
  • Make meat oval shaped patties the size of a tablespoon with your hands.  (to prevent meat from sticking to your hands wet them under running water)
  • When ghee is hot add patties to the frying pan.  Cook 2-3 minutes on each side on medium high heat.
  • Add kotleti to a small pot with 1/2 cup of water and a bay leaf.
  • Sautee 4-5 minutes or until kotleti are cooked through completely.
  • Serve and enjoy!


Serving: 2koteltiCalories: 63kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 9gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 28mgPotassium: 161mgVitamin A: 675IUVitamin C: 2.7mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 0.7mg
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