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Kafta Kebabs

Nothing beats the taste of grilled beef Kafta Kebabs. This easy Lebanese recipe made with ground beef requires only a handful of basic ingredients and is a summertime favourite.

Grilled Kafta Kebabs on platter.

Grilled Kafta is often on my menu during the summer season. Not only because it's so simple and easy to make but because the flavour of beef, onion, spices and fresh parsley is amazing together. The smell of the kebabs cooking on the barbecue is sure to have you salivating in anticipation of your first bite.

Kafta Kebabs on the grill.

Ingredients

Kafta Kebabs are popular throughout the Middle-East. They are most often made with lamb or beef, but they can also be made with ground turkey or chicken. This is one of those recipes where it takes only a handful of basic ingredients to obtain a delicious flavourful dish. To make this recipe you'll need:

  • Ground beef. Preferably lean beef. There needs to be some fat in the meat for moist and juicy kebabs. Extra-lean beef will produce drier kebabs and they won't be as tasty.
  • One medium yellow onion.
  • Fresh parsley, either flat-leaf or curly parsley.
  • Salt, pepper, cayenne and seven spices. Seven spices is a blend of flavourful spices often used in Middle-Eastern cooking. You can find the pre-mixed spice blend in Middle-Eastern food stores.

How to Make it

If you are using wood skewers for grilling they'll need to be soaked for about half an hour so they don't catch fire and burn.

To make the kebabs, peel the onion and quarter it. Wash the parsley thoroughly and pat it dry to remove the excess water.

Place quartered onion and parsley in the bowl of your food processor and process until finely chopped.

Add the ground beef, the spices and the finely chopped parsley and onion mixture to a large bowl. Mix the ingredients thoroughly. I like to use my hands to combine everything really well.

Collage of two pictures. The first one is picture of chopped parsley and onion in the food processor bowl. The second is a bowl of ground beef mixed with parsley, onion and spices.

To form the kebabs, take some of the mixture with your hands and mold it around the skewer. The meat around the skewer should be about an inch to an inch and a half thick. Repeat until you have used up all of the kafta mixture.

Raw Kafta Kebabs on platter.

If you're not using skewers, shape the kafta into patties that are about an inch thick. You can shape them into round patties and enjoy them as Kafta burgers or into the more traditional oval patties.

Prepare your charcoal or gas grill. If using a gas grill, preheat it to medium-high and brush the grill with oil. Place skewers of kafta on the grill. Cook one side for about 4 minutes before turning it over and cooking for another 4 minutes or until the meat is cooked through.

For juicy kebabs, it's important not to overcook them, if you're unsure if they are cooked, just cut a piece off of one and check the inside of the kebab.

Plate of grilled Kafta served with hummus and  Lebanese potato salad.

If you don't own a grill or prefer to bake them in the oven, Kafta can be baked in a 375ºF oven for approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until the meat is cooked through. Larger and thicker patties will take longer to cook so you should check them for doness before serving.

What to Serve it With

Serve the Kafta Kebabs with fresh pita bread, hummus and salad. Some of my favourite salads to serve with grilled Kafta are Tabbouleh, Fattoush and this Mediterranean Pasta Salad.

Leftover Kafta can be refrigerated for up to 3 to 4 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Defrost it overnight in the refrigerator and heat before serving.

Plate of grilled beef kebabs served with potato salad.

Kafta is also low in carbs so it's a great option for those on low carb and keto diets. Enjoy!

More Lebanese Recipes to Try

If you make this recipe let me know how it went for you in the comment section below. I'd love to know if you made any variations to the recipe and how it worked out. And if you take a picture, share it with me on Instagram by tagging #sweetandsavourypursuits, I love to see your photos!

Grilled Kafta Kebabs on platter.

Kafta Kebabs

Nothing beats the taste of grilled beef Kafta Kebabs. This easy Lebanese recipe requires only a handful of basic ingredients and is a summertime favourite.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Total Time 23 mins
Course Main, Main Course
Cuisine Lebanese, Middle-Eastern
Servings 5 people
Calories 178 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 medium yellow onion quartered
  • 1 cup fresh parsley washed and patted dry
  • 600 grams ground beef lean
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon seven spice pre-mixed spice blend
  • teaspoon cayenne more to taste

Instructions
 

  • In the bowl of your food processor, add quartered onion and fresh parsley. Process by pulsing the ingredients until finely chopped.
  • To a medium bowl, add ground beef, finely chopped parsley and onion mixture, and all of the spices. Using your hands mix the ingredients thoroughly.
  • To form the kebabs, take some of the mixture with your hands and mold it around the skewer. The meat around the skewer should be about an inch to an inch and a half thick.
  • Prepare your charcoal or gas grill. If using a gas grill, preheat it to medium-high and brush the grill with oil. Place skewers of kafta on the grill. Cook one side for about 4 minutes before turning it over and cooking for another 4 minutes or until the meat is cooked through.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

  1. If using wood skewers, soak skewers in water for half an hour before using. 
  2. Seven spice is a spice blend commonly used in Middle Eastern recipes. It can be purchased in Middle-Eastern markets. If you can't find seven spice, a good substitute is allspice.
  3. If you’re not using skewers, shape Kafta into patties that are about an inch thick. You can shape them into round patties and enjoy them as Kafta burgers or into the more traditional oval patties.
  4. If you don’t own a grill or prefer to bake them in the oven, Kafta can be baked in a 375ºF oven for approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until the meat is cooked through. Larger and thicker patties will take longer to cook so you should always check them for doneness before serving.
  5. Leftover Kafta can be refrigerated for up to 3 to 4 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Defrost it overnight in the refrigerator and heat before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 178kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 26gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 554mgPotassium: 514mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1061IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Beef Kebabs, Grilled Kafta, Grilled Kebobs, Kafta Kebabs, Kafta Skewers, Kofta Kebabs
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