Simply Lebanese

Kafta

Grilled Kafta
  • Prep Time
    30 mins
  • Cook Time
    15 mins
  • Serving
    4
Kafta is a Lebanese version of a kebob often grilled in the summertime but, also can be made indoors in quite a few dishes. 
Grilled Kafta

Kafta is a Lebanese kabob made with ground beef, parsley, onions and some spices. This dish can be eaten raw which is very popular in Lebanon, or cooked (grilled or sautéed).

What is Kafta?

Kafta is a Lebanese kebab or meatball made up of only four ingredients. It is very popular with slight variations, throughout all of the Middle East. In Lebanon, we know it as kafta, but in other parts of the Middle-East, it is more known as kofta. This Lebanese version is made up of ground beef, finely chopped parsley, chopped onions and a spice blend (7 spices, salt and pepper.)

There are so many delicious ways to cook this meatball, and to incorporate it into dishes. One very popular Lebanese dish is kafta bi soneye (kafta casserole),in which the meatballs are baked with potatoes, and other vegetables in a red sauce and served with white rice.

In todays recipe, I am going to share with you how the basic kafta recipe is made. Kafta can be prepared ahead of time and frozen raw to cook at a late date. It freezes well for up to 3 months. 

Sautéed vs. Grilled

In this recipe, I have included directions on how to both sauté the kafta in a skillet and how to grill it on both an outdoors or indoors grill. Grilled kafta is a staple at any Arab summer barbecue, along with shish tawouk, and meat shish kebab. The meatball mixture is shaped onto a wooden or metal skewer. They can also be shaped into 1-1.5 inch thick fingers without skewers and grilled for about 4 minutes on each side, until cooked through.

To sauté them in a skillet, I like to shape them into about 4-5 inch long fingers, or mini patties. I sauté them with a little bit of oil for about eight minutes or so, until cooked through. I add thickly sliced onions and tomatoes to the kafta before it is fully cooked, and sauté until tender.

Kafta is delicious served with hummus, fattoush or tabbouli, rice or pita bread.

Grilling Method:

Grill on medium heat for 7-10 minutes. Make sure to keep flipping to get grill marks on all sides.

Grilled Kafta

STEP 1

Finely chop a medium/large onion and ½ bunch of parsley.

STEP 2

Put the ground beef in a large bowl for mixing. Add chopped onion, parsley, 7 Spices, and remaining ingredients. Mix well using hands.

STEP 3

Form kafta into patties or fingers.

Kafta

Skillet Method

If cooking in a skillet, sauté in a large skillet on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Flip the kafta over and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the kafta and a large sliced onion and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes until the onion is tender. Lastly, add a sliced tomato and cook for a few more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Check out the video below!

Grilled Kafta

Kafta

Kafta is a Lebanese version of a kebob often grilled in the summertime but, also can be made indoors in quite a few dishes. 
4.64 from 30 votes
Print Rate
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Lebanese
Keyword: grilled kafta, kafta
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 People
Calories: 315kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1 cup Chopped Onions
  • ½ bunch Parsley
  • 2 tsp. 7 Spices
  • tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 tb. Vegetable Oil

Instructions

  • Finely chop a medium/large onion and ½ bunch of parsley.
  • Put the ground beef in a large bowl for mixing. Add chopped onion, parsley and remaining ingredients. Mix well using hands.
  • Form Kafta into patties or fingers.
  • If grilling, grill on medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Make sure to keep flipping the kafta to get grill marks on all sides.
  • If cooking in a skillet, Saute in a large skillet on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Flip the Kafta over and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the Kafta and a large sliced onion and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes until the onion is tender. Lastly, add a sliced tomato and cook for a few more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 800mg | Potassium: 438mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 618IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 3mg

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    Recipe Reviews

    • Elvis

      5 stars
      Excellent genuine Lebanese recipe!!! Bravo!!!

      • Iman

        Thank you so much!

    • Elie

      Hi Iman,
      When making kafta “fingers” how many fingers to get from 1lb of meat? Thanks! Elie

      • Iman

        Not sure to be honest, depends on how big you are making them! Maybe 15-20? But it should be enough for 4 people.

        • Elvis

          5 stars
          Each skewer should be 100g exactly!!! So a 1lb of beef with onions and parsley should make 8 skewers or fingers of 100g each.

    • Deanna

      5 stars
      I can’t speak to the authenticity, as this is my first time making anything Lebanese, but these were fantastic. I forgot the oil, but they didn’t seem to suffer for it. I made my own 7 spice using the linked recipe. I was a little hesitant about all the spice, as it was a family meal and the age range was 9-55. Everyone enjoyed it!!! I’ll definitely make it again. We served it in pita bread, as I saw recommended (somewhere?), thus I felt it needed a sauce. I used a Greek yogurt cucumber sauce…I know I probably crossed some authenticity lines with that, but it was all delicious.

    • AM

      Hi Iman, I just came across all of your wonderful recipes, and I’m looking forward to trying many! I was looking for Lebanese recipes to make for my boys and it seems I hit the jackpot. Thanks! – AM

      • Iman

        Kafta is always a delicious option! Hope you enjoy them!

    • Mihaela

      Which are the 7 spices and in what quantities?

      • Iman

        Seven spices is a very popular Lebanese spice blend. It can purchased at Middle-eastern grocery stores or you can make the blend at home! I have a post with all the spices and quantities listed below–
        https://www.simplyleb.com/seven-spices/

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