Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Ready In45 mins
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.
Grill on medium heat for 7-10 minutes. Make sure to keep flipping to get grill marks on all sides.
Finely chop a medium/large onion and ½ bunch of parsley.
Form kafta into patties or fingers.
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!
- 1 lb. Ground Beef
- 1 cup Chopped Onions
- ½ bunch Parsley
- 2 tsp. Seven Spices
- 1½ tsp. Salt
- ½ tsp. Black Pepper
- 1 tb. Vegetable Oil
- 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.