This tutorial is all you need to make the BEST authentic Kofta kebab recipe. Grilled kofta (or kefta) are skewers of ground beef and lamb mixed with fresh parsley, onions, garlic and warm Middle Eastern spices! These kabobs will feed a crowd and there are many sides and salads you can serve alongside (lots of ideas at the bottom of this post). And be sure to watch the video and the step-by-step tutorial! 

Kofta Kebabs served on a platter with tomato wedges and pita bread

Watch the video for how to make these Kofta Kebabs

The Middle East boasts a few signature foods: vegan-friendly falafel; shawarma; and of course, kabobs of all sorts, including kofta!

What is Kofta or Kefta?

Let's chat kofta kebabs. The word kofta (or kefta) has its origins in Persian, and it means grounded or pounded. You can have meat kofta, seafood kofta or even a vegetarian kofta.

But today's kofta kebab recipe is one of the more popular dishes in Egypt--a mixture of ground beef and lamb, blended with onions, garlic, parsley and a few of my favorite Middle Eastern spices including, allspice, cardamom, sumac, and nutmeg. Flavor heaven! In fact, I use a similar spice blend to make meatballs with hummus, or marinated salmon depending on my mood.

Grilled Kebabs with a side of pita bread, garnished with fresh parsley

My earliest memory of kofta kebab goes back to my elementary school days and a place called Abdu Kofta, a family-owned restaurant near Port Said's boardwalk.

The place was iconic and known for it's delicious kofta kebabs, heavy on the spice and cooked over open fire till perfectly charred.

Close-up of spices on Kofta Kebab

There are more than a dozen ways to prepare kofta kebab. This kofta kabab recipe is easy and fairly authentic. It is my best rendition of Abdu Kofta's; and a tribute to Port Said, my Mediterranean hometown.

Let me show you step-by-step how easy it is to make kofta (Kefta), and I have a bunch of ideas below for what you can serve along.

Step-by-Step for this Grilled Kofta Recipe:

*Note: If you're using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them for 30 minutes to 1 hour before using so they don't catch on fire.1. Chop onions garlic and parsley in food processor.

Onions, garlic and parsley chopped in food processor

2. Now, add ground beef, lamb, bread (make sure to squeeze out any water out of the bread), and spices. Run processor. Scrape sides of processor and run again until the meat mixture is well combined.

Meat Mixture for Kofta Kebab Recipe

3. Remove the meat mixture from the food processor and place in a large bowl.  Take a fistful portion of the meat mixture and mold it on a wooden skewer. Repeat the process until you have run out of meat.

Molding meat mixture onto wooden skewers for kofta kebabs

3. b) Be sure each kofta kebab is about 1 inch in thickness, this is best for grilling. Lay the kofta kebabs on a tray lined with parchment paper for now.

Raw kofta kebabs assembled on tray before grilling

4. Place kofta kebabs on the lightly oiled, heated gas grill. Grill over medium-high heat for 4 minutes on one side, turn over and grill for another 3-4 minutes (total of 7-8 minutes.)

Kofta kebabs on grill

5. Serve the kofta kebabs immediately with pita bread, tahini and fixings (tomato wedges, onions, more parsley) and other sides you prepared (see ideas just below!)

Kofta with a side of tomatoes, tahini and pita

What to Serve Along Kofta (Kefta)? 

These kofta kebabs are a big crowd pleaser, and you can easily turn them into a big Mediterranean picnic by adding a few sides and salads. The possibilities of what to serve alongside kofta kebabs (or kabobs) are endless! Here are just a few thoughts..

Salads: Fattoush; Tabouli; 3-Ingredient Mediterranean Salad; or this Fresh Tomato Salad.

Sauces and Dips: Tahini Sauce, Creamy Hummus, or Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Sides: Mediterranean Grilled Vegetables; Spicy Skillet Potatoes (Batata Harra); Lebanese Rice; Roasted Eggplant; Persian Rice With Potato Tahdig

Similar Recipes to Try:

Greek Lamb Burgers

Mediterranean Chicken Kabobs

Salmon Kabobs

Loaded Lebanese Rice: Hashweh

SHOP OUR ONLINE STORE FOR QUALITY OLIVE OILS, ALL-NATURAL SPICES AND MORE.

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Kofta kebabs on grill

Kofta Kebab Recipe


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.8 from 55 reviews

Description

A must-try authentic Kofta kebab recipe: ground beef and lamb mixed with fresh parsley, onions, garlic and Middle Eastern spices. Add some Mediterranean sides and salads for your next picnic! (Ideas and video in post above)


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 medium yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 whole bunch parsley, stems removed (about 2 packed cups parsley leaves)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ lb ground lamb
  • 1 slice of bread, toasted until browned and soaked in water until fully tender
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground green cardamom
  • ½ tsp ground sumac
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • Pita bread to serve

For the Fixings:


Instructions

  1. Soak 10 wooden skewers in water for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from water when you are ready to begin. Lightly oil the grates of a gas grill and preheat it to medium-high for about 20 minutes.
  2. Prepare pita bread and fixings. If you plan to, make the tahini sauce from this recipe. Prepare other sides and salads before you begin grilling.
  3. In a food processor, chop the onion, garlic, and parsley.
  4. Add the beef, lamb, bread (be sure to squeeze out the water completely), and the spices. Run the processor until all is well combined forming a pasty meat mixture.
  5. Remove the meat mixture from the food processor and place in a large bowl. Take a fistful portion of the meat mixture and mold it on a wooden skewer. Repeat the process until you have run out of meat. For best results, make sure each kofta kebab is about 1 inch in thickness.
  6. Lay the skewered kofta kebabs on a tray lined with parchment paper
  7. Place the kofta kebabs on the lightly oiled, heated gas grill. Grill on medium-high heat for 4 minutes on one side, turn over and grill for another 3-4 minutes.
  8. Serve the kofta kebabs immediately with pita bread, tahini and the fixings you prepared. See suggestions for sides and related recipes.

Notes

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 8 mins
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
Kofta Kebab Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. Authentic kofta kebabs with ground beef and lamb, garlic, onions, fresh parsley and warm Middle Eastern spices. See the step-by-step tutorial on The Mediterranean Dish.

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. Kamloops Foodie says:

    I truly can't understand how this recipe got almost 5 stars. I followed the recipe, even used a bit less meat but used all of the spices with the amounts stated. They were bland, like really bland! Even the salt I added wasn't enough and I was worried I'd over salt this. Maybe next time I need to double the spices and salt? Or maybe just try another recipe. I've been following the Mediterranean dish on Facebook for a long time and I finally made my first recipe. It was Meh!

  2. Rosemarie Carr says:

    These are so good!!! Everyone loved them!!!

  3. Lubka says:

    I made these tonight and they were perfect.
    I cooked them in airfryer for 10 min, turned once for last 3.
    Thank you so much!






  4. Josephine says:

    Love you recipes! Brings me back home. My family is from a small town near Palermo Sicily!

    1. TMD Team says:

      Awww! We love to hear that, Josephine!

  5. Cat says:

    These are AMAZING. I was unsure about how the spices would turn out as I've never used some of them for savory meat recipes, and WOW.

    Moist, flavorful, and delicious!






    1. TMD Team says:

      So happy to hear they were a hit for you!!! Thanks for the great review!

  6. Brian says:

    We made this recipe on the grill and it was amazing! The only problem is that they can fall apart a bit as they cook. Also the shape makes them a bit difficult to flip. You should make sure your grill is oiled or rubbed with an onion. Might be a good idea to chill them in the fridge for a while before you put them on the heat.






  7. Mike says:

    I’m confused on the comment to squeeze the bread. Am I supposed to soak the bread in milk or water before placing in the food processor?

    Love your recipes, I made the cucumber and tomato salad yesterday for dinner along with spiced beef hummus.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Mike! Yes... you'll need 1 slice of bread, toasted until browned and soaked in water until fully tender for this recipe. Hope you enjoy it!

  8. Talar says:

    Can i use ground turkey instead?

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Talar! You can! Ground turkey does not have as much fat, so it does help to add something, like and egg, to bind the mixture. You can use our chicken kofta recipe as a guide here, as it's pretty similar to ground turkey.

  9. Eileen says:

    Making this for supper! I am pre-making the meat and putting it in the fridge. I plan on shaping them later. I I thought that it might be OK to let the flavors blend. I was wondering is it better to shape the meat while it’s cool or should I warm it up on the counter first? Thank you. Love your recipes!

    1. TMD Team says:

      Either way will work fine here, Eileen! Hope you enjoy the kebabs!

  10. Dawn says:

    I've made this several times for our daughter, who is vegetarian. I use Impossible meat instead of the lamb, and keep all the other ingredients the same. My daughter absolutely loves this, and her friends, who are not vegetarian, loved these as well. Can you bake these in the oven instead of grilling?

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Dawn. I'm not sure if this will work with Impossible Meat, but regular kofta kebabs can absolutely be baked, so it might be worth a try! You would just use the meat mixture from this recipe, but follow the directions for forming the kofta and baking in the baked kofta recipe here if you like.

  11. Martin says:

    Too much onion; too much parsley; way too wet for the grill. A mistake to put the meat in the food processor. I followed this recipe even though I knew it wasn’t going to work.






    1. Sonia says:

      Same effect for me - it was delicious though even though it did not hold - any thoughts on how to make the kebab hold?

      1. TMD Team says:

        Hi, Sonia. You could try using an egg to help bind the mixture. We do that with our chicken kofta recipe and find it helpful. Also, be sure not to overmix.

  12. Arti says:

    I wanted to make the kebabs for a large group coming next week.
    Can I make the mixture & freeze it.
    Then defrost & roll them onto skewers & BBQ them.
    Yr thoughts

  13. Asia says:

    So yummy <3






  14. Joe says:

    I bought some Kebsa spice blend from Ziyad. Is this a blend of the recipie spices?
    It states "Spices, Paprika", so I'm not sure, but It smells fantastic! If you think it is similar Suzy, how much should it put into the mixture for a double batch? Thanks!!!

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Joe. I don't think that is quite the same spice blend as called for in this recipe, although it certainly sounds delicious!