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    Middle Eastern Kofta Kebab Recipe

    Published October 16, 2020. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This amazingly easy-to-make kofta kebab recipe is jam-packed with middle eastern seasonings and spices and seared to perfection.

    We are huge beef eaters in our house and always try to serve up some meat protein at every dinner.  If you are the same and are looking for some great ideas then see how to make my boeuf bourguignon or filet mignon recipe.

    beef kebabs on parchment paper with vegetables

    Kofta

    Throughout the Middle East, just about every country and region have their own version of Kofta with varying ingredients.  It may be called kefta, kifta, kafta, kofta, koobideh, or a myriad of other names.  While traditionally they are served more as meatballs, they are often spread out over a skewer and cooked over the open flame.

    Kofta is ground meat that is mixed with assorted spices, seasonings, onions, garlic, and parsley, or mint, and is then cooked until browned and cooked throughout.  While there are so many different recipes for kofta, here are some ingredients that are pretty universal for this recipe:

    • Ground Beef
    • Ground Lamb
    • Onions
    • Garlic
    • Parsley
    • Sumac
    • Allspice
    • Cardamom

    How to Make Kofta

    Follow along with these simple procedures to make this amazing Kofta Recipe:

    In a large bowl mix together the ground meat, onions, garlic, parsley, mint, sumac, allspice, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper, until combined and then refrigerate.

    mixing together beef kofta recipe in a bowl

    Form a large ball from the meat mixture and then shape it more into an oval and skewer it.

    forming a large ball of beef on top of a skewer

    Press the meat to cover the extent of the skewer and set aside.

    skewering beef kofta

    Cook on a hot grill (450° to 550° F) or on a griddle over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes per side or until browned and cooked throughout and serve.

    cooking a kofta kebab on a flat top grill

    Variations

    There are quite a few different versions of this recipe as I stated earlier, so I want you to know that there are no single “authentic” recipes out there.  Lebanese kofta looks different than Turkish kofta, although the concept is the same.  I write this to you to let you know that you have some leeway and get creative when making this.

    What to Serve it With

    Here are a few things that go excellent when serving up this kofta:

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: This recipe is meant to be eaten as soon as it is done cooking, but you can keep it warm for about an hour at low temperatures in the oven (165° F) before serving.

    How to Store: Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.  This will freeze well covered for up to 3 months.  Thaw for 1 day in the refrigerator before reheating.

    How to Reheat: Place directly on a hot grill (450° to 550° F) for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until hot.  You can also place it on a cookie sheet tray and bake in the oven at 350° for 6-8 minutes or until hot.  Likewise, you can heat it up in the microwave.

    Chef Billy Parisi

    chef notes + tips

    • If the meat starts to fall off the skewer when forming it to the skewer chill it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to help it tighten up.
    • For adding za’atar to your recipe, use 1 teaspoon per pound and replace it with all of the spices except salt and pepper.
    beef and lamb kofta kebab with tahini sauce and vegetables

    More Awesome Beef Recipes

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    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Video

    Middle Eastern Kofta Kebab Recipe

    5 from 3 votes
    This amazingly easy to make kofta kebab recipe is jam-packed with middle eastern seasonings and spices and seared to perfection.
    Servings: 8
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Mariniate Time: 30 minutes
    Total Time: 55 minutes

    Ingredients 

    • 2 ½ pounds ground sirloin
    • ½ pound ground lamb
    • 1 peeled small diced yellow onion
    • 5 finely minced garlic cloves
    • 1/3 cup finely minced parsley
    • 2 tablespoons finely minced mint
    • 1 tablespoon sumac
    • 1 teaspoon allspice
    • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
    • 1 tablespoon cumin
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1 tablespoon sea salt
    • ½ teaspoon ground pepper

    Instructions

    • Add all of the ingredients into a large bowl and thoroughly mix everything together until completely combined.
    • Place in the refrigerator covered for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
    • Remove the meat mixture and take out a large chunk and form it into a tight cylinder.
    • Skewer the meat cylinder and then press and pull it to fit a majority of the skewer. Repeat until all of the meat has been used.
    • Preheat your grill to 450° to 550° F or a griddle to medium-high heat.
    • Place the kofta kebabs right onto your grill or griddle and cook for 3-4 minutes or until very browned and cooked throughout.
    • Remove and serve.

    Notes

    Chef Notes:
    • Make-Ahead: This recipe is meant to be eaten as soon as it is done cooking, but you can keep it warm for about an hour at low temperatures in the oven (165° F) before serving.
    • How to Store: Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. This will freeze well covered for up to 3 months. Thaw for 1 day in the refrigerator before reheating.
    • How to Reheat: Place directly on a hot grill (450° to 550° F) for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until hot. You can also place it on a cookie sheet tray and bake in the oven at 350° for 6-8 minutes or until hot. Likewise, you can heat it up in the microwave.
    • If the meat starts to fall off the skewer when forming it to the skewer chill it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to help it tighten up.
     
    • For adding za’atar to your recipe, use 1 teaspoon per pound and replace it with all of the spices except salt and pepper.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 401kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 32gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 987mgPotassium: 549mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 396IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 4mg
    Course: entree, Main
    Cuisine: lebanese