Moroccan Kefta Kabobs
Juicy Moroccan Kefta Kabobs that come together in 30 minutes! It’s the perfect recipe for when you’re short on time but want a dinner that is far from short on flavor. The kabobs are packed with tons of fresh herbs and a Moroccan spice blend that takes this kefta to another world. Enjoy it with some rice, a salad, or even turn it into a wrap!
Growing up in an Arab household, I’d always here my mom says “Oh I can easily make this for us at home” when we’d go out to eat at places like In-N-Out. But instead of a basic American patty seasoned with just salt and black pepper, she’d make kefta, throw it in between two buns with some lettuce, cheese, and tomato, and call it a hamburger. I didn’t like it as a kid but now that I’m older, I definitely have more of an appreciation for it. I definitely won’t be making kefta as a hamburger but as kabobs – DEFINITELY!
How to Make the Kefta
Kefta is the easiest thing to make when you’re short on time. You can even season the ground beef a day in advance to really make this recipe easier.
The Ingredients Needed:
- lean ground beef
- dried mint
- spices: cumin, paprika, cumin, salt, black pepper, ginger, turmeric
Kefta is also commonly made with ground lamb so feel free to use either – both are delicious. The harissa also adds a nice beautiful flavor without making the kefta spicy. If you’d like the kefta to be spicy like merguez, add cayenne powder.
If you do not have dried mint, you can also leave it out but I love the refreshing note it adds, especially if you are using ground lamb.
Just add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix together well so everything is evenly marinated. Cover and transfer it to the fridge if you made it in advance. If not, it’s time to prep the skewers.
Preparing the Skewers
For the skewers, you can use metal ones or wooden. If using wooden, make sure to soak them in water for about 25 minutes so they don’t burn on the grill.
Using your hands, shape the meat onto the skewers. If you prefer them thick like I made them, shape them to be thicker. If you like them thin, use less meat on each skewer. Once all the skewers are assembled, it’s time to grill.
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Once it’s hot enough, make sure it’s oiled well so the kefta doesn’t stick. Then add the skewers and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, just until some nice grill marks show. Flip over and repeat until the skewers are charred all over and cooked in the center but still juicy. While they cook on the grill, I like to brush them with ghee for a nice rich flavor.
Take off heat once done and they’re ready to enjoy!
If you don’t have a BBQ, you can cook them on a cast iron grill pan for that signature grill mark look. That’s exactly what I did. Another option if you don’t have that is to skip the skewers and just make them in a pan.
You can also cook them on a tray in the oven at 450°F for about 10 to 12 minutes like in this recipe for oven-baked kefta.
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Moroccan Kefta Kabobs
Juicy Moroccan Kefta Kabobs that come together in 30 minutes! It's the perfect recipe for when you're short on time but want a dinner that is far from short on flavor. The kabobs are packed with tons of fresh herbs and a Moroccan spice blend that takes this kefta to another world. Enjoy it with some rice, a salad, or even turn it into a wrap!
- 1 pound lean ground beef or ground lamb
- 1/4 cup parsley finely chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped
- 1/4 cup yellow onion grated
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 to 2 tablespoons harissa
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
- ghee for basting
- vegetable oil for grill to prevent sticking
- To a bowl, add the ground meat with parsley, cilantro, onion, dried mint, cumin, paprika, salt, black pepper, harissa, turmeric, and ginger powder. Mix together until combined really well.
- Using your hands, shape the meat onto skewers. If using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them in water for about 25 minutes before so they don't burn. The thicker the kefta, the juicier it will be but if you like thinner kefta, you can make the kabobs skinnier.
- Preheat a grill over medium high heat. Make sure to grease the grill well with vegetable oil to prevent the kefta from sticking.
- Once the grill is hot, add the skewers. Grill on one side for about 3 to 4 minutes or until it has some nice marks and browning and then flip over and repeat. Cook until it's evenly browned but still juicy and cooked on the inside. Optional: brush with ghee as they cook on the grill for a more rich flavor.
- Take off the grill and enjoy warm with rice, salad, or in a wrap!
This is absolutely delicious!
I live with an Iranian and an Israeli chef. Both of them said it tasted just like home 💕
I had been told that it was difficult to master, in Iran its called ‘The Marriage dish’ as an inside joke, the idea is to master both the recipe (wife) and cooking (husband) within the first year.
This was my first attempt and it was mouthwatering. The grated onion seems to be such a key ingredient to keep it juicy and moist. I served with Persian rice and salad and it may have been my most favourite dish I’ve ever made 🤗
So good! I made it with lean ground turkey as a healthier alternative, however. Also, I didn’t have half the spices but it still tasted great. I also paired it with a Greek salad and tzatziki yogurt dip.
Made these with rice and lemon parmesan broccoli, suuuuuper yummy! I didn’t have harissa so I used some of my brother-in-laws homemade sriracha and it turned out great.
Really wonderful recipe. We have made it many times and it has become a regular addition to our dinner rotation.
Hi, This recipe looks delicious ?. Is there any substitute for harissa?
It’s a keeper my family enjoy your recipe everyone said i need to make it more often
Best part it was easy and quick ti make
Hi, can I know what’s harrisa??
I made this with ground lamb tonight – night – no sumac and no allspice. Awesome with your garlic naan!!❤️