Kefta Kabob (Ground Beef Kabobs)

5 from 4 votes

Ground beef kefta kabob are a classic grilled Moroccan dinner. Grilled up and served with creamy tahini yogurt sauce, this kefta recipe makes a quick, flavorful meal.

close up image of Moroccan kefta ground beef kabobs

What is Kefta?

Moroccan kefta is ground meat usually seasoned with shredded onion, Middle Eastern spices and fresh herbs. The Lebanese version is known as kafta, and other Middle Eastern countries call them kofta. It’s typically seasoned, ground (mince) meat formed into kabobs, meatballs and small patties. Ground chicken and lamb are also used for making kofta.

These seasoned meat skewers are easy to prepare and can be made ahead, so they’re perfect to cook up for both large gatherings and regular family meals.

If you’re not in the mood to grill, you can easily bake the skewers in the oven, or skip the kabobs and use the mixture to make kefta meatballs instead.

Moroccan kefta kabobs

Ingredient Notes and Substitutes

  • Ground meat
    To prevent the kefta from being too dry, be sure to use ground meat with a bit of fat in it. If you’ll be making ground beef kabobs, an 80/20 or 85/15 blend works the best. This provides enough fat to keep the meat juicy.

    My personal preference is to use a combination of ground beef and ground lamb, not only for the nice fat to protein ratio, but also for the additional flavor.
  • Fresh herbs
    Use fresh herbs rather than dried if at all possible; doing this adds so much extra flavor to the meat. I use a mixture of fresh Italian parsley (that’s the flat leaf variety), cilantro, and mint.
  • Breadcrumbs
    To keep the Moroccan kefta from falling apart, you need something to bind the ingredients together. This is what the breadcrumbs are for. I use unseasoned bread crumbs because there are plenty of spices in the meat.

    If you want to add a bit of texture, you can use panko crumbs instead of traditional bread crumbs.
ingredients in mixing bowls to make a kefta recipe

Tips for making ground beef kabobs

  1. Don’t overmix the meat mixture.
    Obviously, you want to blend and incorporate the ingredients together, but avoid overmixing. One easy way to do this is to combine the ingredients together using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or pulse them together with a food processor.

    Keeping your hands off of the meat as much as possible will help keep the kefta juicy.
  2. Chill the mixture before shaping.
    It’s important to refrigerate the meat mixture before you shape it onto the skewers. If the ground beef mixture is too warm, it will be much more difficult to keep it attached when you add them to the hot grill.

    Another tip for keeping the beef from falling off of the skewers is to dip your fingers into a little bit of water before you start shaping the mixture. The extra moisture will help keep everything in place.
  3. Preheat the grill.
    To get a nice sear and grill marks on the kabobs, be sure that your grill is thoroughly preheated.
uncooked mixture of ground beef and North African spices formed around metal kabobs

Kafta Recipe Video

To watch how to shape the kabobs and see the process of making the kefta recipe from start to finish, check out the video in the recipe card at the bottom of this post!

grilled ground beef kefta shaped around metal skewers

Serving Suggestions

When you’re ready to eat, there are a couple of different ways to serve the Moroccan kebabs.

Some people like to eat the meat right off of the skewer, but that can be dangerous, especially if your skewers are metal and/or have a sharp point on the end.

For ease (and safety), just slide the meat off of the skewers. They can be served over a bed of rice, Greek spanakorizo or Moroccan couscous, and they’re also delicious with shirazi salad or chopped veggie salad.

To eat them street food style, slip the beef kefta into warm pita bread. I like to serve them with tahini yogurt sauce or shatta sauce, and top them with diced tomato or some spicy lemon pickle.

Moroccan ground beef kabobs plated on metal skewers


Can Moroccan kefta kebabs be frozen?

After the meat is cooked and cooled, it can be frozen for up to 3 months. Just slide them off of the skewers and lay them flat on a sheet pan in the freezer until they’re partially frozen. Then, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and slip them into an airtight container or freezer storage bag.

What type of skewers are best for kabobs?

Either bamboo or metal skewers work well. If you’ll be using bamboo, be sure to soak them in water for a few minutes before using them. This keeps the wood moist, preventing it from catching fire while on the grill.

two ground beef skewers drizzled with yogurt sauce

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close up image of Moroccan kefta ground beef kabobs

Kefta Kabob (Ground Beef Kabobs)

5 from 4 votes
This classic grilled Moroccan kefta kabob combines ground beef, shredded onion and fresh herbs and spices served with creamy yogurt sauce. Make this kefta recipe for a quick, flavorful grilled meal.
Servings: 8
Prep: 18 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 28 minutes


Tahini Yogurt Sauce

Serving Options


  • Place the ground beef (and or lamb mix), red pepper flakes, salt, ground fennel, cumin and breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • In a food processor place the onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, mint and process until very finely chopped, scraping down sides of bowl.
  • Place in a fine mesh sieve and allow to drain excess liquid. Press with fingers or with back of spoon to extract.
  • Transfer mixture to bowl with the ground meats and mix by hands until evenly combined. Chill mixture at least 1 hour.
  • Make the Tahini Yogurt Sauce: Zest half of the lemon and then juice it. You need 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
  • In a bowl whisk together the yogurt, lemon zest and juice, mint, tahini, water, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Prepare grill at 450°F. Clean and lightly oil grill grates.


  • Divide meat mixture into 8 portions and form each portion into a 5”-long sausage shape. Insert a metal skewer lengthwise through each portion.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and grill, turning occasionally, until just cooked through, 8–10 minutes total.
  • Drizzle tahini yogurt sauce over kefta. Serve over couscous, tabouli salad or rice with warm pita bread and lemon wedges.



  1. I use a 80/20 ground beef if I mix it with ground lamb. So if you choose to add lamb, you would use 3/4 lb ground beef and 3/4 lb ground lamb total. 


Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 339mg | Potassium: 402mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1025IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 3mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: North African
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image (and shown on skewers): Moroccan Beef with Yogurt Dressing


I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars

    15 min convection oven (air fryer) at 400, flip at 8 min.. Likely hit temp sooner but wanted a little color

      1. Hi Kevin, Mary’s mom here. We cannot eat meat anymore. Do you think this delicious recipe could work by substituting lentils for the beef/lamb? Trust you and David are living your move to Oregon. Wishing you the best…Kay and Glen

        1. Interesting inquiry Kay. I have not tried to do that, but it’s worth investigating. Not quite sure how it would all hold together though (egg possibility?). If you do it, please let me know how it turns out. Thanks for stopping by and giving me the sister I always wanted! Mary’s the BEST. xoxo