Moroccan Ground Beef Kofta Kebab

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Prep Time
35 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Calories
215

Ground beef is blended with diced onions, minced garlic and a flavorful Middle Eastern spice mix in these tender pan-seared Kofta Kebabs. Serve them over rice with cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and tzatziki sauce for a dinner you’ll devour.

Smoky Moroccan Beef Kebabs

Nothing tops the moment you dig into a hearty meal that you’ve been daydreaming about for hours. Although this dish is quick to come together, you’ll be drooling over the mere thought of it long before you set up shop in the kitchen! No one can decline a tender kebab infused with warm, tangy, garlicky goodness.

With only 30 minutes required to marinate the meat, you’ll be shocked by the ease of this restaurant-quality entree. It’s just a matter of combining the beef mixture, shaping the kebabs, letting them rest in the fridge, then searing them to perfection. Prepare to fall in love as soon as you smell them cooking!

A close-up shot of Moroccan kabobs on a plate on top of a marble surface

What is Kofta?

Kefta, or kofta, is a classic Moroccan kebab that stars ground beef or lamb and a signature blend of seasonings. These include onion, cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon and more. Whether you eat your kefta straight from the skewer or incorporate it into a wrap, it’s sure to become a new staple for you.

Ground meat, minced garlic, finely diced onions and the rest of the kabob ingredients on a countertop

Recipe Ingredients

Let’s break down our trusty ingredient lineup for Moroccan kofta. Refer to the recipe card toward the end of this post for the exact amounts.

  • Ground Beef: Go ahead and swap this out for ground lamb if you’d like. You could even use a combination of both!
  • Yellow Onion: Finely diced.
  • Garlic: Freshly minced.
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Smoked Paprika: While traditional kefta uses sweet paprika, I personally love it with a smoky twist.
  • Sumac: You’ll likely find this in the spice aisle at your local grocery store, but if you can’t, try the Middle Eastern section of the international aisle.
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Oregano
A plate full of kefta, rice, cucumbers, tomato and tzatziki sauce

How to Make Moroccan Ground Beef Kofta

Feel free to wear food-safe gloves if you’d rather not handle the beef with your bare hands. A wooden spoon will work too, but I find it quicker and easier to combine the mixture by hand.

Combine Ingredients: Add the ground beef, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, sumac, salt, pepper, cinnamon and oregano to a large bowl. Use your hands or a wooden spoon to mix everything together until thoroughly combined.

Form Koftas: Divide the mixture into 8 even sections. Shape each portion into a long thick sausage, trying to keep the sizes consistent. Thread a bamboo skewer through each kefta and squeeze the meat mixture around it.

Chill: Place the kebabs into the fridge and let them “marinate” for 30 minutes.

Brush With Oil: Brush a small amount of oil onto each kofta.

Heat Pan: Heat a large grill pan or skillet to medium-high heat.

Four ground beef keftas cooking on a stovetop grill pan

Cook: Spray the hot pan with cooking oil and place the skewered beef onto the grill pan. Cook the kofta kebabs for 12-14 minutes, occasionally turning them so all sides cook evenly, until the meat has cooked through and browned.

Check for Doneness: Once your meat thermometer confirms that each kefta has reached 145°F, remove the kebabs from the grill.

Enjoy! Serve the kofta over rice with cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, Tzatziki Sauce, Hummus and Pickled Onions.

A plate of kefta on a marble kitchen countertop beside a bowl of tzatziki sauce

Tips for Success

Check out these tips and tricks before you start on that meat mixture – they’ll help you make flawless kebabs.

  • Don’t Pick the Leanest Meat: Although you can absolutely make these with lean ground beef, it’s better to go for something with a higher fat content. This will make for more tender, juicy kabobs.
  • Finely Ground Beef is Best: If you can find finely ground meat, definitely grab it and use it for your kefta. You could even get some specially ground beef at your local butcher shop.
  • Even Sizing is Key: Try to make all of your kebabs the same size. This will ensure that they cook at the same rate.
Kefta kabobs on a plate with rice, veggies, tzatziki and hummus

Serving Suggestions

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus is a heavenly partner for ground beef kefta, but you really can’t go wrong with any of your usual dipping sauces. I like to serve my kebabs alongside a Fattoush Salad or over a bed of rice with fresh veggies. Sometimes I’ll ditch the skewers, chop up the meat make pita wraps. Don’t be afraid to get creative – kofta is as versatile as it gets! Also, one of my favorite ways to add more protein is to serve it over a bed of RightRice Rice, it’s plant-based rice that has 10 grams of protein per serving!

Kefta kabobs on a plate with rice, veggies, tzatziki, pickled onions and fresh chopped herbs

Storage and Reheating

Once it has cooled, store any leftover beef in an airtight container in the fridge. Alternatively, keep it in a zip-top bag with the air removed. Enjoy your leftovers within 4 days, reheating them over medium-low heat until the meat is warmed through.

Can I Freeze Beef Kofta?

Sure! Place your cooled leftovers into a freezer-safe container or storage bag and freeze the kofta for up to 3 months. Thaw it out in the fridge before you reheat it.

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A plate of kefta on a marble kitchen countertop beside a bowl of tzatziki sauce

Moroccan Ground Beef Kofta Kebab

  • Author: Krista
  • prep_time Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • cook_time Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • total_time Total Time: 47 minutes
  • yield Yield: 8 1x
  • category Category: Dinner
  • method Method: Stove
  • cuisine Cuisine: Moroccan
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Ground beef is blended with diced onions, minced garlic and a flavorful Middle Eastern spice mix in these tender pan-seared Kofta Kebabs. Serve them over rice with cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and tzatziki sauce for a dinner you’ll devour.

Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano

Instructions

  1. To a large bowl add ground beef, onion, parsley, garlic clove, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, sumac, salt, pepper, cinnamon and oregano. 
  2. Using your hands or a wooden spoon, mix together until everything is thoroughly combined. 
  3. Divide the mixture into 8 even sections. Shape each portion into long thick sausages, try to keep them all the same size. Insert a bamboo skewer through each kefta and squeeze the meat around it. Repeat until done. 
  4. Place skewered kefta’s in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Brush a small amount of oil to each kefta.
  6. Heat a large grill pan or skillet to medium-high heat. Spray with cooking oil and place skewered keftas on grill pan.
  7. Cook for 12-14 minutes, occasionally turning to cook on all sides until meat has cooked through and browned on all sides.
  8. Once internal temperature has reached 145°F  remove from the grill.
  9. Serve over rice with cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, tzatziki, hummus and homemade pickled onions.

Notes

  • To Store & Reheat: Store cooled leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat over medium-low heat until meat is warmed through.
  • To Freeze: Freeze cooled leftovers in a freezer-safe container or storage bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 kofta kebab
  • Calories: 215
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Sodium: 373 mg
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 24 g
  • Cholesterol: 71 mg

Keywords: beef kofta, kefta kebab, beef kabob

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Hey There

Krista
Hi! I'm the recipe developer and food photographer behind all these easy healthy recipes! I love food, Jesus, morning lattes, and am obsessed with fantasy football!

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2 Responses
  1. Teresa

    Where do you purchase sumac? I looked in my local store and they don’t carry it. When I looked online, I found not-so-favorable reviews on several brands. So, any suggestions or at least names of Good quality brands?

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