Kafta Kabobs with Tahini Sauce

July 15, 2013 · 15 comments

in beef,dairy-free,healthy,lamb,middle eastern,quick and easy


I’ve had a lifelong love for Middle Eastern cuisine. Being raised on Greek food, it stands to reason that I would love other cuisines that use warm spices, pitas, and yogurt. And growing up in a place with tons of authentic Lebanese restaurants sure didn’t hurt, either.

I’ve  been getting a lot of ground beef from our farmer, mostly because it’s fairly inexpensive and generally makes meals with good leftovers. But, a lot of times I just run out of ideas when I’ve already made burgers or pasta. Enter kafta, one of my favorite Middle Eastern dishes – it’s basically ground meat (lamb or beef may be used) mixed with some allspice and a few basic meatball ingredients.  I love how easy and delicious these are, and they’re just a little different than our standard Greek keftedes. We have these with fattoush (and I often end up shoving some of the fattoush in the pocket with the kafta), and the meal elicits remarks from Zachary like, “This was a good dinner. I really love all the things in this dinner!” Gotta love it.

Some people use additional spices in these, like cinnamon, cardamom, etc. I find that allspice is really all they need, though certainly those ingredients wouldn’t hurt. Thankfully, when I made these recently, I forgot to write down my recipe as I was going, so I had to make it again, to make sure I was able to give you an accurate recipe. :) I’ve used a basic tahini sauce here, but tzatziki would be equally good, or even just adding a couple spoonfuls of yogurt to the tahini below would also work.


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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelsey July 15, 2013 at 9:24 am

I find myself at a loss for creative ground beef recipes. I love kafta, so I will be giving this a try very soon. Thanks, Elly!


Kylee July 15, 2013 at 9:27 am

Oh Elly.
I love you.
Please come and live at my house and cook my meals for me. This looks like exactly what I want to eat.
right now.
For breakfast.


Mr. & Mrs. P July 15, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Love kaftan kobobs… What a lovely meal!!


Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch July 15, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Oh yum!!! Looks amazing!!!


Joanne July 16, 2013 at 5:17 am

I love the idea of more sweet spices in savory meals, so when I ate meat kafta (and keftedes) were always a favorite! Glad to hear Zack is a fan as well!


Notyet100 July 16, 2013 at 7:31 am

Umm delicious spread :)


Kate July 16, 2013 at 11:34 pm

I love the spices in Kafta.


Banana Wonder July 20, 2013 at 9:18 am

Hmm now you got me started on a tahini-tzatziki sauce. It would be called tzatini.


elly July 20, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Brilliant as always


Suzanne July 21, 2013 at 9:35 pm

You have a farmer? I’m impressed!


elly July 22, 2013 at 8:40 am

haha, well sort of. I wish he was ours personally, but he’s a local farmer who we order meat from on a monthly basis. :)


Rikki August 2, 2013 at 2:05 pm

I just made these last night and my husband loved them so much, he ate them for lunch today!


elly August 2, 2013 at 2:46 pm

So glad to hear that, Rikki!


Jeanne September 2, 2013 at 2:18 pm

I love your blog! So many great dinner ideas. I had to try this one right away, seeing how we no longer live near our fav Middle Eastern restaurant and I miss it. The kabobs were fantastic! Perfect seasoning! The leftover kabobs I crumbled up and put inside a quesadilla with jack cheese, green onions, and thinly sliced grape tomatoes. An excellent dinner and an excellent lunch the next day. Thank you!


elly September 2, 2013 at 5:06 pm

So happy to hear that, Jeanne!


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