Kefta Recipe: Moroccan Seasoned Ground Beef or Lamb

by Fay

Looking for a delicious Kefta recipe? This Moroccan Kefta is seasoned with warm spices like cumin and paprika and fresh herbs, giving it a wonderfully complex flavor. You can use ground beef or lamb for this recipe – both are equally delicious!

Kefta (or kofta) is usually served as the main dish in Morocco, and it’s perfect for any occasion.

This Kefta recipe is easy to make and can be cooked in many different ways. From serving it wrapped in a warm chunk of bread, to rolling it into balls, and skewering them for kebabs.

However, I like my Kefta cooked in a tagine with a zesty tomato sauce. This Kefta recipe is one of my favorites because the Kefta soaks up all the flavors from the sauce and comes out super moist.

Are you ready to learn how to make this Kefta tagine recipe? If it’s a big YES, Let’s get started!

Note: The Kefta recipe I’m sharing is very versatile, I use the same recipe for grilling, frying, or oven baking.

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What is Kefta?

Kefta (also Kofta) is a type of minced meat kabob that’s popular in Morocco and other Middle Eastern countries. It’s typically made with ground beef or lamb, although Kefta can also be made with chicken or Turkey.

The key to making a good Kefta is freshly ground meat and the right spices. In Morocco, people enjoy the luxury of buying fresh meats and produce.

kefta-skewers
Kefta skewers

When I was still living in Morocco, I used to go to our nearby butcher, select my fresh meat, order it to grind and wrap it back home. I never use the ready-made ground meat from the supermarket.

Also, a good Kefta seasoning blend makes a big part of the Kefta taste. The seasoning will usually include cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, turmeric for the colors, and a lot of fresh herbs.

kefta-in-pita-bread
Grilled Kefta pita bread wrap

Grilled Kefta is traditionally served with Moroccan bread and charcoal-grilled tomatoes and onions. It’s also delicious wrapped in warm pita bread with some fresh-cut tomatoes, and lettuce, topped with sauces.

I hope you enjoy this Kefta recipe as much as I do! Let me know in the comments below how you like to eat yours. 🙂

How to make Moroccan Kefta?

The secret to making a good Kefta is to use freshly ground with a little bit of added fat. Some may omit this step from the recipe which is totally fine, but I highly recommend it as it gives the Kefta a moist texture and a classic flavor.

For the meat, you can use lamb, beef, or a mix of the two. Chicken and Turkey are also fine.

Kefta ingredients

Once you’ve got your ground meat ready, prepare the spice blend. My spice blend includes salt, black pepper, paprika, turmeric, cumin, dried coriander, a pinch of ginger powder, and a little bit of Zaatar as well.

For the seasoning herbs, I like to use a lot of fresh coriander and parsley, finely chopped onion, garlic, and preserved lemons (for the lemony flavor).

The way I spice up the Kefta will be suitable for most people, but if you like it a bit more spicy, then by all means add more cayenne pepper or chili flakes.

Seasoning meat ground for Kefta

Once all the seasoning ingredients are ready, simply mix them with the ground meat you have. Then shape the mixture into small kabobs and cook the way you want.

kefta-in-the-oven
Kefta balls getting ready to be baked in the oven

For a delicious grilled Kefta, the best way is to use Charcoal outdoor grilled but if you don’t have access to an outdoor grill, you can also cook Kefta indoors on a stovetop grill pan or in the oven.

Ready to get started? Let’s go over the ingredients you’ll need and then walk through the steps of making this Kefta recipe.

Kefta Recipe

Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )
Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time: Nutrition facts: 326 calories 20g fat

Ingredients

To make Kefta, you’ll need:

  • 500g (1 pound) ground beef or lamb
  • 80g of lamb fat (highly recommended for a moist Kefta)
  • 1 minced clove of garlic (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 5 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 5 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped preserved lemon skin (optional)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Instructions

  • Step 1: Gather the Ingredients

Gather and prepare all the ingredients.

  • Step 2: Combine and Mix

Use a big bowl to combine all the ingredients listed ( meat, spices, and herbs). Work the mixture for a minute or two with your hands to allow the seasonings to blend.

  • Step 3: Leave to chill (optional)

Leave the Kefta mixture in the fridge for an hour or longer to allow the flavors to come out. If you are short on time, you can skip this step.

  • Step 4: Chape into small Kabobs

After the Kefta has rested, shape it into small kabobs, sausage-like shapes, or patties, and cook according to your preference.

  • Step 5: Cooking Methods
  • Alternative 1: Grilled Kefta: For grilled Kefta, pre-heat your grill (charcoal, gas grill, or grill pan). Skewer the meat, squeezing it to mold it to the skewer. Over medium heat, grill the Kefta on all sides until fully cooked, about 10 minutes in total.

  • Alternative 2: Oven-baked Kefta: Alternatively, Kefta can be baked in the oven, alone, or with vegetables. Preheat your oven to 350F (180C). Place Kefta on a baking sheet/tray covered with parchment paper (add vegetables if you prefer). Bake Kefta until fully cooked through, about 20 minutes.

  • Alternative 3: Sauce-Baked Kefta: Another delicious way to bake Kefta is to cook it in a sauce of your preference. In a large skillet or saucepan, add your favorite sauce (tomato-based, yogurt-based, or coconut milk-based) bring it to a boil then add the Kefta logs and cook over medium heat until Kefta is cooked through, about 30 minutes.

And that’s it! This Kefta is ready to serve. Enjoy!

Notes

  • You can add 1 tsp of Ras El Hanout to the mix
  • You can use chicken or turkey meat instead of lamb or beef
  • You can use a stand mixer to blend the spices and herbs into the meat
  • You can grind the meat at home using a meat grinder. a finer grind texture is recommended.
  • If using bamboo skewers, soak in water for 60 minutes prior to grilling
  • You can store your leftover Kefta in an airtight container or zip-close bag in the refrigerator for up to four days
Did You Make This Recipe?
How you went with my recipes? Tag me on Instagram at @CapeToCasa.

How is Moroccan Kefta Served?

Moroccan Kefta is served as a main dish along with homemade bread (Khobz) and tomato and onion fresh salad. Kefta also makes a very popular dish called Kefta Tagine which is Kefta simmered in a tomato-based sauce.

kefta tagine
Moroccan Kefta tagine, Kefta with a tomato-based sauce

A Kefta sandwich with tomato and onions makes a snack in Morocco. Usually found in street food stalls.

I hope you enjoyed this Kefta recipe. Let me know in the comments below how you like to eat yours!

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kefta-recipe

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