Moroccan Kefta Kebab

Kefta Kebab
The Spruce
  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 4 portions (4 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
600 Calories
39g Fat
8g Carbs
51g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 portions (4 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 600
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 39g 50%
Saturated Fat 17g 85%
Cholesterol 191mg 64%
Sodium 168mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 51g
Calcium 97mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Kefta is ground beef or lamb, typically mixed with cumin, paprika, minced onion, coriander, and parsley. The cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and mint leaves are optional, but highly recommended. This recipe includes the traditional quantities of these spices and herbs, but you may adjust to your taste.

Seasoned kefta makes a superb grilled kebab (brochette)—the meat mixture is formed onto a skewer like a skinny meatloaf and grilled. The kefta kebabs are delicious with a fresh salad and a side of couscous, as well as served on bread with tomato and roasted pepper salad. It is also the foundation of a number of other Moroccan dishes.


  • 1 pound ground beef (or lamb, or a combination of the two)
  • Optional: 3 ounces beef or lamb fat
  • 1 medium onion (chopped very fine or grated)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon mint leaves (chopped, excellent with lamb)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, and let sit for 1 hour or longer to allow the flavors to blend. The kefta is then ready to shape and cook.

    combine meat and seasonings
    The Spruce
  3. To make kebabs, take small amounts of kefta and shape them into cylinders or sausage shapes. Skewer the meat, squeezing it to mold it the skewer.

    form meat around sticks
    The Spruce
  4. Cook over hot coals, approximately 5 minutes each side. (It may take less or more time, depending on how hot the coals are, and how thick you shaped the kefta.) Watch the kebabs carefully, so you don't dry out the meat.

    grill sticks of meat
    The Spruce
  5. Serve immediately, or wrap in aluminum foil to keep hot while you cook additional kebabs.

  6. Enjoy!


  • If you would like to grind your meat at home, a finer grind is preferred for this dish.
  • Traditionally, the meat, fat, spices, and herbs would all be passed through a meat grinder together to blend the flavors better.

Recipe Variations

  • You can use lean ground meat, but the classic recipe calls for a higher fat content.
  • To vary the recipe, you can add up to a teaspoon each of the following: ground ginger, turmeric, Ras El Hanout or minced garlic.