Moroccan Beef Koftas

Moroccan Beef Koftas

The Spruce / Derrick Riches

  • Total: 34 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 14 mins
  • Yield: serves 4 to 6
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
285 Calories
14g Fat
3g Carbs
34g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: serves 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 285
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 6g 28%
Cholesterol 136mg 45%
Sodium 1101mg 48%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 34g
Calcium 70mg 5%
*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.)

Making kofta is an ancient way of grilling ground meat. Aromatic and savory spices are added to the meat and it is shaped around a skewer for grilling. It is a lot like a sausage, but without the casing.

The secret to successful koftas is to make sure the meat is sticky enough to hold together on the skewers. Once it starts cooking, the meat will harden and hold on, but you should still be careful not to let your meal ends up burning up the coals rather than on your plate. To cook these, you will simply need a hot grill, which could be an open hibachi or a charcoal or gas grill.

If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for about an hour before grilling. This will keep the exposed ends from burning when you grill the kofta kebabs.


  • 1 1/2 pounds/700 grams ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup/120 milliliters cilantro (finely chopped)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons/12.5 milliliters sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons/10 milliliters onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons/10 milliliters ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons/10 milliliters cumin
  • 2 teaspoons/10 milliliters paprika
  • 1 teaspoon/5 milliliters chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon/5 milliliters turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon/2.5 milliliters garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon/2.5 milliliters cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon/2.5 milliliters black pepper (coarse ground)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl.

  3. Shape the meat into long, thick sausages. Make them all evenly sized and keep in mind the length of the skewer. They each need to fit on a skewer. Thread a skewer through each sausage.

  4. Preheat grill for medium-high heat and oil the cooking grate thoroughly to prevent sticking (and losing the meat through the grates).

  5. Place the koftas on the hot grill and cook for about 12 to 14 minutes, turning occasionally once the meat has firmed up.

  6. Once the internal temperature of koftas reaches 165 F, remove them from the heat and serve.


  • You can serve the kofta on the skewers or take them off the skewers and arrange sections of the kofta on a plate.
  • Serve the beef koftas alongside four to five warmed pitas, 1 cup of plain yogurt, red onion sliced into rings, and two limes quartered. You and your guests can make pita sandwiches with these elements for an informal meal. A strong Moroccan mint tea traditionally accompanies a meal.
  • Other side dishes you may see include chickpea salad, tabbouleh, spiced carrots, or couscous. Vegetable side dishes are often cooked rather than fresh, such as zaalouk, which is eggplant and tomatoes with spices.
  • The spice blend used here relies on those you are likely to have on your spice rack. Moroccan cooks often use a pinch of this and a pinch of that rather than measuring. If you lack one of the spices, don't stress too much. Wing it with the rest of them, or toss in a bit of ground ginger or allspice. As well, there is nothing wrong with omitting a spice you don't particularly like. Cilantro is used, which some people love and others despise. You can substitute parsley instead.

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