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Beef Kafta Meatballs

Beef Kafta Meatballs make a great dinner or an appetizer at a party. Ground beef {or you can use ground lamb} is mixed together with garlic, onion, parsley, mint and warm, rich spices. These meatballs make a great addition to a rice bowl with your favorite Mediterranean ingredients or paired with Lebanese Green Beans. 

Beef Kafta Meatballs with a spoon


One of my favorite things to order at Mediterranean restaurants is beef kafta or kofta {otherwise known as Lebanese Beef Kebabs}.

I have created some other recipes that are similar to today’s Beef Kafta Meatballs including this Lamb Kofta, Chicken Kofta, Grilled Beef Kafta Kebabs and these Mediterranean Beef Kabobs.

If you have ordered them at a restaurant you most likely have seem them in the form of kebabs. Sometimes they are grilled and other times they are baked.

They are the perfect thing to put into a pita with hummus, yogurt and tabbouleh.

Beef Kafta Meatballs in white bowl

There is something so satisfying about beef mixed with warm spices.

Today’s Beef Kofta is inspired by all of those meals and my love for meatballs.

Yes, I said my love for meatballs. Weird?

Hear me out! I love the fact that meatballs are small little bite sized appetizers or can be paired together with other ingredients to create a meal.

You can also freeze meatballs and have them ready for a busy night. They make the perfect kid-friendly finger food and are really easy to make.

Beef Kafta Meatballs Image side view

If you want to serve these as an appetizer I suggest you serve it with hummus or this Tahini Yogurt Dressing for dipping.

These make a nice finger food along side a platter of hummus and veggies. My favorite way to eat these meatballs is for dinner in a rice bowl or with Lebanese Green Beans.


  • GROUND BEEF: Ground beef is used in this recipe to create the meatballs. If you want you can easily use 1/2 lamb and 1/2 beef or substitute ground lamb or chicken. 
  • GARLIC & ONION: Garlic and onion are often found in kofta recipes. Make sure that you mince and chop both as finely as possibly so they blend into the meatballs well. 
  • FRESH HERBS: The fresh herbs add a fresh flavor to the meatballs. I used mint and fresh parsley but I think that fresh oregano, thyme and dill would also be nice. 
  • EGG: The egg helps to bind the meatball together. 
  • BREADCRUMBS: I use regular breadcrumbs in this recipe to help hold the meatball together. I know often kofta does not use breadcrumbs but I like how it binds everything together. 
  • MILK: I add a small amount of milk to these meatballs to help keep the meatball moist and also help the binding process. 
  • SPICES: The spices are my favorite in this recipe because they are warm and work very nicely together. I use coriander, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, oregano and then crushed red pepper and cayenne red pepper for spice. 

Beef Kafta Meatballs on a platter

Here are some ideas when using these Beef Kafta Meatballs to create your rice bowl:

Beef Kafta Meatballs above

Beef Kafta Meatballs with a spoon

Beef Kafta Meatballs

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Beef Kafta Meatballs make a wonderful appetizer paired with hummus or a yogurt sauce or a meal in a rice bowl. Ground beef is mixed with fresh herbs, garlic, onion and warm spices to create a flavorful meatball the whole family will love. 


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, grated
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper {optional}
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes {optional}
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup milk, 1 or 2%


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two baking sheets by spraying nonstick spray on them or using a slip mat. Set aside.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix. 
  3. Using a cookie scoop or a teaspoon shape the meat into small meatballs and place on the baking sheet. 
  4. Bake for 25 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through and there is no red. 
  5. Serve the meatballs as an appetizer with hummus or yogurt sauce or as a meal with Lebanese Green Beans or in a rice bowl. 
  6. Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or the freezer. 


You can also use lamb or a combination of beef and lamb. 

When I use ground beef I use 80/20. 

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swati singh

Tuesday 4th of January 2022

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