Traditional Lebanese Chicken Kafta us so quick and easy to make with simple ingredients. Serve alongside rice, salad or in a pita with some garlic sauce!
If you loved my popular beef kafta recipe, you’re going to want to try this simple variation of Chicken Kafta. It’s very similar to making the beef version but with a little change up in the seasoning. It’s a popular Mediterranean recipe that you’ll find at Lebanese restaurants, and it’s so easy to make it at home.
What is kafta?
Kafta, which is also called kofta in other Middle Eastern countries, is basically a type of meatball recipe that’s made usually with beef, chicken or lamb along with onions and spices. Traditionally in Lebanon, we shape the kafta like sausages in a log shape and thread them onto skewers. But you can skip the skewers and you can also shape them into patties.
There are many different ways to spice up kafta depending on taste and cultural traditions. This version is based on more traditional Lebanese flavors.
How do you make chicken kafta
Place all of the ingredients into a large bowl and combine everything together with a fork or your hands. You can use a food processor to ground the chicken and chop the onions and parsley finely. Or you can buy pre-ground chicken and use a knife for chopping the onions and parsley.
Use your hands to form oblong shapes with the mixture. You can form them with or without a wooden skewer. Then, cook the kafta kabobs on a gas grill or in a grill pan on the stove top until cooked through.
Tips for making chicken kafta
- Use a food processor to mince the parsley and onions. As you can see in the process shots above, the onions have a green tint to them from chopping them after the parsley in the food processor. This makes the chopping easier and the result is a finer consistency, perfect for making kafta kabobs. Make sure not to include the parsley sticks.
- Remove excess moisture from the parsley and onions, if necessary. This is especially true if you use a food processor for the onions as they will release more liquid this way. Just use a paper towel to dab it dry as much as possible.
- Use boneless chicken breast and/or chicken thighs to substitute. You can easily ground the chicken yourself in the food processor. If you’re doing so, pulse the chicken after the parsley and onions are done. It also helps to use partially frozen chicken pieces when grinding.
- Moisten your hands with water or oil when forming the chicken kafta. This helps ensure it doesn’t stick to your hands when you’re shaping them.
- Refrigerate the kafta mix if you’re using skewers for grilling. When the chicken mixture is cold, it will help it better bind to the skewer, which helps if you’re grilling these on an outdoor grill.
What do you eat with chicken kafta
The two most popular ways to eat chicken kafta are with Lebanese Rice or a Lebanese style salad like Fattoush or Tabbouleh, which is what is usually served as a dinner recipe. The other common way to eat kafta is wrapped in a pita. However you choose to eat it, my garlic sauce is a must with it!
Frequently asked questions
Can I make chicken kafta in the oven?
I much prefer to grill kafta, I find it really adds to the flavor and you get a great crust. If you prefer, you can cook them in the oven though. Cook them at 350ºF for around 15 to 20 minutes until they are cooked through.
How do you know when they are cooked?
The kafta kabobs are cooked when the outsides are browned and they become more firm. If you have an instant read thermometer, they should register at 165ºF.
Can you make them ahead of time?
The cooked chicken kafta will keep well in the fridge for 3 to 4 days and can be reheated in the oven. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months. Wrap them individually in foil and place in a freezer bag and thaw in the fridge before reheating.
More Lebanese recipes
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Chicken Kafta recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
- 1 pound ground chicken
- ¼ cup parsley finely chopped
- ½ small yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove pressed
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Place the ground chicken, parsley, onions, garlic and spices all in a large bowl. Use your hands to combine until the mixture is well blended. It will feel a little sticky, but that's fine.
- Form the Kafta into an oblong shape about 1 inch in thickness. You can form them on a wooden skewer or without.
- Grease the grates of a gas grill or indoor grill pan, and preheat it to medium high heat. When heated through, transfer the kafta to the grill. Grill for 4-5 minutes per side, until the chicken is fully cooked.
- Serve hot off the grill with your choice of side.