Chicken Kafta

5 from 146 votes

Traditional Lebanese Chicken Kafta is so quick and easy to make with simple ingredients. Serve alongside rice, salad or in a pita with some garlic sauce!

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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.

Chicken kafta on a plate with rice and salad along with garlic sauce on the side
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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.

Process shots to show the ingredients before and after mixing

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.

Chicken patties with herbs and spices on baking sheet before cooking

Tips for making chicken kafta

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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.

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!

Chicken kafta along with lebanese rice

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!

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Chicken Kafta

Traditional Lebanese Chicken Kafta is so quick and easy to make with simple ingredients. Serve alongside rice, salad or in a pita with some garlic sauce!
5 from 146 votes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 173
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
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  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • ¼ cup parsley finely chopped
  • ½ small yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove pressed
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 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.


Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 3-4 days in the fridge.
Make Ahead: You can make the kafta or patties ahead of time and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to grill them, thaw in the fridge overnight or for at least 6-8 hours.


Calories: 173kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 98mg, Sodium: 362mg, Potassium: 642mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 316IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 20mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine Lebanese
Course: Main Course
5 from 146 votes (131 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. Vielka says:

    I have made this about three times now. I love freezing a few raw patties for weeknight dinners. Add a salad or rice and you are good to go. Thanks for such a simple kafta recipe.

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Yay, so happy you like this recipe! Freezing raw patties for quick weeknight meals is such a great idea—thanks for sharing!!

  2. Shalimar says:

    Delicious and juicy especially with the garlic sauce!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Yay, so happy to hear you liked it!! Thank you!

      1. Shalimar says:

        You’re welcome!

  3. Sarah says:

    As a lebanese person I have never heard of chicken kafta before (only beef, sometimes lamb). However due to dietary restrictions I can’t eat red meat so this is giving me some new ideas

    1. Yumna says:

      Glad to hear!

    2. Crystal says:

      This was absolutely amazing! I was skeptical about so much cinnamon, but I YOLO’d and did the full amount. It was sooo dang good! I would have never imagined how good this dish would turn out. Don’t be afraid folks, just go for it! This one is a keeper and going in my recipe box! Thank you! I’m looking forward to trying some of your other Mediterranean dishes!

      1. Yumna says:

        Love this, thank you!

  4. Victoria says:

    It’s really delicious!!! Wow wow wow

  5. Toast says:

    2 teaspoons if cinnamon is way too much and overpowers the dish. Would recommend finding an alternative or quartering the request amount.

    1. Yumna J. says:

      So sorry to hear that it wasn’t to your taste. A great suggestion to cut it down!

  6. Elissa Lowry says:

    Hi! Can this be baked? If so, how long and what degrees?

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Unfortunately I have yet to try this baked, but I think it could work!

  7. Hannah says:

    Would you be able to use the spices as a dry rub for chicken breast instead of using ground chicken?

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      You could, but I have yet to try that!

  8. Jaime says:

    Hi I was wondering what is the salad in the picture. And what kind of dressing as well. Thank you

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      It’s a loose version of my Lebanese Fattoush Salad recipe.

  9. Asma says:

    I swear this recipe had cumin and coriander before now it just says cinnamon? Has it changed? Delicious every time!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      I’ve made slight changes here and there, as I re-test and improve the recipes on my website!

  10. Rubina says:

    As soo as I placed them on the grill the smell was irresistible. Tasted even better. Making it once again today. Thanks for such easy and flavorful recipes. Your hummus recipe is my go to.

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      That’s incredible! So glad you’re enjoying my recipes!

  11. Melissa Silsbee says:

    This was so quick, easy and delicious! Will definitely make this again. 👍

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      I love that! Yay!!

  12. Mary H Shaheen says:

    I made kufta for the first time last night it was delicious. Thank you. Also, I really like the boxes to check if a person wanted to double or triple the recipe. Very convenient.

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      That’s amazing! Yay! You’re so welcome!!

  13. Rania Ajami says:

    Made this last night for the family. Everyone loved it. Delicious flavors.

  14. Chey says:

    Amazing flavours! I made this for my family tonight and we all really enjoyed this recipe. Going to keep this one in rotation 🙂

    1. Yumna J. says:

      I’m so glad to hear that! Thank you!!

  15. Carine Abinader says:

    My husband and I never had chicken kafta before as we always have the beef version. I made the chicken kafta yesterday and it was absolutely delicious!! The spices blend so well with the chicken and it is such an easy dinner to make. We ate the kafta with hummus and baked potatoes. I did not expect it to be that good. I gave my mom the recipe and she is making it sometime this week. Thank you so much for this recipe. Can’t wait to make it again !!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Aww thank you so much!! So happy to hear that 🙂

  16. Sheila says:

    I made this last night! What a hit! Thank you so much for amazing instructions and a yummy dish my whole family of 5 enjoyed. I look forward to trying more of your dishes 😋

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for leaving a review 🙂

  17. Rachel Liston says:

    We searched this recipe on google and found yours first. It is officially a family favorite. Just amazing!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Yay! So happy to hear that. Thank you!

  18. Andrea says:

    Is the coriander you use the dried leaves? Or fresh cilantro? Or do you use the dried coriander seeds… whole or ground?

    Is the cumin – whole seeds or ground?

    Sorry, I don’t know what is commonly used in Lebanese cuisine. Thank you.

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thanks for the questions and sorry for the delay in replying. The cumin and the coriander are both ground. Hope that helps! I edited the ingredients to make it more clear for others too 🙂

      1. Andrea says:

        Thanks for the tips! I tried it baked and it was very good. I hope to grill it one day.

  19. Amy says:

    Love the garlic sauce with it. My family chose to have it in a sandwich rather than rice. Good recipe. Thanks