This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Kafta is a Middle Eastern kebab (kabob) dish that you will find in any Middle Eastern restaurants and households around the world. This chicken kafta is a fun and delicious twist to the classic kafta dish that’s usually made with lamb or beef.

grilled chicken kafta on a white platter
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Oftentimes referred to as chicken Kofta in other middle eastern cultures, essentially the dish is the same with just slight variations in spices. Chicken Kafta is what we call it in Lebanon and it is a very popular chicken kebab (kabob) dish you will find at middle eastern restaurants and cookouts. It is made of ground chicken, fresh parsley, grated onions, salt, and pepper as the main ingredients. There are many variations depending on the spices you wish to add but we have found this grilled chicken kafta recipe to be perfect in taste and texture. It is moist and delicious with the right amount of spices.

If you are looking for a traditional and authentic kafta dish that’s made with ground beef or lamb then check out our Beef Kafta Kabob Recipe

Ingredients you will need

These are just a list of ingredients you will need to make the chicken kafta. Scroll further down for the full measurements.

  • Whole wheat bread or bread crumbs: panko works too
  • Ground chicken: ground chicken is recommended over ground turkey because if you use ground turkey it will just end up too dry.
  • Small onion: do use fresh white onions and do not substitute with onion powder. The taste just wont be the same.
  • Garlic Cloves: please use fresh garlic cloves. If you really must and you don’t have any fresh garlic on hand, then use garlic powder.
  • Fresh mint (or dried)
  • Fresh parsley (important to use fresh and not dried)
  • Aleppo or sweet pepper flakes (optional)
  • Spice blend to use: ground coriander, sweet paprika, salt and ground black pepper,
  • One egg: Used as a binder.
  • Olive oil: another oil that would work will be avocado oil.
ingredients to make chicken kafta

How to make chicken kafta kebab

Place the bread into a shallow dish and cover it with water. Allow it to sit for a couple of minutes, then take it out and squeeze all the liquid. Place into a large bowl.

Add in the ground chicken, onion, garlic, fresh herbs, and spices. Add the egg, salt, and pepper, then mix until thoroughly combined.

all chicken kafta ingredients in a white bowl before mixing

Using your wet hands, take a spoonful of mixture and make it into an oval patty. Stick a bamboo skewer into the middle and continue to gently shape it into a log. Repeat with the remaining mixture.

Refrigerate the kaftas until ready to cook. Heat a gas grill or a grill pan over medium heat. Grease with some oil to prevent the kaftas from sticking.

chicken kafta logs on skewers before grilling

Cook kaftas for 4-5 minutes per side, until cooked through and nicely charred.

Serve with fattoush salad if desired and enjoy!

top view chicken kafta skewers on a platter

Recipe notes, tips, and substitutes

  • Use Lean ground chicken if possible. You may use ground turkey if you prefer but the taste and texture will change slightly since the turkey tends to be more on the dry side.
  • Don’t like chicken or turkey, make beef kafta instead by using ground beef or lamb
  • Use fresh ingredients where possible. It is important to use fresh parsley as that’s what brings out the kafta flavor. You may use dried mint if you cant get your hands on fresh mint.
  • You can easily sub the whole wheat bread for breadcrumbs. If your ground chicken is not too lean then you can cut back on the breadcrumbs and use only half the amount.
  • Egg and breadcrumbs are important ingredients to act as binders so the whole kebab doesn’t fall apart off the skewer are you grill them.
  • Wet your hands with water or oil when adding the chicken kafta to the skewers. This is because it might be a bit sticky and it just makes things easier.
  • Do place the chicken kafta in the fridge for a few minutes before adding to the skewers. It makes everything bind together so well.
side shot of chicken kafta kebab next to salad bowl

what to serve with chicken kafta

tope view grilled kafta skewers

frequently asked questions

What is chicken kafta?

Chicken kafta is similar to the traditional kafta (or kofta) dish that’s usually made with ground beef or lamb but made with ground chicken instead. It is a middle eastern classic dish found in all middle eastern restaurants that are made with ground beef/chicken, fresh parsley, onions, and a variety of herbs. They are then placed on skewers and grilled like you would normal kebabs.

Can you grill chicken kafta indoors?

Yes. Chicken kafta can be grilled outdoors on skewers or can be pan-grilled indoors. when cooking indoors, the chicken kafta can be shaped into logs or patties and then pan-grilled over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side.

How to store and reheat chicken kafta?

Store leftover chicken kafta in the fridge in a container or wrapped in foil for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave. To reheat in the oven keep the chicken kafta wrapped in aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven for 10-15 minutes.

Can you bake chicken kafta in the oven?

Yes. You sure can. Form the chicken into patties or kafta logs and place them on a sheet pan either lined up foil or as is. Baked in a preheated oven at 350F for 18-20 minuted until the chicken is golden brown.

chicken kafta on skewers

Other chicken recipes to try

top view chicken kebab skewers

If you try a recipe and you like it, leave us some feedback in the comment section below, and don’t forget to rate it! We would love it if you shared it with friends and family.

Finally, please use our hashtag #healthyfitnessmeals on INSTAGRAM for a chance to be featured! FOLLOW Healthy Fitness Meals on FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TWITTER for all of our latest blog posts and recipes.

5 from 13 votes

Grilled Chicken Kafta

By: Rena
Servings: 4
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
close up top view of grilled chicken kafta on a white platter
Traditional middle eastern kafta recipe made with ground chicken, spices, and grilled to perfection.

Equipment

  • Bowl
  • small food processor or grater
  • wooden skewers

Ingredients

  • 4 slices of whole wheat bread or 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 ½ lb ground chicken
  • 1 small onion, grated (about ½ cup grated onion)
  • 1-2 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper, mild/sweet pepper flakes, more for later
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper, or to taste
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

To serve (optional)

  • Pitted kalamata olives
  • Fattoush salad or middle eastern salad
  • Rice

Instructions

  • Place the bread into a shallow dish and cover with water. Allow it to sit for a couple of minutes, then take it out and squeeze all the liquid. Place into a large bowl.
  • Add in the ground chicken, onion, garlic, fresh herbs and spices. Add the egg, salt and pepper, then mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Using your wet hands, take a spoonful of mixture and make into an oval patty. Stick a bamboo skewer into the middle and continue to gently shape it into a log. Repeat with the remaining mixture
  • Refrigerate the kaftas until ready to cook.
  • Heat a gas grill or a grill pan over medium heat. Grease with some oil to prevent the kaftas from sticking.
  • Cook kaftas for 4-5 minutes per side, ot until cooked through and nicely charred.
  • Serve with fattoush salad if desired and enjoy!

Notes

  • Seving size: 2 skewers
  • Use Lean ground chicken if possible. You may use ground turkey if you prefer but the taste and texture will change slightly since the turkey tends to be more on the dry side.
  • Don’t like chicken or turkey, make beef kafta instead. Here is our popular beef kafta recipe you can try instead.
  • Use fresh ingredients where possible. It is important to use fresh parsley as that’s what brings out the kafta flavor. You may use dried mint if you can’t get your hands on fresh mint.
  • You can easily substitute whole wheat bread for breadcrumbs. If your ground chicken is not too lean then you can cut back on the breadcrumbs and use only half the amount.
  • Egg and breadcrumbs are important ingredients to act as binders so the whole kebab doesn’t fall apart off the skewer are you grill them.
  • Wet your hands with water or oil when adding the chicken kafta to the skewers. This is because it might be a bit sticky and it just makes things easier.
  • Do place the chicken kafta in the fridge for a few minutes before adding to the skewers. It makes everything bind together so well.

Nutrition

Calories: 385kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 36gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 193mgSodium: 547mgPotassium: 1132mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 561IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 104mgIron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Tried this recipe?Mention @healthyfitnessmeals or tag #healthyfitnessmeals!
side shot of grilled chicken kafta kabob on a flat surface and lemon wedge on the top left corner

Author

About Rena Awada

Hi, I’m Rena! I am here to help you prepare delicious, light, fresh meals that your whole family will love!

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




11 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was so delicious!!! I didn’t have all of the spices on hand, but can’t wait to make it again with coriander and Aleppo! Since it’s too cold to grill, I used air fryer broil mode at 400F for 7 minutes. This will definitely become one of our dinner staples!

  2. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious. My son said, “make sure you save that recipe”, and I will! Great flavor and it paired really well with some pita bread, garlic sauce, rice and a cuc/tomato salad. I did have an issue with the chicken not wanting to stay on the skewers, but other than that, it was perfect. Thanks!

    1. 5 stars
      Made this for a quick iftar when I was on a time crunch & it turned out beautifully! I amped up the spice mix a bit increasing the measurements & adding turmeric + cumin. Popped the skewers in the air fryer to cook while I made yellow rice, cucumber yogurt & a tomato + cucumber salad with lemon & sumac.. Beautiful meal great for busy nights! Definitely going into regular rotation

  3. Might you have a garlic sauce/dip recipe to serve with your chicken kafta recipe?
    I plan to make your kafta soon. It sounds flavorful! More so than others.

  4. 5 stars
    I tried this just recently and was absolutely amazed at how delicious it was!!!

    Not to toot my horn here but it tasted as good as I have gotten it at Mediterranean restaurants!

    Thanks for the recipe… it’s a keeper and will be making this many more times.