Grilled Chicken Kafta

By Rena |

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

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.

Ingredients you will need to make this chicken kabob

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
ground chicken
small onion
garlic
fresh mint (or dried)
white cooking onion
garlic cloves
fresh parsley (important to use fresh and not dried)
Aleppo or sweet pepper flakes (optional)
ground coriander
sweet paprika
salt and pepper
one egg
olive oil

ingredients to make chicken kafta

How to make chicken kafta kebab

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.

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. 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 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.

chicken kafta on skewers

Other chicken recipes to try

top view chicken kebab skewers

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grilled chicken kafta on a white platter

Grilled Chicken Kafta

Traditional middle eastern kafta recipe made with ground chicken, spices, and grilled to perfection.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Diet: Low Fat
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 385kcal
Author: Rena

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 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 385kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 193mg | Sodium: 547mg | Potassium: 1132mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 561IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 3mg
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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. William Butt says

    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.

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