Kabob Kubideh (Middle Eastern Ground Beef on Skewers)
Kabob Kubideh is a type of highly seasoned middle eastern ground beef on skewers that’s served in many countries in that part of the world. This is delicious and easy to make on a grill at home, and it’s also one of my favorites to order in a middle eastern restaurant.
One of my favorite restaurants in Salt Lake is The Med, a very inexpensive place that features foods from all the Mediterranean countries. On the section of the menu designated Persian Food they have a dish called Kabob-e Kubideh that I love to order.
It’s made of very finely ground beef mixed with onions and spices, including turmeric, and then grilled. The meat is probably ground twice to produce a dense texture similar to Gyro meat. At Cafe Med it’s served with Tzatziki Sauce, the perfect companion to the slightly-spicy flavor of the meat. I love this dish and I’m glad I persevered to come up with a good version you can make at home!
My Tips for Making Kabob Kubideh:
(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)
- When I first started my blog in 2005, I did some experimenting to try to reproduce this dish at home. I searched on the internet for Kubideh (also spelled Koobideh) and found several recipes. I tried one, and the result was nothing like the dish at Cafe Med. Then I visited a Middle Eastern grocery store in Salt Lake (now gone) where the owner recommended Sadaf Ground Meat Kabob Seasoning (affiliate link). I thought this seasoning was perfect, but there are some other suggestions in the recipe. (And in case anyone is wondering, this company hasn’t paid me to promote their product and they have no idea I am mentioning it here!)
- Now I would probably cook this on blade-type skewers (like these skewers that I got in Turkey), but I originally made Kubideh with these wonderful double skewers that I bought in California at a lovely little shop called Plaza Gourmet, a place I visited on a foodie outing with my step-sister Bobbi.
- Next time I might add onions, but I followed the recipe I had scribbled in my notebook back in 2005 and ground together 1 lb. hamburger, 2 T Sadaf Ground Kabob Seasoning, and 1/4 cup water in the food processor. This double grinding of the meat is traditional in Middle Eastern cooking, and keeps the meat on the skewers.
- Then the meat needs to be refrigerated for several hours so the flavors can develop. You could even grind the seasoning with the meat in the morning before work, and cook the kabobs when you get home.
- When it’s time to cook, divide the meat into four pieces, then form each into a long cylinder and push a skewer into it. You want to make them uniformly thick so they’ll cook evenly.
- Cook the skewered kabobs on a pre-heated grill at medium high heat. Of course I had to rotate them and try for grill marks, but that’s not essential.
- When the first side is well-browned, turn the kabobs carefully, for a total cooking time of about 15-18 minutes.
- I used an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature, which should be at least 160F for ground beef.
- Serve hot, preferably with Tzatziki Sauce.
Make it a Meal:
More Kubideh from Other Blogs:
- 1 lb. ground beef (I used ground beef with only 10% fat)
- 1/2 onion, very finely chopped (optional)
- 2 T Sadaf Ground Meat Kabob Seasoning (See notes)
- 1/4 cup water
- olive oil, for oiling the grill
- Put ground beef in food processor fitted with steel blade.
- Add 2 T Sadaf Kabob Seasoning mixed with 1/4 cup water. Process until finely ground.
- Put meat into a plastic container with a snap-on lid and refrigerate two hours or as long as all day.
- Oil grill grates with a paper towel dipped in olive oil, then preheat gas or charcoal grill to medium high heat. (You can only hold your hand there for a few seconds at that heat.)
- Form meat into cylinder shaped patties.
- Put meat on skewers, or you can cook them right on the grill without a skewer. (I had double skewers, which worked well, although Kubideh is cooked on blade type skewers in the Middle East.)
- If you’d like criss-cross grill marks, cook kabobs about 4 minutes on first side, then rotate and cook 3-4 minutes more.
- Carefully turn kabobs and cook the second side, for a total cooking time of about 15-18 minutes.If you have an instant-read meat thermometer, ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160F.
- Serve Kubideh hot, with Tzatziki sauce if desired.
(If you don’t have Sadaf Ground Meat Kabob Seasoning (affiliate link) the package lists the ingredients as onions, salt, pepper, sumac, parsley, turmeric, and other spices. Most recipes for Kubideh that I found online season the meat with turmeric, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Some recipes add parsley, lemon juice, or bread crumbs to the mixture.
A Reader Shares Her Recipes for Kubideh:
After I posted this recipe I heard from a reader named Donna who's married to a man from Iran. She shared her version of this dish, which I have to say, sounds like it would taste wonderful. (Thanks Donna!)
1 lb lean (90% or better) ground beef or lamb1 tsp salt (more if you like)1 med onion quartered1 lemon juiced
Put the lemon juice and onion in a food processor or blender. Puree. Add to meat and mix well. Form into patties and grill on skewers or straight on the bbq pit. Also you can bake these on a broiler pan in the oven and have a very nice substitute for the grilled ones.
Kubideh Recipe created by Kalyn.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 408Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 232mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 36g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Suggestions:
Made with lean ground beef, this Kabob Kubideh is a great main dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet, or most other low-carb eating plans, including Paleo if you skip the yogurt sauce.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Grilling Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can alsoFollow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterestto see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe for Kabob Kubideh or Grilled Ground Beef on Skewers with Middle Eastern Spices was first posted in 2005, updated with better photos in 2009, and updated again in 2020, so you can tell how long I’ve been loving this recipe.