Kefta Bi Tahini- The Swedish Meatballs of the Mid East!

As the winter days still linger around, there is always one dish that comes to mind that I fondly remember from my childhood: Kefta bi Tahini, or kefta meatballs with tahini sauce. This hearty dish is the Palestinian answer to Swedish meatballs. Swap out kefta for the meatballs and tahini sauce instead of cream sauce, and you have a Middle Eastern twist on a European favorite.



The creamy tahini imparts a nice nutty flavor to the meat, and is versatile with any kind of starch. For instance if you are not a fan of potatoes, you can serve the kefta and tahini over rice or even quinoa. Likewise if you are averse to beef, your can use ground turkey instead. You can even turn this into a roasted vegetable casserole, omitting the meat all together, while using the same seasonings for cubed zucchini and or eggplant. This recipe is incredibly easy to prepare if you are strapped for time–just add a nice leafy salad to round out the meal. You can prepare the kefta and tahini sauce a day in advance and assemble for baking the next day. This is comfort food at its finest, leaving you warm and satisfied in the cold winter months.

I have provided the measurements below, and for the directions, you can check out my new video! Of course everything for this recipe will be provided in my upcoming cookbook 🙂 I would love to know what are your favorite comfort foods below!


  • Kefta Bi Tahini: Kefta with Potatoes and Tahini Sauce 10 Servings

  • 1 pound hamburger (can use ground lamb, beef, or combination of both)
  • 1/3 Bunch parsley
  • 1  clove garlic
  • ½ small onion
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp lemon pepper
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • 3 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 2 Large tomatoes, cut into slices
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large onion, sliced into slivers
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Dash lemon pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Tahini sauce:

  • 1/3 to ½ cup tahini
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated or finely minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt to taste

12 thoughts on “Kefta Bi Tahini- The Swedish Meatballs of the Mid East!

    1. You know, that is an excellent question. When my mom was low on time, she cooked it all together, but if you want you can add the meat the last 25 minutes of cooking. You will have to change how everything is arranged though.

  1. Yum and so happy to see mom back too! Great recipe for Eastern Orthodox Meatfare Sunday! And, if you have more vegan ideas for Lenten season coming up, i’d love for you to share. Thank you for all you do to promote our healthy cuisine!

  2. Hi blanch
    I have a question what is the leanest
    And best meat for raw kibbeh?
    Knowing we have whole food and Kroger
    Here so no Arab butchers to understand
    Me thanks

    1. A lot of people like to use lamb. But if you prefer beef I think your best bet is to get grass fed, organic beef from the farmer’s market, where they have the freshest cuts of beef. As extra precaution, you can freeze the meat for 2 weeks to help eliminate any typical raw meat contamination.

  3. FYI. I noticed that in the recipes I’ve tried so far the written ingredients differ from the video. I end up guessing. Turns out good but a bit confusing.

    1. Sorry for the confusion. Sometimes even after the video, I want to perfect the recipe even more. That is why I am publishing a cookbook due out in November so there is one place to access everything 😉

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