Easy Meals

Chicken Kefta

Chicken kefta will be your new favorite way to prepare chicken! Made with zucchini, and fresh herbs like dill, cilantro and mint, each bite of chicken is super flavorful and delicious! This recipe is gluten and dairy free and pairs perfectly with a wide variety of side dishes.

Meatballs or meat patties for that matter have never really been my thing. I think they were one of those foods I ate a lot as a kid, so by the time I started cooking for myself I never really made then at home. Until this chicken kefta!

Inspired by one of my all time favorite meals at Aba here in Chicago, chicken kefta is the perfect chicken recipe for summer and anything but boring! If you liked Mediterranean food be sure to put Aba on your list if you’re ever visiting Chicago. Everything there is fresh, flavorful and unique — plus the ambiance feels like a breath of California air in the Windy City.

best chicken kefta recipe

The thing I love most about this chicken recipe is that it’s super easy to make. At first you may think, wow that’s a lot of different herbs and spices getting mixed in, but trust me when I say the end result will be one of the best chicken dishes you’ve ever had. I promise!

ingredients for chicken kefta

  • zucchini
  • ground chicken
  • scallions
  • cilantro
  • dill
  • mint
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • cumin
  • coriander
  • turmeric
  • cinnamon
  • salt
  • pepper
  • tahini

Utensils/ Equipment needed:

  • two bowls
  • chopping knife
  • grater for fresh ginger and zucchini
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • tongs for flipping the meat

ingredients for chicken kefta

how to make it

Sometimes cooking chicken can feel messy and intimidating. Not this recipe! It does take some chopping, but essentially you’re mixing all of the ingredients in with the chicken and then cooking the chicken on pan, or on the grill. No sweat!

Rob and I tag team this recipe pretty well. He will prepare half of the ingredients (chop, and grate) and I’ll do the other half. We’ll add them together and it’s done!

what to pair it with

You really can’t go wrong here because this recipe is that good! Here are a few different ways I recommend enjoying it:

  • on a bed of basmati rice with more dill, lemon and a dollop of hummus ( I always use this recipe when preparing basmati rice!)
  • on a bed of brown rice or quinoa with salad greens
  • with grilled veggies like peppers, onions and zucchini
  • in a pita wrap with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and artichokes
  • on top of a greek salad with olives, cucumbers, tomatoes and feta

This recipe is also 1 of 15 recipes in my Food Confidence Nutrition Guide for Summer! The guide is filled with recipes that incorporate summer flavors, tips for having more confidence in your food choices and exercises and affirmations for loving your body everyday!

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best chicken kefta recipe

Chicken Kefta

  • Author: Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: easy meals
  • Method: sauté
  • Cuisine: american/mediterranean

Description

This chicken kefta recipe will be your new favorite way to make chicken! Made with zucchini and fresh herbs like mint, cilantro, and dill, you won’t believe how flavorful and delicious each bite is! 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 2 whole scallions, thinly sliced, 
  • 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro 
  • 2 tbsp. chopped dill 
  • 1/3 cup chopped mint
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. very finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • 1 tsp. turmeric 
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper 
  • 2 tbsp. tahini

Instructions

  1. Grate zucchini, combine with ½ teaspoon salt and let sit 5 minutes. 
  2. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  3. Mix together zucchini and all ingredients in a large bowl, adding the chicken last. 
  4. Divide the mixture into 12 pieces, then with damp hands, shape into flatter meatballs. (they don’t have to be perfectly round!) 
  5. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium high with oil, then grill for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through to 165 degrees F.
  6. Serve with a side of rice, or greens or with a dollop of hummus on top! 

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