Grilled Ground Beef Kabob (Kabob-eh Koobideh)

Grilled Ground Beef Kabob (Kabob-eh Koobideh)

Koobideh kabob is traditionally made with ground lamb or beef. It is traditionally cooked on long, flat skewers. Served with rice it is called Chelo Kabob. Recipe by Laura Bashar of Family Spice



  1. Using a food processor, grate:
    • 2 medium-sized onions
  2. Place the onion mixture into a blender and puree until smooth, about 2 minutes.*
  3. Place the onion mixture in a strainer over a bowl and drain the juice. Kabob will not hold its shape if mixture has too much water.
  4. Using the food processor again, but with the chopping blade, place in alternating layers the onion mixture and:
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 2 lb ground beef , 85% lean
  5. Add onion juice little by little if mixture is dry. Meat-onion mix should have elasticity and stretch to it.
  6. Put kabob mix into big bowl and knead like dough. The more you knead the kabob mix, the lighter the kabob. Texture should be airy, not a solid mass like in a hamburger. Kabob mix shouldn't be sticking to your hands.
  7. Allow kabob to marinate in a refrigerator in a covered bowl for 2-4 hours.
  8. Remove kabob mixture from the refrigerator and start your charcoal at least 30 minutes prior to grilling.
  9. The amount of meat you use, depends on the size of skewers you have. Long flat skewers work best with ground beeg kabob as it holds the meat better than a thin round skewer. For our skewers we started with a baseball-size ball of kabob mix.
  10. Gently pierce the meat patty with your skewer and slide it down to the middle of the skewer. Use onion juice or water to keep your hands moist and to keep them from sticking to the meat.
  11. Softly squeeze the meat flat as you position the meat onto the skewer. Make sure you leave room on either ends of the skewer as it rests over your grill.
  12. Using two fingers to mimic scissors, pinch both ends of the kabob meat, cutting off any excess.
  13. Also using two fingers softly squeeze down the skewer leaving ridges.
  14. Place skewers on the grill. The meat should not touch any grill plates. Instead the skewers should be propped up over your coals or flame. You know your grill is ready when you hold your hand over the grill for 3 seconds and your hand feel too hot to remain there.
  15. Cook until done, approximately 15-20 minutes, turning the skewers every minute to evenly cook. If you wait too long and cook one side too much before turning the skewer, your kabob will fall off the skewer.
  16. As kabobs are done, remove from grill and remove meat from skewers by grabbing it and sliding it down the skewer with:
    • 1 lavash bread
  17. To keep warm until all the meat is cooked, cover with:
    • 1 lavash bread
  18. Serve hot.

Grilled Ground Beef Kabob (Kabob-eh Koobideh)  Detail

Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 15 min

Difficulty: Easy-Intermediate
Servings: 1
Serving Size: 6-8

Serving Suggestions: Serve with basmati rice or lavash bread.

Cooking Tips: The ingredients are simple, but the technique is key. You want the meat mixture to be sticky enough to stay on the skewers and not fall off during the grilling process. Long flat skewers work best with this kabob.


To cook in the oven, form kabob mix into desired shape and place onto a broiler pan coated with non-stick spray. Broil in the oven on the top-most shelf until kabob starts to brown, about 5-7 mins. Turn kabob over & broil for 5 more mins or until cooked through.


Click here for directions on cooking on the stovetop.


* This step can be skipped. The secret to great ground beef kabob is to make sure your onions are pureed very smoothly. You don't want to taste the onion pieces, as you would in a hamburger. The texture is very different.