Brazilian Ground Beef Kebabs (Kafta no Espeto)

Kofka (ground beef with spices) are typically shaped as meatballs, but the grilled kebab form is a natural fit for Brazil.

Serves: 12Hands-on: 40 minutesTotal: 40 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 12


  • Wooden skewers
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1⁄2 cup tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 3 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. plus 2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley, divided
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 4 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, peeled and grated
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh mint
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon


  • Soak the wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes. Heat the grill.
  • Whisk yogurt with tahini. Mash crushed garlic with 1 teaspoon salt and add to yogurt mixture. Stir in lemon juice, 1 tablespoon parsley, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Set aside
  • Place the ground beef, bacon, onion, remaining parsley, mint, minced garlic, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, and remaining salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix well. If you have a meat grinder, pass the mixture through once or twice.
  • Shape the ground-beef mixture onto the wooden skewers, forming it into the shape of sausages.
  • When grill is ready, place the kebabs on the grill and cook until well browned on all sides and cooked through, about 6 to 10 minutes total, depending on grill temperature.
  • Serve kebabs with reserved yogurt-tahini sauce.