Easy Kafta and Potato Stew


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A traditional Lebanese recipe, this Kafta and Potato Stew is so easy to make! Made with simple ingredients found in any kitchen, this hearty stew is so rich, hearty, and delicious! Your whole family will love it! Not to mention it’s a one pot dish!

Comfort in a bowl, Kafta and Potato Stew is definitely a dish that we look forward to! It is so flavorful as the Kafta patties cook with potatoes and tomatoes, making every spoonful absolutely delightful. Your family will be reaching for seconds!

As a child I wasn’t fond of many Lebanese dishes. As I grew older, I loved every single one of them. But kafta was also so special from the beginning. There wasn’t anything about it that good. It was so flavorful and can be eaten with both rice and bread.

If you’d like to try more authentic and delicious Lebanese recipes like this kafta stew, here are a few that my family loves for me to make: Lebanese Spinach PiesVermicelli Rice, and my Baba Ghanouj. They’re super easy to make and are so delicious! 

Why You’ll Love This Kafta and Potato Stew

  • It’s hearty. This beef and potato stew is so rich and hearty, you don’t need to spend a lot of time making side dishes when serving this kafta stew. A bowl of this with an optional side of vermicelli rice will leave you so full!
  • Made with healthy ingredients. This kafta is made with healthy wholesome ingredients! These ingredients can also be found at all grocery stores and you might already have them in your kitchen.
  • It can be made ahead of time. Whether you want to just make components ahead of time or the whole dish, this taste just as good when reheated, making it perfect for busy weeknights.

What You’ll Need

  • Potatoes — use Russet or Yukon potatoes
  • Onion — you’ll need onions for the stew and kafta patties
  • Tomatoes
  • Olive oil light tasting
  • Ground beef — 90-96% lean ground beef preferred
  • Parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • Tomato sauce
  • Dry mint
  • Bell pepper or Jalapeño pepper for flavor (optional)
Ingredients needed to make kafta and potato stew.

How to Make Kafta and Potato Stew

  • Prepare the stew ingredients: Peel the potatoes, wash and slice into round slices which ever shape you like. Rinse and set aside. Peel and slice the onion. Also slice the tomatoes. Set aside for the stew later.
Photos showing onions being diced in a food processor alongside parsley.
  • Make the kafta patties: To make the patties, combine chopped onion and parsley mix, along with the ground beef, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined. Form the patties into oval shapes and set on sheet pan without overlapping.
Set of two photos showing ingredients for beef kafta patties being combined.
Kafta patties on a sheet pan.
  • Fry the patties: In a “deep” large skillet, bring 2 tbsps. of olive oil to medium-high heat. Fry the patties on each side until a golden brown crust start forming. It does not have to be fully cooked. Work in batches if needed and return the patties back into the pan when done.
Kafta patties being formed and then cooked.
  • Make the stew: Start assembling the kafta stew by adding in the sliced potatoes, onions, and tomatoes to the pot.
A pot of beef kafta with onions and then potatoes added.
Kafta, potatoes, tomatoes, and onion in a pot.
  • Make the sauce: In a bowl, add in the kafta sauce ingredients. Whisk to mix well and pour over the kafta stew.
Making the sauce for kafta stew.
  • Bring the stew to boil and then reduce the heat to medium low to allow the stew to cook. Cook for about 45 minutes, or 10 minutes more if you like your potatoes to be extra soft.
  • Cool and serve: Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve with a side of vermicelli rice and garnish with some freshly chopped parsley and toasted almonds.
Kafta and potato stew served with vermicelli rice.

Recipe Tips

  • Larger potatoes take longer to cook so keep that in mind if you’re on a strict timeline.
  • The longer the potatoes simmer, the more they will breakdown which will thicken your stew some more.
  • Feel free to shape your meat patties into whatever shape you prefer. You can go with a rounder shape like a meatball if you prefer. Just keep in mind that a different sized patty will require a different cook time.
  • If you don’t have tomato sauce, mix one small can of tomato paste with 2 cups of water to make make the tomato sauce.
  • Add in some sliced jalapeno peppers or green bell pepper to amp up the flavor.
  • You can also use some kafta spices for the patties if you like but I do not use any.
  • Toasted or fried almonds are not required but they taste so good with the dish!

FAQs

How long does kafta and potato stew last?

When stored properly, your beef kafta and potato stew can last for 4 to 5 days. Be sure to use an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. To reheat your kafta, you can warm it up on the stovetop or microwave if you’re in a rush.

What type of beef should I use?

I like using 90-96% lean ground beef. A little extra fat is ok as it helps flavor the meatballs but if you have a fattier ground beef, you can use that as well but you might have to skim some fat when it cooks. Alternatively, you can use ground lamb as well.

How do I make this ahead of time?

You can make the whole kafta stew a few days ahead of time and reheat it when ready to eat or you can prepare the kafta patties beforehand and freeze them. Patties can be frozen before or after cooking! But the patties are so easy to make you are better off just making them fresh as the color of parsley discolors after freezing.

Can I bake this?

You can also make this kafta in the oven if you’d like, similar to a French beef stew! The ingredients are the same but instead of simmering it on the stovetop, you bake it! Add to an oven safe dish your kafta, the stew ingredients (but pre-cook your potatoes), and then the sauce ingredients. Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes. Your stew will be bubbly so make your your dish is large enough so nothing bubbles over.

Kafta and potato stew in a dutch oven.

More Lebanese Recipes You’ll Love

I hope you enjoy all the recipes I share with you, including this delicious Kafta and Potato Stew recipe. I hope you try it, enjoy it, rate it and share it with your friends and family!

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Kafta and potato stew served with vermicelli rice.

Kafta and Potato Stew

A traditional Lebanese recipe, this Kafta and Potato Stew is so easy to make! Made with simple ingredients found in any kitchen, this hearty stew is so rich, hearty, and delicious! Your whole family will love it!

Prep Time 20 mins

Cook Time 55 mins

Total Time 1 hr 15 mins

Instructions

  • Peel the potatoes, wash and slice into round slices which ever shape you like. Rinse and set aside.

  • Peel and slice the onion. Also slice the tomatoes. Set aside for the stew later.

  • To make the patties, add 1 small cubed onion into the food processor. Pulse for a few times until the onion is finely chopped. Then add in the parsley and pulse to chop until finely chopped.

  • In a bowl, add in the chopped onion and parsley mix, along with the ground beef, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined. Form the patties into oval shapes as shown in the blog post and set on sheet pan without overlapping.

  • In a “deep” large skillet, bring 2 tbsps. of olive oil to medium-high heat. Fry the patties on each side until a golden brown crust start forming. It does not have to be fully cooked. Work in batches if needed and return the patties back into the pan when done.

  • Once the patties have cooked, start assembling the kafta stew. Add in the sliced potatoes, onions, and tomatoes.

  • In a bowl, add in the kafta sauce ingredients. Whisk to mix well and pour over the kafta stew. Bring the stew to boil and then reduce the heat to medium low to allow the stew to cook. Cook for about 45 minutes, or 10 minutes more if you like your potatoes to be extra soft.

  • Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve with a side of vermicelli rice and garnish with some freshly chopped parsley and toasted almonds.

Notes

  • Larger potatoes take longer to cook so keep that in mind if you’re on a strict timeline.
  • The longer the potatoes simmer, the more they will breakdown which will thicken your stew some more.
  • Feel free to shape your meat patties into whatever shape you prefer. You can go with a rounder shape like a meatball if you prefer. Just keep in mind that a different sized patty will require a different cook time.
  • If you don’t have tomato sauce, mix one small can of tomato paste with 2 cups of water to make make the tomato sauce.
  • Add in some sliced jalapeno peppers or green bell pepper to amp up the flavor.
  • You can also use some kafta spices for the patties if you like but I do not use any.
  • Toasted or fried almonds are not required but they taste so good with the dish!

Nutrition

Calories: 358kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 569mg | Potassium: 551mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1353IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 3mg






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