Kafta with sun-dried tomatoes in pita

…Or how to feed  hungry folks  on a budget; this mezze (appetizer) is ideal  since one pound of meat will feed six people easily. The meat paste cooks  in five minutes, so bake them as soon as  your guests arrive. However, you can prepare the kafta paste earlier that day and coat the pitas with it.

If you happen to be in Lebanon or know a Lebanese butcher, then you can just have him prepare the kafta for you that day. I added sun-dried tomatoes to the paste  to add  tomato flavor without getting the meat soggy. Make sure to salt the chopped onions and let them rest for 30 minutes; water will drain out of the onions, press them dry and add them to the meat.


  • 1 pound of minced beef 15 to 20% fatty (454 g.)
  • 1 large onion (7 ounces or 200 g.)
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped parsley (.8 ounces or 25 g.)
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, drained of their oil and wiped as dry as possible
  • Spices: salt (1 1/2 t.), white pepper (1/4 t.), paprika (1/2 t.), allspice (1/2 t.), cinnamon (1/2 t.), sumac (1 t.), pinch of Aleppo pepper or cayenne or chili powder (optional)
  • 6 large pitas (the thin ones) or 10 small pitas
  • 1/2 cup of melted and clarified butter or margarine or olive oil


  1. Chop the onion and place on a sieve lined with a paper towel. Sprinkle the salt and sumac on the onion, stir a bit with a spoon to mix evenly and let the onion drain its water for 30 minutes or longer.
  2. Place the meat, chopped parsley, drained and dried chopped onion, the sun-dried tomatoes and all the spices in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 3 to 5 minutes until the meat mixture is like a paste, scraping the corners of the bowl from time to time.
  3. Line three baking sheets with foil and place next to you. Open each pita up and slather with some melted butter or oil on one side with a brush. Place a generous dollop of the kafta mixture on the pita and spread it as evenly as possible with a spatula. Close the pita and place on the cookie sheet; repeat the operation until all have been filled and the meat mixture has been all used up. Using your kitchen scissors, cut the bread in triangles.
  4. When ready to serve, heat the oven to 375F (190 C) and slide the cookie sheets in the oven. Bake for 5 minutes and remove from the oven; the bread should be toasted and the meat cooked. Serve immediately with  a salad as a main dish or as is for an appetizer.

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  1. Posted January 25, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    I am always looking for flavorful, yet fairly simle to make appetizers and these fit the bill perfectly! I really like this recipe and will definitely try it soon.

  2. Posted January 25, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know how you do it! You post such wonderful looking meals and mezze your family must never complain at meal time. Keep them coming!

  3. Posted January 25, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    This looks amazingI I could eat that whole platter

  4. Posted January 25, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    a perfect treat for superbowl, love the spice combo!!


  5. Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:55 am | Permalink

    Delicious! That combo is just so mouthwatering.



  6. samir
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    who can resist..crispy crunchy pita and tender spicy meat..have never tried it with the sun dried tomotoes..

  7. Posted January 26, 2011 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    Prefect starters, sooo tempting..

  8. Posted January 26, 2011 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    This looks fabulous, I can’t imagine how tasty this would be.

  9. Posted January 26, 2011 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Dire que je viens de sortir de table et que, grâce à toi, j’ai de nouveau l’eau à la bouche ! ;o) Ton idée est délicieuse. Je prends note. Tu sais que je vais finir par avoir un recueil terrible de tes recettes. Pourquoi ne pas les proposer à un éditeur qui nous compilerait ça parfaitement. Un livre se rangerait mieux dans ma bibliothèque … plutôt que tous ces feuillets qui traînent ! ;o))) Allez, penses-y !

  10. Posted January 26, 2011 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Marvelous! :-)

  11. Posted January 26, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    This must be so tasty. Thanks for the great idea, I’m loving all of it, also the sun dried tomatoes.

  12. Posted January 26, 2011 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    This looks like just the sort of thing that would go down well when I have friends around for an aperitif in France.Thanks for the idea. Diane

  13. Posted January 26, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Indeed this is a beautiful meze. Mediterranean dishes are so similar that really show how much interrelated our cultures are.

  14. SYLVIA
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    labor light Mediterranean stuffed pita, is perfect weeknight supper. with a side of tomato salad you’re good to go, my husband’s favorite, next time I will add the sun dried tomatoes; the lipstick to the meat. Thank you Joumana.

  15. Posted January 26, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    This sounds so good with the addition of sun-dried tomato, would be a perfect lunch right now!

  16. Posted January 26, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Snacks, appetizers, quick dinner, whatever, so many ways this can help me out. Thanks!

  17. Posted January 26, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    tu mets du soleil dans l’assiette avec cette recette …..merci pour ton gentil commentaire aussi, je n’ai malheureusement pas le temps d’aller trop sur les blogs en ce moment et je le regrette !

  18. Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Another wonderful thing to do with pita and add to my mezze list. It looks great

  19. Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Perfect for a party or even just a week night dinner with a salad

  20. Posted January 26, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    These could be a meal for me! They look so good!

  21. Posted January 26, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Love your fusion style kaftas! I first got introduced to this at my mother in law’s house. Whenever we have any bbq meat leftover, we use pita breads to stuff them. I love the addition of sun dried tomatoes.

  22. Posted January 26, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    I love fresh warm pita bread.
    These look like lovely quesadillas!

  23. Posted January 26, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    They look awsome, Joumama. Another one the boys will like. Thanks very much.

  24. Posted January 27, 2011 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Looks delicious. It’s very similar to Lahmacun that some bloggers made for the Turkey stop on the Culinary Tour, isn’t it?

  25. Posted January 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    wow….i’m so hungry i wanna make this! lol.

  26. Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    magic words: sun-dried tomatoes and budget. marvelous meal, joumana!

  27. Posted January 29, 2011 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    That sounds really good… I’ve never had it before, but the spice mix is just down my alley!

  28. Posted January 31, 2011 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    this is a beauty of a recipe, Joumana. i love the idea of layering meat in a pita. x shayma

  29. Posted February 4, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    mmm looks delicious, will try it soon!

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