How to make Smashed Kefta Tacos

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Try Smashed Kefta Tacos, a fusion of Middle Eastern and Mexican flavours. Juicy turkey mince patties seasoned with herbs and Baharat spice are cooked until golden brown, then topped with creamy Greek yoghurt, pickled cucumber, grilled cherry tomatoes, and more. Perfect for sharing or as a standout dish at gatherings!

Smashed Kefta Tacos bring together Middle Eastern and Mexican flavours in a delightful fusion. Tender turkey mince is seasoned with aromatic herbs, garlic, Baharat spice, and more to create flavorful kefta patties. These patties are flattened onto tortillas for a unique taco twist. Cooked until golden brown, they’re juicy and savoury. Grilled cherry tomatoes add a smoky touch.

To assemble, warm tortillas get a creamy boost from Greek yoghurt with lemon juice. Red onions, pickled cucumber, and red cabbage offer crunch and tang. Grilled cherry tomatoes add juicy sweetness, while salad leaves bring freshness. A drizzle of chilli sauce adds heat, and feta cheese (optional) offers creaminess.

Smashed Kefta Tacos are perfect for sharing or as a standout dish at gatherings. Whether served as a main course or appetizer, these tacos are sure to leave everyone craving more. You should also try our Korean-style Keema, Turkey Mince Noodles, Easy 15-minute Udon Noodles, Easy Sweet and Sour Vegetable Stir Fry or Turkish Meatballs with Hasselback Potatoes for a delicious lunch or dinner.

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Why this recipe works

This recipe is a winner because it brings together tasty ingredients in a unique way. The juicy turkey patties, seasoned just right, provide a delicious taste. Topping the tacos with creamy Greek yoghurt, pickled cucumber, and more adds extra yumminess. Whether served as a main meal or a tasty snack, these tacos are sure to be a hit!

Ingredients to make Kefta Tacos

Here’s a list of the ingredients in this recipe and what they add to the taste.

Key Ingredients for Kefta Tacos:

  • Turkey mince (or beef/lamb): The main protein component for the kefta patties.
  • Herbs du PROVENCE: Provides flavor and aroma to the kefta patties.
  • Baharat spice: Adds depth of flavour and warmth to the dish.
  • Onion and garlic: Essential aromatic ingredients that add flavour to the kefta patties.
  • Olive oil: Used for cooking the kefta patties and for grilling cherry tomatoes.
  • Fresh herbs (mint and dill): Add freshness and herbaceous taste to the dish.
  • Freshly grated pepper and salt: Enhances the overall seasoning of the kefta patties.

Tortillas: Serves as the base for assembling the tacos.

Toppings

  • Cherry tomatoes: Grilled for a smoky touch and added flavour.
  • Greek yoghurt: Provides creaminess and tanginess to the tacos.
  • Lemon juice: Adds a bright and citrusy taste to the Greek yoghurt.
  • Red onion: Adds crunch and a mild onion flavour to the tacos.
  • Pickled cucumber and pickled red cabbage: Offers tanginess and texture to the tacos.
  • Salad: Adds freshness and additional crunch to the tacos.
  • Chilli sauce or sriracha: Adds heat and spice to the tacos.
  • Optional: Feta cheese: Adds creaminess and a salty flavour to the tacos, if desired.

These ingredients work together to create flavorful and satisfying Smashed Kefta Tacos, with each component contributing to the overall taste and texture of the dish.

Substitutions

Here are some ingredient substitutions you can consider for making Smashed Kefta Tacos, depending on dietary preferences and ingredient availability:

Turkey mince: Ground beef or lamb is a great alternative. You can also use ground chicken, pork, or a plant-based meat substitute for a lighter or vegetarian option.

Herbs du PROVENCE: If you don’t have Herbs du PROVENCE, you can use a combination of dried herbs such as thyme, rosemary, marjoram, and savory.

Baharat spice: If Baharat spice is not available, you can make a substitute by combining equal parts of ground black pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and paprika.

Medium tortillas: Corn tortillas can be used instead of wheat tortillas for a gluten-free option.

Cherry tomatoes: Any tomatoes, such as Roma or vine-ripened tomatoes, can be grilled.

Greek yoghurt: Use sour cream or plain yoghurt instead.

Pickled cucumber: Fresh cucumber slices can be used as a substitute for pickled cucumber.

Pickled red cabbage: Shredded raw red cabbage gives the same crunch.

Chilli sauce or sriracha: Any hot sauce or salsa will go great with these tacos.

Optional: Feta cheese: Queso fresco or cotija cheese has a similar salty flavour.

These substitutions can help accommodate dietary preferences or ingredient availability while still maintaining the essence of Smashed Kefta Tacos.

Equipment you’ll need

Here are the essential equipment you’ll need for making these smashed kefta tacos:

  • Mixing bowl
  • Skillet or frying pan
  • Spatula or wooden spoon
  • Grill, oven or grill pan (optional, for grilling cherry tomatoes)
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
Smashed Kefta Tacos: Lettuce, red onion, yogurt dressing, sriracha, grilled cherry tomatoes topping the tacos.

Variations

Spicy Kefta Tacos: Add some heat by incorporating diced jalapeños or a spicy harissa sauce into the kefta mixture. Top with sliced pickled peppers for an extra kick.

Vegetarian Kefta Tacos: For a meatless version, use a mixture of cooked lentils, chickpeas, and your favorite spices as the base for your tacos. Smashing them adds a unique twist.

Kefta and Hummus Tacos: Spread a layer of creamy hummus on the tortillas before adding the smashed kefta meat. Top with fresh veggies and a drizzle of tahini sauce.

Kefta Taco Bowls: Skip the tortillas and serve your smashed kefta over a bed of fluffy couscous or quinoa. Add roasted vegetables and a side of tzatziki sauce.

Kefta Breakfast Tacos: Repurpose leftover kefta meat into breakfast tacos. Scramble some eggs, add the kefta, and garnish with fresh herbs and salsa.

Tacos with Salsa Verde: Swap out the traditional salsa for a vibrant salsa verde made with tomatillos, cilantro, and lime. The tangy flavour complements the kefta beautifully.

Kefta Tacos with Pickled Red Onions: Quick-pickle some red onions in vinegar and sugar for a zesty topping that adds a burst of colour.

Kefta and Roasted Veggie Tacos: Roast a medley of vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes, and serve them alongside your smashed kefta for a roasted twist.

Tacos with Pineapple Salsa: Create a tropical vibe by making a pineapple salsa with diced pineapple, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice. It pairs wonderfully with the kefta.

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How to make this recipe

Ready to whip up something delicious? Give our Smashed Kefta Tacos a try! This recipe is quick and simple, packed with flavorful ingredients that will leave your taste buds wanting more. We’ll walk you through each step, from smashing the kefta to assembling these mouthwatering tacos. Plus, your kitchen will be filled with amazing aromas as these tacos cook!

Take a peek at our handy guide complete with step-by-step photos.

Adding ingredients for kefta mixture to make Smashed Kefta Tacos.
Photo of seasoned kefta balls ready to be smashed for making Smashed Kefta Tacos.

In a large bowl, mix turkey mince, onion, garlic, Herbs du Provence, olive oil, mint, dill, pepper, salt, and Baharat spice until well combined.

Kefta ball on a tortilla, ready for smashing to make Smashed Kefta Tacos
Preparing Smashed Kefta Tacos: Smashing kefta balls onto a tortilla.

Divide the turkey mixture into 6 portions, shaping each into flattened oval patties over tortillas using parchment paper and a rolling pin.

Kefta smashed on a tortilla placed upside down in a pan for frying, preparing Smashed Kefta Tacos
Fried kefta on tortilla cooking in a pan for Smashed Kefta Tacos.

Drizzle olive oil in the pan. Place tortillas, meat side down, and cook for 4-5 mins until meat is cooked and tortillas are browned. Flip and cook for 1 more minute until golden. Remove from heat, fold in half, and set aside on a plate.

Fresh cherry tomatoes drizzled with olive oil, ready to grill for Smashed Kefta Tacos.
Juicy cherry tomatoes drizzled with olive oil, roasting in the oven for Smashed Kefta Tacos.

Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Arrange cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet or a ceramic, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle salt. Bake for 15 minutes until tomatoes are lightly charred. Take out of the oven and keep aside.

Fresh yogurt and tangy lemon juice, perfect for drizzle on Smashed Kefta Tacos.
Smashed Kefta Tacos: Lettuce, red onion, yogurt dressing, sriracha, grilled cherry tomatoes topping the tacos.

In a small bowl, mix the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

For Smashed Kefta Tacos, layer tortillas with red onion, pickled cucumber, pickled red cabbage, grilled cherry tomatoes, Greek yoghurt, salad leaves, chili sauce, and feta cheese crumbles. Enjoy them fresh, they are finger-licking delicious.

A full list of ingredients and instructions can be found in the recipe card below.

What drinks go well with smashed kefta tacos?

Pairing the right drinks with Smashed Kefta Tacos can enhance the overall dining experience. Here are some drink options that complement these flavorful tacos:

  1. Minty Lemonade: A refreshing mint-infused lemonade or a classic glass of lemonade can balance the bold flavours of the kefta and provide a cool contrast.
  2. Iced Tea: A cold glass of iced tea, whether sweetened or unsweetened, pairs well with the savoury and spiced elements of the dish.
  3. Cucumber Water: Infused cucumber water with a hint of lime can provide a hydrating and refreshing accompaniment to your tacos.
  4. Mexican Beer: Opt for a light and crisp Mexican beer like a Corona or Modelo Especial to complement the taco’s Mexican-inspired elements.
  5. Margarita: A classic margarita, either on the rocks or frozen, with its citrusy and slightly tangy notes, can be a fantastic match for the dish.
  6. Soda with Lime: A simple soda like Sprite or Club Soda with a squeeze of lime can provide a fizzy and citrusy contrast.
  7. Agua Fresca: Try a traditional Mexican agua fresca, such as watermelon or pineapple, for a fruity and refreshing beverage.
  8. Cerveza Michelada: If you’re feeling adventurous, pair your tacos with a Michelada, a Mexican beer cocktail made with beer, lime juice, and spices, and often served with a salted rim.
  9. Lassi: A yoghurt-based lassi, either sweet or savoury, can be a cooling and complimentary drink, especially if your tacos have a spicy kick.
  10. Sangria: If you prefer wine, a fruity and chilled sangria with its combination of wine, fruit, and spirits can be a delightful choice.

Whether you go for something traditional or opt for a creative twist, the goal is to enhance your enjoyment of Smashed Kefta Tacos. Cheers!

Smashed Kefta Tacos

How to make Tortillas from scratch?

Making tortillas from scratch is a rewarding and relatively simple process. Here’s a basic recipe to guide you:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted lard
  • About 3/4 cup of warm water

Instructions:

Mix Dry Ingredients:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and salt.

Add Fat:

  • Gradually add the vegetable oil or melted lard to the dry ingredients. Mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add Water:

  • Slowly pour in the warm water while stirring the mixture with a spoon or your hands. Continue to mix until the dough forms.

Knead the Dough:

  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for about 2-3 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour; if it’s too dry, add more water.

Rest the Dough:

  • Place the dough back in the mixing bowl, cover it with a clean cloth, and let it rest for about 20-30 minutes. This allows the gluten to relax and makes rolling the dough easier.

Divide and Roll:

  • Divide the rested dough into golf ball-sized portions. Roll each portion into a ball.
  • On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to flatten each ball into a thin, round tortilla. Aim for about 6-8 inches in diameter.

Cook the Tortillas:

  • Heat a dry skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, place a tortilla on it.
  • Cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side, or until the tortilla puffs up slightly and gets some brown spots. You can press down gently with a spatula to help it puff.
  • Remove the cooked tortilla and keep it warm in a clean kitchen towel or tortilla warmer while you cook the others.

Serve:

  • Serve your homemade tortillas warm with your favourite fillings or dishes.

That’s it! You’ve just made homemade tortillas from scratch. They’re perfect for tacos, burritos, quesadillas, or any other dish where tortillas are used. Enjoy!

Leftovers and Storage

Cooling Down: Allow any leftover kefta tacos to cool down to room temperature before storing.

Separate Components: If possible, separate the components of the tacos. Store the turkey mince patties, toppings, and tortillas separately in airtight containers to maintain freshness.

Refrigeration: Place the containers with the leftovers in the refrigerator within 2 hours of cooking. Consume within 3-4 days for optimal taste and quality.

Reheating: To reheat, warm up the turkey mince patties in the microwave or oven until heated through. Assemble the tacos with the toppings and tortillas just before serving.

Enjoying Cold: Alternatively, you can enjoy the leftovers cold if preferred. The flavors may have melded even more, creating a delicious experience.

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Juicy turkey mince patties seasoned with herbs and Baharat spice, topped with Greek yogurt, pickled cucumber, grilled cherry tomatoes, and more.

Smashed Kefta Tacos

Claudia
Smashed Kefta Tacos mix Middle Eastern and Mexican tastes with seasoned turkey patties on tortillas. Toppings: grilled cherry tomatoes, creamy Greek yogurt, crunchy red onions, pickled cucumber, tangy red cabbage, salad leaves, optional feta cheese. These tasty tacos are great for sharing or as a standout dish!
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 6
Calories 405 kcal

Equipment

  • Mixing Bowl: For combining and mixing the turkey mince with seasonings.
  • Skillet or Frying Pan: For cooking the kefta patties until they develop a golden-brown crust.
  • Parchment Paper: Used to cover the kefta patties when smashing them onto the tortillas.

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g turkey mince beef or lamb can be used as well
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 tbsp Herbs du PROVENCE
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • A handful of mint chopped
  • A handful of dill chopped
  • Freshly grated pepper
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp Baharat spice
  • 6 medium tortillas

To serve

  • Cherry tomatoes for grilling
  • Greek yogurt + a few drops of lemon juice
  • Red onion chopped julienne-style
  • Pickled cucumber diced
  • Pickled red cabbage
  • Salad roughly cut
  • Chili sauce or sriracha
  • Optional: Feta cheese crumbles

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, combine the turkey mince, chopped onion, chopped garlic, Herbs du PROVENCE, olive oil, mint, dill, freshly grated pepper, salt, and Baharat spice. Mix well until all the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
  • Heat a non-stick pan or skillet over medium heat. Divide the turkey mixture into 6 equal portions and shape each portion into a flattened oval patty. Place a tortilla on top of each patty. Cover with a piece of parchment paper and press down using your hands or a rolling pin, ensuring the meat mixture covers the entire surface of the tortillas.
  • Drizzle some olive oil onto the pan and place the tortillas, meat side down, in the pan. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and the tortillas are nicely browned. Flip the tortillas and cook for an additional minute until golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside on a plate, folding them in half.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Place the cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for about 15 minutes until the tomatoes are slightly charred. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
  • Warm the tortillas either by heating them in a dry skillet or by wrapping them in foil and placing them in the preheated oven for a few minutes.
  • To assemble the tacos, add chopped red onion, diced pickled cucumber, pickled red cabbage, a few grilled cherry tomatoes, and a spoonful of Greek yogurt onto each tortilla.
  • Top with a handful of roughly cut salad leaves and drizzle with chili sauce or sriracha to taste. Optionally, sprinkle some feta cheese crumbles on top.
  • Fold the tortillas in half and serve the Smashed Kefta Tacos immediately.

Video

Notes

Step-by-Step Guide: You’ll find a helpful step-by-step guide to making this recipe on my blog. 
Substitutions & Twists: I’ve listed some great substitutions and variations in the post above so that you can customise the dish to your liking.
Storage: These smashed kefta tacos are best consumed fresh. 
Tip 1: Flavorful Seasoning: Season the turkey mince patties generously with Middle Eastern spices like cumin, coriander, and paprika for an authentic taste.
Tip 2: Flatten the turkey patties onto tortillas evenly to ensure even cooking and a cohesive texture.
Tip 3: Use a variety of fresh toppings such as grilled cherry tomatoes, crunchy red onions, and tangy pickled cucumber to add texture and flavor contrast to the tacos.
Keyword kefta, mince, smashed kefta tacos, tacos, tortillas
Smashed Kefta Tacos

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Recipe Rating




9 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This taco recipe looks so yummy! Taco Tuesday will never be the same or I may say It’s Taco’s every day! I love this already!

  2. 5 stars
    I loved this recipe. I made a couple substitutions for the meat I used Gardein beefless ground and for the egg yolk I used Just Egg. It was delish.