Kefta bi Laban (meatballs in yogurt sauce)

Delicious Mediterranean Meat Balls in Yogurt Sauce – Kefta Bi Laban

Kefta bi Laban (meatballs in yogurt sauce)

Kefta bi Laban (meatballs in yogurt sauce)

Labaniyeh means yogurt sauce in Arabic. It’s a tangy, garlicky yogurt sauce that has a hint of mint that keeps your craving more! It can be made with shish barak (a meat-filled pasta similar to tortellini), kusa (stuffed squash), Kibbeh (burgul meatball) or Kefta (spiced meatball).

This time I made it with Kefta and pasta which gave it a similar texture to shish barak without the timely process of making your own tortellini. It was delicious and loved by the entire family. The next day we ate it with a side of rice instead of pasta, which made it into a delicious winter soup. My husband compared it to a Mediterranean version of Italian wedding. Personally I prefer Kefta bi Laban with rice.


Meatball Recipe


1 lb ground beef or lamb

1/4 of an onion, minced

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp 7 spice mix

Salt and pepper to taste


Mix all ingredients together and form into a ball. Set aside.

Yogurt Sauce


1 32 oz tub of Laban (tangy plain yogurt from a Mediterranean market)

1/2 gallon of yogurt drink

1 – 2 tbsp of flour

1 – 2 tbsp of crushed dried mint

4 cloves of garlic, minced.

1 tsp ghee or butter

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Blend half of the Laban container with half of the yogurt drink with 1 tablespoon of flour in a vitamix blender.
  2. Transfer to a Dutch oven.
  3. Repeat with the rest of the Laban and yogurt drink.
  4. Heat Laban in Dutch oven on medium heat until simmering. Be careful not to scorch or over boil. It can reach a low bubbling temperature.
  5. At this point, add meatballs (or any other type of substance — kusa, shish-barak, Kibbeh).
  6. In a separate small skillet, sauté minced garlic in ghee or butter for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Once meatballs are cooked through, pour garlic and ghee into the Laban.
  8. Cook for 3 minutes.

Add crushed mint and serve.

Can be served with rice or pasta.



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