overhead side view of meatballs in a cherry sauce in a white plate on a wood board

Cherry Kebab- Kebab Karaz

Course Dinner, easy dinner, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Keyword beef, cherry, lamb, meat, meatballs, sour, sweet
Prep Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Calories 610 kcal
Author Deana Kabakibi



  • 1 pound lamb or 80% beef, ground (or a mix of both)
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon baharat, 7 spice, or all-spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon milk (optional)
  • red pepper to taste (optional)

Cherry Sauce

  • 2 jars Trader Joe's Morello Cherries w/liquid (50 oz total, do not drain)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh
  • 1 loaf pita bread, cut in diamonds
  • parsley, chopped (garnish)
  • pine nuts, toasted (garnish)



  1. Place ground meat in a large bowl. Add grated onion, spices and milk, and mix by hand until well incorporated.

  2. Form meat into 0.5oz balls, between the size of a quarter and ping pong ball.

  3. Place in a large skillet over high heat. No oil is needed because the fat from the meat will be enough. Cook about 5 min, turning them halfway through to brown both sides, but not to cook all the way through. (you will be cooking them again in the sauce).

Cherry Sauce

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add both jars of cherries plus liquid. Add salt, cinnamon and lemon juice and stir together. Simmer for 30-45 min or until the sauce has reduced and becomes jammy in consistency.

  2. Once meatballs are done searing, add them to sauce and cover with the sauce and allow them to simmer together about 10 more min. where the meat will finish cooking.

  3. In a medium sized plate, arrange diamond cut pita around the outside perimeter of the plate and work your way in to the center so the whole plate is covered in the bread. Then top with the Cherry Kebab and sprinkle with parsley and pine nuts!

Recipe Notes

There are many ways ways to substitute fresh St. Lucie cherries. Please read the bulleted list above for reference. 

Feel free to add more cinnamon or leave it out completely. You can also omit the onion. The milk is used to add moistness to the meat and isn't necessary.