Arabic Meatloaf with Potatoes (Kiftet Batatta)

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Kifta is a staple meatloaf mixture that forms the basis for many Arabic main dishes, raw and cooked. This meatloaf, kiftet batatta (meatloaf with potatoes), is topped with potatoes for an easy main dish and features spring parsley. I serve it with a seasonal salad. Enjoy!

Kiftet Batatta (Arabic Meatloaf with Potatoes)

  • 3 medium to medium-large potatoes, peeled and boiled, then sliced into 3/8” slices
  • 2 pounds ground lamb (or ground beef)
  • 1 onion, diced finely
  • 1 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped (or 1/3 cup dried)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can or jar tomato sauce
  • additional sea salt, pepper, and parsley

Serves 6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine ground lamb or beef, onions, parsley, salt and pepper and mix well. Press into deep square baking dish. Top with sliced potatoes.

To the tomatoes, add a pinch each of salt, pepper and fresh or dried parsley. Mix. Pour (most or all) over potatoes and lamb mixture. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until lamb is cooked. Remove from oven. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

How’s your weather? We’ve had a rainy week here and it promises to continue through the weekend. Yet, we’re still planning to garden tomorrow at our friends’ because there’s weeding to be done, lettuce and spinach to harvest, and peas to string — rain or shine. Have a wonderful weekend, all!

This post may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. Thank you for supporting Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS with your purchases. Our family thanks you!


  1. Evie says

    Hey that’s really smart!! I never thought of putting potatoes in meatloaf! I’m trying that tonight. Thanks!

  2. christin says

    Yum! We are trying this tonight. We have tons of spices…are there any Arabic spices we can add? Thanks!

  3. Brandi says

    I did make this the other night, and it is great. I added a minced clove of garlic to the meat mixture. (We love garlic.) This might be a good recipe to try in the crock pot this summer when it’s too hot for the oven.

    • says

      Brandi — Yes, garlic! And sometimes I add a pinch more mint to the meat mixture. I love mint with ground meat. Good idea to try the crockpot!

  4. Maria says

    I tried this recipe last night and it didn’t come out so great. There was a large amount of liquid that came out and we ended up with a wet, boiled the meat dish. I’m wondering what I did wrong. Here are some thoughts:

    1. We used not completely grass fed beef from whole foods. Maybe the meat was processed with water.
    2. We used Muir Glen fire roasted whole tomatoes and pureed them. by the way I used to like this flavor but it just tasted burt and bitter.
    3. My oven isn’t hot enough?

    This was my first recipe trial on your site but I won’t give up yet. I’m so excited about your courses and want to try out some more recipes first.

    Maria Sireci

    • says

      Maria — I’m sorry! You know, because of the tomatoes (not just yours) it does tend toward the watery side. What I’d suggest is adding some sprouted flour or sourdough breadcrumbs to the meat mixture. They’ll absorb some of that moisture and give you more of the typical meatloaf texture. Thanks for letting me know!

  5. christin says

    I made a huge double batch. I added like 4 cloves of garlic, nutmeg, cumin, allspice, parsley, salt and pepper mixed in grass fed beef.
    I added some onion in it as well as sliced onions over the tomatoes. I mashed sweet potatoes with butter and mixed in eggs to keep in together, then I spread that on the meat. I then added the tomatoes paste(Bio-Nature) instead of sauce and then onion slices. I was perfect with no water. Thanks!!! It’s nice to get a different flavor out of ingredients we use often.

  6. Elizabeth says

    This reminds me of my mother’s “Washday Casserole,” a dish that she learned from HER mother. It was a casserole dish filled with layers of sliced potatoes, onions, browned ground beef, and canned tomatoes or tomato sauce, baked until the potatoes and onions were tender.

  7. Pamela says

    Hi, Wardee! I’m looking forward to trying this recipe but have a question first – is it necessary to boil the potatoes first? Won’t they cook in the oven along with everything else? I just hate the idea of cooking the potatoes twice, as I think it could deplete them of nutrients. Would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi, Pamela! It isn’t necessary to boil first, but it does help and here’s why. The potatoes take much longer to cook than the hamburger, which makes the hamburger overcooked. Yet it is a matter of taste, so go ahead and bake longer if you want to avoid the boiling step.

  8. says

    The rest of the family is iffy about the Arabic Meatloaf, but I’m excited–it’s in the oven right now. I used a beautiful (and potent!) onion from the farmer’s market. I wish my sourdough bread were ready to serve with it, but I got that started too late today–maybe with leftovers tomorrow night.
    Thanks so much for the recipe.

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