Lamb or beef (precisely 20% fat, 80% meat) is minced twice for finer consistency. A mixture of lamb and beef is also popular. Salt, black pepper, very finely grated onion and optionally one egg yolk per pound of meat is added. All ingredients are mixed, covered, and left to marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight.

Kabab koobideh is grilled on wide, flat skewers, traditionally over hot coals, and is served with chelow (Iranian plain white rice with oil, salt and saffron), accompanied by grilled tomatoes and onions. Sumac is usually served as a tableside garnishing spice.

Chicken kabab koobideh is made using chives or green onions, parsley, salt and pepper—no turmeric and no sumac. It is served over baghali polo (dill and broad bean rice pilaf).