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Lebanese Kibbeh Recipe: Delicious Homemade Tips

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Kibbeh is a traditional Lebanese dish that is both delicious and versatile. Whether you prefer it fried, baked, or shaped into football-like balls, this recipe has something for everyone.

Made with a mix of bulgur wheat, onions, and ground meat, kibbeh delivers a unique blend of textures. The filling often includes spiced meat and pine nuts, creating a savory and satisfying bite.

Follow this easy recipe to impress your friends and family with authentic Lebanese kibbeh. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner, you’ll find this dish a rewarding addition to your culinary repertoire.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

For making Lebanese Kibbeh, you’ll need the following ingredients. Some of these ingredients can be substituted with similar ones if needed.

Main Ingredients

  • Bulgur Wheat: 2 cups, soaked and drained.

    • Substitute: Quinoa (use same amount).
  • Ground Beef or Lamb: 1 pound.

    • Substitute: Ground turkey or chicken (use same amount).

  • Onion: 1 medium, finely chopped.

  • Fresh Mint Leaves: 2 tablespoons, finely chopped.

    • Substitute: Fresh basil or cilantro.
  • Spices: 1 tablespoon of kamouneh spice. You can also use a mix of:

    • Cumin: 1 teaspoon.
    • Cinnamon: ½ teaspoon.
    • Allspice: ½ teaspoon.

Filling Ingredients

  • Onion: 1 small, finely chopped.

  • Pine Nuts: ¼ cup.

    • Substitute: Chopped almonds or walnuts.
  • Ground Beef or Lamb: ½ pound.

    • Substitute: Ground turkey or chicken (use same amount).

  • Salt and Pepper: To taste.

Additional Ingredients

  • Olive Oil: 2 tablespoons.

  • Ice Water: As needed, for shaping.

Optional Serving Sauces

  • Tahini Sauce
  • Tzatziki Sauce
  • Plain Greek Yogurt

Experiment with some of these substitutes if you can’t find certain items. Enjoy cooking!


1. Preheat Oven:
Heat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

2. Prepare the Pan:
Grease a round baking dish with olive oil. You can use a 12-inch or 14-inch dish.

3. Make Kibbeh Mixture:
Soak bulgur wheat in water for 10 minutes, then fluff it. Combine soaked bulgur with minced onion, basil or mint, kamouneh spice, and salt in a food processor. Blend until smooth.

4. Make the Filling:
Sauté onion in a pan until golden. Add ground beef and cook until browned. Mix in toasted pine nuts, spices, salt, and pepper. Remove from heat and let it cool.

5. Layering:
Divide the kibbeh mixture in half. Spread the first half evenly on the bottom of the greased baking dish.

6. Add Filling:
Spread the cooled beef mixture on top of the first kibbeh layer.

7. Top Layer:
Spread the remaining kibbeh mixture over the beef layer. Smooth it out with wet hands.

8. Cut and Decorate:
Score the top layer with a knife into diamond or square shapes. This helps the kibbeh cook evenly.

9. Bake:
Place the dish in the preheated oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

10. Serve:
Let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy your delicious kibbeh!

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

There are many ways to enjoy Lebanese kibbeh. Here are some popular variations:

Kibbeh Nayeh: This is raw kibbeh made with fresh meat and spices. It’s usually served with mint leaves, green onions, and pita bread.

Kibbeh Bil Sanieh: Baked kibbeh is made by layering the kibbeh mixture with hashweh (a spiced meat filling). It’s baked until golden and crispy.

Kibbeh Labanieh: Kibbeh balls are cooked in a creamy yogurt sauce. This dish is often enjoyed with rice or warm bread.

Fried Kibbeh Balls: These are deep-fried balls filled with a mixture of ground meat and pine nuts. They are crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

Serving Suggestions

  • With Salad: Kibbeh pairs well with a fresh salad like tabbouleh or fattoush.

  • With Dips: Serve kibbeh with hummus or baba ghanoush for a tasty combination.

  • As a Sandwich: Stuff kibbeh into pita bread with some veggies and tahini sauce.

  • With Rice: Pair kibbeh with Lebanese rice and a side of garlic sauce.

  • Finger Food: Fried kibbeh balls make a great appetizer for parties.

Mix and match these variations to suit your taste buds. Enjoy!