How to Make Kibbeh Recipe:

Kibbeh is a classic Levantine dish consisting of a mixture of bulgur, minced onions, and finely ground lean beef or lamb meat with Middle Eastern spices. There are many variations, but here’s a basic recipe for making kibbeh:

  • For the Kibbeh Shell:
    • 1 cup fine bulgur wheat
    • 1 pound lean ground lamb or beef
    • 1 medium onion, finely chopped or grated
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon cumin
    • ½ teaspoon allspice
    • A pinch of cinnamon
    • Ice water, as needed
  • For the Filling:
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 pound ground lamb or beef (a bit fattier is okay for flavor)
    • 1 medium onion, finely diced
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon allspice
    • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
    • Pine nuts or walnuts, chopped (optional)
    • Handful of chopped parsley (optional)


  1. Prepare the Bulgar:
    • Place the bulgur in a bowl and cover it with cold water. Let it soak for about 10 minutes until it’s softened. Then, drain it and squeeze out excess water.
  2. Make the Kibbeh Shell:
    • Combine the soaked bulgur, ground lamb or beef, onion, and the spices in a food processor. Process until you have a dough-like consistency. If the mixture is too dry, add a bit of ice water to help it come together. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the Filling:
    • Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent.
    • Add the ground meat and cook until browned. Season with salt, pepper, allspice, and cayenne pepper if using. Stir in the nuts and parsley if using, then remove from heat and let cool.
  4. Assemble the Kibbeh:
    • Wet your hands with some ice water. Take an egg-sized amount of kibbeh shell mixture and form it into a ball.
    • Make a hole in the ball with your finger, turning the ball to form a pocket.
    • Spoon some of the filling into the pocket, then close the opening, and shape the kibbeh into an oval or football shape. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
  5. Cook the Kibbeh:
    • To Fry: Fill a deep skillet with oil for frying and heat to 350°F (175°C). Fry the kibbeh in batches until browned on all sides and cooked through.
    • To Bake: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Place the kibbeh on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Bake for about 30 minutes or until they’re browned and cooked through.
  6. Serve:
    • Serve the kibbeh hot with sides like yogurt, cucumber salad, or tahini sauce.

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