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Kibbee Lebanese Style Recipe

Kibbee is a traditional Lebanese dish that's both flavorful and hearty. This recipe combines ground lamb with aromatic spices and a hint of mint, layered with crunchy pine nuts.

Kibbee Lebanese Style Recipe

Photos of Kibbee Lebanese Style Recipe

Some ingredients in this recipe might not be in your pantry, such as bulgur, ground lamb, and pine nuts. Be sure to check the international or Middle Eastern section of your supermarket for these items.

Ingredients for Kibbee Lebanese Style Recipe

bulgur: A type of whole grain made from cracked wheat, providing a chewy texture.

mint: Adds a fresh, aromatic flavor to the dish.

ground allspice: A warm, sweet spice that adds depth to the flavor profile.

ground black pepper: Adds a bit of heat and enhances the other spices.

ground cinnamon: Adds a subtle, sweet warmth.

salt: Enhances the flavors of all the ingredients.

onion: Provides a savory base for the mixture.

fresh parsley: Adds a touch of freshness and color.

ground lamb: The main protein, providing a rich and distinct flavor.

pine nuts: Adds a crunchy texture and a nutty flavor.

One reader, Darci Sauer says:

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This kibbee Lebanese style recipe is fantastic! The flavors are perfectly balanced, and the texture is spot on. The combination of spices and pine nuts creates a deliciously unique dish. It's easy to make and a hit with the whole family. Highly recommend trying it!

Darci Sauer

Mastering the Techniques for Kibbee Lebanese Style Recipe

How to soak bulgur: Soak bulgur in hot water for about 10 minutes until it expands and cools. How to use a food processor: Place the bulgur, mint, allspice, pepper, cinnamon, salt, onion, parsley, and lamb in a food processor and process for about 1 minute until well mixed. How to layer and pat meat: Divide the lamb mixture and layer half in the baking dish, creating a large patty. Sprinkle pine nuts over the meat, then layer the remaining lamb on top, patting firmly. How to cut kibbee: Cut the kibbee into 1½-inch squares before baking. How to use an instant-read thermometer: Insert an instant-read thermometer into the center of the kibbee to ensure it reads 160 degrees F, indicating the lamb is no longer pink in the middle.

How To Make Kibbee Lebanese Style

Kibbee, as the name stands for, is a ball-shaped traditional Lebanese croquettes made with spiced ground lamb, bulgur, and onions baked to crisp perfection.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes



  • ½cupbulgur
  • ½cuphot water
  • ½tspmint,dried
  • ¼tspground allspice
  • ¼tspground black pepper
  • tspground cinnamon
  • ¼tspsalt
  • 1onion,minced
  • 2tbspfresh parsley,chopped
  • 1lbground lamb
  • 2tbsppine nuts


  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish.

  2. Soak bulgur in hot water for about 10 minutes until the bulgur expands and cools. Place the bulgur, mint, allspice, pepper, cinnamon, salt, onion, parsley, and lamb in a food processor. Process for about 1 minute until well mixed.

  3. Divide the lamb mixture and layer half in the baking dish, creating a large patty. Sprinkle pine nuts over the meat, then layer the remaining lamb on top, patting firmly. Cut the kibbee into 1½-inch squares.

  4. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until the lamb is no longer pink in the middle. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 160 degrees F.


  • Calories: 422.19kcal
  • Fat: 29.73g
  • Saturated Fat: 11.82g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 11.72g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.64g
  • Carbohydrates: 17.13g
  • Fiber: 3.06g
  • Sugar: 1.57g
  • Protein: 21.94g
  • Cholesterol: 82.78mg
  • Sodium: 219.01mg
  • Calcium: 38.44mg
  • Potassium: 409.45mg
  • Iron: 2.66mg
  • Vitamin A: 8.61µg
  • Vitamin C: 4.95mg

Crucial Technique Tip for Perfecting Kibbee Lebanese Style

To ensure the bulgur is evenly soaked and fluffed, use a fork to gently stir it after adding the hot water. This helps to separate the grains and prevents clumping, resulting in a better texture for your kibbee.

Time-Saving Tips for Kibbee Lebanese Style Recipe

Soak bulgur in advance: Soak the bulgur ahead of time to save on prep work. This allows you to start cooking immediately.

Use a food processor: A food processor speeds up the mixing process, ensuring all ingredients are well combined quickly.

Pre-chop ingredients: Chop the onion and parsley beforehand to streamline the assembly process.

Preheat the oven: Preheat your oven while preparing the mixture to save time.

Batch preparation: Double the recipe and freeze half for a quick meal later.

Substitute Ingredients For Kibbee Lebanese Style Recipe

  • bulgur - Substitute with quinoa: Quinoa has a similar texture and can absorb flavors well, making it a good alternative to bulgur.

  • hot water - Substitute with vegetable broth: Using vegetable broth can add more depth of flavor compared to plain hot water.

  • mint - Substitute with basil: Basil provides a fresh and aromatic flavor that can complement the dish similarly to mint.

  • ground allspice - Substitute with ground cloves and nutmeg: A mix of ground cloves and nutmeg can mimic the warm, spicy notes of allspice.

  • ground black pepper - Substitute with white pepper: White pepper has a similar heat profile but is slightly milder, making it a good alternative.

  • ground cinnamon - Substitute with ground nutmeg: Ground nutmeg offers a warm, sweet flavor that can replace cinnamon in many recipes.

  • salt - Substitute with soy sauce: Soy sauce can add a salty and umami flavor, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.

  • onion - Substitute with shallots: Shallots have a milder and sweeter flavor compared to onions, making them a good substitute.

  • fresh parsley - Substitute with cilantro: Cilantro provides a fresh and slightly citrusy flavor, similar to parsley.

  • ground lamb - Substitute with ground beef: Ground beef has a similar texture and can be used as a substitute in many recipes.

  • pine nuts - Substitute with slivered almonds: Slivered almonds have a similar texture and mild flavor, making them a good alternative to pine nuts.

Presenting Kibbee Lebanese Style

  1. Serve smaller portion sizes: Present the kibbee in elegant, bite-sized portions to highlight its delicate flavors and textures.

  2. Use decoration: Garnish the dish with a sprinkle of finely chopped fresh parsley and a few whole pine nuts for visual appeal and added texture.

  3. Plate with precision: Arrange the kibbee pieces neatly on a pristine white plate, ensuring each piece is evenly spaced to create a clean and sophisticated look.

  4. Add a sauce: Drizzle a light yogurt sauce infused with mint and lemon juice around the kibbee to enhance the flavor profile and add a touch of elegance.

  5. Incorporate color: Add a small side of tabbouleh salad, featuring vibrant tomatoes, cucumbers, and parsley, to bring a burst of color and freshness to the plate.

  6. Highlight textures: Place a few crispy pita chips on the side to provide a contrasting crunch to the soft and savory kibbee.

  7. Use a unique serving dish: Opt for a modern, geometric plate or a rustic wooden board to present the kibbee, adding an extra layer of sophistication to the presentation.

  8. Finish with a flourish: Lightly dust the plate with a pinch of ground cinnamon and allspice to tie together the aromatic elements of the dish and create a visually appealing finish.

Essential Tools for Making Kibbee Lebanese Style

  • Oven: Used to bake the kibbee at a consistent temperature of 350 degrees F.

  • Baking dish: An 8-inch square dish is required to shape and bake the kibbee.

  • Grease: To coat the baking dish and prevent the kibbee from sticking.

  • Measuring cups: Essential for accurately measuring the bulgur and hot water.

  • Measuring spoons: Necessary for measuring the mint, allspice, pepper, cinnamon, and salt.

  • Food processor: Used to mix the bulgur, spices, onion, parsley, and lamb into a well-blended mixture.

  • Knife: To cut the kibbee into 1½-inch squares before baking.

  • Cutting board: Provides a safe surface for chopping the onion and parsley.

  • Mixing bowl: To soak the bulgur in hot water and allow it to expand and cool.

  • Instant-read thermometer: Ensures the lamb reaches the safe internal temperature of 160 degrees F.

Storing and Freezing Kibbee Lebanese Style

  • Let the kibbee cool completely before storing or freezing.
  • To store in the refrigerator, place the cooled kibbee in an airtight container or wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. It will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze the kibbee:
    • Wrap the cooled kibbee tightly in plastic wrap, then place it in a freezer-safe container or resealable freezer bag.
    • Label the container or bag with the date and contents.
    • Kibbee can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat frozen kibbee:
    • Thaw the kibbee in the refrigerator overnight.
    • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
    • Place the thawed kibbee in a baking dish and cover it with foil.
    • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.
  • Alternatively, you can reheat individual portions of kibbee in the microwave:
    • Place a piece of kibbee on a microwave-safe plate.
    • Cover the plate with a damp paper towel to prevent the kibbee from drying out.
    • Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through.

How To Reheat Leftover Kibbee Lebanese Style

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover kibbee in an oven-safe dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until heated through. This method helps to retain the moisture and prevent the kibbee from drying out.

  • For a quicker option, you can use the microwave. Place the kibbee on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through. Be careful not to overheat, as this can cause the lamb to become tough.

  • If you prefer a crispy exterior, you can reheat the kibbee in a skillet. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the kibbee and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until crispy and heated through. This method works best if you have a few pieces of kibbee rather than a large portion.

  • For a flavorful twist, try reheating the kibbee in a tomato-based sauce. Place the kibbee in a saucepan with your favorite tomato sauce and simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through. This method adds moisture and a delicious tangy flavor to the dish.

  • If you have a lot of leftover kibbee, consider transforming it into a new dish. Crumble the kibbee and use it as a filling for stuffed vegetables, such as bell peppers or zucchini. Bake the stuffed vegetables in the oven until the filling is heated through and the vegetables are tender.

Fascinating Facts About Kibbee Lebanese Style

A traditional Lebanese dish, kibbee is often enjoyed during special occasions and family gatherings. The use of bulgur and ground lamb gives it a unique texture and flavor, while the spices like allspice and cinnamon add a distinctive Middle Eastern aroma.

Is Making Kibbee Lebanese Style at Home Cost-Effective?

This kibbee Lebanese-style recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The primary ingredients like bulgur, onion, and parsley are inexpensive. While ground lamb and pine nuts can be pricier, the overall cost remains reasonable. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $15-$20. Overall Verdict: 8/10.

Is Kibbee Lebanese Style Healthy or Unhealthy?

The kibbee Lebanese style recipe is a flavorful dish, but it may not be the healthiest option due to a few factors:

  • Ground lamb is high in saturated fat, which can contribute to heart disease and other health issues when consumed in excess.
  • The recipe lacks a significant amount of vegetables, which are essential for providing fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • The dish is relatively high in calories, mainly from the lamb and pine nuts.

However, the recipe does include some healthy ingredients, such as bulgur (a whole grain), onion, and parsley, which provide some nutrients and fiber.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Replace half of the ground lamb with lean ground turkey or chicken to reduce the saturated fat content.
  • Add more vegetables to the dish, such as grated zucchini, carrots, or bell peppers, to increase the fiber and nutrient content.
  • Reduce the amount of pine nuts or replace them with a lower-calorie alternative, such as chopped almonds or walnuts.
  • Serve the kibbee with a side salad or roasted vegetables to balance the meal and add more nutrients.
  • Use whole grain bulgur instead of regular bulgur to increase the fiber content further.

By making these adjustments, you can enjoy the delicious flavors of kibbee while making it a more well-rounded and nutritious meal.

Editor's Opinion on Kibbee Lebanese Style Recipe

This kibbee recipe is a delightful blend of traditional Lebanese flavors. The combination of spices like allspice, cinnamon, and mint with ground lamb creates a rich, aromatic dish. The use of bulgur adds a pleasant texture, while the pine nuts provide a subtle crunch. Baking the kibbee ensures a healthier preparation compared to frying. However, I would recommend finely dicing the onion and parsley before adding them to the food processor for a more even distribution. Overall, this recipe is straightforward and yields a flavorful, authentic Lebanese dish.

Enhance Your Kibbee Lebanese Style Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Tabbouleh Salad: Tabbouleh Salad: Imagine a refreshing salad bursting with the flavors of fresh parsley, mint, and tomatoes. This vibrant dish adds a zesty contrast to the rich, savory notes of the kibbee, making every bite a delightful dance of textures and tastes.
Baba Ghanoush: Baba Ghanoush: Picture a creamy, smoky eggplant dip that pairs perfectly with the hearty kibbee. The smooth texture and subtle charred flavor of this Mediterranean classic create a harmonious balance, elevating your meal to a new level of culinary delight.
Fattoush: Fattoush: Envision a colorful salad featuring crispy pita bread, cucumbers, and radishes, all tossed in a tangy lemon vinaigrette. This crunchy, refreshing side dish adds a burst of freshness that complements the rich, spiced lamb in the kibbee.
Lentil Soup: Lentil Soup: Imagine a warm, comforting bowl of lentil soup infused with cumin, garlic, and lemon. This hearty, nutritious soup provides a soothing counterpoint to the bold flavors of the kibbee, making it a perfect companion for a well-rounded meal.
Baklava: Baklava: Picture ending your meal with a sweet, flaky dessert layered with honey and nuts. This indulgent treat offers a delightful contrast to the savory kibbee, providing a satisfying finish to your culinary journey.

Delicious Alternatives to Kibbee Lebanese Style Recipe

Lebanese Stuffed Grape Leaves: Dive into the delightful world of Lebanese cuisine with these stuffed grape leaves. Filled with a savory mixture of rice, ground beef, and aromatic herbs, these little parcels are a burst of flavor in every bite.
Chicken Shawarma: Experience the rich, aromatic flavors of Middle Eastern street food with homemade chicken shawarma. Marinated in a blend of spices and yogurt, then grilled to perfection, this dish is perfect for wrapping in pita bread with fresh vegetables and tahini sauce.
Tabbouleh Salad: Refresh your palate with a vibrant tabbouleh salad. This Mediterranean classic combines finely chopped parsley, mint, tomatoes, and bulgur, all tossed in a zesty lemon and olive oil dressing.
Baba Ghanoush: Indulge in the smoky, creamy goodness of baba ghanoush. This eggplant dip is blended with tahini, garlic, and a hint of lemon juice, making it a perfect companion for pita bread or fresh vegetables.
Falafel: Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, falafel is a beloved vegetarian delight. Made from chickpeas, herbs, and spices, these golden fritters are perfect for stuffing into pita with hummus and salad.

Appetizers and Desserts to Complement Kibbee Lebanese Style Recipe

Stuffed Grape Leaves: Elevate your meal with Stuffed Grape Leaves, a delightful Lebanese appetizer. These tender grape leaves are filled with a savory mixture of rice, herbs, and spices, creating a harmonious blend of flavors. The lemon juice adds a tangy zest, perfectly complementing the fresh mint and parsley. Serve them chilled or at room temperature, and watch as your guests savor each bite of this exquisite dish.
Baba Ghanoush: Introduce your guests to the smoky, creamy goodness of Baba Ghanoush. This classic Lebanese dip is made from roasted eggplant, blended with tahini, garlic, and lemon juice. The result is a velvety smooth spread that pairs perfectly with pita bread or fresh vegetables. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika for an extra touch of flavor and visual appeal.
Baklava: Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of phyllo dough, filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with honey or syrup. The combination of crisp layers and the aromatic nut mixture creates a delightful contrast in texture and flavor. This dessert is often flavored with cinnamon and cloves, adding a warm, spicy note that complements the sweetness perfectly. Serve it with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra indulgent treat.
Kanafeh: Kanafeh is a traditional Middle Eastern dessert made with thin, noodle-like pastry soaked in sweet syrup and layered with cheese. The pastry is typically baked until golden and crispy, while the cheese becomes soft and gooey. Often garnished with pistachios and a drizzle of rose water or orange blossom syrup, this dessert offers a unique blend of textures and flavors. Serve it warm to enjoy the contrast between the crispy pastry and the melted cheese.

Why trust this Kibbee Lebanese Style Recipe:

This recipe for kibbee is a traditional Lebanese dish that brings authentic flavors to your table. The combination of ground lamb, bulgur, and aromatic spices like allspice and cinnamon creates a rich and satisfying meal. The addition of pine nuts adds a delightful crunch, making each bite a unique experience. Trust this recipe for its simplicity and genuine taste, perfect for both novice and experienced cooks.

Share your thoughts and experiences with making Kibbee Lebanese Style in the World Cuisines forum. Let's discuss any tips, tricks, or variations you may have for this delicious recipe!
How do I know when the kibbee is fully cooked?
I usually check the kibbee with an instant-read thermometer. It should read 160 degrees F in the center. If you don't have a thermometer, make sure the lamb is no longer pink in the middle.
Can I use a different type of meat instead of lamb?
Absolutely! You can substitute ground beef or even a mix of beef and lamb if you prefer. Just keep in mind that the flavor will be slightly different.
What can I serve with kibbee?
I love serving kibbee with a side of tabbouleh, hummus, or a simple cucumber yogurt salad. It pairs well with fresh, light sides.
Can I make kibbee ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the lamb mixture and layer it in the baking dish, then cover and refrigerate it for up to a day before baking. Just make sure to bring it to room temperature before putting it in the oven.
Is there a way to make this recipe gluten-free?
You can try substituting the bulgur with quinoa or a gluten-free grain of your choice. The texture might be a bit different, but it should still taste great.

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