Lebanese Baked Kibbeh: A Family-Friendly Feast from the Heart of the Middle East

The Culinary Gem of Lebanon: Baked Kibbeh

Welcome, dear readers! Today, I'm thrilled to share with you a recipe that's close to my family's heart – Lebanese Baked Kibbeh. This dish is more than just food; it's a story of culture, tradition, and familial bonds, served on a plate.

History and Significance: Kibbeh, often dubbed as Lebanon's national dish, has a rich history that dates back centuries. It's a versatile dish, with variations found across the Middle East, each telling its own regional tale. Our focus today, the baked version, is known for its hearty flavors and is a staple in Lebanese households, especially during gatherings and celebrations.



  • 1 lb lean ground beef or lamb
  • 2 cups fine bulgur wheat
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • Yogurt, for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In a bowl, soak the bulgur wheat in cold water for 30 minutes, then drain.
  3. Mix half the ground meat with the bulgur, half the onion, a teaspoon of allspice, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Knead until well combined.
  4. In a skillet, cook the remaining meat with the rest of the onion, pine nuts, remaining allspice, salt, and pepper.
  5. In a greased baking dish, spread half of the bulgur mixture. Layer the cooked meat on top, then cover with the remaining bulgur mixture, pressing gently.
  6. Score the top with a diamond pattern, brush with olive oil, and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Serve warm with a side of yogurt, if desired. (Click here for my Middle Eastern Yogurt Dip!)

Tips and Tricks:

  • Bulgur Size Matters: Use fine bulgur for the best texture. It binds better and creates a smooth layer.
  • Balancing Flavors: Adjust the spices to your liking. Lebanese cuisine is all about balancing spices like allspice and cinnamon.
  • Make It Ahead: You can prepare kibbeh a day in advance and bake it just before serving.
  • Freezer-Friendly: Kibbeh freezes well, making it perfect for meal prep.

Essential Ingredients and Tools for Your Kibbeh Adventure:

  1. Fine Bulgur Wheat: The backbone of your kibbeh, providing texture and absorbing flavors beautifully. (Link to the brand I use)
  2. Quality Ground Beef or Lamb: Choose lean meat for the best results. (Grass-Fed and Organic is what I prefer)
  3. Pine Nuts: These add a nutty crunch that's unmistakably Mediterranean. (Link)
  4. Allspice: The heart of Lebanese cuisine, this spice bring warmth and depth. (Link to the brand I use)
  5. Cinnamon: (Link)
  6. Olive Oil: A staple in Middle Eastern cooking, it adds richness. (Link)
  7. Baking Dish: A good baking dish ensures even cooking and easy serving. (Link)
  8. Yogurt: A dollop of yogurt on the side complements the kibbeh's rich flavors. (Link to the yogurt I use if I don't have the Middle Eastern brand on hand)

I hope this recipe brings joy to your family's table as much as it does to mine. Sahtain (bon appétit) and happy cooking!

*Hey there! Just a heads-up: some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. It’s just one of the ways I keep my blog running and bring more posts your way!*