Recipe for Kibbeh Inspired Beef Patties – Gluten Free

Our recipe for Kibbeh is unconventional and not traditional in the least. Kibbeh is a Lebanese dish that is made with bulgur and ground meat (beef or lamb). For an authentic recipe, a reader has kindly shared this YouTube tutorial in Arabic (the recipe is listed in English in the comments).

While Kibbeh means to form a ball, there are many ways to shape it; balls, patties or football shaped. Traditionally, these have a stuffing in the centre. However, we’ve adapted a Milk Street recipe, which is not stuffed, to make this a totally gluten free preparation. I don’t know how the bulgur would taste, but I can guarantee you won’t miss the wheat if you try our version. It’s delicious.

Kibbeh in a dish on a napkin alongside a dish of yoghurt sauce

Serve the patties with a yogurt sauce or stuff them into a pita like Falafel. If you don’t like Falafel, you’ll probably like this recipe for Kibbeh. And if you love Falafel, and aren’t vegan, then you’ll love this too. Since we like to switch things up around here, you gotta try our twist on Falafels; our Falafel Waffle recipe.

Recipe for Kibbeh

We’re huge proponents of clean eating and sustainability. So for us, we happily pay more for antibiotic free meat from companies that share our values.

package of antibiotic free beef for recipe of kibbeh

Hubs got a little heavy handed on the garlic, using up all our small cloves. We’ll definitely be keeping the vampires away for a few days :).

hand pressing garlic through garlic press with multiple garlic cloves on chopping board

Toast the Pine Nuts

Hubs has burned his share of pine nuts. So I get the honour of cooking them just perfectly until nutty and brown.

Pine nuts in bag beside 1/4 cup of raw pine nuts in measuring cup

This isn’t a time to multi-task; they can go from brown to burned in seconds!

Gluten Free Kibbeh

To make this gluten free, our recipe for Kibbeh uses kasha (or buckwheat) instead of bulgur. I’ve always thought it strange that something gluten free actually has ‘wheat’ in its name. Strange but true.

When you mix the grated onion and kasha, let it sit for at least 10 minutes so the onion juice absorbs and softens the grain.

hand holding timer set for 10 minutes over bowl of onion and kasha with box of kasha in background

While you’re waiting for that, mix the yoghurt sauce with the reserved garlic, tahini and parsley. We stir to combine the ingredients in a measuring cup.

Then portion it into individual bowls.

recipe for kibbeh side dish of yoghurt sauce

Once you combine the spices and finish prepping, add everything else on top of the onion/kasha.

Over view of recipe for kibbeh ingredients in bowl; beef, garlic, spices, egg, onion, kasha

Then you can get right in there and mix with your hands.

One hand pouring pine nuts into bowl, while another mixes the recipe for kibbeh ingredients

Cook Kibbeh in Batches

We make 7- 8 at a time, then flatten into patties. Or, if you prefer, you can line a baking sheet with parchment and form all at once.

Flatten the recipe for kibbeh on a plate with your hand

While Hubs watches the pan, I roll out the next batch.

Browning the recipe for kibbeh and flipping with a spatula

Serve as an appetizer or main meal. Since I’m still in the process of losing weight (14 pounds so far), I don’t serve these with any type of bread.

Recipe for kibbeh reveal; 3 kibbeh in dish on top of napkin with a side of sauce

While some pita or flatbread would be amazing, these are so delicious as-is just with the dipping sauce! 3 Kibbeh in a dish on top of a blue and white napkin with a side of yoghurt sauce.

Pin Recipe for Kibbeh

Pinning is always welcome and appreciated!

recipe for kibbeh pinnacle image

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Recipe for Kibbeh

Although unconventional, this gluten free recipe for Kibbeh is delicious as an appetizer or in a pita
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Lebanese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 18 patties


  • 1 medium yellow onion peeled
  • ½ cup kasha buckwheat (see note)
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • ¼ cup pine nuts toasted and chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 medium garlic cloves finely grated
  • 1 cup whole-milk plain yogurt
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley chopped
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 4 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil divided
  • Lemon wedges to serve


  • Grate the onion on the large holes of a grater, catching the pulp and liquid in a medium bowl. Stir in the Kasha and 1 tsp salt. Set aside for 10 minutes, until the Kasha has absorbed the onion liquid and is slightly softened.
  • Toast the pine nut in a small skillet over medium-low, shaking the pan frequently, until golden brown, approx. 4 minutes. Let cool and chop.
  • To the onion/kasha mixture, add the beef, egg, pine nuts, allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, cayenne, 1 teaspoon black pepper and ⅔ of the grated garlic. Mix with your hands or with a wooden spoon until well combined, then cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, parsley, tahini, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper and the remaining garlic. Set aside until ready to serve.
  • Line a baking sheet with kitchen parchment paper (or just use a plate). Form the beef mixture into 17 - 18 balls with your hands (about 2 heaping tablespoons each) and place on the baking sheet or plate. Using your hands, flatten the balls into ½-inch-thick patties about 2½ inches in diameter.
  • In a 12-inch skillet over medium head, heat a tablespoon of oil until barely smoking. Add 1/3rd of the patties and cook undisturbed until browned and crisp on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until the second sides are browned and crisp, about another 4 minutes, then transfer to a plate. Wipe out the skillet with paper towels and repeat with the remaining oil and patties. Serve with the yogurt-tahini sauce and lemon wedges.
  • Serve the kibbeh, yogurt-tahini sauce and lemon wedges for squeezing with warmed flatbread or pita.


Note: If you can’t find fine Kasha, you can blitz a courser one in the food processor or spice grinder. If you find the mixture is still too wet to shape, keep it in the fridge for an extra 10 minutes or until the Kasha soaks up more moisture.

12 thoughts on “Recipe for Kibbeh Inspired Beef Patties – Gluten Free

  1. The recipe you are posting under the name of Kibbeh could be call “patties” or “fried meat balls” or “burger” or any other name but Kibbeh. By using the word kibbeh you would be misleading your readers and I am sure you do not intend to mislead anyone. The traditional Kibbeh does not have garlic, no egg, nor tahini, or yougurt … your ingredients are different and your preparation technique is different. Please feel free to check Suha’s dishes @ you Tube for an authentic recipe of kibbeh
    Mrs. Suha lists the ingredients of the kibbeh in English and in Arabic. Best of luck.

    • Hi Helen – it was not my intention to mislead; I adapted a recipe that itself was an adaptation from Milk Street (and also called Kibbeh). Thank you for sharing Suha’s authentic recipe; I have updated the post so my readers can check it out too.

  2. This Kibbeh recipe is the perfect finger food or snack. I agree with you about the pinenuts, have to keep an eye on them at all times! Looking forward to making these!

    • I see so many pine nuts go to waste on cooking shows lol! Good thing I have a ‘sous chef’ so I don’t have to multi task lol.

  3. We love to make this dish, but never have tried to make a gluten free version. Thanks for sharing! We do have some friends who are gluten intolerant and this is perfect for them.

  4. this looks so delicious! I am going to try it! thanks for sharing!

  5. I have never had this and love Pine nuts and always freeze mine! I’ll give this a try

    • Freezing is a great idea; they have a lot of fat that can spoil 🙂

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