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.
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.
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 :).
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.
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.
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.
Once you combine the spices and finish prepping, add everything else on top of the onion/kasha.
Then you can get right in there and mix with your hands.
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.
While Hubs watches the pan, I roll out the next batch.
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.
While some pita or flatbread would be amazing, these are so delicious as-is just with the dipping sauce!
Pin Recipe for Kibbeh
Pinning is always welcome and appreciated!
Our recipe category, The Unknown Chef, can be found here.
Recipe for Kibbeh
- 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.