Lebanese Recipes

These fried lamb balls called "kibbeh" are a traditional Lebanese recipe. Kids will love the flavor.

Easy Fried Lamb

2 cups burgul wheat (cracked wheat)
1 pound ground lamb
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
oil for frying

Measure burgul wheat in a bowl. Add cold water, enough to cover. Let stand for 20 minutes. Drain burgul wheat using a sieve, then use hands or cheesecloth to squeeze out excess water.

In a food processor blend lamb, onion, garlic, spices. Process lamb mixture until it is a pasty consistency. Add a little cold water if needed. Form into 1 inch balls with hands. Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown. (For a healthier version, bake in hot oven). Great for parties - serve on a platter with party toothpicks.

Falafels are chick pea/garbanzo bean balls. They're a delicious no-meat Lebanese recipe that kids will love.

Quick Falafel

2 8 ounce cans chick peas (garbanzo beans)
1/2 cup fresh parsley
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Drain chick peas, rinse with water, and drain again. In a food processor blend chick peas, parsley, garlic, and spices until you get a mixture similar to dough.

Refrigerate mixture for at least 1 hour. Remove mixture from fridge and form small, firm balls. Deep fry in hot oil until falafels are a beautiful golden brown color. Serve warm or cold in pita bread with a dollop of yogurt.

This Lebanese recipe is called "koosa" and is traditionally made using yellow crookneck squash, but you can use zucchini.

Stuffed Squash

2 pounds yellow crookneck squash
1 pound ground lamb
1 cup white rice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
1 16 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste

Preheat oven to 350F (180C) degrees. Cut off stem of squash and use a pumpkin scraper or melon ball scooper to scoop out center of squash.

In a bowl combine meat, rice, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and parsley. Use your hands to mix well. Stuff squash by pressing meat mixture. Do not over stuff. Place stuffed squash in a large casserole dish.

In a bowl, combine diced tomatoes, tomato paste and chicken stock. Mix well. Pour this sauce over the stuffed squash.

Cover casserole dish with foil and bake in oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the squash is tender and meat and rice inside is cooked.

These stuffed grape vine leaves known as "yubra" or "yabra" are fun to make and so delicious. Serve hot or cold.

Classic Lebanese Grape Leaves

1 packet/jar of grape vine leaves, rinsed well
1 pound pork spare ribs
1 cup Uncle Ben's converted rice, soaked
1 pound lean coarsely ground beef
1/2 cup olive oil or melted butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
juice of 1 lemon
1 can whole tomatoes

First soak rice in warm water for 1 hour. Wash each grape vine leaf individually, making sure no citric acid or salt is left on the leaves. With a table knife, cut off stems and lay vine leaves out flat to dry.

Place the ribs on the bottom of a saucepan. Next drain water from rice. In a mixing bowl, combine using your hands the rice, meat, oil (or butter) and spices. Place about 1 spoonful of the stuffing on each vine leaf (be sure not to over stuff).

Next roll the leaves by folding each side then rolling like a little cigar. Carefully place the stuffed grape leaves in the pan on top of the ribs, with the tip of the leaves pressed down so the grape leaves won't open. Roll until all leaves are used or you run out of stuffing.

Then sprinkle top of leaves with salt. Pour lemon juice over leaves. Squeeze whole tomatoes and pour over leaves. Add water until leaves are just covered with water. Take a small plate and place on top of the rolled leaves to act as a lid and stop the leaves from opening up. Place on stove and bring to a boil, then turn to low heat and simmer for about 1 hour or until the leaves are well cooked. Serve hot or cold. The grape leaves are delicious and the ribs are amazing.

Enjoy your feast!

This Lebanese recipe is called "yubra malfoof."

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

1 head of cabbage
1 pound lean coarsely ground beef
1 cup Uncle Ben's converted rice, soaked
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 small cloves garlic, peeled
juice of 1 lemon

First soak rice in warm water for 1 hour. Tear cabbage leaves apart and rinse well. Bring pot of water to a boil, then place cabbage leaves in boiling pot to blanche for a few minutes. This will make the leaves soft and easier to roll.

Drain water from rice. In a mixing bowl, with clean hands mix together rice, meat, oil, and spices. Cut cabbage leaves into 4 inch squares, cutting around the bump parts. Place a spoonful of the stuffing on each cabbage square (be sure not to over stuff).

Next roll the leaves by folding each side then rolling like a tight cigar. Carefully place the stuffed cabbage leaves in a sauce pan until you've used up all the cabbage or all the stuffing. Place garlic cloves in between leaves. Pour lemon juice over leaves. Cover with water.

Place a small plate over the top and press down to keep leaves from floating or opening. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour until the leaves are tender and well cooked.

Fluffy Burgul Wheat and Tomatoes

2 cups burgul (cracked wheat)
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 8 ounce cans diced tomatoes
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a sauce pot. Add onions and fry for a few minutes until lightly browned. Add tomatoes, cinnamon, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir well. Add burgul wheat. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to simmer while covered for about half an hour. Stir only once. Note: add a little more water if the mixture gets too dry. Remove from burner and leave covered to stand for 10 minutes or more. Fluff with a fork and serve while hot. So delicious and easy to make.

This Lebanese dip made of chick peas and tahini is absolutely delicious.

Easy Hummus

1 onion, chopped
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 carrots, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas)
Juice of 1 small lemon
4 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Stir fry garlic, onions, and carrots in olive oil until tender. Add to blender and blend 1-2 minutes. Add lemon juice, soy sauce, spices and sesame paste and blend again.

Drain chick peas, but keep liquid. Add chickpeas a few spoonfuls at a time until fully blended. Add reserved liquid if hummus gets too thick.

Serve this dip hot or cold with pita bread and raw veggies for dipping.

Tabouli (or tabouleh) is the classic Lebanese Middle Eastern salad. It's healthy, tastes great, and goes with most meat dishes. You can also serve tabouli with Lebanese bread or pita bread as a dip.


1 large bunch continental parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
1/4 cup cracked burgal wheat (fine cracked wheat)
2 large ripe tomatoes, diced
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Soak burgul wheat in warm water for 20 minutes. Remove stems and chop parsley. Dice tomatoes. Add parsley and tomatoes to salad bowl.

Drain water from burgul wheat and squeeze out excess water with your hands. Add burgul wheat to parsley and tomatoes. Mix lemon juice and olive oil together and pour over tabouli. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can adjust lemon to suit your taste. Mix tabouli with your hands. Refrigerate and serve cold

Middle Eastern Cucumber and Tomato Salad

4 cups peeled cucumbers, cut in 1/2-inch chunks
4 cups riped tomatoes, cut in 1/2-inch chunks
1 large red or green bell pepper (capsicum), cut in 1/2-inch chunks
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro (coriander), chopped
3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1 cup crumbled or cubed feta cheese
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
2 green onions, cut in 1/4-inch slices
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Chop the fresh vegetables as described above and place in a large salad bowl or glass bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve so the salad will be nice and cold. Sprinkle olives, feta, herbs, and green onion evenly over the salad.

Mix the oil and vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and set aside until ready to serve. Pour the dressing over the vegetables, toss.

Taste for salt, pepper, quantity and balance of the dressing. Add more of any of the dressing ingredients if you like. Makes 4-6 servings.

Share this page: