Lebanese Meat Pies (Sfeehas)

These savory Lebanese meat pies (known as sfeehas) get their irresistible flavor from clarified butter, toasted pine nuts and fragrant cinnamon.

Lebanese Sfeehas - Meat Pies - The Lemon BowlToday’s post is dedicated to my husband, Rich, in appreciation of all that he does (and puts up with!) as the spouse of a food blogger. In honor of the occasion, I am sharing his most favorite recipe: Lebanese Meat Pies, also known as sfeehas or fatayer.

Husband and Son - The Lemon BowlTo celebrate Appreciation Day, I took a few minutes to interview Rich so that he could answer a few questions for our reading pleasure:

1. What is Liz’s favorite blog? That’s easy! Aggie’s Kitchen. It’s no surprise considering they text 100 times a day and both like to make healthy, family-friendly recipes. Aggie is also pregnant so they have that in common!
Sfeeha Making Collage - The Lemon Bowl
2. Why did you pick Lebanese Meat Pies as your favorite recipe? I fell in love with sfeehas during one of our first trips to Michigan when we were dating. I think Aunt Paula made them. They were completely new to me and not something I can find in Boston where I grew up. The toasted pine nuts and cinnamon-spiced meat mixture is killer.

3. Who does the dishes? Oh are you kidding me? That’s a given. I always do the dishes. Let’s be honest, I did the dishes before you started The Lemon Bowl. (Oops! Guilty as charged…)

4. What was Liz’s biggest cooking mistake? As the baker of the family, I always get a kick when Liz attempts to bake complex recipes involving yeast. A few months ago she attempted homemade pizza dough but had trouble transferring it from the paddle to the baking stone. Instead of trying to save it she threw the whole thing out. I was mad – I would have still eaten it!! 

Rich's Hermit Bars - The Lemon Bowl5. If you could have your own blog what would it be called? Hmm…that’s a tough one. Let’s go with “Sweet Riches”. I love to bake and would share lots of sweets like my famous New England Hermit Bars, a chewy molasses cookie bar.
Family Photo (Appreciation Post) - The Lemon BowlIsn’t he cute? I love him.

No fork required this time!

4.7 from 3 reviews
Lebanese Meat Pies (Sfeeha's) - Appreciation Post
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These savory Lebanese meat pies (known as sfeehas) get their irresistible flavor from clarified butter, toasted pine nuts and fragrant cinnamon.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Serves: 36
  • bread dough - store bought or homemade
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter (ghee)
  • 1 lb ground sirloin or lamb
  • 2 medium onions - diced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ cup plain yogurt - optional
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • melted clarified butter
  1. Divide dough into small balls and roll to ⅛ inch thick. The rounds should be 3-4 inches wide. Let dough rest 20-30 minutes.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. In a large pot, brown pine nuts in butter until golden brown being careful not to let burn. Remove from nuts from pan but leave any remaining butter.
  4. Add ground meat, onions, salt, pepper, cinnamon and allspice to the pan and cook until meat is browned - about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in toasted pine nuts, yogurt and lemon juice. Let mixture cool slightly.
  5. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling into the center of each round. (A stainless steel scoop is great for this step.)
  6. To begin folding the dough into a triangle, bring the bottom third up over the meat then bring another third of the dough to the first fold and pinch together to form a tight seal.
  7. Fold the final third over and pinch with the first two thirds of the dough to create a tightly pinched triangle. Repeat until you run out of dough.
  8. Place filled triangles on a greased baking sheet (or one lined with a silicone baking sheet) and bake for 15-20 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.
  9. Remove from oven and lightly brush with melted clarified butter.
  10. Serve with plain yogurt.
Recipe adapted from the book Kibbee 'n' Spice and Everything Nice
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 meat pie Calories: 166 Fat: 7.9 g Saturated fat: 2.4 g Unsaturated fat: 5.5 g Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 22.2 g Sodium: 343.5 mg Fiber: .3 g Protein: 8.3 g Cholesterol: 17.3

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  1. says

    These are one of our favorite Lebanese foods–we love to eat them with yogurt and tabbouli. Great post about your husband–sounds like a great guy! :)

    • Liz DellaCroce says

      Aren’t they the best?! PS: My cousin got me hooked up having them with yogurt and A1 sauce!! Don’t judge me til you try it!! lol

    • Liz DellaCroce says

      Yesterday he reminded me about a Twitter chat I was hosting. Apparently he’s also my manager and agent – lol. I’d gladly trade Mexican!!!!

  2. says

    First of all, Lebanese Meat pies look and sound crazy delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe! And second– I make pizzas all the time and I can’t always get the dough from the peel to the stone either! Annoying. Such a sweet family photo!

  3. says

    Ahhhh you always know how to make my hubby drool!! He certainly appreciates your recipes!!! We love meat pies, there is a local bakery that opened in the 60’s called Sam’s Bakery, where they cook the meat pies in a brick oven with a horseshoe shaped conveyer belt. They are famous in our neck of the woods for authentic lebanese food. On Sunday mornings there is a line out the door and down the street. We are only 50 minutes south of Boston. Next time your in Massachusetts swing on down you won’t be disappointed! Some meat pies and manoush and I’m a happy gal!!

  4. says

    These look so tasty! I made empanadas for Brad a while back and he still says that’s one of his favorite recipes. Men and meat pies. They can’t help it, can they? Anyway, love this post- how fortunate that your hubby does the dishes! Lucky duck!

  5. says

    I’m with you it doesn’t matter how healthy if it doesn’t taste delicious! :) I LOVE FOOD! I like lebanese dishes and anything with pine nuts so I will definitely be trying these out!

  6. says

    Did you say if you can freeze these? I think my family would love these hand held yummies!! love this post. Tell Rich he can guest post on my blog anytime as Sweet Richy! LOL

    • Liz DellaCroce says

      YES!!! You need to read this post where my family got together one Sunday to make them in bulk for freezing!! Growing up, we always had them in the freezer!!! So good. Reheat in oven! :) Also I will tell Rich that – haha!! You’d love his cheesecakes!

  7. says

    Awww, Liz, that’s so sweet!
    And the meat pies? They look yummy. I first had a Cornish meat pie on a trip to Michigan to visit childhood haunts with my spouse, and this Lebanese version looks just as tasty as pasties.

    And Liz–oiled sheet of parchment paper. No one’s tender ears will be blistered the next time you try and transfer pizza off the peel into the oven if you stretch the dough out on a sheet of oiled parchment paper. Then you remove it a couple of minutes later to get a fully crisp crust. I love pizza too much, but boy did I hate having a beautiful pizza all gunked up in a pile when I tried to get it off the stone.

    Parchment paper–saves my sanity.


  8. says

    Aww, a husband who knew the answer to #1! Good job, Rich. 😀

    And I had no idea that your husband was the baker in the family. Get him to help you with the pizza next time. 😉 Or just roll out the dough onto a Silpat, top it how you want, and then just plop the whole thing, Silpat and all, onto the preheated baking stone (a stone makes a huge difference!) So much easier and it tastes exactly the same! But if you want, you can easily remove the Silpat after a few minutes.

    (I can’t stand the thought of you and your family not having homemade pizza ;))

    And such a cute picture of your two guys!

    • Liz DellaCroce says

      Oh my God I can’t believe I didn’t think to just move the entire Silpat to the baking stone!! I was using a damn silpat!! (I never bake without one – lol.) I’m an idiot. :) xo

    • Liz DellaCroce says

      I know – he is pretty much the opposite of me!! haha. That’s so awesome you’ve had sfeehas in Detroit!!! Good place to have them. :)

  9. says

    Ahhhhh…love this, Liz! It’s awesome that Rich is so involved in your blogging. These sfeehas remind me of something we bought from a young boy on the street in Cairo when we went shopping at the Khan. It was hard for me to pinpoint exactly what the filling was at the time, but I’m now betting it was something similar to this. Crazy, that trip has been heavily on my mind this week, and now I read your post. Love it.

    • Liz DellaCroce says

      Oh my goodness that sounds like such an incredible trip!! So many parts of the world use warm spices like cinnamon and such in savory dishes. I wouldn’t be surprised!! Let me know if you try them!!


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