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Baked Kibbeh Recipe

Baked kibbeh or kibbie is a traditional Lebanese dinner recipe, using ground beef or lamb, and then combined with bulgur wheat, pine nuts, and warm spices like cinnamon and allspice.

Baked Kibbee

My husband has been BEGGING me to share this family recipe for baked kibbeh with you all for years now. I am so excited to finally come through with my promise! Hands down, this is his all-time favorite Lebanese dinner recipe and is quite possibly one of his “last meal” requests.

Baked Kibbeh

What is baked kibbeh?

Combine ground meat and super-fine bulgur wheat with allspice, cinnamon, clarified butter, and toasted pine nuts. Each bite is tender, juicy, and intoxicatingly delicious.

This recipe is actually for the cooked version of kibbeh. Find a great recipe for the raw version, Kibbeh Nayeh, here.

Baked Kibbeh

Typically served with a Syrian green salad and a side of cucumber laban yogurt sauce, this is Lebanese comfort food at its best. The best part? It also freezes wonderfully so make a big batch and freeze extras for another night.

Frequently asked questions:

Is baked kibbeh freezer friendly?

Yes.

Can baked kibbeh be prepared in advance?

If you want, baked kibbeh can be prepared the night before and heat in the oven in the next day.

Where is ground lamb available?

Most grocery stores sell it pre-packaged in their meat section. If you don’t see it there check with someone at the meat counter.

Recipe substitutions:

  • People have asked about swapping out butter or olive oil instead of ghee and I do not recommend. You really need the ghee for the recipe to work. You can use ghee for other things like cooking eggs or frying potatoes.
  • If you’re not a fan of ground lamb you can just use all ground beef.

Your fork is waiting.

Baked Kibbee

Baked Kibbeh

4.46 stars average
Baked kibbeh or kibbie, a traditional Lebanese dinner recipe, is made with ground beef or lamb combined with bulgur wheat, pine nuts, cinnamon and allspice.
PREP: 30 mins
COOK: 1 hr
TOTAL: 1 hr 30 mins
Pin Recipe
Servings: 15

Ingredients
 

Base Meat Mixture

  • 1 ½ cups bulgur wheat (fine ground (not coarse))
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 large yellow onion (grated)
  • 6 servings All Purpose Lebanese Spice Blend ((1 serving = 1 teaspoon))

Filling

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and butter a 9 x 13 baking dish; set aside.
  • To prepare the base meat mixture, add the bulgur wheat to a medium bowl and stir in the boiling hot water. Cover the bowl and let stand for 10 minutes then drain any excess water. 
  • Add the ground lamb and sirloin to a food processor and pulse until it forms a fine paste. Remove from food processor and place in a large bowl along with softened wheat, grated onion, and All Purpose Lebanese Spice Blend. Use your hands to mix well. If mixture gets too sticky on hands, dip into a bowl of ice water.
  • To make the filling, heat the clarified butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat, pine nuts, onion, and All Purpose Lebanese Spice Blend and sauté until meat is cooked through about 9-11 minutes. 
  • To form the baked kibbeh, spread half of the base meat mixture out on the bottom of the baking dish. Next, spread the filling on top of the base layer. Finally, spread the remaining base meat mixture on top, pressing down a bit with wet hands to smooth the top. 
    preparing base mixture for kibbeh
  • Slice kibbeh diagonally to form small diamonds. Optional: you can drizzle on additional melted clarified butter over the top at this point.
    preparing kibbie slicing diagonally
  • Bake until meat is fully cooked, about 40-45 minutes. Serve with Cucumber Laban on the side. 

Nutrition

Serving: 2piecesCalories: 310kcalCarbohydrates: 16.3gProtein: 19.2gFat: 19.1gSaturated Fat: 7.8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 11.3gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 513mgFiber: 4gSugar: 1.4g
SHOW AND TELL ON INSTAGRAM!Show me your creation and rate it below! Mention @thelemonbowl or tag #thelemonbowl! I would LOVE to see!

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Liz DellaCroce

Liz Della Croce is the creator and author of The Lemon Bowl, a healthy food blog. Since 2010, Liz has been sharing delicious recipes that just so happen to be healthy. By using real ingredients with an emphasis on seasonality, Liz has built a growing audience of loyal readers who crave good food for their families.

58 Comments

  1. My husband has diverticulosis and can’t eat the ground wheat. Can I substitute brown rice the wheat . We l love Kibbie, but haven’t had it in years because of this.

  2. I’m making this for our international club’s potluck; the presentation is on Lebanon. I’m among those who are confused by the term “servings” for the amount of spice blend to use. The recipe for kibbeh says it serves 15. The spice blend recipe says it is for one pound of meat and 4 servings. I’m assuming then that we would use 3 times the mixture–2 for the base and 1 for the filling–rather than 2 Tbsp and 1 Tbsp which Nadine suggested. Would that be correct? Thanks! and I’m preparing Laban as well. Wish me luck. We have native Lebanese in our neighborhood.

  3. hi- So excited to try this recipe… In the middle of making it right now. Wondering if I can put it together tonight, and then bake tomorrow before serving for lunch??

  4. Question: How much is a “serving” of lebanese spice blend?
    Also, can I use ALL lamb and no beef? I have a friend who doesn’t eat beef . . .
    Thanks!

      1. It would help to have the recipe say exactly how many tablespoons of the seasoning needed. When I go into the recipe for the seasoning it says 1 serving so I’m unsure of how much to actually use. So two batches @what serving size do we use 3:4 of?? Thank you

      2. I love baked kibbeh but my mother made fried kibbeh and it’s my favorite. Can I fry this kibbeh recipe? My mom always made patties. Thank you.

      3. The recipe for this looks awesome, but is too much for my purposes. Can I half the recipe to fit say an 8×8 pan? What adjustments should I make to achieve the same results?
        Thank you!

      4. Liz, confused about Baked Kibbee proportions. Use one serving of Lebanese Spice Blend for the filling, but double it for the base meat mix?? That amounts to 3 T. of cinnamon, etc. to 3lbs. Meat total ?? Thx, Tina

      5. Hello!
        Baked kibbee is my favorite! Am I able to substitute the lamb with more ground beef if I’m not a fan of lamb. Now I’m wondering if all my aunts have been mixing it with lamb and I’ve never noticed! I usually can taste lamb pretty easily and never liked any lamb dishes so I’m worried to make a big batch and not like the lamb! Lol
        Thanks!
        Jena

      6. Hello. I would love to make this for a party next month. How would you reheat the kibbeh after it’s been frozen?

        Thanks!

      7. Just tried your recipe tonight, since we were doing an ‘International” Christmas, and with the help of the comments (I couldn’t tell what you meant by ‘servings’ of the Lebanese 7-spice), it turned out nicely. Except for the salt. The whole time I was putting this together, I kept wondering why there wasn’t a mention of salt, but I thought I’d just go with the flow and I must not be thinking of something. But no- it really, really needed salt. Did you mean to omit that from the recipe? Beside that tweak, this turned out great!

          1. Ok! I see my mistake. I was in a hurry, and just used our Lebanese 7-spice blend (which doesn’t have salt). I’ll add it next time. It was a great recipe though! Thanks!

            1. Does this comment apply to the baked kibbeh recipe I’m looking at? I see no mention of Lebanese 7 spice or “Hushwee”. Neither does the recipe for the spice mix.

          2. I’ve been looking for a kibbeh recipe. I followed one the other week but it completely fell apart when I cut it! So I’ll try yours next :) one question: would it work to substitute regular butter or olive oil instead of ghee? I just never use ghee normally so I don’t want a bunch leftover.

          3. Hello. Can you clarify what you mean by using 6 servings of the Lebonese spice blend in the base and 2 in the filling?
            The recipe link for the spice blend says it makes four servings, so what I think this means is that you use ALL of that PLUS 2 additional servings in the base mixture. And then 2 servings for the filling? Cinnamon goes a long way and that’s a lot of it for a pound of meat in total. I really want to use your recipe because it has all the traditional seasonings my mother would use in hers and yours is even cut the same :)
            I don’t want to ruin my first batch especially with the cost of lamb and pine nuts. It might be easier if you could just tell me how many teaspoons (or whatever metric) goes into the base and then also the filling. Thank you so very much!

            1. Hi Ann, Thanks for writing! So glad you’re going to make this dish – it’s my husband’s all time favorite. To answer your first question, the easiest way to see how much spices are needed for XX number of servings is to adjust it right on my website in the recipe. See where it says number of servings? Just change it to whatever number you need!! :) I will email you a screen shot in case you can’t find it.

              To answer your second question, my amounts are accurate. It’s 3 pounds of meat so two tablespoons of cinnamon is NOT too much. It’s just the right amount. At least, that’s how my family has been making it for years! One great tip: feel free to cook a small amount of the raw base mixture (we did it in the microwave like a small meatball) and see how you like the taste and adjust from there.

              Let me know how it turns out ok??

              1. I think what Ann is asking is… 3 tablespoons for the base and 1tablespoon for the filling, if my calculations are correct. Please double check! Pregnancy brain here. :)

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