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Lebanese Hushwee Rice with Toasted Pine Nuts

    A family recipe passed down for generations, Hushwee Rice is a humble Lebanese side dish made with rice and beef flavored with warm cinnamon, clarified butter and toasted pine nuts.

    Lebanese Hushwee Rice with Toasted Pine Nuts - The Lemon Bowl

    If I had to pick my last meal, it would be a buffet of Lebanese food prepared by my Aunt Paula with a giant bowl of this hushwee rice front and center. While others dream of mashed potatoes and stuffing, this is the dish we beg her to bring to Thanksgiving and Christmas every year.

    A family recipe passed down for generations, I knew I had nailed it when my mom recently said my version tasted as good as her sito’s (Arabic for Grandmother.)

    Syrian Salad - The Lemon Bowl

    Made with clarified butter, warm cinnamon and toasted pine nuts, this irresistible side dish tastes delicious on its own or served with lemony Chicken Tawook and a giant Middle Eastern Green Salad. It is also traditionally served with roasted chicken stirred in the rice mixture.

    Honestly, though, you could serve it to me on a platter of mud and I would still clear my plate.

    Lebanese Hushwee Rice with Pine Nuts - The Lemon Bowl

    The real star of the dish? A generous helping of pine nuts toasted until nutty and golden brown. This dish is rich, it is aromatic, it is comfort food at its finest. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t love it and I urge you to challenge me on that.

    Your fork is waiting.

    Lebanese Hushwee Rice with Toasted Pine Nuts - The Lemon Bowl

    Lebanese Hushwee Rice with Toasted Pine Nuts

    5 stars average
    Hushwee Rice is a humble Lebanese side dish made with rice and beef flavored with warm cinnamon, clarified butter and toasted pine nuts.
    PREP: 20 mins
    COOK: 15 mins
    TOTAL: 35 mins
    Servings: 6


    For Hushwee Rice

    • 2 tablespoons clarified butter
    • ¼ cup vermicelli noodles
    • 1 cup long grain enriched rice – parboiled (rinsed)
    • 2 cups chicken broth
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon pepper
    • minced parsley – to serve

    For Hushwee Beef

    • .5 tbsp tablespoon clarified butter  (also known as ghee)
    • ,5 medium onion minced (use frozen diced onions to save time)
    • 10 ounces ground sirloin (lamb or bison work well too)
    • 1 tbsp All Purpose Lebanese Spice Blend
    • ½ cup pine nuts (toasted)
    • fresh minced parsley (garnish)

    For roasting pine nuts


    Preparing Hushwee Beef

    • In a deep pan, melt butter over medium high heat then add the minced onion. Sautee until translucent, 4-5 minutes.
    • Add ground sirloin and spices. Cook 8-10 minutes or until meat is browned, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to break up meat.
    • Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in toasted pine nuts and set aside.

    Toasting the pine nuts

    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a small cookie sheet place raw pine nuts and cook for 5-7 minutes or until they are at a light brown in color. Keep a careful eye on them as they can burn quickly.

    Preparing Rice

    • While hushwee meat is browning, melt clarified butter in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add vermicelli noodles and toast until deep brown.
    • Stir in rinsed rice and cook for 1-2 minutes to lightly toast the rice. Add reserved hushwee to the pan and stir to combine.
    • Add chicken broth, salt and pepper to the pot and stir once. Bring to a boil then cover with a lid and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes, leaving the lid on the entire time.
    • Fluff rice and meat with a fork then serve with additional toasted pine nuts and fresh parsley.


    Calories: 414kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 19.9gFat: 20.1gSaturated Fat: 8.8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 11.3gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 821mgFiber: 1.9gSugar: 1.2g

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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. Click Here To Subscribe to my newsletter:


    1. Do I cook the rice first then add a cup of cooked rice to the gushers? Or do I rinse the dry rice and add one cup of rinsed dry rice to the meat?

    2. How would you seasoning the rice differently, if you were preparing it alone? I’m guessing you’d just add some amount of cinnamon.

      Id always order a side of the rice with my chicken mishwi (or was it shwarma, which ever is the dark meat)



    3. Although I am of Italian descent, once I was introduced to cinnamon in savory/meat dishes I was hooked. Probably in my genes as my family is from southern Italy. Can’t wait to try. And, the pine nuts just brings it over the top!

    4. Liz, new reader here (found your blog through the fb group) and am already a huge fan- Just been stalking some of your recipes and we grew up on similar tastes (Mum’s middle Eastern)- Can’t wait to…keep stalking. I am obsessed with hushwee and now am going to get mum to make her Lebanese Pizzas.

    5. Lebanese food is the type of food I get the MOST cravings for, and um, nobody in my family, anywhere, ever is Lebanese. haha :) I’m just spoiled with a great Lebanese restaurant here in Ferndale, but I really want to start making some of these great dishes at home. My favorite is mudajara, but this would rank right up there, too!

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