Lebanese Hushwee Rice

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time35 minutes

An easy one-pan meal, Lebanese Hushwee Rice is a beef and rice mixture and is a Lebanese staple made with cinnamon, toasted pine nuts, and rice pilaf cooked in clarified butter. Naturally gluten-free, this is the ultimate comfort food! 

Lebanese hushwee rice.

One of my go-to’s on a busy weeknight, this Lebanese Hushwee Rice recipe is simply a mashup of two of my most popular recipes: hashweh beef and rice pilaf. This easy, 30-minute dinner recipe is a standard in Middle-Eastern households. A blend of warm spices paired with protein and rice makes for a delicious and filling meal, pair with a Syrian salad and you’ve got a balanced dinner that’ll please the whole family.


For the rice pilaf:

  • White rice: Easy to dress up anyway you want, the rice soaks up the flavors of the ingredients around it.
  • Clarified butter: Also called ghee, its essentially butter with all the water removed, and it has a higher smoke point.
  • Vermicelli: Depending on the brand it can be gluten free (I use rice vermicelli), but it’s a certain length of pasta that adds texture to the dish.
  • Salt and pepper: Enhances and balances out the flavors.

For the hashweh:

  • Clarified butter: Used in lots of middle eastern cooking, its higher smoke point helps to cook things at higher temperatures.
  • Onion: I use a white or yellow onion for an easy caramelization and delicious flavor.
  • Ground sirloin: You could also use ground chuck, but I prefer the leaner ground sirloin. Alternatively, you could use the more traditional ground lamb!
  • All purpose Lebanese spice blend: A warm blend of Lebanese flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and pepper.
  • Pine nuts: Toasting your own pine nuts either in the oven or in a dry pan is super easy, but you could also buy them toasted. They add a smoky, nutty flavor to the dish.

How to Make Lebanese Hushwee Rice

Browning ground sirloin

Start your Lebanese Hushwee Rice by making your hashweh beef. Melt your clarified butter before adding your onion and browning your ground sirloin.

adding pine nuts to hashweh

Season with the Lebanese all purpose spice, and add in the toasted pine nuts before removing from heat and setting aside.

Lebanese Rice Pilaf _04

Next, rinse your rice using a colander or strainer. You want to rinse until the water runs clear.

browned vermicelli

Then in the same pan as you cooked your meat, add more clarified butter and brown your vermicelli for the pilaf.

Lebanese Rice Pilaf _05

Add your rinsed rice and toast for an additional couple minutes before adding water and seasoning with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover, cooking for around 15 minutes until rice is fully cooked.

Adding Hashweh to Rice

When the rice pilaf is done, fluff with a fork before stirring in the hashweh beef that you finished beforehand.

Grabbing Lebanese hushwee rice with pita.

Garnish with fresh parsley, and serve with pita bread or with a dollop of plain yogurt, and enjoy your Lebanese Hushwee Rice!

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is hushwee?

Hashweh (also called hushwe or hushwie) is a simple, modest recipe made with ground meat, cinnamon, and toasted pine nuts. It is the foundation of many classic Lebanese dishes such as Stuffed Eggplant or my husband’s favorite, Sfeehas (Lebanese Meat Pies).

What are the spices in Hushwee Rice?

Like most Lebanese recipes, this dish is made with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you make a stash of my All-Purpose Lebanese Spice Blend. Similar to my easy taco seasoning, I like to make a big batch of the Lebanese spice blend so that I can sprinkle it on meats, roast chicken, veggies, and more.

How far in advance can you make hushwee?

It can be made up to three days in advance. To store, keep refrigerated in an air-tight container. It is also freezer friendly and will last in the freezer for up to three months.

Syrian Hushwee Rice

More Lebanese Recipes

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Liz eating Lebanese Hushwee Rice.

If you’re feeling like you want to switch it up even more, you can also serve this Lebanese Hushwee rice with my Lebanese cucumber laban.

Your fork is waiting.

Hushwee with Rice Pilaf 1

Lebanese Hushwee Rice

5 stars average
An easy one-pan meal, Lebanese Hushwee Rice is a beef and rice mixture and is a Lebanese staple made with cinnamon, toasted pine nuts, and rice pilaf cooked in clarified butter. Naturally gluten-free, this is the ultimate comfort food! 
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 25 minutes
TOTAL: 35 minutes


Lebanese Rice Pilaf with Vermicelli

  • 1 ½ cups white rice (long-grain enriched)
  • ¼ cup clarified butter
  • ½ cup vermicelli (broken into small pieces)
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Lebanese Hushwee


Lebanese Rice Pilaf with Vermicelli

  • Place the rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly using your fingers to rub off as much starch as possible. You’ll know the rice is properly rinsed when the water comes out clear from the bottom. Set aside.
  • In a large, deep pan heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Add the broken vermicelli pasta and brown, stirring frequently, until it is golden/dark brown. Be careful to not let burn – don't walk away from the pan. This takes about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add rinsed rice to the pan and stir into the vermicelli and butter. Toast the rice for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Carefully pour boiling water into the pan and stir once. Add salt and pepper then stir again. Bring to a boil, stir once, then reduce heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and fluff rice with a fork before sprinkling with fresh parsley to serve.

Lebanese Hashweh – Ground Beef with Pine Nuts

  • 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.

Combine the Hashweh and the Lebanese Rice Pilaf

  • To serve, combine both the hashweh and the rice pilaf in the same pot and garnish with fresh minced parsley to serve.


To toast pine nuts simply spread in an even layer on a baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown.
If you don’t wish to make your own clarified butter (also known as “ghee”), you can find it online or in most health stores.
For lasting freshness, store pine nuts in the freezer to keep them fresher, longer.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 508kcalCarbohydrates: 58gProtein: 26gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 681mgPotassium: 456mgFiber: 3gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 11IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 79mgIron: 3mg

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Hi, I’m Liz!

Hey there, I’m Liz Della Croce and I’m thrilled to have you here! My aim is to motivate and ignite your passion for cooking amazing meals for your loved ones. I believe in the power of real, wholesome ingredients that are bursting with flavor and won’t break the bank. Whether it’s a traditional Lebanese recipe from my family or a culinary creation from across the globe, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that nutritious food can be exciting, affordable, and easy to prepare.

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19 responses to “Lebanese Hushwee Rice”

  1. Michelle Avatar

    This is s huge family favorite!!! I am so grateful for this recipe. The old world favors and the pine nutty yum… it’s soooooo good!!!

  2. Jessica Avatar

    I stumbled across your site today, and I’m in love LOL. I have autoimmune issues, and there are a lot of foods I can’t have, so I was really excited that most of your Lebanese recipes are safe.

    One question though – any thoughts on a possible substitution for the pine nuts? When I reintroduced nuts & seeds I thought I was in the clear, but I have recently figured out (through much trial and suffering) that the ONE nut/seed I can’t have is pine nuts. (I cried. I could LIVE on pesto.) I’ve read that sunflower seeds make a good substitute for pesto, maybe they would work here?

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      That is a bummer! But yes, sunflower seeds would be a great substitute!

    2. Jane Avatar

      I reckon sunflower seeds would be fine. Personally though, I think I’d try chopped macadamia nuts, because they have a similar creaminess and mild flavour, although they’re a bit more crunchy. They’re also very low in starch, high in fat, so as long as they’re very fresh you might find they give you no problems.

  3. CindyD Avatar

    Absolutely delish!!! I made it as written except used ground turkey . My husband & I loved this dish so much.

    1. CindyD Avatar

      I absolutely love all your Lebanese dishes, I’ve tried almost everyone. Your love Lebanese spice, thank you so much for sharing that it is delicious!!

  4. Victoria Avatar

    Alright so I am not a good cook nor do I like cooking. As a result I eat mostly convenience foods. However, I know I need to start eating real food but was at a loss on what to make. Lucky me, I happened upon this recipe and now I can’t thank you enough. Super easy to make and super delicious!!! Next up: your Shish Tawook Chicken and Lebanese Potato Salad. Thanks so much!!!

    1. Victoria Avatar

      I forgot to add; I used angel hair for the pasta since my store didn’t have vermicelli and I didn’t have a lot of ghee so I used regular butter in the rice.

    2. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      So glad you enjoyed and could make it work with what you had!

  5. Liane Avatar

    I’m making this tonight but only have jasmine rice in the house…can I swap the recipe for that or do I need to go to the market??? Thanx…and I’m really looking forward to this!!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      You can use Jasmine rice but you’ll need to adjust the cook time based on the rice you buy!

  6. Tori Avatar

    If this is supposed to have rice in it, why isn’t it listed in the ingredients? The recipe listed is just the ground beef and pine nuts. Because I know I can easily miss things I did a term search and there’s no mention of how much or what type of rice to use.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Sorry about that – I fixed the recipe! There was an error with our recipe program. :) It’s all set now!!!

  7. Joanie Faddol Gruber Avatar
    Joanie Faddol Gruber

    A few varients from another Lebanese:
    We never rinse Uncle Ben rice! No need as it is parboiled. Rinsing it will make it mushy. Always boil the water first and add that to the rice.
    Also a tip for the pine nuts and vermicelli- toast them in the microwave! 1 minute or so for the noodles and 2-3 for the nuts. Slivered almonds with or instead of pine nuts can be used.
    Our spice blend is usually cumin, allspice and cinnamon.
    Baking this instead of on stove top makes a lovely crunchy top and sides. Mix everything in a glass or metal baking pan and cover with foil, baking at 400. Remove the foil after 20 minutes and bake further 10-15 minutes. Love the crunchy bits.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      This sounds delicious as well! We are Syrian so maybe that’s the difference. We’ve never used cumin, for example. Bit your version sounds INCREDIBLE!

  8. karen carrick Avatar
    karen carrick

    I made this as written using gluten free vermicelli and it worked without any problem. Yum!!! made the whole meal with cucumber and salad. Very satisfying.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      GREAT idea Karen!

  9. r.a. Avatar

    If this has pasta in it then it is not gluten free unless a gluten free pasta is used.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Sorry for the mistake – it’s been revised! :) To keep gluten free just skip vermicelli. Recipe is same otherwise!

Liz Della Croce eating black bean dip

Hi I’m Liz!

Hey there, I’m Liz Della Croce and I’m thrilled to have you here! My aim is to motivate and ignite your passion for cooking amazing meals for your loved ones.