Lebanese Meat Pies (Sfeehas)

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

Hand picking up a Lebanese meat pie.

Meat pies are a very popular dish throughout the world. Whether it’s empanadas in Spain, patties in Jamaica, or pasties in Eastern Europe, it seems so many different cultures have their own version of a savory pie. In my family, we grew up eating sfeehas, also called fatayer. It’s a Middle Eastern meat pie that is filled with either meat and pine nuts, spinach, or cheese (such as feta.) Part of the Levantine cuisine, fatayer is eaten in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel. My Lebanese Meat Pies are filled with ground beef and pine nuts, and seasoned with warm spices.


Ingredients for lebanese meat pies
  • Bread dough: If you have a recipe you love, you can easily make your own bread dough. To save time, I usually use store bought pizza dough.
  • Pine nuts: A bit buttery and sweet is flavor, toasting them enhances the taste.
  • Ghee: Also called clarified butter, it has a higher smoke point, making it a favorite for sautéing meats and toasting pine nuts.
  • Ground beef: I typically use a ground sirloin, but you could also use ground lamb for a more traditional taste.
  • Onion: Yellow onion is mild and a bit sweet, making it caramelize quickly.
  • Warm spices: Cinnamon, allspice, and black pepper add wonderful warmth and traditional Lebanese flavor to the meat pies.
  • Lemon juice: The bit of acidity you need to cut through and bring balance to the dish.

How to Make Lebanese Meat Pies

Melting ghee in pan

Start your Lebanese meat pies by dividing the bread dough and setting it aside. Then start making the filling by melting some ghee in a large skillet.

Toasting pine nuts

Add your pine nuts to the pan and toast until evenly browned. Watch them so they don’t burn, and set aside.

Cooking onions

Then in the same pan that still has some clarified butter, add the diced onion with some salt and pepper and cook until they start to soften.

Cooking ground beef with onion

Add the ground beef and break up as it browns, about 8 minutes.

Cooking meat pie filling

Add the cinnamon and allspice, along with some more salt and pepper to taste, and cook until meat is fully browned and onions are soft and caramelized. Turn off the heat, and stir the lemon juice and pine nuts into the meat mixture.

Rolling out dough

Now that the filling is done, take the dough you had set aside and roll it out into discs about 1/8th of an inch thick, and about 3-4 inches wide. If you don’t have a rolling pin, you could also use a tall glass.

Filling dough with meat

Then use either a tablespoon or a cookie dough scoop to put a dollop of the meat filling in the middle of your dough circle.

Folding dough for meat pies

Then fold your sfeehas into triangles by folding each edge up and pinching the corners closed until the edges are sealed.

Sfeehas laid out on a pan

Then lay the meat pies out on a prepared sheet pan, and toss them in the oven at 400 for 15-20 minutes, but dough is golden brown.

Lebanese Meat Pies

When finished, remove from the oven and brush with melted clarified butter, serve with plain yogurt, and enjoy your Lebanese Meat Pies!

Frequently asked questions

Are sfeehas freezer friendly?

Absolutely! In fact, we like to make them in large quantities and store them in the freezer. To reheat, simply bake at 350 until warmed through, about 15-20 minutes. They will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

What can you serve with sfeehas?

We love eating them with a big Syrian salad and hummus. They’re also great with stuffed grape leaves.

How do you make the dough for a meat pie?

We typically buy store-bought pizza dough to save time, otherwise you’ll need to make large batches of bread dough.

Lebanese Meat Pies up close

More Lebanese Dishes

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Liz eating Lebanese meat pies.

Whether you want something fun for a main dish, or want to try something new for a party appetizer, your friends and family will love my Lebanese Meat Pies.

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Lebanese Meat Pies

Lebanese Meat Pies (Sfeeha’s)

4.68 stars average
These savory Lebanese meat pies (known as sfeehas) get their irresistible flavor from clarified butter, toasted pine nuts and fragrant cinnamon.
PREP: 45 minutes
COOK: 20 minutes
TOTAL: 1 hour 5 minutes



  • Divide dough into small balls and roll to 1/8 inch thick. The rounds should be 3-4 inches wide. Let dough rest 20-30 minutes.
  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a large pot, brown pine nuts in ghee until golden brown being, careful not to burn. Remove nuts from pan, but leave any remaining butter. 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.
  • Place 1 tablespoon of the filling into the center of each round. (A stainless steel scoop is great for this step.)
  • 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. 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.
  • 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. Remove from oven and lightly brush with melted clarified butter. Serve with plain yogurt.

Last Step:

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Calories: 166kcalCarbohydrates: 22.2gProtein: 8.3gFat: 7.9gSaturated Fat: 2.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5.5gCholesterol: 17.3mgSodium: 343.5mgFiber: 0.3g
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123 responses to “Lebanese Meat Pies (Sfeehas)”

  1. Shanna@ pineapple and coconut Avatar
    Shanna@ pineapple and coconut

    I am just loving all these posts about our hubbys! AND I am so looking forward to Rich’s baking posts this fall… ha ha!!!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Ok deal!!! I know he would love to share more!! :)

  2. Heather @ Sugar Dish Me Avatar
    Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

    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!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Thank you Heather!! I felt like such a failure!!!! Pizza shops make it look so easy. ;)

  3. Betsy @JavaCupcake Avatar
    Betsy @JavaCupcake

    Sweet Riches!! Sounds like he’s a baker who needs to start a blog!!! :)

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I know right?? I was so impressed he came up with that!!

  4. Amanda Avatar

    Rich Rocks. “Sweet Riches” is brilliant. And I LOVE that he bakes!!!! You two are adorable. :)

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      We are a good combo in the kitchen, that’s for sure!!! Now if only his recipes were healthy…..

  5. Rachel Cooks Avatar
    Rachel Cooks

    Rich does the dishes AND tech stuff? Lucky lady! That almost makes up for the no-Mexican food thing. Almost. :)

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      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!!!!

  6. Erin | The Law Student's WIfe Avatar
    Erin | The Law Student’s WIfe

    Smiling so much as I read this! High five for dish-doing hubbies!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I can’t stop thinking about your stir-fry!!!

  7. Julia Avatar

    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! :)

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      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

  8. Amy @Very Culinary Avatar
    Amy @Very Culinary

    I didn’t know you and Aggie text all day long! Loving all these pictures of the husbands and their kids. So cute!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Shh…it’s our little dirty secret. ;-) Thank you so much!!!

  9. Lauren at Keep It Sweet Avatar
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet

    Haha I love that husbands are always willing to eat our less than perfect masterpieces:-) I would have thrown out that dough, too, though. You two are so cute!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh my God I was so embarrassed..I’m a total failure with dough!!

  10. Aggie Avatar

    Ahhhh! I love this – so fun!! Thanks for #1 Rich :)

    I’m coming over for a sfeeha!!!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      hahaha he’s no dummy!! xoxo

      1. Aggie Avatar

        He’s a keeper!! :)

        1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
          Liz DellaCroce

          I love that he knows what blogs I read!! xoxo