These savory Lebanese meat pies (known as sfeehas) get their irresistible flavor from clarified butter, toasted pine nuts and fragrant cinnamon.
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.
What is a sfeeha?
In my family, we grew up eating sfeehas also know as fatayer. Fatayer is 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.
What’s in the filling?
The filling is made of ground beef or lamb sauteed in clarified butter and seasoned with cinnamon and allspice. We also love adding toasted pine nuts but that is optional.
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.
To serve, we like to dip with plain yogurt but that is optional. While nontraditional, my cousin also likes to dip them in A-1 sauce which now I’m hooked on as well!
No forks required.
Lebanese Meat Pies (Sfeeha’s)
- bread dough (store bought or homemade)
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons clarified butter (ghee)
- 1 pound 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)
- 1 juice of lemon
- melted clarified butter
- 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 butter until golden brown being careful not to let burn. Remove from 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.
Check out more of my Lebanese Recipes by viewing my Pinterest board!
119 thoughts on “Lebanese Meat Pies (Sfeehas)”
This recipe was a big hit with my family. Thank you so so much.
Oh I’m so glad to hear it! My kids love these so much!
I can not find bread dough. What other dough can I use, I’m shopping at walmart?
If ai use beef, do you spice it thr same?
I use frozen dinner rolls
Procrastination + obsession with food = I’m here.
And I’m Lebanese – so glad to see more fans of our food! Your blog is wonderful, so many delicious things I want to make!
So true!!! I love a good sfeeha!!
What a magnificent husband you have!! Your son is adorable, too.
Certainly are a darling family.
Meow! Love you mom!
Hey I’m trying make this same recipe can u help me
How can I help, Jesus?
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.
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!!
He can bake?! And do the dishes!?! You lucky girl, you!
I also had sfeehas in MI (Detroit) for the first time and they really are amazing.
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. :)
Aww, a husband who knew the answer to #1! Good job, Rich. :D
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!
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
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.
I just love this idea of an Appreciation Day for the men behind the blogs! Too sweet. These meat pies look mouthwatering, Liz! No wonder they’re his favorite… Have a fabulous weekend!
Thank you so much sweet friend!! Happy Friday!! xo
This is the cutest post ever Liz and that is a great family picture of you three <3
Thank you so much friend!
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
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!
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!
Thank you so much – I hope you enjoy this Tamara!!
Sfeeha is one of my favorites! This post is great. Your husband sounds like a great guy.
I love that you’ve had one and know what they are!! :) Thank you for reading!!
I love that he bakes that is so great! It’s really fun getting to know everyone just a little bit better :) THese meat pies sound DELICIOUS!
I know!! This was such a fun project Amanda put together!! Thanks for reading!!
It’s so fun to read these posts! I love these pies, BTW. Totally gonna make them sometime!
You would love these Dorothy!! I cheated with store-bought dough but you could totally make your own. ;)
“Sweet Riches” LOVE that!! Rich sounds like a total winner. Love this post, Liz!
Isn’t that name good?? I can’t believe he came up with it on the spot!! :)
Awe! I totally want to meet him in October!! What a nice hubby you got there. :) You all make a good looking family!! xoxo
(I need to make these for my Syrian hub!) ;)
Yes you MUST make these for your hubs!! He would love them!!!! I can’t wait to see you soon!
What a great post! I think all of our hubbies probably have similiar thoughts and how fun it is to be the spouse of a food blogger! Happy Thursday!
hhaha I know!! They certainly eat well, right?
What a great hubby, love the answers to the questions. The meatpies sound fabulous too, I know my husband would love them too!
You really can’t go wrong with bread and dough, right? :)
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!
I know – men and meat pies is right!! How can you go wrong?