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Lebanese Meat Pies (Sfeehas)

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

    Middle Eastern Meat Pies Recipe


    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.

    Taking Sfeehas Out of Oven

    What is 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.

    Liz Eating Sfeehas

    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.

    Sfeehas Lebanese Pies

    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!

    Syrian Sfeehas HR

    No forks required.

    SFEEHAS meat pies

    Lebanese Meat Pies (Sfeeha’s)

    4.65 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 mins
    COOK: 20 mins
    TOTAL: 1 hr 5 mins
    Save
    Servings: 36

    Ingredients
     

    • 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

    Instructions
     

    • 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.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 166kcalCarbohydrates: 22.2gProtein: 8.3gFat: 7.9gSaturated Fat: 2.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5.5gCholesterol: 17.3mgSodium: 343.5mgFiber: 0.3g
    SHOW AND TELL ON INSTAGRAM!Show me your creation and rate it below! Mention @thelemonbowl or tag #thelemonbowl! I would LOVE to see!

    Check out more of my Lebanese Recipes by viewing my Pinterest board!

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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:

    116 Comments

    1. 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.

      1. 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!!

      1. 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. :)

    2. 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!

      1. 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

    3. 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.

      Thanks!

    4. 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

      1. 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!

    5. 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!

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