Baked Kibbeh in the tray. It’s cut into diamond shaped pieces each topped with a pine nut

Baked Kibbeh

Kibbeh is the national dish of Lebanon and enjoyed across the Middle East.  There are many variations – this is Baked Kibbeh, a layer of seasoned meat sandwiched between two layers of bulgur dough.

Baked Kibbeh is a layered dish. The outer layers are created from a finely ground bulgur (cracked wheat) dough, which forms a deliciously crispy exterior when cooked. Sandwiched between these two layers of bulgur dough lies a filling of perfectly seasoned meat, typically lamb or beef, giving Kibbeh its distinctive robust flavor.

Kibbeh, touted as the national dish of Lebanon, is an impressive culinary masterpiece that tantalizingly combines seasoned meat and bulgur dough. This savory delight offers an explosion of Middle Eastern flavors that has captivated food enthusiasts around the world.

The meat used in Kibbeh is meticulously seasoned with a blend of Middle Eastern spices, including cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and allspice, which are known for their rich, aromatic qualities. Onions and pine nuts are often added to the meat mixture for an extra layer of flavor and texture, contributing to the dish’s unique taste profile.

Kibbeh’s preparation is a testament to the culinary artistry of Lebanese cuisine. The bulgur dough is first prepared by soaking the grains, then combining them with minced onion and meat, creating a paste-like mixture. This mixture forms the casing for the seasoned meat filling, resulting in a harmonious blend of flavors once cooked.

This dish can be enjoyed in various forms throughout Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries. While the most recognized version is the baked or fried torpedo-shaped Kibbeh, it can also be served raw, boiled, baked, or grilled, each method offering a different taste sensation. The versatility of Kibbeh is a reflection of the rich culinary diversity of the region.

Kibbeh’s popularity has transcended Lebanon’s borders, becoming a beloved dish in global gastronomy. Its unique combination of flavors and textures, coupled with its rich cultural heritage, has made Kibbeh a favorite among food enthusiasts seeking to explore international cuisines.

So give this Baked Kibbeh a try for yourself and feel free to share your comments, below.


Baked Kibbeh

Kibbeh, the national dish of Lebanon, is a flavorful, textured delight. It showcases the very best of Middle Eastern cuisine, with its deliciously seasoned meat tucked between layers of bulgur dough, offering a dining experience that is as culturally rich as it is flavorful.

2 1/2 hours 1 hour Makes 16 servings
PREP 2 1/2 hours
COOKING 1 hour
YIELD Makes 16 servings
Baked Kibbeh in the tray. It’s cut into diamond shaped pieces each topped with a pine nut


Bulgur Dough

  • 1 lb Ground Lamb
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 1/2 cup #3 (coarse ground) Bulgur Wheat
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 TBSP Lebanese 7 Spice (see my recipe, below)
  • 1 tsp Salt
Bulgur Dough Ingredients on a board
Bulgur dough ingredients


  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 Onion, minced finely
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 TBSP Corriander
  • 1/2 TBSP Allspice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
Kibbeh filling ingredients on a board
Baked Kibbeh Filling Ingredients


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 TBSP pine nuts

MountainPlums Lebanese Seven Spice Recipe

  • 1 TBSP Black Pepper
  • 1 TBSP Ground Cumin
  • 1 TBSP Paprika
  • 1/2 TBSP Allspice
  • 1/2 TBSP Ground Corriander
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon



Prepare the Bulgur Dough

  • Immerse the Bulgur in water and let sit for 1 hour.
  • Drain the water off and run the Bulgur through a food processor.  Set aside.
  • Mix the beef and lamb together.  Put about 1/4 of the mixture into a food processor and blend until the meat has a smooth consistency.  Repeat two more times.

Before and after grind the minced meat

  • Add the final batch of meat along with the onion and spices to the food processor.  Blend until smooth and runny.
  • Knead all of the meat mixtures along with the bulgur in a bowl until everything is completely mixed together with the same consistency.  Rinse your hands in water if the mixture sticks.

Kneading bulgur dough in a metal bowl by hand

  • Set aside and refrigerate until ready for use.

Prepare the filling

  • Sauté the minced onions in olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes until soft and translucent.
  • Add in the ground beef and sauté until completely browned.
  • Stir in the spices and sauté for another minute until the spices are completely mixed into the meat.
  • Stir in the pine nuts and sauté for another minute until the pine nuts are warm and toasty.

Cooked Kibbeh Filling in a fry pan with a wooden spoon

Bake the Kibbeh

  • Preheat the over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Spread half of the Bulgur dough across the bottom of an greased 8” x 14” baking pan and even out.
  • Spoon the filling over the dough and even out.

Spooning filling over the bottom layer of bulgur dough

  • Cover with the remaining Bulgur dough.  You can form flat patties and lay them on top before evening out.
  • Cut the kibbeh into diamonds and put two or thee shallow slices on each piece to help them absorb oil.
  • Cook the remaining pine nuts in the oil in a frying pan over low heat for 3 minutes until they begin to brown. Place a pine nut on top of each diamond shaped piece of kibbeh.
  • Drizzle the olive oil from the frying pan on top of the kibbeh.
  • Bake for 1 hour, uncovered, at 350 degrees.
  • Remove from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes before serving.

Kibbeh with Greek yogurt sauce amd parsley on a rectangular ceramic plate


  • Kibbeh is great with yogurt sauce.  I use 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 1 Persian cucumber peeled and julienned, and 1 TBSP lemon juice.  Mix well with a spoon and serve on the side.

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