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Kibbeh pie

Sat, 6 May, 2023

Kibbeh pie: a delicious Middle Eastern comfort food.

kibbeh pie

The dish and its name

Kibbeh pie is a traditional Middle Eastern dish that is loved by many around the world. The dish is also known by various other spellings, such as kibbe, kibbeh, kubbah, and kibbi. The different spellings reflect the various dialects and languages spoken in the Middle East.

The word "kibbeh" comes from the Arabic word "kubbah," which means "ball" or "dome." This is because the original form of the dish was made by shaping the meat mixture into a ball or dome shape, which was then fried or baked.

Over time, the recipe has evolved and can now be found in various forms, including kibbeh pie, kibbeh loaf, and kibbeh balls.

kubbeh pie

What is kibbeh pie?

Kibbeh pie is a comfort food that has been enjoyed by generations of Middle Eastern families. It is a versatile and delicious recipe that can be served as a main course or a starter, making it a great addition to any meal.

The dish originated in Lebanon, but it has spread throughout the region and has become a staple in many households. Recipes have been passed down from grandmothers to mothers to daughters, adapted and modified over the years to suit different tastes and preferences.

The dish is often served on special occasions, such as weddings, birthdays, and religious holidays. It is a dish that brings people together and is often associated with warmth, hospitality, and family gatherings.


Where does kibbeh come from?

Kibbeh is a popular dish in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, and other Middle Eastern countries.

It is typically made with ground meat, bulgur wheat, and a variety of spices, such as allspice, cinnamon, and black pepper. The meat mixture is then shaped into a pie or loaf and baked in the oven.

Kibbeh pie is typically served with a side of salad or vegetables, and it can be accompanied by a variety of dipping sauces or condiments, such as tzatziki, hummus, or tahini sauce. The dish is perfect for a family dinner or a gathering with friends, and it is sure to impress anyone who tries it.


Versatile and healthy

One of the great things about kibbeh pie is that it can be customized to suit different tastes and preferences.

For example, the recipe can be made with beef or lamb, and the spices can be adjusted to make the dish more or less spicy.

Vegetarians and vegans can also enjoy a plant-based version of the dish by substituting the meat with a plant-based protein source, such as lentils or tofu. The bulgur wheat can also be substituted with other grains, such as quinoa or couscous, to add variety to the dish.

In addition to being delicious, kibbeh pie is also a healthy option. The dish is high in protein and fibre, and it contains a variety of essential vitamins and minerals. The bulgur wheat in the recipe is a great source of complex carbohydrates, which provide sustained energy and help to keep you feeling full for longer.

Overall, kibbeh pie is a dish that is loved by many for its delicious taste, versatility, and health benefits.

Whether you spell it as kibbe, kibbeh, or kubbah, this Middle Eastern comfort food is definitely worth a try. So why not give it a go and experience the deliciousness of this traditional dish for yourself?

beef and bulgur kibbeh

More bulgur wheat recipes

Bulgur wheat pilaf with red peppers and raisins: cooked like rice pilaf but refreshingly different; looks like couscous but it’s more nutritious; whole grain of cereal but not slimy like barley. That’s my perfect grain!

Pork and smoky bacon meatballs with tomato flavoured bulgur wheat, a variation on Swedish, Italian and Moroccan meatball classics.

Bulgur wheat salad with spicy chorizo and vibrant green runner beans. Lunch or dinner, just add a dollop of yoghurt, fresh mint and dill for perfect Middle Eastern – Spanish fusion.

oven baked kibbeh pie

Kibbeh pie

Servings: 4Time: 1 hour 30 minutes


  • For the filling:
  • 20g (2 tbsp) walnut pieces
  • 25g (3 tbsp) pine nuts
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g (5 oz.) minced beef
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp pomegranate molasses
  • For the crust:
  • 180g (1 cup) fine bulgur
  • 250g (5 oz.) minced beef
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 29g (1 tbsp) butter, for the dish and baking
  • For the tahini sauce:
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • salt, to taste


1. Roughly chop the walnuts. Set aside a teaspoon of pine nuts for decoration and toast the rest with the walnuts in a dry frying pan until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.

toasted nuts

2. For the filling, finely dice the onion. Heat the oil in the frying pan and cook the onion until soft, for about 5 minutes. Add the beef and the spices and cook, breaking up the meat, until no longer pink. Stir in the pomegranate molasses and the walnuts and pine nuts.

cooking kibbeh filling

3. For the crust, place the bulgur in a large bowl and pour over 250ml (1 cup) of cold water. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes until the water is absorbed.

soaked bulgur

4. Add the beef and the spices and knead with your hands to a smooth paste.

kibbeh dough

5. Line a metal or ceramic round dish or a cake tin about 25cm/10 inch in diameter with cling film. Divide the crust mixture in half and press one half into the dish using your knuckles dipped in cold water – that’s the lid of the pie. Lift it out with the cling film.

6. Generously butter the dish and melt the remaining butter. Press the other half of the crust mix into the dish. Spoon the filling over it and press it evenly in with wet hands. Flip the lid over the filling and remove the cling film. Press the lid tightly into the dish with wet hands.

assembling kibbeh pie

7. Brush the pie with the melted butter. Preheat the oven to 190C fan if available/372F/gas 5.

8. Score a diamond or a criss-cross pattern, or simple mark wedges over the top of the pie with a sharp knife, then cut down through to the bottom along those lines to divide it into serving portions. Press the reserved pine nuts into each section.

decorating kibbeh pie

9. Cover the dish with aluminium foil and bake for 20 minutes. Then uncover and bake for further 25-30 minutes until kibbeh is golden brown and pulls away from the sides.

baked kibbeh pie

10. While the kibbeh is baking, make the tahini sauce by mixing all the ingredients together.

11. Let kibbeh stand for 10 minutes before cutting it and serving with the tahini sauce on the side.

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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