zucchini stew

Lebanese Zucchini Stew- Mnazaleh

Lebanese Zucchini Stew, also known as Mnazaleh in Arabic is a Middle Eastern- Lebanese inspired dish. Lebanese Zucchini Stew is healthy and full of flavor. Enjoy a warm bowl of this comforting stew on its own or with some toasted bread.

zucchini stew

Zucchini Stew- Mnazaleh Recipe

This Lebanese Zucchini Stew is easy to make. It’s made with tender bite size pieces of beef, potatoes, zucchini, garlic and a rich and savory tomato infused sauce.

Zucchini is a staple in my house. I love using it to make, Kousa bil Laban- Stuffed Zucchini with Yogurt Sauce, Vegetarian Lebanese Stuffed Zucchini, Lebanese Stuffed Zucchini- Kousa, Bulgur Pilaf with Zucchini. And sometimes I like to air fry it Air Fryer Zucchini Fries, and Air-Fried Zucchini Chips as a snack.

mnazaleh

Ingredients in Lebanese Zucchini Stew:

(Scroll down to recipe card for exact measurements and a printable option)

Beef tips – I use Sirloin steak.

Olive oil – or use any neutral oil of your choice. Avocado oil is a great alternative.

Potatoes cut into bite size chucks.

Zucchini – cut into bite size chunks.

Tomatoes – Fresh diced tomatoes, the riper the better.

Tomato paste – Thinned with warm water.

Garlic cloves – minced.

Salt – to taste.

Middle Eastern spices  such as all spice, cinnamon and black pepper.

ingredients

What kind of Meat do you Use for Zucchini Stew?

You’ll want a type of beef that is tender and will cook quickly. I use sirloin steak and cut it into bite size pieces, sometimes you can find it pre cut. You’ll want to avoid tougher cuts of meat such as chuck or beef stew cubes, although you can still use it especially if you own a pressure cooker. Just keep in mind that it will take longer to cook.

How to Make Lebanese Zucchini Stew:

  • Brown the beef tips: Heat olive oil on medium heat, then add the beef. Add salt and spices and cook until browned- for about 10 minutes.
  • Add water, bring to a boil then cover the pot. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for additional 15-20 minutes or until beef is tender.
sirloin beef
  • Add potato chunks and minced garlic, stir well with the beef. Cook for 10-15 minutes.
  • Add zucchini chunks, diced tomatoes and tomato paste, stir and cook for additional 10 minutes, until veggies are cooked to your liking.
  • Taste for seasoning, and enjoy!
stewed zucchini

Variations for this Mnazaleh Recipe:

I’m perfectly happy eating a big bowl of this vegetable stew on its own. But if you have some bread, toast up a piece for dipping in the stew.

And if you follow a plant-based diet, substitute the beef for a can of cooked chickpeas, cannellini, or kidney beans. Moreover, if you have other vegetables on hand like eggplant, it would be a wonderful additions to this zucchini stew.

Tips for Making Lebanese Zucchini Stew:

  • Zucchini doesn’t take long to cook so try not to cut them too small or they’ll overcook.
  • Try to cut the beef into similar-sized pieces so they cook evenly.
zucchini stew

Storing and Freezing this Squash Stew:

Zucchini stew leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoyed within 2-3 days. It actually makes a great meal prep option because it tastes even better when the ingredients have had time to all blend together!

This Lebanese Zucchini Stew is a great family friendly comforting dinner recipe to serve up on these cold evenings.

By the way, did you know that zucchini are called courgette in many countries?

What do you call squash?

Either way, I call them delicious!

SO IF YOU TRY THIS HEARTY ZUCCHINI STEW LET ME KNOW!

Leave a comment, rate it and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @Thesaltandsweetkitchen using #thesaltandsweetkitchen . I absolutely love seeing and sharing your recreations!

Lebanese Squash Stew

Yield: 4

Lebanese Zucchini Stew

zucchini stew
Lebanese Zucchini Stew, also known as Mnazaleh in Arabic is a rustic Middle Eastern- Lebanese inspired dish. Lebanese Zucchini Stew is healthy, full of flavor and nutrition. Enjoy a warm bowl of this comforting stew on its own or with some toasted bread.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb sirloin steak beef - cut into small bite size pieces
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 zucchinis- cut into chucks
  • 2 potatoes- cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 ripe tomatoes- diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1.5-2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste- thinned with 2 tablespoons of warm water

Instructions

  1. Heat a medium size pot or deep skillet with olive oil on medium heat. Add beef chunks, salt and spices and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Add water, bring to a boil then cover the pot. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for additional 15-20 minutes or until beef is tender.
  3. Add potato chunks and minced garlic, stir well with the beef. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until potato is soft.
  4. Add zucchini chunks, diced tomatoes and thinned tomato paste, stir and cook for additional 10 minutes, until veggies are cooked to your liking.
  5. Taste for seasoning, and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 343Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 144mgSodium: 636mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 45g

Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.

Lebanese Kibbeh Balls

Lebanese Kibbeh Balls

 

Lebanese Kibbeh Balls- also known as kibbi, kebbeh or kubba, is made with a combination of very lean ground beef, fine bulgur wheat, pureed onions, a mix of Middle Eastern spices and basil. Kibbeh is then formed into a ball and stuffed with a mixture of spiced beef and toasted pine nuts; sealed and then fried or baked.

Lebanese Kibbeh Balls

Lebanese Kibbeh Balls

Kibbeh ground beef needs to be very lean and thoroughly minced. In the meat department at your local grocery store, ask for kibbeh ground beef or double minced 95-100% lean beef.  kibbeh is the epitome of Middle Eastern comfort food. There are many ways to prepare kibbeh– raw ( kibbeh nayeh) or stuffed and then fried like in today’s Kibbeh recipe; Similar to my Baked Kibbeh recipe, but instead of layering the ingredients in a baking dish, you shape them into footballs shapes. Kibbeh balls are so much fun to make, and they are even more fun to eat.

What you’ll Need to Make Fried Kibbeh Balls:

(Scroll down to get full recipe with exact measurements)

  • Beef: You’re going to need two kinds of meat to make kibbeh. 100% lean minced beef to make kibbeh mixture and 85- 95% ground beef to make the stuffing.
  • Fine bulgur wheat:  Use fine bulgur (#1).
  • Water: to help tenderize the bulgur wheat.
  • Basil: You can use fresh basil if available, or dried. Both will do the job.
  • Onion: Lots of onions here. Half used in the kibbeh ball dough and the rest used in the stuffing mixture.
  • Middle Eastern spices: such as all spice, cinnamon, and black pepper.
  • Pomegranate molasses: or lemon juice, adds extra tanginess to the stuffing mixture.
  • Pine nuts: These are optional but add incredible texture and flavor to the stuffing.
  • Walnuts: Chopped, for extra crunchiness.
  • Vegetable or canola oil: To fry these kibbeh balls up!
Lebanese fried kibbeh

HOW TO MAKE LEBANESE KIBBEH BALLS:

Make the kibbeh filling (Hashweh mixture):

  • Cook the onions with olive oil until softened and lightly golden.
  • Add the ground beef and cook with the onions until browned and cooked through.
  • Mix in the spices with the ground beef and onion mixture.
  • Fold in the toasted pine nuts and chopped walnuts.
  • Add a drizzle of pomegranate molasses or lemon juice.
  • Remove from heat and set aside.
hashweh

Make the kibbeh mixture:

  • In a food processor, add the onion, basil, salt and spices and process until pureed.
  • Add the Lean kibbeh ground beef a little bit at a time- continue processing until meat is blended well with onions.
  • Add fine bulgur and water a little bit at a time and process very well until you have a smooth emulsified paste.
  • Remove kibbeh mixture from the food processor. 

Shape the Kibbeh Meatballs:

  • Fill a a small bowl with 1/4 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and set near your working area to use for damping your hands. You need dampen hands to shape every kibbeh ball.
  • Scoop about 2-3 tablespoons of the kibbeh mixture and make an indent with your finger in the middle.
  • Hollow out the inside to make a pocket for the filling.
  • Add the hashweh filling into the cavity you formed. (I forget to take a picture of this step).
  • Seal the ball on top and, using both hands, carefully shape it into a football shape, pinch the ends to form points.
  • Place the stuffed kibbeh on a large tray lined with parchment paper. Repeat the hollowing and stuffing process until all the kibbeh mixture and stuffing is done. 
  • Chill the tray for at least 30 minutes before frying. This help the kibbeh balls hold shape. (optional)

Fry the Kibbeh:

  • Fry the kibbeh balls in hot oil in batches.
  • Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper towel to drain the excess oil.
kibbeh balls spread on wooden board with lemon wedges and parsley leaves

TIPS FOR MAKING LEBANESE KIBBEH BALLS

  1. Make a mixture of cornstarch and water to dampen your hands while forming the kibbeh balls. To help you form a smooth kibbeh ball.
  2. Refrigerate kibbeh balls just until cold before frying. This helps hold their shape when frying.
  3. Heat the oil before frying. Make sure to heat the frying oil for 5-8 minutes before adding the kibbeh balls.
  4. Don’t overcrowd the pot when you are frying them. If you add too many at a time, the temperature of the oil will drop and they will not cook through.
  5. You can also bake these in an oven. Spray the kibbeh with oil and bake in the oven at 400°F for around 30 minutes until a deep golden brown. It helps to flip them halfway through.
kibbeh footballs

How to Store and Freeze Lebanese Kibbeh Balls:

The fried kibbeh will keep well in the fridge in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months. You can freeze the uncooked kibbeh and then fry them right from frozen, which helps keep them more fresh.

More Lebanese Recipes:

Lebanese Fattoush

Homemade Hummus

Arayes Kafta

Tabbouleh Salad

Chicken Tawook

If you’ve tried this Lebanese Kibbeh Balls recipe or any other recipe on The Salt and Sweet Kitchen, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. Follow me on Instagram and Pinterest for more amazing recipes!

How to Make Kibbeh Meatballs:

Yield: 18 kibbeh balls

Lebanese Kibbeh Balls

kibbeh balls spread on wooden board with lemon wedges and parsley leaves
Lebanese Kibbeh Balls , also known as kibbi, kebbeh or kubba, is made with a combination of very lean ground beef, fine bulgur wheat, pureed onions, a mix of Middle Eastern spices and basil. Kibbeh balls are so much fun to make, and they are even more fun to eat.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

Kibbeh Mixture

  • 1 ½ cups fine #1 bulgur wheat
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 onion- quartered
  • ½ cup fresh basil or dried
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound 100% lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon 7 Spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Kibbeh Filling

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound 85-90%- lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon all spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup walnuts- crushed
  • 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses

For Frying

  • Vegetable or canola oil for deep frying

Instructions

Make the filling mixture:

  1. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add the chopped onions and salt- cook until wilted stirring frequently (around 10 mins).
  2. Add the ground beef and spices and mix with the cooked onion- constantly stir to break up the clumps of meat.
  3. Cook until meat is browned, then lower heat to medium- low and cook for another 10 mins.
  4. Fold in the chopped walnuts and toasted pine nuts (if using) and pomegranate molasses and mix well. cook for additional 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and set aside.

Make the kibbeh mixture:

  1. In a food processor, add the onion, basil, salt and spices and process until pureed.
  2. Add the Lean kibbeh ground beef a little bit at a time- continue processing until meat is blended well with onions.
  3. Add fine bulgur and water a little bit at a time and process very well until you have a smooth emulsified paste.
  4. Remove kibbeh mixture from the food processor. 

Shape the Kibbeh Meatballs:

  1. Fill a small bowl with 1/4 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and set near your working area to use for damping your hands. You need dampen hands to shape every kibbeh ball.
  2. Scoop about 2-3 tablespoons of the kibbeh mixture and make an indent with your finger in the middle.
  3. Hollow out the inside to make a pocket for the filling.
  4. Add the hashweh filling into the cavity you formed. (I forget to take a picture of this step).
  5. Seal the ball on top and, using both hands, carefully shape it into a football shape, pinch the ends to form points.
  6. Place the stuffed kibbeh on a large tray lined with parchment paper. Repeat the hollowing and stuffing process until all the kibbeh mixture and stuffing is done. 
  7. Chill the tray for at least 30 minutes before frying. This help the kibbeh balls hold shape. (optional)

Fry the Kibbeh:

In a deep pot, heat oil on medium high for 5-8 minutes before adding the kibbeh balls. Deep fry in the oil in batches of 6-8 until golden brown and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side. Use a slotted spoon to carefully remove from the oil and place on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb the excess oil.

Recommended Products

The recommended products below are affiliate links to products I use and love!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

18

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 237Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 100mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 123g

Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.

potato kibbeh in a casserole

Lebanese Shepherd’s Pie- Batata bil Sanieh

The epitome of simple, homey comfort food, Lebanese Shepherds Pie is a casserole consisting of a perfectly cooked, spiced mixture of ground beef between two layers of creamy mashed potatoes, topped with breadcrumbs and baked to perfection!

Lebanese Shepherd's pie

Lebanese Shepherd’s Pie – batata bil sanieh

This casserole dish is the Lebanese version of Shepherd’s Pie. It is also known batata souffle or batata bil sanieh in Arabic, where “batata” translates to “potato” and “bil saneieh” translates to “in a tray”. Lebanese Shepherd’s Pie is made with a layer of ground beef, onions and nuts , spread between two layers of mashed potatoes and topped with breadcrumbs. The filling mixture is called “Hashweh”, the same mixture I use in my Kibbeh Bil Sanieh-Baked Kibbeh.

Lebanese mashed potato casserole

What You’ll Need to Make Lebanese Shepherd’s Pie:

  • Potatoes — Pick the best potato possible, I always use Yukon golds or Russet potatoes.
  • Salted water for boiling — not adding salt to the water will yield bland tasting potatoes.
  • Softened unsalted butter — using unsalted ensures you have full control of how salty your mash comes out.
  • Milk —if you want your mash to be really creamy then it’s full-fat all the way.
  • Breadcrumbs For a crunchy topping.
  • Ground beef — 85 % lean.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Onions — Diced.
  • Salt and spices —Black pepper, all spice and cinnamon.
  • Nuts — Such as walnuts and pine nuts.
  • Pomegranate molasses — If available, it adds a dash of tanginess to the beef mixture, substitute for a squeeze of lemon juice.
batata bil sanieh

COOK THE BEEF MIXTURE- HASHWEH:

  • Cook the onions with olive oil until softened and lightly golden.
  • Add the ground beef, salt and spices and cook with the onions until browned and cooked through.
  • Fold in chopped walnuts, toasted pine nuts, if you’re using them, and pomegranate molasses.
  • Set aside.

Make the Mashed Potatoes:

  • Boil the potatoes, wash and peel the potatoes then cut them into quarters (to ensure they cook evenly), cover with water and a very generous pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until JUST fork-tender. Try not to over cook too much as they can become quite sticky when overcooked.
  • Drain and dry the potatoes, once you’ve drained the cooked potatoes, put them back on a medium heat and dry them out for about 2 minutes.
  • Add milk and butter, and mash the potatoes with a potato masher until smooth, adding a little extra milk if needed.

Assemble:

  • Preheat oven to 375 °F and lightly spray a large rectangular baking tray (11 x 8). I used a 9 inch oval tray, but I feel like those are harder to find. Either is fine 🙂
  • Divide mashed into two even halves. Each half will make a layer.
  • Moisten your hands a little with water and spread the first layer of mashed potatoes, by flattening it across the tray to form a smooth layer.
  • Add a layer of the beef mixture- spread it across the mashed potato layer and press it down with a spoon.
  • Add the last and top layer of the other half of mashed potatoes, also by flattening it until forming a smooth layer.
how to make Lebanese Shepherd's Pie
  • Sprinkle the top with the breadcrumbs and bake until golden brown, about 30-35 minutes.
shepherd's pie with breadcrumbs
  • Serve with with salad and enjoy!
Lebanese Shepherd's pie

What to Serve with Batata bil Sanieh:

A simple green salad such as Lebanese Fattoush Salad, or Tabbouleh Salad is my favorite. Some people also serve it with hot sauce.

How to Store Lebanese Shepherd’s Pie:

  • Once the potato souffle has cooled completely, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • This can also be frozen. To do this, place in a freezer safe container, it should keep well for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat, let defrost in refrigerator and either place in oven on low temperature until heated through or scoop out servings and heat in the microwave.

How to Make Batata Souffle:

Yield: 6

Lebanese Shepherd's Pie- Batata bil Sanieh

kibbeh with potato
The epitome of simple, homey comfort food, this Lebanese Shepherd's Pie is a casserole consisting of perfectly spiced and cooked mixture of ground beef that sits between two layers of creamy mashed potatoes, topped with breadcrumbs and baked to perfection!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

For the mashed potatoes

  • 2 lb potatoes (about 8)- washed, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt- plus more for seasoning
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup milk

For Beef filling:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb 85 % lean ground beef
  • 1 large onions, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts – coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts- slightly toasted if using.
  • 2 tablespoons Pomegranate Molasses

For batata topping

  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs or plain bread crumbs

Instructions

    Make the batata souffle filling:

  1. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the chopped onions and salt- cook until wilted stirring frequently (around 10 mins).
  2. Add the ground beef, salt and spices and mix with the cooked onion- constantly stir to break up the clumps of meat.
  3. Cook until meat is browned, then lower heat to medium- low and let cook for another 10 mins.
  4. Fold in chopped walnuts, slightly toasted pine nuts (if using) and pomegranate molasses and mix well. cook for additional 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and set the beef filling aside.


Make the Mashed Potato:

  1. Add the quartered potatoes to a large pot and cover with cold water. Add a good pinch of salt.
  2. Bring water to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook until JUST fork-tender. (about 15 minutes).
  3. Then drain the potatoes in a colander and return them to the pot. Cover the potatoes then let them steam over a medium heat for 2 minutes. Give the pan a good shake.
  4. Add milk and butter, and mash the potatoes with a potato masher until smooth, adding a little extra milk if needed. The consistency should be creamy, rather than watery.
  5. Taste and adjust salt if needed.


Assemble and bake the casserole:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F and lightly spray a rectangular baking tray (11 x 8).
  2. Divide mashed into two even halves. Each half will make a layer.
  3. Moisten your hands a little with water and spread the first layer of mashed potatoes, by flattening it across the tray to form a smooth layer.
  4. Add a layer of the beef mixture- spread it across the mashed potato layer and press it down with a spoon.
  5. Add the last and top layer of the other half of mashed potatoes, also by flattening it until forming a smooth layer.
  6. Sprinkle the top with the breadcrumbs and bake until golden brown, about 30-35 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving,
  8. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 399Total Fat: 125gSaturated Fat: 48gTrans Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 40gCholesterol: 420mgSodium: 180mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 263g

Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.

kafta stew a favorite Lebanese Stew

Lebanese Kafta Stew

It’s stew time and what better way to start off the cooler weather then with this hearty Lebanese Kafta Stew. Perfect Kafta balls stewed in a rich tomato sauce filled with potatoes and served over Lebanese rice. So good it will become a new dinner favorite!

kafta stew a favorite Lebanese Stew

Lebanese Kafta Stew

Who doesn’t love stew? And when you think of comfort food isn’t it one of the first things that comes to mind? It is for me. I make Lebanese stews quite a bit during the cooler months, especially this Kafta Stew. It’s incredibly easy and totally delicious!

Lebanese kafta recipe

What is Kafta?

Kafta, Kefta or Kofta is a popular Middle Eastern dish, made with a very simple mix of ground meat, — usually beef, lamb, or a combination of both — Middle Eastern spices, finely chopped onions and parsley. Make a big batch and freeze the rest. Here are a few other recipes on the blog with Kafta: Kafta Kabob, Kafta bil Sanieh- Baked Kafta and Arayes Kafta.

How to Make Kafta Stew

Prepare and shape the Kafta:

In a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, add parsley, onion, salt and pulse until finely minced. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, add the beef and spices and mix well by hand until incorporated. Heap 1-2 tablespoons of the kafta mixture and shape into a ball. Repeat for the rest of the kafta mixture, arrange on a plate and set aside.

Prepare the Potatoes:

  • Peel the potatoes, wash and slice into round slices.
  • Fry the potatoes. In a “deep” large skillet, bring 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium-high heat. Fry the potato slices on each side just until soft. They do not need to be fully cooked. Work in batches if needed and remove to a plate and set aside.
potato cut into round shape

Cook the Kafta Balls:

  • Brown the kafta on both sides. In the same skillet you used to fry the potatoes, add 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Fry the prepared kafta balls on each side just until browned. You also don’t want to cook them all the way, but you just want to brown them to get good color and add flavor.

Assemble the Stew:

  • Arrange the cooked the potatoes on top of the cooked kafta.
  • Add the tomato sauce.
How to make kafta and potato recipe
  • Add the water. Bring the stew to boil and then reduce the heat to medium low. Cover the pot and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through.
assemble the Lebanese Stew

How to Store this Kafta Stew:

Any leftover stew should be stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge. It will keep for up to 3-4 days. It can be re-heated on the stove or microwave. You can also freeze the kafta stew for up to 3 months. Place in an airtight container. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving-reheat in microwave or on stove top.

More Lebanese Stews You’ll Love:

If you’d like to try more authentic and delicious Lebanese stews like this kafta stew, here are a few that my family loves for me to make: Lebanese Spinach Stew, Lebanese Beef and Green Bean Stew, Lebanese Okra Stew, Peas and Carrots Stew (Bazella w Riz), Beef Stew with Lima Beans, and Lebanese Moussaka- Eggplant Chickpea Stew. They’re super easy to make and are so delicious! 

Lebanese yakhni

If you like this easy Lebanese Kafta and Potato Stew recipe or any other recipe on The Salt and Sweet Kitchen, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! You can also follow and tag me #thesaltandsweetkitchen on my Instagram page! 

Yield: 4

Lebanese Kafta Stew

kafta Lebanese recipe
It’s stew time and what better way to start off the cooler weather then with this hearty Lebanese Kafta Stew. Perfect Kafta balls stewed in a rich tomato sauce filled with potatoes and served over Lebanese rice. So good it will become a new dinner favorite!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

To make the kafta balla

  • 1 lb of ground beef (10-15% fat)
  • 1 large onions- halved
  • 1 parsley bunch- stems removed (about 1.5-2 cups parsley leaves)
  • 1 teaspoon ground all Spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

To make the stew

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 potatoes- peeled and sliced
  • 2 ripe tomatoes- diced
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Prepare the Kafta Balls:

In a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, add parsley, onion, salt and pulse until finely minced. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, add the beef and spices and mix well by hand until incorporated. Heap 1-2 tablespoons of the kafta mixture and shape into a ball. Repeat for the rest of the kafta mixture, arrange on a plate and set aside.

To Assemble and Cook the Stew

  1. In a large deep skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the sliced potatoes and sauté for about 2 minutes on each side, just until slightly soft but not fully cooked. You may have to work in batches. Transfer potatoes to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the skillet, place the kafta balls and cook for 1-2 minutes per side until they’re lightly browned but not fully cooked. You will also need to to work in batches.
  3. Transfer the cooked potatoes on top. Pour the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes along 1 cup of water and stir gently. Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer covered for 30 minutes.
  4. Serve warm over vermicelli rice, if you'd like.

Recommended Products

The recommended products below are affiliate links to products I use and love!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 410Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 1752mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 7gSugar: 9gProtein: 37g

Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.

pumpkin kibbeh

Vegan Pumpkin Kibbeh Balls

There are many reasons to love fall, but personally, I think the best part of fall is all of the pumpkin packed foods! Packed with herbs & spices, these crispy and delicious Vegan Pumpkin Kibbeh Balls are bursting with flavor! They are delicious, vegan friendly and make the perfect seasonal appetizer. Pumpkin kibbeh Balls are so incredibly tasty and so fun to prepare. With a bit of patience and precision you will be making these kibbeh balls in no time!

pumpkin kibbeh

Vegan Pumpkin Kibbeh Balls are so delicious that I won’t even judge you for not sharing them with your loved ones.

What is Pumpkin Kibbeh?

Pumpkin kibbeh  is made of pumpkin puree, combined with bulgur, pureed onions and a mix of spices and basil. Pumpkin Kibbeh has many different stuffing mixtures. In this recipe, these vegan pumpkin kibbeh balls are stuffed with perfectly seasoned chickpeas, onions and pomegranate seeds mixture and shaped into football shaped balls. Kibbeh balls are typically deep fried, but can also be baked in the oven or air fried. If you are looking for non vegetarian version of this recipe, you can find it here.

vegan kibbeh

How To Make Vegan Pumpkin Kibbeh Balls?

(Scroll all the way down to recipe card for exact measurements, the few paragraphs include helpful step by step pictures.)

Make the Pumpkin Puree:

  • Begin by peeling the pumpkin, scoop out seeds and membrane. Begin by peeling the pumpkin and cutting it into 2 inch cubes. In a medium sized pot, add the pumpkin cubes, cover with water, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium- low heat for about 25-30 minutes, or until easily pierced by a fork. Drain the cooked pumpkins in a colander for a few minutes. Mash with a fork while they’re still hot. Add the bulgur and mix well, until coated and set aside.
  • In your food processor, add the onion, basil, salt and spices and process until pureed. 
  • Transfer the pureed onion to the pumpkin and bulgur mixture, add flour and corn starch. Work with your hands to mix well until everything is blended together.
  • Place in fridge and let chill for at least half an hour before assembling kibbeh balls.
pumpkin kibbeh mixture

Assemble the Pumpkin Kibbeh Balls

  • Fill a small bowl with water and 1 tablespoon of corn starch and set near your working area to use for damping your hands. You need dampen hands to shape every kibbeh ball.
  • Dampen your hands, take a handful of the pumpkin kibbeh mixture (about 2-3 tablespoons) and form into  an oval-shaped ball in the palm of one hand. Using your index finger of your other hand, poke a hole in the ball, hollow the ball to make a pocket for the filling. 
how to shape football kibbeh
  • Using a spoon, add about 1 tablespoon of the filling. Seal the ball on top and, using both hands, carefully shape it into a football shape, pinch the ends to form points.
assembling
  • Place the stuffed kibbeh on a large tray lined with parchment paper. Repeat the hollowing and stuffing process until all the pumpkin mixture is done. 
  • Chill the tray for at least 30 minutes before frying. This help the kibbeh balls hold shape. (optional)

Make the Pumpkin Kibbeh Filling:

  • I usually prepare the filling while the pumpkin is being cooked, to save time. In your food processor, add the presoaked chickpea and pulse until coarse.
  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil, add onions and cook just until wilted for about 8 minutes. Then add the coarse chickpeas, salt, sumac and ground black pepper. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and fold in pomegranate seeds.
kibbet lakteen filling

Fry the Vegan Pumpkin Kibbeh Balls:

  • In a deep frying pan, heat the oil on medium heat for 5 minutes or until it reaches 350 F, if you are measuring.
  • Lay the pumpkin kibbeh in a single layer in the frying pan.
  • Fry batches until golden brown and crunchy, or about 5-8 minutes. Be mindful of not overcrowding the pan so the balls cook evenly.
deep fried kibbeh

Tips for Making Lebanese Pumpkin Kibbeh Balls:

  • If your batter is too loose or runny simply add more flour (1 tablespoon at a time) until the desired texture is achieved.
  • When shaping your kibbeh ball, always wet you hands with corn starch and water mixture.
  • Fry your kibbeh balls in small batches without overcrowding the pan, so they cook evenly.
  • Make sure the oil is hot before adding the kibbeh balls.
  • Place the kibbeh balls once cooked on a paper towel on top of a cooling rack so they don’t absorb more oil while being left to cool down.
kibbeh vegetarian spread on a wooden tray

** Don’t forget to comment below and star rate if you have tried my recipes. You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram. I also like to pin on Pinterest, where you can find more amazing recipes.**

More Lebanese Vegan Dishes:

Loubie Bzeit- Braised Green Beans

Lebanese Stuffed Swiss Chard Rolls

Vegetarian Lebanese Stuffed Zucchini

Lebanese Moussaka- Eggplant Chickpea Stew

Lebanese Ful Medames

Lebanese Lemon Garlic Chickpeas- Msabaha

How to Make Vegan Pumpkin Kibbeh

Yield: 25 balls

Vegan Pumpkin Kibbeh Balls

pumpkin kibbeh

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

For Kibbeh Mixture

  • 1 small size pumpkin (1.5lb)- peeled and cut into 2 inch cubes (about 2 1/2 cups cooked and mashed)
  • 2 cups fine brown bulgur #1
  • 1 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion- cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 tablespoon all purpose flour

For Vegan Kibbeh Filling

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked chickpeas- soaked overnight
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 teaspoon sumac spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds

New Group

  • Other Ingredients
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 table spoon corn starch- Mixed with water to shape the kibbeh balls

Instructions

Make the Pumpkin Puree:

  1. Begin by peeling the pumpkin, scoop out seeds and membrane. Chop pumpkin and Begin by peeling the pumpkin and cutting it into 2 inch cubes. In a medium sized pot, add the pumpkin cubes, cover with water, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium- low heat for about 25-30 minutes, or until easily pierced by a fork.
  2. Drain the cooked pumpkins in a colander for a few minutes. Mash with a fork while they’re still hot. Add the bulgur and mix well, until coated and set aside.
  3. In your food processor, add the onion, basil, salt and spices and process until pureed. 
  4. Transfer the pureed onion to the pumpkin and bulgur mixture, add flour and corn starch. Work with your hands to mix it well until everything is blended together.
  5. Place in fridge and let it chill for at least half an hour before assembling kibbeh balls.

Prepare the Kibbeh Filling:

  1. In your food processor, add the presoaked chickpea and pulse until coarse.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil, add onions and cook just until wilted for about 8 minutes. Then add the coarse chickpeas, salt, sumac and ground black pepper. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and fold in pomegranate seeds.

Assemble the Pumpkin Kibbeh Balls:

  1. Fill a small bowl with water and 1 tablespoon of corn starch and set near your working area to use for damping your hands. You need dampen hands to shape every kibbeh ball.
  2. Dampen your hands, take a handful of the pumpkin kibbeh mixture (about 3 tablespoons) and form into  an oval-shaped ball in the palm of one hand. Using your index finger of your other hand, poke a hole in the ball, hollow the ball to make a pocket for the filling. 
  3. Using a spoon, add about 1 tablespoon of the filling. Seal the ball on top and, using both hands, carefully shape it into a football shape, pinch the ends to form points.
  4. Place the stuffed kibbeh on a large tray lined with parchment paper. Repeat the hollowing and stuffing process until all the pumpkin mixture is done. 
  5. Chill the tray for at least 30 minutes before frying. This help the kibbeh balls hold shape. (optional)

Fry the Pumpkin Kibbeh

  1. In a deep frying pan, heat the oil on medium heat for 5 minutes or until it reaches 350 F, if you are measuring.
  2. Lay the pumpkin kibbeh in a single layer in the frying pan.
  3. Fry batches until golden brown and crunchy, or about 8-10 minutes. Be mindful of not overcrowding the pan so the balls cook evenly.
  4. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

25

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 85Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 96mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 3g

Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.

loubie bzeit

Loubie Bzeit- Braised Green Beans

Loubie Bzeit, is the simplest, most delicious vegetarian dish and the best way to eat green beans! These Italian green beans are sautéed in olive oil, onions and garlic and with braised with tomato sauce until tender. 

loubie bzeit

Loubia Bzeit

Loubie Bzeit (Loubieh bi zeit, loubyeh bzeit, Loubia or loubya) is a traditional Lebanese dish that is vegan and gluten free. “Loubieh Bzeit” in English translates to “green beans in oil”. If your looking for the non-meatless version of this recipe, here you go: Lebanese Beef and Green Bean Stew.

Ingredients to Make Loubie Bzeit:

(FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)

Green beans- Italian green beans also known as flat or Roma green beans, are typically used for this recipe. However, these are not always found easily in the US. A great alternative, is string green beans. Both frozen or fresh work just fine! Frozen green beans come already cut into bite size pieces, but if you use fresh green beans, you will need to trim off the stalk tip and then snap (or cut) the beans into bite-sized pieces. I usually snap each green bean into 2-3 pieces. 

Tomato- Diced. Use fresh tomato for best results.

Tomato Paste- Dissolved with some water, or a small can of tomato sauce as an alternative. 

Onion- Cut into wedges

Garlic- Cut some into small slices, and leave a couple whole cloves, for extra flavor.

Olive oil 

Salt

Italian green beans- loubie

How to Make Loubie Bzeit- Lebanese Beans with Tomatoes

  • In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté onion and salt until soft but not browned (about 7-10 minutes), stirring frequently.
  • Add garlic, mix and cook for additional 2 minutes. 
  • Stir in green beans, add 1/2 cup of water, cover the pot and sauté for 20 minutes. 
lebanese loubyeh
  • Add diced tomatoes and tomato paste (dissolved in another half a cup of water)- stir well, cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally until beans are fully cooked. 
braised green beans
  • Remove from heat and set aside to cool down.
  • Serve with pita bread, hot or cold- It tastes even better the next day too!
  • Enjoy!
braised Italian green beans- loubie bzeit

What can I Serve Lebanese Loubie? 

Well, I am glad you asked! 😉 These green beans go delicious with lots of other Lebanese dishes! Kafta KabobChicken TawookLebanese Chicken and Rice, and Kibbeh Bil Sanieh-Baked Kibbeh

How to Store Lebanese Loubieh Bzeit?

Braised green beans can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Looking for more Lebanese vegetarian dishes? Here are some:

Vegetarian Eggplant Chickpea Fatteh

Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves

Vegan Stuffed Swiss Chard Rolls

Lebanese Lentil soup with vegetables

If you like this healthy vegetarian Lebanese Green Beans with Tomatoes recipe or any other recipe on The Salt and Sweet Kitchen, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! You can also follow and tag me on my Instagram page! 

Loubie Bzeit Recipe

Yield: 4

Loubie Bzeit

loubie bzeit

Loubie Bzeit, is the simplest, most delicious vegetarian dish and the best way to eat green beans! These Italian green beans are sautéed in olive oil, onions and garlic and braised with braised with tomato sauce until tender. 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds green beans- washed, trimmed on both ends and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 10 garlic cloves. ( I leave 5 as whole, and slice 5 into round shaped pieces)
  • 1 large onion, sliced into wedges
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce or a small tomato sauce can
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 cup water- divided

Instructions

      1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat and sauté onion and salt until soft but not browned (about 7-10 minutes), stirring frequently.
      2. Add garlic, mix and cook for additional 2 minutes.
      3. Stir in green beans, and 1/2 cup of water, cover the pot and sauté for 20 minutes.
      4. Add diced tomatoes and tomato paste (dissolved in another half a cup of water)- stir well, cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally until beans are fully cooked.
      5. Remove from heat and set aside to cool down.
      6. Serve with pita bread, hot or cold- It tastes even better the next day too!
      7. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 190Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 722mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 10gSugar: 14gProtein: 6g

Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.

Ground beef and rice with chickpeas served with plain yogurt

Lebanese Beef Pilaf with Chickpeas

This Lebanese Beef Pilaf with Chickpeas dish, also known as Riz b Hummus in Arabic, is made with flavored ground beef, onions, medium grain rice and cooked chickpeas. It’s a quick, easy-to-make one pot meal the whole family will love!

Ground beef and rice with chickpeas served in a white bowl with plain yogurt

Lebanese Beef Pilaf with Chickpeas- Riz b Hummus

This Lebanese Beef and Rice Pilaf with Chickpeas is so satisfying- a must try! It has so many layers of flavor with simple ingredients. It’s one of those meals that you’ll make and your family members will be convinced you’re the best cook around. It is also known as Riz b Hummus or Riz w Hummus, where riz translates to rice and Hummus translates to chickpeas.

What you Need to Make Ground Beef and Rice with Chickpeas:

You can find the full printable recipe including ingredient quantities, below. But here are the basic ingredients for this easy beef rice pilaf to get you started.

Onion

Ground beef

Olive oil and butter

Ground all spice

Salt

Ground black pepper

Chickpeas: cooked

Rice: Medium grain

Water

Lebanese ground beef pilaf with chickpeas on a white plate with a cup of plain yogurt

Tips for the Beef Pilaf:

  • Rinsing your rice – probably one of the most important tips to making any perfect rice dish is rinsing your rice. You want to rinse and repeat until the water runs clear. This ensures most of the starch is released leading to a fluffy rice.
  • When the Beef and rice pilaf is ready, leave it covered and undisturbed for a few minutes before serving.
  • Use lean ground beef– I used 92% lean 8% fat.

WHAT DO YOU SERVE WITH GROUND BEEF AND CHICKPEAS PILAF?

This Lebanese pilaf is best served with plain yogurt on the side, but you can also serve it with a side of vegetables or a salad.

HOW TO STORE LEBANESE BEEF PILAF?

This dish should freeze very well, Just divide any leftovers into single portions, place in a freezer-safe containers after its been completely cooled down, then transfer to the freezer. The frozen chickpea and rice pilaf should be good for about 3 months. It will also keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days.

More Lebanese dinner ideas? Here are some!

Chicken Freekeh

Lebanese Spinach Stew

Bulgur Pilaf with Zucchini

Moghrabieh

Lebanese Chicken and Rice

Lebanese Beef and Green Bean Stew

If you like this easy Lebanese Beef Pilaf with Chickpeas or any other recipe on The Salt and Sweet Kitchen, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! You can also follow and tag me #thesaltandsweetkitchen on my Instagram page! 

Yield: 4-5 servings

Lebanese Beef Pilaf with Chickpeas

Ground beef and rice with chickpeas served with plain yogurt

Lebanese Hashweh with chickpeas and rice.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter 
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup medium-grain rice, rinsed and drained
  • 2.5 cups water

Instructions

  1. In a large pot on medium heat, heat the olive oil and butter. Add the onions and ground beef and season with spices and salt. Cook until the onions are soft and the ground beef is browned, about 8-10 minutes
  2. Add the rinsed rice and stir to combine. Pour the water on top. Cover the pot, bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until rice is cooked through (for about 15-20 minutes).
  3. Mix in the chickpeas. Taste and adjust salt if needed.
  4. Remove from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  5. Fluff the rice with fork, serve with with plain yogurt and enjoy!

arayes kafta on a wooden board with plain yogurt

Arayes Kafta

Arayes Kafta is a popular Middle Eastern kafta stuffed pita sandwiches- that makes for a quick, delicious and flavorful lunch or dinner. 

Arayes recipe meat

Arayes Kafta is a great way to use uncooked Leftover Kafta- but even if you don’t have any leftover, making kafta takes less than 10 minutes! I call these Kafta sandwiches a win in my kitchen, I’m able to quickly whip them up and my whole family enjoys.

DELISH.

What is Arayes Kafta?

Arayes Kafta is kafta meat in pita bread, spread and cooked to perfection. Kafta is made with a very simple mix of ground meat, — usually beef, lamb, or a combination of both — Middle Eastern spices, finely chopped onions and parsley. If you own a food processor, now is a good time to use it. 

arayes kafta- Beef kafta pita

Type of Bread in Kafta Arayes:

Fresh flatbread or thin pita bread are used traditionally in this recipe, but i’ve tried it before with tortilla bread, and the final result was just as good!

Cooking Method:

These Arayes kafta can be baked in the oven, cooked on skillet on stove top or on an electric griddler (is what I used in this recipe). I’ve included baking and cooking on stove top tips below.

How to Make Arayes:

(Scroll all the way down to recipe card for exact measurements and a printable option)

Start by preparing your Kafta mixture:

In a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, add parsley, onion, salt and pulse until finely minced. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, add the beef and spices and mix well by hand until incorporated.

Assemble the Arayes Kafta:

  • Open up the pita bread ino two halves.
kafta
  • Add about 3-4 tablespoons of the kafta mixture and spread it out evenly on one half of the pita bread.
kofta
  • Place the other pita half on top, covering the kafta spread.
arayes
  • Cut in half and repeat for the rest of the kafta mixture.
arayes

Cook the Kafta Arayes:

*If using a griddler: Cook for 5-7 minutes on high heat.

kafta arayes on griddler

*If baking: Preheat oven to 375 F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and generously grease with baking spray. Arrange the arayes in a single layer and spray the top of the pita bread with cooking spray or brush with olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes or until kafta meat is cooked through.

*If cooking on stove top: Pre heat a non stick grill skillet or cast iron skillet on medium high heat, place the pita kafta on the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until beef is cooked through.

Lebanese Kafta recipe- Kafta arayes

What to serve with Arayes Kafta:

Serve with Lebanese Pickles, Hummus , Tahini Sauce, plain yogurt or your favorite salad. Mine is always Tabouli or Fatoush!

ENJOY! And if you give this Beef Kafta Pita Sandwiches recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on FACEBOOK or INSTAGRAM!

Yield: 6

Arayes Kafta

arayes kafta on a wooden board with plain yogurt

Ingredients

  • 4 pita flatbreads or 8 tortillas
  • 1 lb of ground beef (10-15% fat)
  • 1 large onions- halved
  • 1 parsley bunch- stems removed (about 1.5-2 cups parsley leaves)
  • 1 teaspoon ground all Spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Instructions

Prepare the Kafta mixture:

In a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, add parsley, onion, salt and pulse until finely minced. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, add the beef and spices and mix well by hand until incorporated.

Prepare the Arayes:

    1. Open up the pita bread into two halves.
    2. Add about 3-4 tablespoons of the kafta mixture and spread it out evenly on one half of the pita bread.
    3. Place the other pita half on top, covering the kafta spread.
    4. Cut in half and repeat for the rest of the kafta mixture and pita bread.

    Cook the arayes:

    *If using an electric griddler: Preheat and cook for 5-7 minutes on high heat.

    *If baking: Preheat oven to 375 F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and generously grease with baking spray. Arrange the arayes in a single layer and spray the top of the pita bread with cooking spray or brush with olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes or until kafta meat is cooked through.

    *If cooking on stove top: Pre heat a non stick grill skillet or cast iron skillet on medium high heat, place the pita kafta on the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until beef is cooked through.

Kousa bil Laban- Stuffed Zucchini with Yogurt Sauce

Kousa bil Laban translates to zucchini with yogurt sauce in Arabic. In this dish, cored zucchini is stuffed with a mixture of perfectly cooked and spiced ground beef and sautéed onions, simmered in a rich garlicy yogurt sauce then topped with toasted pine nuts.

stuffed kousa with yogurt sauce

Kousa bil Laban- Lebanese Stuffed Zucchini

Stuffed zucchini recipes are a staple in Lebanese cuisine. Here are a couple other popular stuffed zucchini recipes on the blog: Vegetarian Lebanese Stuffed Zucchini and Lebanese Stuffed Zucchini- Kousa.

stuffed kousa recipe Lebanese with garlicy yogurt sauce- kousa bil laban

What is Kousa?

Kousa translates to zucchini or squash in Arabic. It is also known as Lebanese zucchini- light green in color and small and wide in shape. You often find it at farmer’s market in summer time, or at Middle Eastern grocery stores. I love adding Kousa to my soups , pilafs and stir fries. I prefer to use Lebanese zucchinis, but summer zucchinis will work just fine in this recipe as well.

Lebanese Zucchini recipe- kousa bil laban- Garlicy yogurt sauce.

How to Make Kousa bil Laban:

Core the zucchini:

  • Wash and dry the zucchinis, cut off the stalks and slice off the dried tips at the opposite end without removing too much skin.
  • Carefully hollow out the zucchini. Start from the stalk end by inserting your corer about 3/4 of the way into the zucchini, making sure not to poke the bottoms or the tender skin of the zucchinis as you hollow. Twist the corer and pull out the zucchini flesh. Do this a few times, until you have a generous cavity. Some have found success using an apple corer to hollow out their zucchinis, I personally prefer the old fashioned way using a regular corer. You can also use an electric veggie corer drill
how to hollow zucchini
How to core zucchini

Cook the Cored Zucchinis:

Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the the cored zucchinis and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until zucchinis are cooked through. Transfer to a colander to drain and cool down. Save about 2 cups of the zucchini broth, to use later when making the yogurt sauce.

Lebanese kousa in a boiling pot by the salt and sweet kitchen- Lebanese recipes

Prepare the Stuffing Mixture:

  • Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the chopped onions and salt- cook until wilted stirring frequently (around 10 mins).
  • Add ground beef and spices and mix with the cooked onion- constantly stir to break up the clumps of meat. Cook for about 10 minutes or until meat is cooked through.
kousa bil laban stuffing mixture.

Prepare Pine Nuts:

In a medium size pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add the pine nuts and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently; set aside.

roasted pine nuts by the salt and sweet kitchen

Stuff the Zucchinis:

Using your hands or a small spoon stuff the zucchini with the cooked beef mixture, all the way to the top. Repeat for the rest of the hollowed zucchinis. Set aside.

Prepare the Yogurt Sauce:

  • In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, begin to warm the yogurt.
  • In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch with the reserved zucchini broth, add crushed garlic and salt. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the warmed yogurt. Whisking continuously to avoid the yogurt sauce from curdling. Bring to a boil, lower heat to low.
  • Add the the stuffed zucchinis into the yogurt sauce and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Lebanese stuffed zucchini in yogurt sauce
  • Transfer to a serving plate, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts if you’d like.
  • Enjoy!

Tips for Making the Best Kousa bil laban Recipe:

  • Reserve some of the zucchini broth to use it in the garlicy yogurt sauce, for extra flavor.
  • Let the cornstarch completely dissolve with the zucchini broth, before adding it to the yogurt.
  • When making the yogurt sauce, whisk the mixture continuously, until you bring it to a boil. This will help the mixture thicken without curdling.
  • Sprinkle some dried mint before serving, if you have any.

How to Store Kousa bil Laban:

Store in an airtight container, it keeps well for up to 4 days in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave or on stove top for a few minutes. You might need to add a sprinkle of water before reheating, if the yogurt sauce thickened too much in the fridge.

Lebanese stuffed zucchini with yogurt sauce. Kousa mahshi bil laban

Similar Lebanese Recipes:

Lebanese Stuffed Zucchini- Kousa

Vegetarian Lebanese Stuffed Zucchini

Lebanese Stuffed Grape Leaves

Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Pumpkin Kibbeh Balls

If you’ve tried this Lebanese Stuffed Zucchini with Yogurt Sauce- Kousa bil Laban recipe or any other recipe on The Salt and Sweet Kitchen, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! 

Lebanese Stuffed Zucchini with Yogurt Sauce:

Yield: 4

Kousa bil Laban- Stuffed Zucchini with Yogurt Sauce

kousa mahshi bil laban

Kousa bil laban or stuffed zucchini with yogurt sauce is Lebanese comfort food at its best.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 10-12 Lebanese zucchini

For the filling

  • 1 lb ground beef 
  • 1 medium onion- diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the garlic sauce

  • 3 cups whole milk- plain
  • 3 garlic cloves- crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch 
  • 2 cups water- reserved from zucchini broth

For the pine nuts

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts

Instructions


Core the zucchini:

  1. Wash and dry the zucchinis, cut off the stalks and slice off the dried tips at the opposite end without removing too much skin.
  2. Carefully hollow out the zucchini. Start from the stalk end by inserting your corer about 3/4 of the way into the zucchini, making sure not to poke the bottoms or the tender skin of the zucchinis as you hollow. Twist the corer and pull out the zucchini flesh. Do this a few times, until you have a generous cavity. Some have found success using an apple corer to hollow out their zucchinis, I personally prefer the old fashioned way using a regular corer. You can also use an electric veggie corer drill

    Cook the Cored Zucchinis:

    1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the the cored zucchinis and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until zucchinis are cooked through.
    2. Transfer to a colander to drain and cool down. Save about 2 cups of the zucchini broth, to use later when making the yogurt sauce.


Prepare the Stuffing Mixture:

  1. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the chopped onions and salt- cook until wilted stirring frequently (around 10 mins).
  2. Add ground beef and spices and mix with the cooked onion- constantly stir to break up the clumps of meat. Cook for about 10 minutes or until meat is cooked through.

Stuff the Zucchinis:

Using your hands or a small spoon stuff the zucchini with the cooked beef mixture, all the way to the top. Repeat for the rest of the hollowed zucchinis. Set aside.

Prepare the Yogurt Sauce:

  1. In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, begin to warm the yogurt.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch with the reserved zucchini broth, add crushed garlic and salt. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the warmed yogurt. Whisking constantly to avoid the yogurt sauce from curdling. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
  3. Add the the stuffed zucchinis into the yogurt sauce and simmer for about 20 minutes.

To Serve:

Transfer to a serving plate, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.

Enjoy!

    Recommended Products

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    Freekeh with chicken recipe

    Chicken Freekeh

    This Lebanese Chicken Freekeh is the perfect recipe for a healthy lunch or dinner. Pan seared tender chicken thighs on a bed of fluffy Freekeh topped with golden toasted almonds. This hearty Freekeh recipe is ready in just 30 minutes. So GOOD!

    Frikeh with chicken recipe

    Wait… What is Freekeh

    Freekeh, pronounced free-kuh, also known as frikeh, farik or fireek  is a type of cracked wheat, similar to bulgur, but typically picked while still green and then roasted to achieve a slightly smoky and nutty flavor. Freekeh is very nutritious; It is rich in protein, iron and fiber. It contains almost 3 times as much fiber as brown rice and twice as much as quinoa.

    freekeh with chicken topped with roasted almonds.

    How to Make Chicken Freekeh:

    • Pick over freekeh to remove any debris, rinse and soak for at least 30 minutes.
    • Cook the onions with olive oil until wilted, but not browned.
    cooked onions in a large skillet
    • Add the rinsed freekeh and water and cook for 25 minutes.
    freeke and onions mixed in a large skillet
    • While the freekeh is cooking, pan sear the boneless, skinless chicken thighs with olive oil.
    pan seared chicken thighs
    • Toast the raw almonds until golden brown.
    • Assemble the freekeh, by starting with a bed of cooked freekeh on serving plate, top with pan seared chicken, sprinkle some roasted almonds on top and garnish with chopped parsley if you like.
    • Serve immediately and enjoy!
    If you are looking for freekeh recipes, the you will love this Lebanese Chicken freekeh.

    How to Store Chicken Freekeh:

    Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. You can freeze cooked freekeh, without the chicken in a freezer friendly container for up to 6 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge before heating and serving.

    Frequently asked questions:

    Is Freekeh gluten free?

    Since freekeh is a strain of wheat, it’s not gluten free. To make this recipe gluten free, substitute quinoa for the freekeh, adjusting the amount of water and cooking time accordingly.

    Where can I buy Freekeh?

    You should be able to find freekeh at your local grocery store, usually in the grain isle with quinoa or at any Middle Eastern store. I’ve been finding it at Walmart and whole foods. You can also order it from amazon. If you can’t find freekeh, substitute your whole grain of choice for the freekeh, adjust water and cooking time as necessary. Farro, barley, whole wheat couscous or quinoa would make great substitutes for the freekeh.

    What is the difference between whole grain Freekeh and cracked freekeh?

    Cracked freekeh takes less time to cook than whole-grain freekeh, about 20-25 minutes versus 45 minutes, without compromising nutritional content.

    More Lebanese Inspired Recipes with Chicken?

    Lebanese Chicken Shawarma

    Lebanese Chicken and Rice

    Moghrabieh

    Lebanese Lemon Garlic Chickpeas- Msabaha

    Chicken Tawook

    if you are looking for cracked freekeh recipes, then you will love this freekeh with chicken. The perfect Lebanese recipe.

    If you like this Lebanese Chicken Freekeh recipe or any other recipe on The Salt and Sweet Kitchen, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! You can also follow and tag me on my Instagram page! 


    Lebanese Freekeh with Chicken

    Yield: 8

    Chicken Freekeh

    Freekeh with chicken recipe
    This Lebanese Chicken Freekeh is the perfect recipe for a healthy lunch or dinner. 
    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Cook Time 25 minutes
    Total Time 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the Freekeh Pilaf

    • 2 cups cracked freekeh
    • 1 tablesoon olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon butter-optional
    • 3.5 cups water or chicken stock

    For the Pan Seared Chicken

    • 1.5-2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 6-8 thighs)
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon all spice
    • 1 teasooon salt
    • Chopped parsley for serving- optional

    For the Almond

    • 1/2 cup raw almonds- whole or chopped
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil

    Instructions

    Pick over freekeh to remove any debris, and rinse well in water until water runs clear. Soak the freekeh in warm water for at least 30 mins and up to 3 hours before cooking, then drain and set aside.

    To Cook the Freekeh Pilaf:

    In a large non stick skillet over medium hear, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring occasionally until wilted but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add the soaked and drained freekeh and sauté for 2 minutes, then add salt, 3.5 cups of water and 1 tablespoon butter. Turn the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until freekeh is tender, about 25-30 minutes. Let it rest for 5 minutes, then fluff a little with a fork.

    Pan Sear the Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs:

    While the freekeh is cooking:

    1. Season the chicken thighs with salt, black pepper and all spice.
    2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
    3. Add seasoned chicken thighs to the skillet, smooth side down; cook for 8-10 minutes or until you can easily flip over the chicken. Flip and continue to cook for 6 to 7 more minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
    4. Remove from heat and set aside.

    Toast the Almonds on Stove Top:


    In small skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add almonds and cook for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown, turning frequently so they cook evenly.


    To Serve the Freekeh:

    On a serving plate, start with a bed of cooked freekeh and top with pan seared chicken, drizzle some roasted almonds on top and garnish with chopped parsley if you like. Serve immediately and enjoy!

    Namoura Lebanese- Basbousa arabic Sweets- Basbousa Cake

    Namoura- Lebanese Semolina Cake

    Namoura is a popular classic Middle Eastern dessert made with semolina flour and yogurt, and topped with a sweet sugar water syrup flavored with rose water. Namoura cake is easy to make and comes together in just one bowl – no mixer required.

    Namoura cake is also known as Basbousa or Harissa depending on which part of the Middle East you are. In Lebanon it’s called Namoura or Namoora.

    What You’ll Need to Make Lebanese Semolina Cake:

    (Scroll all the way down to recipe card, for exact measurements and a printable option.)

    Semolina Flour:  Semolina is flour made from durum wheat. It’s most commonly used in making pasta, it gives this cake a light and crumbly texture.
    Yogurt: Full or low fat plain yogurt works great.
    Sugar: You will need some for the cake mixture and some for making the sugar syrup.
    Butter: Unsalted.
    Baking Powder and baking soda.
    Rose water: or orange blossom water.
    Lemon slice: or Lemon Juice

    How to Make Simple Sugar Syrup:

    Most of the sweetness in Namoura cake comes from this simple sugar water syrup. In a small sauce pan, combine water and sugar and bring to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes. Add a slice of lemon or 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and rosewater if you’d like, for extra flavor. Allow simple syrup to cool down completely before pouring over the hot baked sheet cake. You can adjust the amount of simple syrup you use on this Semolina Cake. If you’d like less sweetness , reduce the measurements in the simple syrup by a third or by half.

    simple sugar syrup- rose water syrup

    How to Make Namoura- Basbousa Cake:

    • Preheat oven to 350F, and line a nonstick half sheet pan (11 inch x 17 inch) with parchment paper. Grease the parchment sheet with baking spray and set aside.
    • In a large size bowl, whisk together the semolina, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.
    namoura recipe
    • Stir in the butter and yogurt and rose water/ orange blossom, until combined. You might need to use your hands.
    namoura with yogurt and butter
    • Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, wet your hands with water and and spread it out evenly.
    • Score the batter into 1-inch square or diamond shapes with a butter knife and place 1 raw almond in the center of each diamond.
    namoura spread on a baking tray
    • Bake for 30 minutes or until the sides and top are golden brown.
    • Remove from oven and pour sugar syrup evenly all over it, immediately.
    namoora- basbousa covered with sugar syrup
    • Cut the cake along the lines you scored.
    • Let the cake come to room temperature to absorb the syrup before serving. Enjoy!
    Namoura Lebanese- Basbousa arabic Sweets- Basbousa Cake

    Can I make namoura recipe without yogurt?

    Yes, you can substitute 1 cup of yogurt for 3/4 cup of buttermilk.

    Can I make vegan namoura?

    Yes! Since Namoura is an eggless cake, it is easy to swap yogurt and butter for any plant based yogurt and butter.

    How long does Lebanese semolina cake keep:

    Up to five days stored in a air tight container at room temperature.

    More Lebanese Inspired Desserts:

    Knafeh

    Sfouf- Lebanese Cake

    Baklava

    Milk Pudding- Mahalabia

    If you like this easy Lebanese Namoora cake recipe or any other recipe on The Salt and Sweet Kitchen, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below!

    Basbousa, Namoura, or Harissa Cake Recipe

    Yield: 24 pieces

    Namoura- Lebanese Semolina Cake

    Semolina cake recipe- Harissa semolina cake- Namoura cake

    Namoura Cake, aka Basbousa or Harissa is a traditional Middler Eastern sweet dessert, made with semolina flour and topped with a simple sugar syrup.

    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 35 minutes

    Ingredients

    For Sugar Syrup

    Instructions

    Start by making the sugar syrup:

    1. In a small sauce pan, combine sugar and water over medium-high heat. Stir well.
    2. Bring mixture to a boil.
    3. Add lemon juice.
    4. Lower heat to medium low and simmer for another 10 minutes.
    5. Remove the syrup from the heat, add the rosewater, give it a quick stir.
    6. Set aside and let it completely cool down before topping your Namoura.

    To Make the Namoura Cake:

    1. Preheat oven to 350F, and line a nonstick half sheet pan (17 inch x 11 inch) with parchment paper. Grease the parchment sheet with baking spray and set aside.
    2. In a large size bowl, whisk together the semolina, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.
    3. Stir in the butter rose water or orange blossom and yogurt until combined. You might need to use your hands.
    4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, wet your hands a little with water and spread it out evenly.
    5. Score the batter into 1-inch square or diamond shapes with a butter knife and place 1 raw almond in the center of each diamond.
    6. Bake for 30 minutes or until the sides and top are golden brown.
    7. Remove from oven and pour sugar syrup evenly all over sheet cake, immediately. Cut the cake along the lines you scored. Let the cake come to room temperature to absorb the syrup before serving.
    8. Enjoy!

    Notes

    I like my Namoura cake slices to be thin, so I use a large  11 x 17 Inch baking sheet. You can use a smaller baking pan, just keep in mind that the cake will be a bit thicker.

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    24

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 222Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 119mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 26gProtein: 3g

    Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.

    Lebanese spinach stew (sabanekh) served over rice with lemon slices and pine nuts.

    Lebanese Spinach Stew

    Lebanese Spinach Stew– fresh spinach sautéed with garlic, onions and a perfectly spiced ground beef mixture. This simple Lebanese spinach stew is also known as Sabanekh w Riz in Arabic– which translates to spinach and rice.

    If you are looking for a quick spinach stew recipe, then you will love this Lebanese Spinach Stew (Sabanekh w riz) served with pine nuts and lemon slices.

    One of my favorite Lebanese Stews that I can quickly whip up when short on time or when I need a healthy meal, is this Lebanese Spinach Stew. Spinach stew is often served over rice in Middle Eastern cuisine and can be ready in less than 30 minutes!

    Ingredients in Spinach Stew:

    (Scroll all the way down to recipe card for exact measurements and a printable option.)

    Fresh baby spinach
    Ground beef
    Onion
    Garlic
    Lemon juice
    Olive oil
    Salt and spices

    How to Make Spinach Stew- Lebanese Spinach and Rice:

    • Toast the pine nuts with olive oil, if using. Set aside.
    roasted pine nuts by the salt and sweet kitchen
    • Sauté the onions and garlic.
    sautéed onions by the salt and sweet kitchen
    • Add in and cook the ground beef.
    Lebanese ground beef recipes
    • Add Fresh baby spinach and cook for few minutes.
    spinach stew Lebanese
    • Add fresh squeezed lemon juice.
    • Remove from heat.
    • Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and serve over rice.
    Lebanese spinach stew (sabanekh) served over rice with lemon slices and pine nuts.

    Can I use frozen spinach to make Lebanese Spinach and Rice?

    I prefer to use fresh spinach. You will need a lot of it, around 1.5 pounds (or three 6oz bags of baby spinach) because fresh spinach tends to lose half of its volume after cooking. However, I have heard of people having success using frozen spinach. This is especially helpful if you don’t have fresh spinach on hand or if spinach is out of season. If you decide to use frozen, you’ll need 2- 10 ounces packs.

    Fresh baby spinach from the salt and sweet kitchen.

    What to Serve with Lebanese Spinach Stew:

    All Lebanese Stews are always served over Vermicelli Rice, I have a step by step recipe on how to make it. If your looking for a low calorie alternative, spinach stew also pairs well with quinoa.

    How to Store this Spinach Stew- Sabanekh:

    Let this Lebanese spinach stew come to room temperature before storing it in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 4 days. The stew also freezes well, just defrost it overnight in the fridge and reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave.

    More Spinach Recipes:

    If your looking for the best recipes with Spinach, I have a few more on the blog: Lebanese Spinach Pies, Chicken Spinach Fettuccine Alfredo, Pasta with Chicken and White Sauce Casserole and Spinach Lentil Soup with Lemon.

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    Middle Eastern Spinach Recipe:

    Yield: 4-6

    Lebanese Spinach Stew

    healthy spinach stew- Lebanese stews

    Healthy, hearty Lebanese style spinach stew made with simple ingredients and can be ready in less than 25 minutes!

    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Cook Time 23 minutes
    Total Time 28 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 1.5 pounds fresh baby spinach- or 3- 6 oz bags
    • 1/2 pound ground beef
    • One medium onion- diced
    • 5 garlic cloves- cut into thin slices
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground all spice

    For pine nuts- if using

    Instructions

    1. Prepare the pine nuts: in a small sauce pan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium low heat. Add pine nuts and cook until golden brown for about 4 minutes. Mixing constantly to avoid burning them. Set aside.
    2. In a deep pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion, salt and garlic and cook until wilted but not browned. For about 10 minutes.
    3. Add the ground beef and spices and mix with the cooked onion- constantly stir to break up the clumps of meat.
    4. Cook for 10 minutes or until beef is fully cooked.
    5. Add baby spinach, a little bit at a time. Mix well with the beef mixture and cook for 3 minutes, just until spinach is wilted.
    6. Remove from heat, pour fresh lemon juice.
    7. Mix, taste and adjust salt/sour.
    8. Transfer to a serving plate, top with toasted pine nuts and serve with rice on the side.

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    6

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 270Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 508mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 16g

    Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.

    Moghrabieh

    Super easy, and perfect for cooler temps, this Lebanese Moghrabieh Chicken Stew with chickpeas is a dish you can warm up with and enjoy. Healthy, hearty and delicious!

    If you are Lebanese couscous recipes, you will love this Moghrabieh Lebanese dish.

    What is Moghrabieh- Mograbieh?

    Moghrabieh also known as peal couscous, Lebanese couscous or giant couscous, is not actually regular couscous. It is more of a cousin to couscous than actual couscous. Moghrabieh Lebanese couscous is a small, perfectly round pasta with a delightful chewiness, made from wheat semolina flour. You can find these Lebanese pearls at any Middle Eastern/Mediterranean store or you can order it online

    What you Need to Make Moghrabieh: 

    Lebanese Mograbieh: Pearl couscous.

    Chicken: I like to use chicken thighs and legs in this recipe, as they tend to be more moist and tender than chicken breasts. 

    Spices: Moghrabieh spices can be found pre-mixed at any Middle Eastern grocery store or online, but is also very simple to make at home. You will need; ground caraway, ground all spice and ground cinnamon. 

    Butter: One tablespoon for searing the Lebanese couscous. 

    Onions: This recipe is authentically made with fresh pearl onions. If you don’t have access to pearl onions you can use regular size onions cut into cubes or frozen peal onion.

    Chickpeas: Cooked chickpeas, you can use canned chickpeas to save time or boil your own. 

    If you are looking for Lebanese couscous recipes that uses cooked chickpeas, then you will love this Lebanese mograbieh recipe.

    How do you make Chicken Moghrabieh:

    Prepare the Chicken: 

    • Begin by washing your chicken legs and thighs, then place in a large pot over medium high heat and add enough water to cover the chicken completely. 
    • Bring chicken to a boil, using a large spoon, skim excess fat that rises to the top.
    • Add bay leaves if available and cinnamon sticks for extra flavor. 
    • Cover the pot, reduce heat to medium low and let simmer until the chicken is fork tender and cooked through. This will take about 30-40 minutes. 
    • Once the chicken is cooked, add peeled pearl onions and cook for an additional 5 minutes. 
    • Remove from heat, keep the pot covered so the onions continue to cook for a little bit. 
    • Once chicken is cooled enough to handle, shred into coarse chucks. Set aside. 
    • Reserve chicken broth for cooking the mograbieh couscous pearls. 

    Prepare the Moghrabieh:

    • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and add the Lebanese couscous, spices and salt. Mix well and cook for 5 minutes. 

    moghrabieh pearls

    • Cover with some of the reserved chicken broth and cook until soft, for about 25 mins. 

    couscous pearls

    • Add in cooked chickpeas, mix well with the cooked moghrabieh pearls. 

    Prepare the Nuts Topping- if using:

    I use chopped almonds, but you can use any other kind of nut such as cashews. 

    • Place small pan over medium heat, heat olive oil for couple minutes. 
    • Add the almonds and stir constantly, until golden brown. This will take around 4 minutes.
    • Remove from heat and set aside.

    roasted pine nuts

    To serve: 

    Place the cooked moghrabieh and chickpeas in a serving plate, top with a layer of coarse shredded chicken, some onoions and then sprinkle with almonds on top.

    How to Store Mograbieh:

    Mograbieh will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge stored in an air tight container. Try to store the chicken and the moghrabieh in two separate containers. I feel that its helps keep the mograbieh from getting soggy.

    More Lebanese Recipes:

    Lebanese Chicken and Rice

    Chicken Tawook

    Lebanese Chicken Shawarma

    Lebanese Moussaka- Eggplant chickpea Stew

    Lebanese Stuffed Grape Leaves

    Moghrabieh- Isreal couscous recipe.

    Moghrabieh Recipe

    Yield: 6-8

    Moghrabieh

    moghrabieh recipe-mograbieh chicken recipe
    Super easy, and perfect for cooler temps, this Lebanese Moghrabieh Chicken Stew with chickpeas is a dish you can warm up with and enjoy. Healthy, hearty and delicious!
    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Cook Time 1 hour
    Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 4 chicken thighs
    • 4 chicken legs
    • 5-6 cups water- for boiling the chicken
    • 1-2 cinnamon stick
    • 2 bay leaves- if available
    • 2 teaspoons salt

    For moughrabieh

    For Almond Topping

    • 4 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/2 cup shredded raw almonds

    Instructions

      Prepare the Chicken: 

    1. Begin by washing your chicken legs and thighs, then place in a large pot over medium high heat and add enough water to cover the chicken completely. 
    2. Bring chicken to a boil. Using a large spoon, skim excess fat that rises to the top.
    3. Add bay leaves (if available) and cinnamon stick for extra flavor. 
    4. Cover the pot, reduce heat to medium low and let simmer until the chicken is fork tender and cooked through. This will take about 30-40 minutes. 
    5. Once the chicken is cooked, add pealed pearl onions and cook for an additional 5 minutes. 
    6. Remove from heat and keep the pot covered so the onions continue to cook for a little bit. 
    7. Once chicken is cooled enough to handle, shred into coarse chucks and set aside. 
    8. Reserve chicken broth for cooking the mograbieh couscous pearls. 

    Prepare the Moghrabieh:

    1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and add the Lebanese couscous, caraway, all spice, cinnamon and salt. Mix well and cook for 5 minutes. 
    2. Cover with some of the reserved chicken broth (about 3 cups), bring to a boil.
    3. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until soft, for about 25 mins. 
    4. Add in cooked chickpeas, mix well with the cooked moghrabieh pearls. 
    5. Remove from heat and fluff it with a fork.

    Prepare the Almond Topping- if using:

    1. Place small pan over medium heat, heat olive oil for couple minutes. 
    2. Add the almonds and stir constantly, until golden brown. This will take around 4 minutes.
    3. Remove from heat and set aside.

    To serve Mograbieh: 

    Place the cooked moghrabieh and chickpeas in a serving plate, top with a layer of coarse shredded chicken, some onions and then sprinkle with almonds on top.

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    8

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 693Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 261mgSodium: 963mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 6gSugar: 3gProtein: 58g

    Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.

    If you like this Lebanese Moghrabieh recipe or any other recipe on The Salt and Sweet Kitchen, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! You can also follow and tag me with your pictures #thesaltandsweetkitche on my Instagram page! 

    sfouf cake

    Sfouf- Lebanese Cake

    This vibrant yellow Lebanese turmeric cake- sfouf is easy  to make. It is also egg- free, butter- free and made in one bowl!  Sfouf cake has a subtle earthy flavor and tastes as good as it looks.

    sfouf cake

    This delicious Lebanese sfuf or Sfouf recipe is so easy to make, colorful, and absolutely delicious, too. It is a no mixer required recipe that uses a handful of accessible ingredients and gives you the perfect tea cake.

    If you’ve found yourself with a bunch of turmeric and wondering what to do with it, why not make a cake?

    sfuf

    Turmeric Cake- Sfouf

    People have given sfouf many pronunciations; Lebanese cake, turmeric cake, sfuf, semolina cake or yellow cake, but all these names do not do it  justice! You will love this golden cake, it’s also a great way to get more healthy turmeric into your diet. 

    yellow cake

    SFOUF INGREDINESTS:

    You can find the full printable recipe including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this turmeric cake perfect every time.

    1. Turmeric: The turmeric not only adds the beautiful color, but also a subtle earthy taste.
    2. Semolina flour: This is a coarse purified wheat that’s usually used to make pasta. 
    3. Baking spray: To avoid the cake from sticking to the baking dish. Some spread about 1 tablespoon of tahini paste to the bottom of the pan instead. I personally do not like the taste of Tahini paste in this recipe so I avoid it, but you can also give that a try!
    4. All purpose flour. Half a cup. 
    5. Sugar.
    6. Vegetable oil.
    7. Baking powder.
    8. Milk. Plant based milk, or water works if your following a vegan diet. I start with one cup, and add a little more if needed. 

    How to Make Sfouf – Lebanese Turmeric Cake Recipe:

    (Full recipe with quantities in recipe card below)

    • Whisk dry ingredients together. 
    • Add in wet ingredients and whisk some until well combined. 

    how to make semolina cake

    • Pour into a baking pan and top with nuts. 

    sfuf topped with pine nuts

    • Bake.
    • Let cool completely.
    • Cut into squares and serve! 

    Lebanese cake

    Frequently asked Questions: 

    • Can you make sfouf without semolina?  I personally have never tried Sfouf without semolina, you probably would not get the same nutty texture. I’d be happy to know how it turns out if you decide to try! 

    • Where do I find semolina flour?  You can find it at any Middle Eastern market, Amazon, supermarkets, Walmart or target.

    • Can you make vegan sfouf? YES! since this Lebanese cake is egg-free and butter-free, it is easy to make it vegan. Simply use any plant-based milk or just plain water will do the job as well. 

    • Can I leave out the turmeric? Yes! it won’t be sfouf anymore though 🙂 But try it before you knock it, you’ll barely taste the turmeric and the color is gorgeous (plus turmeric is so good for you!)

    • How to serve this Lebanese turmeric cake? Have it either warm or at room temperature, both are delicious. Definitely have a cup of tea or coffee on the side, or milk for the kids!

    • How long does Lebanese Semolina Cake Keep? Up to five days tightly wrapped or stored in a air tight container at room temperature. 

    • Sfouf Calories: 130 calories per bar!

    More Lebanese Desserts: 

    Knafeh

    Baklava

    Milk Pudding- Mahalabia

    Coconut Date Bars

    Date Roll Cookies

    Namoura- Lebanese Semolina Cake

    If you like this easy Lebanese turmeric cake- Sfouf recipe or any other recipe on The Salt and Sweet Kitchen, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! You can also follow and tag me #thesaltandsweetkitchen on my Instagram page! 

    How to Make Lebanese Sfuf

    Yield: 16 servings

    Sfouf- Lebanese Cake

    sfouf recipe- Lebanese semolina cake

    Sfouf- Lebanese Turmeric Cake. A delicious egg free, butter free cake that is made with simple ingredients.

    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 40 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 1 ½ cup fine semolina
    • ½ cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
    • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ cup canola oil or other neutral oil
    • 1 cup of milk or water
    • Baking spray to grease the pan
    • Handful of pine nuts or almonds- for garnishing 

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF and grease a 9×9" baking pan with baking oil.
    2. In a large bowl, add the flour, fine semolina, sugar, baking powder and turmeric and mix well using a whisk.
    3. Add the oil and milk and whisk well until fully combined. If after mixing the batter is too thick, you can add few more spoons of milk gradually.
    4. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with the pine nuts, almonds or both combined.
    5. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the pine nuts are golden, mine was done at exactly 30 minutes.
    6. Let cook completely before cutting into squares.
    7. Serve with cup of tea and enjoy!

    Recommended Products

    The recommended products below are affiliate links to products I use and love!

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    16

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 131Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 48mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 3g

    Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.

    msakaa Lebanese vegan dish

    Lebanese Moussaka- Eggplant Chickpea Stew

    If you’re looking for a quick vegetarian eggplant recipe, this is the right place for you! Lebanese Moussaka is easy to make, healthy, and perfect for the whole family!

    msakaa Lebanese vegan dish

    What is Lebanese Moussaka?

    Lebanese Moussaka is a popular Middle Eastern eggplant chickpea stew, also known as Maghmour, Msakaa, Musakaa or Moussaka Batinjan; Batinjan translates to eggplant in Arabic. It is different from the the Greek layered casserole type of dish.Moussaka starts with eggplant that’s cubed and cooked until golden brown. While that’s happening, onion and garlic are sautéed and then stewed in a delicious rich tomato sauce before cooked chickpeas and eggplants are added. This eggplant stew is an easy protein packed meat- free meal that is great for meal prep. 

    Eggplant in Lebanese Moussaka: 

    In the authentic version of this vegetarian chickpea and eggplant moussaka recipe, eggplant is usually deep fried. In this recipe, I used my air fryer to cook the eggplants. So if you are looking for a healthier moussaka version, I suggest air frying or baking the eggplants. They will taste just the same, if not even better! Check out the section below for roasted eggplant tips. 

    eggplant and chickpea stew

    Eggplant Moussaka Ingredients: 

    This eggplant Moussaka require a few ingredients, including:

    • Eggplant: Air fried, baked or deep fried.

    • Cooked chickpeas: You will need about 3 cups of cooked chickpeas. 

    • Onion: Sliced into wedges. 

    • Garlic: Sliced into circles. 

    • Extra virgin olive oil

    • Fresh tomatoes: I like to blend ripe tomatoes using a food processor, but you can also finely dice the tomatoes. 

    • Tomato paste

    • Salt

    Air Fryer Eggplant for Lebanese Moussaka: 

    • Preheat air fryer to to 400 F°.
    • Peel the eggplant skin off in stripes, don’t remove the skin entirely and cut into bite size cubes. 

    peeled eggplant and cubed

    • Place in air fryer basket in a single layer (you might need to cook in batches). Cook for 15-20 minutes, shaking every 5 minutes to make sure they cook evenly

    eggplant in the air fryer

    How to Cook Eggplant in the Oven: 

    If you don’t own an air fryer, you can roast the eggplant cubes instead. 

      • preheat the oven to 425ºF.
      • Arrange eggplant cubes in a single layer on a greased parchment paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the eggplant cubes with a pinch of salt. 
      • Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the eggplant.  Toss to make sure that the eggplant is coated completely.
      • Bake the eggplant until just fork tender, about 25 minutes. 

    Tips to Making the Best Lebanese Eggplant Moussaka: 

    • Authentically, the eggplant is usually deep fried in this recipe, which you can certainly do! I think that air frying the eggplant is just as good, without all the extra fats. 
    • Instead of canned chickpeas, you can cook your own dry chickpeas. Just remember to soak them overnight, then boil until they’re just soft and tender. 
    • You can use canned tomato sauce instead of fresh tomatoes. 

    Lebanese moussaka

    How to Serve Lebanese Moussaka: 

    Moussaka translates to cold in Arabic and is typically served cold or at room temperature by scooping it with bite size pieces of pita bread. We enjoy it, cold, warm and hot. It would make the perfect dish for slow weekend dinners, or you could make it ahead of time to enjoy throughout the week! 

    Eggplant is one versatile ingredient that you can use in many delicious ways. I have a couple of recipes that use eggplant on the blog, Vegetarian Eggplant Chickpea Fatteh and Baba Ganoush- Eggplant Dip.  

    If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #thesaltandsweetkitchen on Instagram

    How to Make Lebanese Moussaka Stew: 

    Yield: 6

    Lebanese Moussaka- Eggplant chickpea Stew

    msakaa Lebanese vegan dish

    This Lebanese Moussaka is a delicious vegan eggplant and chickpea stew cooked in rich tomato sauce. 

    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 35 minutes
    Total Time 45 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 2 medium Eggplants- pealed and cut into cubes
    • 2 15 oz chickpeas cans- rinsed and drained
    • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 Large Onion, sliced in thin wedges
    • 5 Garlic cloves, cut into rounds
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 ripe tomato (blended or finely diced)
    • 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
    • 1.5 cups Water

    Instructions

    Prepare the Eggplant for Air Frying:

    1. Pre heat air fryer temperature to 400 F° and grease basket with cooking spray.
    2. Peel the eggplant skin off in stripes, don't remove the skin entirely.
    3. Cut into 2 inches cubes.
    4. Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and mix lightly to coat. 
    5. Cook for 15-20 minutes, shaking every 5 minutes to make sure they cook evenly. 
    6. Set aside.

    Prepare Eggplant Moussaka:

    1. In a medium size pot over medium heat, heat olive and add onion and 1 teaspoon salt, cook until wilted but not browned- about 8-10 minutes.
    2. Then add garlic and cook for additional 2 minutes more minutes.
    3. Add water, tomato paste, fresh tomatoes, mix well and bring to a boil.
    4. Add chickpeas and eggplant, lower heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes. 
    5. Transfer to a serving plate.
    6. Garnish with fresh herbs if you'd like.
    7. Serve hot, cold or at room temperature and enjoy!

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    6

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 382Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 372mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 17gSugar: 15gProtein: 15g

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