Lebanese Kibbeh Balls

Lebanese Kibbeh Balls

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Lebanese Kibbeh Balls- also known as kibbi, kebbeh, kubeh 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- Kibbe

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 nayyeh) 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 Lebanese 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!

I mean, how pretty is this kibbeh platter!?

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 Kibbe 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- Kibbeh platter

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.

How Many Calories in Kibbeh?

About 250 calories per kibbeh ball.

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 Balls:

Lebanese Kibbeh Balls

Lebanese Kibbeh Balls

Yield: 18 kibbeh balls
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
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.

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.

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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.

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