kibbeh with pumpkin

Pumpkin Kibbeh Balls

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Pumpkin kibbeh recipe

 In this Pumpkin Kibbeh Balls recipe, a mix of spiced pumpkin puree, fine bulgur, onions and fresh basil are used to form a hollow shell for a delicious stuffing. The Kibbeh stuffing is very similar to the one used in my pumpkin kibbeh tray and also in the traditional Lebanese beef kibbeh. The only addition is mashed potatoes. If you are looking for a vegan version, simply lose the beef and add more potatoes to the filling mixture. 

pumpkin kibbeh balls

The Kibbeh Balls can be deep fried, baked or air fried. In Lebanon, Kibbeh balls are almost always deep fried- But feel free to experiment. I tried to air fry some, they tasted great, but did not look as appealing. Below is a picture of the air-fried version so you can compare. Check the notes sections for air fryer instructions. 

There you go!

pumpkin kibbeh recipe air fryer

Shaping the kibbeh balls is a big deal in Lebanon. There are standards that need to be met for the perfect kibbeh ball- from the way its curved to the way it’s pointed at the ends. My mom would probably not approve the shape of mine. Mastering kibbeh balls comes with practice. 

How to Shape Pumpkin Kibbeh Balls

  • Dampen your hands with some water, take a handful of the pumpkin kibbeh mixture (about 3 tablespoons or so) and form into  an oval-shaped ball in the palm of one hand. Using your index finger, poke a hole in the ball, hollow the ball to make a pocket for the filling. 

How to make kibbeh

  • Using a spoon, add about 1 tablespoon of filling. Seal the ball on top and, using both hands, carefully shape it into an football shape, make the two ends a little pointy. 

How to make kibbeh

  • 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. 

pumpkin kibbeh recipe

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How to Store and Freeze Kibbeh

  • Fried pumpkin kibbeh can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. Reheat in a microwave for few minutes or a toaster oven at 350 F for 10 minutes. 
  • Un-fried kibbeh can be kept in the freezer in an airtight container or freezer bags for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight and fry according to instructions. 

What to serve with Pumpkin Kibbeh Balls

Kibbeh balls is best served warm with salad, plain yogurt, or tahini sauce.

More Lebanese Recipes?

Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Lebanese stuffed Zucchini

Lebanese Chicken and Rice

Bulgur Zucchini Pilaf 

If you love this Lebanese Pumpkin Kibbeh Balls recipe be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love to hear from you guys! And of course, if you do make this recipe, then don’t forget to tag me on Instagram and hashtag #thesaltandsweetkitchen. 
Yield: 25

Pumpkin Kibbeh Balls

Looking for pumpkin recipes, you will love this pumpkin kibbeh balls.

In this Pumpkin Kibbeh Balls recipe, a mix of spiced pumpkin puree, fine bulgur, onions and fresh basil are used to form a hollow shell for a delicious stuffing.

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

Ingredients

  • 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 teaspooon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large onion- cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil- for deep frying

For Filling

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil 
  • 1/4 lb ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 cup crushed walnuts
  • 3 large potatoes- Peeled, boiled and mashed. 

Instructions

    Prepare kibbeh filling:

  1. Add peeled potatoes to a small pot, cover with water and cook on medium heat for about 40 minutes or until fork tender. Drain and mash the potatoes. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the diced onions and salt- cook until wilted stirring frequently (around 10 mins).
  3. Add the ground beef and spices and mix with the cooked onion- constantly stir to break up the clumps of beef.
  4. Cook until meat is browned, then decrease heat to low and let cook for another 10 mins.
  5. Add walnuts and pomegranate molasses and mix well. cook for additional 5 minutes. Add the mashed potatoes and and mix until well combined.
  6. Set the beef filling aside.

Prepare kibbeh mixture:

  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. 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.
  2. In your food processor, add the onion, basil, salt and spices and process until pureed. 
  3. 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.
  4. Place in fridge and let it chill for at least half an hour before assembling kibbeh balls.

Assemble the pumpkin kibbeh balls

  1. Fill a small bowl with water 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.


Fry the 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!

Notes

Pumpkin Kibbeh Air fryer Option:

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 360 F.
  2. Spray each kibbeh ball with cooking spray on both sides, evenly.
  3. Add kibbeh balls to the air fryer basket, in a single layer. Cook in batches.
  4. Cook for 10 minutes. Turning half way to ensure they cook evenly.

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