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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.
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!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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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.