Kibbeh a la Canarygirl

There is this Lebanese restaurant that we go to called El Monte Lí­bano…my gosh they make the best kebbehs (they call them “kipes”) I have ever tasted!  I have made kibbeh at home for years, and it’s really pretty easy.  You can make them bite sized, as I’ve done here, or in more of a meat pie form.  I tend to like the individual ones better, though, because the leftovers freeze and reheat really well.  Usually when I make kibbeh, it’s part of a whole menu of appetizer type bites…including falafel, hummus, lebne mixto, kebabs, tabbouleh or shirazi, and whatnot else…Who doesn’t like to taste a bit of everything when they’re eating?  And these things are all bite sized, so you can taste all of the dishes without stuffing yourself to maximum capacity (you know, unless you *want* to lmfao).  I don’t claim to make kibbeh in it’s most authentic state…no….I don’t.  But I will tell you this.  It’s darned good.  So, whatcha waiting for?  Get your aprons on and prepare to get your hands dirty. :D


First, you’ll want to get all of your ingredients for the “shells” ready:

kibbeh ingredients


1 1/2 pounds (3/4 kilo) ground beef or lamb
1 cup small bulgur, plus enough water to cover
1/2 of a large onion, finely minced
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste


First, add just enough water to cover bulgur in a small bowl. Allow to rest while you add the rest of the ingredients to the meat.
Then add soaked bulgur to the bowl and mix all ingredients very well.


Use your hands and sort of knead the meat mixture until everything is very well combined (about 5 minutes).


Cover and reserve while you make the filling.



1/2 pound (200 grams) ground beef or lamb
1/2 onion, minced
2-3 cloves garlic minced
a splash of olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground ginger
salt and pepper to taste
a small bunch of mint, minced
a small bunch of cilantro, minced
1 packet pine nuts (about 1/4 cup)


In a medium sized saute pan, saute onion and garlic in a splash of oil.
Add meat and brown.
Drain off excess grease.
Add seasonings and lemon juice and toss around for a few minutes.
Remove from heat and add herbs and pine nuts.
Cool until easily handled.


Now, preheat the oven to 425ºF/200ºC, (I bake rather than fry, but if you prefer, heat a substantial amount of oil in a deep fry pan instead) and line a baking sheet with parchment.
Take about 2 tablespoons of the “shell” mixture and form a small bowl in the palm of your hand, then fill with cooled filling. Like this:


With your free hand, grab another tablespoon or two of the shell mixture and, pressing on the side of the bowl, form a sort of cover for the kibbeh.  Pinch edges together to seal, and press with your hands to smooth the surface.


Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining ingredients.


Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until browned. (alternatively, deep fry until browned, about 10 minutes)

18 Responses to “Kibbeh a la Canarygirl”

  1. I sometimes feel like I live under a rock with so many new foods left undiscovered. These sound wonderful :D Thanks for posting :D

  2. Nikki, kibbeh is one of my favorite foods! I’ve been meaning to try making it for a while now and you have definitely inspired me to do so soon!

  3. i think the same thing in the Armenian kitchens i’ve grown up in is called Kufdeh, but I might be mistaken

  4. Kibbeh is sooo delicious. I’m going to have to try making my own with this recipe, thanks!

  5. I love Kibbeh and yours look great! Are you familiar with the alternative form called “kibbeh bil seniyeh”? (the flat form?)

  6. Lordy, these look good! Obviously I won’t be making it exact due to the wheat, but you’ve got my wheels turning Nikki!

  7. These look terrific! I was introduced to kibbeh years ago by an old friend of the family who was Lebanese. I always wanted to learn how to make them, but my friend passed away before he could teach me. Now, I can make them and think of him when I eat them. :)

  8. ok you know what? YUM. I need to come visit you!

  9. I have never had kibbeh – This looks terrific and fairly easy. I’m going to have to try it. Thanks!

  10. perfect timing! i got a pound of ground lamb while grocery shopping over the weekend, but had only the vaguest plans for it. now i know! these look great.

  11. I had kibbeh for the very first time yesterday at a local Lebanese restaurant, it’s so good. But not as good as the kaftah that I had!

  12. This looks great, thanks for sharing! I hope I have a chance to make them soon…

  13. Love the kibbeh recipe! I have been wanting to make this for a while but didn’t want to use one of the box mixes. I can’t wait for me kids to taste them!

  14. Nikki, kibbehs are huge here in Brazil – people love them!
    My country is a melting pot so our food is a mix of many foods from many countries.

  15. Kibbeh is popular in Brazil because there is a large Lebanese community.

    But, as Nikki said, the recipe she made is not an authentic Kibbeh recipe …not by a long shot. ;) I’m sure it’s very yummy though, just keep in mind it’s not proper Kibbeh.

  16. First of all, let me thank each of you for your comments! I love reading them, and it truly makes me happy to see you all here. :) Thank you for making me smile! :D

    Valli, I think you’d love kibbeh and it’s Middle Eastern flavor. :)

    Elly, I look forward to seeing your version! :)

    Furious, I think I’ve had the Armenian version…is it served in a tomato based sauce? :)

    Julia, let me know what you think if you try the recipe! :)

    Marianna, yes! Sooo good! :)

    Ginny, I bet you’d love them! I’d try subbing quinoa for the bulgur…it works in tabouleh, it might work here as well? :)

    Aw, Susan! Thank you! :)

    Flutter, I totally agree…apart from the food, imagine the fun we could have! Pa-tayyyyy! :)

    Anne, kibbeh is soooo good! Give it a try! :)

    Michelle, it’s better with lamb…let me know if you give it a try! :)

    Food guy, omg kaftah is delicious, too! Yum! :)

    Cara, thanks! Let me know if you decide to try them! :)

    Judy, my kids loved these, I hope yours do too! :)

    Patricia, isn’t it great to have so many different cuisines to choose from? Las Palmas is a bit of a melting pot too, being such a major port city. :)

    Chris, hee! You’re right, these are by no means authentic, but they’re still yummy. I’ve made the real thing (the pie shaped version), and it’s a bit time consuming…this is an easier (for me anyway) version, with a twist on the traditional ingredients. :)

  17. Hey, good site. We truly stumbled on this on yahoo, and im happy I did. I’ll definitely be returning again.

  18. i respect allllllll of ur comments but i have an intense dislike in this dish (kibbeh) i think it might be due to the fact that the meat is textured so fine and almost resembles something like cream???? WTF!!!!!

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