Simple Kibbeh

Prep Time:

Cook Time:




2 pounds finely ground beef (or lamb, lean, divided)

1/2 pound  bulghur cracked wheat (medium or #2)

1 teaspoon salt (plus 1/2 teaspoon)

2 teaspoon Jacoub’s Kibbeh Spice

2 medium onions (1 finely chopped, and 1 coarsely chopped, divided)

Optional: 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

2 tablespoons olive oil

Vegetable oil (for frying)


1. Gather the ingredients.

In a medium bowl, soak wheat for 30 minutes in cold water.

Remove and drain. Remove excess water by squeezing through thick paper towel or cheesecloth.

Place into a medium bowl and combine with 1 pound meat, coarsely chopped onion, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon Jacoub’s Kibbeh Spice.

Place wheat, meat and onions in bowl. Combine well and place a small amount in a food processor until a dough-like consistency. You can slowly add an ice cube at a time during processing if needed.

Place mixture aside, covered. Instead of using a food processor, you can use a mortar and pestle. However, it will take you over an hour to achieve the desired consistency.

In a medium frying pan, sauté the finely chopped onion in olive oil. Add pine nuts if desired.

Add ground lamb or beef and chop well with wooden spoon or spatula to ensure the meat is chopped. Add Jacoub’s Kibbeh Spice.

Onion, garlic and ground meat in a frying pan

Once the beef is light brown, remove from heat. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes.

Take an egg-sized amount of shell mixture and form into a ball. With your finger, poke a hole in the ball, making space for filling. Add filling and pinch the top to seal the ball. This recipe will make about 25 medium-sized kibbeh.

You can then shape it into a point, or football shape, or leave as a ball.

Fry in 350 F oil on stovetop or in a deep fryer for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Drain on paper towels and serve.

Pro Tip

Freezing the Kibbeh balls before frying is considered a “best practice”.