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5 from 21 votes

Kibbeh Recipe (Video Tutorial)

Kibbeh is a Middle Eastern meatball dish containing bulgur, ground beef and warm spices. A great kibbeh is characterized by a tender shell stuffed with delicious spiced filling. Learn how to perfect this classic of Middle Eastern cuisine with our step-by-step tutorial and video.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 443kcal



  • 2 cups fine bulgur
  • water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup pine nuts

Yogurt sauce

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp dried mint



  • Place bulgur in a large bowl and pour warm water over it. Wash and empty the water, just leave a bit behind for the bulgur to absorb. 
  • Add the salt, pepper, paprika, dried mint and cumin to the bulgur and mix well.
  • Grate the onion and add it to the bulgur. Add the beef and knead well until fully combined.
  • Refrigerate for one to two hours.


  • Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  • Saute onion until golden.
  • Add in ground beef, salt, pepper, allspice and cinnamon. Brown the ground beef until cooked.
  • Stir in the pine nuts. Turn the heat off and set the filling aside.

To make Baked Kibbeh

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Divide the dough in half. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with non stick spray.
  • Spread half of the dough in the baking dish. Top with the filling. Spread the other half of the dough on top of the filling. Wet your hands with a bit of water so you can spread the dough easily.
  • Using a knife, cut the kibbeh to form diamonds as shown in the video.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until completely cooked.
  • Let the baked kibbeh cool for 10 minutes. Then slice and serve with yogurt sauce.

To make Fried Kibbeh

  • After the dough is chilled in the fridge, take it out and place it on the counter.
  • Divide the dough into pieces as big as an egg.
  • Using wet hands, take one of the dough balls and with your index finger, poke a hole into the ball. Rotate the ball so it shapes an empty cylinder with thin walls (as shown in the video).
  • Fill the ball with the filling, and using wet hands, bring the top together to seal it. It will look almost like a football.
  • If shaping the kibbeh as mentioned doesn't work for you, you can also flatten a dough ball in your hand, place a tablespoon of filling in the middle and then bring the kibbeh together on all sides using wet hands.
  • Repeat the steps until you run out of kibbeh dough.
  • Place all the prepares kibbeh on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for 30 minutes. This will help the kibbeh to stay together when frying.
  • Heat enough vegetable oil in a sauce pan to cover the kibbeh when deep frying. The oil should be hot enough that you see small bubbles. But it shouldn't be smoking or two hot otherwise the kibbeh will burn on the outside and raw on the inside.
  • Once the oil is hot, take the kibbeh balls out of the freezer and deep fry them in batches, moving them around gently to make sure they're fried on all sides.
  • Place them on a plate with paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature with yogurt sauce.

Yogurt sauce

  • Mix yogurt with salt, minced garlic and mint.
  • Serve with kibbeh.



  • Make sure you're using fine bulgur and not coarse bulgur to make kibbeh. Coarse bulgur won't stick to the ground meat, causing the meatball to fall apart.
  • If using ground beef to make kibbeh croquettes, please use 90% lean beef for best results. 
  • You can shape these balls into football shaped croquettes, balls, or even patties. 
  • To make preparation easier, make sure that the dough is cold at all times. You can either take small portions of the dough and leave the rest in the fridge or place the dough in a large bowl full of ice and work with it. 
  • Keep you hands wet while shaping the kibbeh balls to make the process much easier. 


Serving: 8servings | Calories: 443kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 638mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g