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Vegetarian kebbeh

We think of kebbeh dishes as having to do precisely with meat, but there is an enormous Lebanese tradition of vegetarian kebbeh. I already presented two different recipes of vegetarian kebbeh. Now I am representing something different which can be put as mezza or served as a meal for the family.

This recipe was prepared each year by my mother during the period of Lent, watching her moulding the kebbeh swiftly with her finger one after one was a pleasure. Now I enjoy preparing this recipe all year round especially when my children ask for it. this amazing kebbeh for all vegan lovers has a distinctive lemony taste in addition of the healthy and nutritious ingredients it contains.

Prep. time: 50 mins

Cooking time: 30 mins

serves: 6 to 7


2 cups fine burghul or cracked wheat

2 cups of flour

1 medium potato

1 medium onion minced or chopped finely

4 tbsp chopped parsley

1 heaped tsp dried mint

1 heaped tsp of salt

3/4 tsp allspice

The stuffing:

8 leaves swiss chard and 500 g.fresh spinach washed and dropped in boiled water, strained then chopped coarsely

Or substitute both with 700 to 800 g. frozen spinach leaves or chopped coarsely.

1 medium onion

1 cup chopped parsley

1/2 cup fresh shumar chopped or one tsp dried

I cup chickpeas cooked

2 tbsp olive oil

1 heaped tsp salt

1/2 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 medium lemon juice

1 heaped tbsp Summac

PREPARATION: Wash the burghul, strain well then set aside for 20 mins. Peel and boil the potato until well done, smash until smooth and set aside. In a mixing bowl put the burghul, the smashed potato, the flour, the minced onion, the parsley, the dried mint, the salt and the allspice. Knead well all the ingredients with your hands adding around 1/2 cup of water or more until you have a soft dough. You can prepare the stuffing while waiting for the burghul to soak.

How to prepare the stuffing: Drop the oil in a medium pot, chop the onion and sautee over medium heat until softened. Add the spinach, the parsley, the shumar and the chickpeas then stir. Cover and simmer for 5 mins then add salt and the rest of the spices including the lemon, and summac. Allow to simmer for few more mins over low heat. Set aside to cool, it makes it easier to stuff the balls without breaking them.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Grease an oven tray, start patting the first part to cover the bottom of the pan using a bowl of cold water to wet your hand or a bit of oil which makes it much easier. Then spread the stuffing all over, now the other part which I have an easy trick for you guys to pat the top part quickly (pat it between 2 flat kitchen plastic sheets using the rolling pin then flip it over the pan and fix it with your hand). You might need to add kebbeh near the edge for it to become a smooth cut it into pieces, sometimes I cut it into a triangle or a diamond shape as you like and decorate it with a knife. Pour 2 tbsp of oil on the top and bake it for 25 mins.

To make the kebbeh oval shape:

Divide the kebbeh into medium round balls (around 3 tbs of the dough or more ). Moisten your hands while moulding it, having a small bowl of cold water handy. Hold the ball in the palm of your left hand, wet the tip of your index and start making a hole in the kebbeh ball by cupping your palm around it and turning until shaped ovally. Fill it inside with a heaped tbsp or more of the filling. Close it gently all around until you have its head and bottom shaped pointedly without breaking the outer layer of the kebbeh as shown in the images. It should be deep fried but I personally prefer it baked in the oven, using an oil greased pan. It is as good and much lighter.

There’s something about biting into the perfectly baked burghul crust to meet in between a wonderful taste of lemony spinach, chickpeas and the flavor of parsley and shumar in addition of the spices and summac.


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