Kibbeh (Lamb and Bulgur Wheat Croquettes)

  • Serves

    serves 6-8


These spiced croquettes are a classic Middle Eastern snack. This recipe first appeared in our October 2011 issue along with Katie Robbins's story Season of Rejoicing.


For the Shell

  • 1 lb. ground lamb
  • 1 14 cups fine bulgur wheat (No. 1), soaked in warm water for 10 minutes, drained
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 12 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Filling

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 8 oz. ground chuck
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground allspice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 13 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
  • Canola oil, for frying


Step 1

Make the shell: Place lamb, bulgur wheat, salt, cumin, coriander, onion, and pepper in a food processor, and process until a smooth paste forms, about 30 seconds; set aside.

Step 2

Make the filling: Heat oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add chuck, cinnamon, allspice, and salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in pine nuts.

Step 3

Form 2 tbsp. shell mixture into a thin disk; place 1 tbsp. filling in center, and mold disk around filling, forming a football shape. Repeat with remaining shell mixture and filling.

Step 4

Pour oil to a depth of 2″ in a 6-qt. Dutch oven; heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 325°. Working in batches, fry croquettes until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

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