Middle Eastern Meze

Middle Eastern meze, or small plates, can liven up a dinner party with flavor. These recipes from SAVEUR magazine include lamb and pork kebabs, stuffed grape leaves, tabbouleh, and more.

Shish Kebab

This lamb kebab is adapted from a recipe in Anissa Helou’s Mediterranean Street Food. Get the recipe for Shish Kebab »


Finely chopped fresh parsley and mint are bathed in fruity extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice in this classic Middle Eastern appetizer.

Spiced Ground Beef Patties (Shami Kebabs)

The recipe for these kebabs, which can also be made with lamb, is adapted from Charmaine O’Brien’s Recipes from an Urban Village (The Hope Project, 2003).
Dolmakadia, the Greek word for stuffed grape leaves, is one of the most iconic recipes of Greek cuisine and, although there are many varieties, the meatless version is the most common. In the warmer months, try to find and use fresh grape leaves; they are more tender and flavorful than the jarred types. Out of season, jarred leaves are a fine substitute (we prefer the Orlando brand). Greek Stuffed Grape Leaves With Rice and Herbs (Dolmadakia)

Hummus with Tahini

This velvety dip is a classic—we like it garnished with pickles and served with plenty of toasted pita chips.

Falafel With Tahini

The seasoned chickpea mixture for this falafel should have a coarse texture. This will ensure a crisp shell and a moist interior. Get the recipe for Falafel With Tahini »

Moroccan Meatballs with Arugula

These lamb meatballs are simmered in a harissa-spiked tomato sauce, served over peppery arugula, and drizzled with bright yogurt-thickened aïoli. Get the recipe for Moroccan Meatballs with Arugula »

Chilled Yogurt and Chickpea Soup

Chilled Yogurt and Chickpea Soup

Fried Eggplant with Tahini and Pomegranate Seeds

Fried Eggplant with Tahini and Pomegranate Seeds

Fried Artichoke Hearts

We found this recipe—a flavorful local favorite, in which tender artichoke bottoms are fried and served with an intense, tahini-based sauce—at al-Az, a casual but well-known restaurant in Damascus. Get the recipe for Fried Artichoke Hearts »

Mint & Aleppo Pepper Marinated Chicken Kebabs (Tavuk Kebabi)

Mint & Aleppo Pepper Marinated Chicken Kebabs (Tavuk Kebabi)

Mashed Eggplant Dip (Baba Ghannouj)

Across the Levant, eggplants are grilled and mashed to make baba ghannouj, a silky, delicious dip for flatbreads and vegetables. Get the recipe for Mashed Eggplant Dip (Baba Ghannouj) »