Lebanese Kibbe Appetizers Part I: Vegan Lentil Kibbe

Contains:  Gluten, wheat, with nightshades in the seasonings.  Is:  Vegetarian, vegan, quick and easy.

kibbe, recipe, lentil, vegetarian, vegan, bulgar wheat, appetizer, Lebanese

My “leftover” kibbe – breakfast next day. I added them, re-heated, to salad makings for the photographic color interest. (The meal for the challenge itself was “Pantry Goods”, and that’s what these kibbe are!)

We had a chance to make pantry-goods recipes for our culinary club.  I thought about this a bit and was mostly coming up with soups, but I’ve been a bit soup-heavy of late.  And then I remembered Kibberia, a Lebanese restaurant down in Danbury, Connecticut.  They served (as a nod to their name) three types of kibbe – potato, , and pumpkin – all of which were dairy, egg and meat free.  The potato one I thought a bit bland and without personality, but I loved the lentil and the pumpkin ones.  (They also sell beef and lamb kibbe, which I just discovered looking at the online menu just now… don’t recall those options back when I used to frequent the place.  I would have tried the lamb.)

NOTE:  I didn’t have the salad makings the night of our Zoom meeting.  I included some in with leftovers for my breakfast that next morning!  But yes, they’d be wonderful – a squeeze of lemon and a dash of olive oil… 


Pantry.  Top shelf left, wheat and gluten flours, farro, kamut, bulgar…, top shelf right, disposable pans, Western condiments, beans. Lower shelf left, whole and broken rices, rice noodles,   Lower shelf right – Oils and Asian condiments, oats, coconut, arrowroot, tapioca… Main shelf  – Paper towels, coffee, canned goods, soups, dressings, extra plates, stand mixer.  Lowest shelf – parental recipe box, foils, crock pot, glass quiche/pie dishes, extra mugs, stand mixer accessories.  Floor:  Paper towels, dehydrator, contractor trash bags, cleaning supplies.  Not seen, but to the right – upright freezer, and pole-needing cleaning implements.  Above the freezer I keep empty egg cartons and a fish-steaming gizmo. 

So…. I’m going to try making Pumpkin Kibbe and Lentil Kibbe.  Today I am posting the Lentil Kibbe recipe.  I wanted to make at least one of these recipes vegan as two of our group members have vegan family members.

This is from their menu descriptions.   I am only going to be making the first two, although I may stuff differently.  (NO corn here for one.  I don’t even own corn starch.  I buy locavore corn on the cob in the summer.   AND I am going to pair the lentil with onion.)

Bulgur wheat, ground, kibbe

Toss regular bulgur wheat in to your mini- food processor or a spare coffee grinder, for two or three pulses Just enough to break this down, without turning it into dust!

I’ve never tried their desserts – baklava has always been too much of a Sugar-Bomb for me, even as a child.  Friends like the choices there, though.
(Okay, here goes a restaurant review without making it a “Dining Out” special post….)
kibbe, lentil, bulgar wheat, vegan, vegetarian, Lebanese

Mixin’ it up!

Most kibbe are deep fried.  I’m not doing that, and don’t have to.  You can bake these I the oven as well, and save on the fat ingestion (and the cooking fat wastage as right now I can’t get off to buy more high temperature cooking oils of a quality nature, and I don’t want to waste what I do have…)  And indeed the recipe I’ll be posting here today doesn’t even need to be baked (apart from your cooking the lentils and the onion prior to forming your kibbe.

As apparent from some surfing on-line you can vary up ingredients and seasonings, too. A perfect pantry-supply dish!  Please do you!  (Although without bulgur wheat you’ll be in trouble.  I think that’s the only mandatory!)

A Lentil Kibbe Recipe – Will include lentils and onions.

This one is adapted from Taste of Beirut’s Red Lentil Kibbeh.  I don’t have the mint, but I would like to include it next time.  According to this recipe it is served at room temperature in South Lebanon – so I will test both heated or room temp.  Verdict:  I far prefer my kibbe warm!

recipe, lebanese, kibbe, vegan, lentil, appetizer, vegetarian

I put these in the oven (yes in the skillet that had recently fried up the onion portion). 10 minutes max.

A Pumpkin Kibbe Recipe – Will include canned pumpkin and spinach.  

This recipe, and more information about bulgar wheat, will show up in the near future.

Prep Time:  10-15 minutes.
Cook Time:  30 minutes for lentils, 10 minutes to heat kibbe in oven.
Rest Time: Serve warm.
Serves: This made 11 kibbe.
Cuisine:  Lebanese.
Leftovers:  Make them up but ideally don’t  heat until just before  serving.

Lentil Kibbe

  • 3/4 cup red split lentils (Masoor Dal)
  • 0.375 (or thereabouts) cup bulgur wheat (extra-fine or #1, bleached or white preferably).  I didn’t have extra fine so I took mine for a spin in a grain-dedicated coffee grinder – or you could pulse two or three times in a mini-processor.
  • 1.5 cups of water 
  • 1.5 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1.5 tablespoons marjoram
  • 1.5 teaspoons hot red pepper (Adjust up or down as desired).  Spicy or smoked paprika is also an option.
  • 1 teaspoon crushed dried mint.
  • 0.5 tablespoon grated orange rind (If there are no oranges with you at lockdown, omitting is fine.)
  • 1/2  large onion chopped very fine
  • A couple teaspoons of cooking oil.  

Simmer the lentils in water for about 30 minutes on low heat, partially covered.  Make sure the lentils are cooked through, and some water does remain in the sauce pot.  Add MORE if needed – I needed to do so!  Mix on occasion.

Add the bulgur, mixing it into the lentils, and let ithis absorb the rest of the cooking water soaking for 5-10 minutes longer.

While soaking, heat oil and pan fry the onion until it becomes translucent, using, low heat.

Add all spices, and adjust to your taste needs (or availability).  Add a tablespoon or so more water, combine together into a  mixture, and stir until water evaporates.

Mix this into the lentil/bulgar.

Allow to cool and stiffen at room temperature.  Form this lentil kibbe concoction into oval balls.  Place in an oven proof dish, and if desired (as I did) heat in the pre-heated oven at 350 F until just warm, about 10 minutes.  Then remove.

And, when one is about to serve, add any fresh herbs you may have available – such as mint, parsley, chopped pepper or sliced tomato, as side condiments.  Drizzle with a hint of olive oil and of fresh squeezed lemon.

Optionally, you can make a dipping sauce, but these things are good enough without.  Traditionally, you can make a (dairy-including & vegetarian) tzaziki, or a (vegan) tahini sauce.  If you like coconut yogurt – I have yet ever to try that – you could make a vegan tzaziki..

Or, serve as part of , or an adjunct to, a salad.

lentil, kibbe, kibbeh, Lebanese, vegan, vegetarian, bulgar wheat

Seen at:  Fiesta Friday, Full Plate Thursday, What’s for Dinner: Sunday Link-Up,







About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
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8 Responses to Lebanese Kibbe Appetizers Part I: Vegan Lentil Kibbe

  1. These sound really good. Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party. Have a wonderful week.

  2. Miz Helen says:

    I love the seasons that you used in your Kibbe, looks really good! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday,483.
    Come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  3. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #328 - Fiesta Friday

  4. This looks fabulous and I will be making them!

  5. miakouppa says:

    Thank you for this! I may actually make it for dinner tonight!

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