Lebanon has a rich culture when it comes to food. There’s truly nothing like it. With its strong and bold flavors that are full of spices comes Lebanese food such as hummus, baklava, shawarma, and falafel.
Lebanese dinner recipes can be tricky and contain a lot of ingredients. For some of these, you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time.
But there are other Lebanese recipes that only take 20 minutes. The most important thing is that these recipes are authentic.
So, let’s grab our pots and pans and go through 24 of our favorite Lebanese recipes.
Authentic Lebanese hummus isn’t that hard to make, and it goes well in so many dishes, including as a dip for wraps, burgers, and sandwiches.
This recipe is easy to follow and only takes 20 minutes to make. The best part of the hummus is the tahini. It gives it a unique hummus flavor.
However, if you can’t find tahini it can be substituted with olive oil. We do suggest following the recipe as closely as possible otherwise.
One tool that will be very helpful is a food processor. It blends the ingredients together better and makes the hummus creamier.
2. Lentil Soup
Lentil soup, also known as Sorbet Adas, is a common comfort food dish in Lebanon and worldwide. This dish is full of unique flavors and spices. This is one of the best recipes found in Lebanese cooking.
We recommend using red lentils or orange lentils. Changing these out will take away a lot of the authentic flavor and color. We also recommend keeping the lemon.
If you’re looking for some spice and heat, add black cracked pepper or chilli flakes. This will add a kick to the original recipe.
Lebanese rice is a staple food in the Middle East. This three-ingredient recipe creates a rice pilaf that tastes a bit nutty, fluffy, and good all around.
We recommend serving it with meat dishes or stews. Some other traditional dishes it goes with are kafta and shawarma.
We recommend using basmati or other long-grain rice. Short grain rice will clump together and won’t be light and fluffy.
Once your rice is done cooking, we recommend putting a dish towel over the pot. This will act as a lid and absorb the extra moisture and steam.
This dish is not only authentic, but it’s also vegan and can be made gluten-free. This is an easy dish to make. It takes some prep time, but with tools like a food processor and a falafel scoop maker, this should be a lot easier.
You’ll need to start the process a day early. The chickpeas should soak in water for 24 hours before drying them and using them. While the chickpeas can’t be completely replaced, they can be half-substituted with fava beans.
To make this a gluten-free dish, use a gluten-free flour mix.
Food in Lebanon is so good, but perhaps the most famous dish to come from Lebanon is shawarma.
This chicken shawarma is very easy to make and makes about four servings. We do recommend doubling or tripling the recipe for a larger crowd.
We also recommend using a grill or BBQ for cooking the chicken. This will let the chicken caramelize even more and soak up the flavor. In that case, using the stove will work just fine too.
Lebanese garlic sauce, also known as Toum, is commonly served with chicken and is found in many Lebanese restaurants.
It’s also incredibly easy to make as it only takes four ingredients; garlic, lemon, oil, and salt.
You’ll want to use neutral oil for this dish. We recommend using safflower or canola oil.
Unfortunately, there really are no substitutes for this dish. You’ll get the best results by sticking to the recipe.
Using a food processor will make this process even easier. The garlic breaks down better and retains a light texture.
Lebanese bread will take a long time to make, but it is so worth it. It takes over three hours to make and makes about eight servings.
We don’t recommend making more than one batch at a time. If you need more bread, make one batch and then a second when the first one is done.
Most of the time when making this recipe is spent keeping the dough in a warm area while it puffs up and doubles in size. This step will be done three different times for three different lengths of time.
This traditional salad is healthy, vegan, and is one of the best Lebanese side dishes. Tabbouleh, also known as Tabouli, salad is full of greens and only takes a few ingredients to make. The base of this recipe is parsley, and you’ll need a lot of it, about two cups.
We recommend washing your parsley and letting it dry for a day before making the dish. Not letting the parsley dry enough will make chopping very difficult and you’ll likely end up with a goopy heap of parsley.
This 7-spice dish includes the best of Middle Eastern spices; cumin, cinnamon, allspice, coriander, ground clove, nutmeg, and cardamom.
If you’re looking for substitutions or additions; sumac, paprika, and black or white pepper work great.
We recommend using chicken still on the bone, but skinless, boneless chicken is just as good.
The biggest change is the time spent cooking. It will take about ten minutes less to cook than chicken on the bone.
And if you’d like to add some spice, Aleppo chilli flakes will certainly add the kick you’re looking for.
Chicken livers may not immediately sound appetizing, but they are so good, not only in flavor but in vitamins as well.
They contain a lot of Vitamin B12 and have high levels of iron. They’re especially great for pregnant women because of the extra stores of folates.
We recommend getting the freshest chicken livers you can. They should not be older than 24 hours. Not only will it not taste as good, but you’ll also lose some of the nutrients as time goes on.
A butcher is the best place you can find fresh chicken liver.
Authentic Lebanese recipes are fun to try and taste amazing. These grilled chicken kabobs are delicious and, given which ingredients you buy, can also be gluten-free.
This recipe will take a long time to make. The chicken needs to marinate for over eight hours before cooking.
While this dish is normally eaten and cooked on a skewer, it can also be cooked and then transferred to a bowl and served with rice.
We recommend pairing it with basmati rice pilaf and dried fruit and almonds.
12. Fattoush Salad
The Fattoush salad is based on fried pita bread and is full of yummy vegetables.
The most common vegetables found in this dish are lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, and tomatoes. Some dishes are very specific in their ingredients, but you can use any vegetables you want in this salad.
The secret ingredient to this recipe is the dressing. You’ll be making your own dressing. The best ingredients in the dressing are the sumac and the pomegranate molasses.
Put together with the rest of the ingredients. This dressing really brings flavors.
13. Okra Stew
Okra stew, also known as Bamia, is an authentic dish that comes from the heart of Lebanon. This meal is very filling and is best served with vermicelli rice.
Any okra can be used; fresh, frozen, or canned. If you decide to use fresh okra, we recommend picking out smaller ones. Large okra is more mature and can taste a bit too strong, and will be difficult to work with.
Pomegranate molasses is the secret ingredient, but too much can muddy the stew and change the color.
14. Chickpea Stew
Chickpeas are commonly used in Lebanese dishes and are quite delicious. This chickpea stew is no exception.
This dish is spiced with cumin and za’atar.
Za’atar is a mixture of spices that originates from the Middle East and can be difficult to find. Going to a local store may not be enough. Try looking at your specialty food markets.
The chickpeas should be washed and dried completely before use. The bell pepper is also important.
It can be fresh or canned, but it should be roasted thoroughly for the stew.
15. Baba Ghanoush
Baba ghanoush is a common dip found across Lebanese restaurants and homes alike.
It’s an eggplant-based dip that pairs well with pita bread, pretzels, crackers, and vegetables. It has fewer calories than hummus and tastes just as good, if not better.
It’s no secret that the secret ingredient here is the eggplant. It will need to be roasted, and we recommend doing that a day ahead of eating it.
The best-roasted eggplant will be done on the grill, but putting it in the oven will taste good too.
Kibbeh, or fried Kibbe balls, is considered to be a very difficult dish to make, but don’t let that scare you away from this recipe. Kibbeh is the national dish of Lebanon.
Made from bulgur wheat and lamb, it is a savory dish that comes in different forms, but we’re going for fried kibbe balls.
This dish is traditionally made with lamb, but that can be difficult to work with. We recommend using a mix of lamb and beef. This will be tender and lack a lot of extra fat.
However, you can use other meats depending on your tastes.
17. Batata Harra
These spicy Lebanese potatoes are fluffy and puffy on the inside but spicy and crispy on the outside. It’s a very simple recipe that doesn’t require a lot of ingredients.
Surprisingly the spiciness mostly comes from the paprika and chilli flakes.
We recommend deep-frying the potato cubes to make them crispy. However, this can be quite unhealthy and difficult. Roasting them will make them less oily, and it’s easier to cook that way.
And it doesn’t lose authenticity. Many people in the Middle East roast them too.
18. Lebanese Pizza
There are many different kinds of pizza, but this Lebanese pizza is unique. Chickpeas and garlic powder is used for the insides, while the toppings consist of plum tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese.
You can add other toppings, but we recommend sticking to these three.
Like any homemade pizza, this is going to take some time. Depending on how fast you make your dough, this recipe can take as little as a half-hour.
Be careful with how many toppings you add on. They will be melted and cooked on top of the pizza, and too much may spill over.
The best Lebanese cuisine recipes are made with a lot of time, effort, and love. This mammal recipe is no different. Maamoul is a traditional pastry, almost like a shortbread.
It’s typically filled with dates, but other variations include walnuts, almonds, and pistachios.
The filling will be the easiest part to make of this dish. The dough will take quite a bit of time to make, and you’ll need a maamoul mould.
Your best bet for finding a maamoul mould is to look online.
Sfouf is a turmeric cake made with no eggs and no butter, and it’s vegan-friendly depending on which ingredients you choose to use.
This cake is a semolina-turmeric oil-based cake and is a lovely shade of yellow. While it doesn’t taste very sweet, it is very light and easy to eat. It goes very well with coffee.
The secret ingredient to this recipe is tahini. It is a sesame seed paste that you may have to go on a hunt to find.
We recommend using it to coat your pan, rather than oil and butter.
21. Milk Pudding
This Middle Eastern milk pudding, also known as Mahalabia, is a traditional dessert that is easy to make and can be ready in about 10 minutes.
Unlike other Lebanese food recipes, this dish only has four ingredients.
There are two ways you can make this dish. The first way is to use corn starch. The corn starch will keep a better consistency and be smoother.
The other way is to use rice flour which is more traditional. The rice flour will have more texture and be less consistent to work with and eat.
Baklava is known all over the world and takes a little over an hour to make. The syrup will be the most difficult part of this recipe to make.
The syrup is an orange blossom syrup that is quite sweet and is found most often in Lebanese versions of this recipe.
If you’re looking for substitutions, the walnuts can be replaced with other nuts. We recommend using pistachios. This recipe also uses cane sugar, but coconut sugar or white sugar can be used as a substitute.
You’ll want to pick a sugar that’s granulated for the proper texture.
This tomato rice pilaf is commonly used as a side dish but can be put into main dishes such as hashweh ground beef or chicken. This is a long-grain rice recipe.
We recommend using brown rice, but white rice can be used as it takes less time.
Adding tomato paste is recommended to add more tomato flavor. However, you need to check the flavor as you add it in.
Too much tomato paste can overwhelm the dish and make it very acidic. The same needs to be done for the cinnamon. Too much can easily destroy the dish.
Lebanese cauliflower is a beloved dish in not only Lebanon but has made quite an impression in Vancouver. This dish takes a half hour to make and makes its tahini sauce.
This dish is fairly simple and only takes four steps to complete.
The tahini sauce is the most important part. This really makes the cauliflower taste great. You’ll need tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and sea salt. Tahini can be difficult to find.
You may have to look at natural food markets to find it. But it is essential to bring this dish together.
- 2 large onions, coarsely chopped
- 1-1/2 c packed fresh parsley sprigs
- 1-1/2 lbs ground beef
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 whole pita breads
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 1/3 c tahini
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 c lemon juice
- 2 tbsps water
- 1/8 tsp salt
- You’ll start by putting the onions in the food processor until they are chopped finely. Remove the onions and dry them. Put them in a large bowl and set them aside.
- Put the parsley in the food processor until it is minced well. Once that is finished, remove it from the processor and stir it with the onions.
- Place the beef, egg, and salt into the onion and parsley mix. Mix these together lightly, but well-done.
- Take your pita bread and slice it horizontally in halves. Place them out and add your mixture to the bottom slice. Add the top slice to the sandwich and press on it gently to keep it together.
- The outside of the sandwich will now be brushed with oil and grilled uncovered on medium heat for about 11 minutes, turning the sandwich every 2 minutes. The meat inside the sandwich should be around 160 degrees when you are done.
- Take the sandwich off the grill and let it cool a bit. Cut the sandwich into quarters and sit some sauce on the side.
- Serve and enjoy!