Potato kibbeh

Potato kibbeh

Potato kibbeh is a traditional Middle Eastern dish popular for iftar. Our layered potato kibbeh with minced meat and aromatic spices makes it wonderfully easy and perfect for serving for the family or guests. Since the combination of creamy mashed potatoes, wonderfully spiced lamb filling, and melted mozzarella cheese is delectable beyond compare, it is a perfect, traditional recipe to try this Ramadan.


  • Brush a large round baking tin with two spoons of melted butter, sprinkle two large spoons of breadcrumbs over the base, and put aside.
  • Boil potatoes until well cooked. Drain and put aside to cool. Peel and mash, while adding salt, pepper, and egg.
  • While the potato mash is cooling, heat some oil in a saucepan and fry onions for 2 minutes. Add minced meat and cook for 5 minutes until brown. Add pine nuts and spices and stir for a few seconds until all ingredients are well mixed.
  • Transfer half of the mashed potatoes to the baking tin. Place a layer of the lamb filling and grated mozzarella cheese over the potatoes. Then add another layer of mashed potatoes.
  • Sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs on top and pour over the remaining melted butter.
  • Bake in the oven at 220°C (regular oven) for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

A potato kibbeh is best when it has layers of smooth and creamy potato mash. One way we have tried to ensure a velvety texture is by adding an egg to the potatoes after mashing them. When added to warm potatoes, the heat cooks the egg, and it serves to give the mash a rich consistency with more body. The best way to create a creamy and fluffy mash without lumps is to use a potato ricer, food mill, or potato masher and mash them while they are still a bit hot.

Questions about potato kibbeh

With our simple baked potato kibbeh recipe, making this tasty, traditional dish is quite easy. To learn more about it, read our answers to the most frequently asked questions about it below.

What is potato kibbeh?
Kibbeh is a popular Middle Eastern dish made with minced meat, onion, and a starchy ingredient like grain, rice, or potato. In Levantine cuisine, it is usually made with bulgur wheat, while Mesopotamian cuisine usually opts for rice, farina, or semolina. Potato kibbeh is, as the name implies, made with mashed potato. It may be prepared in different ways, for instance, as small fried balls, flat and round disks, or layered and baked. The latter is perfect for busy times when you are spending a lot of time in the kitchen as it is so nice and easy to simply layer lamb filling with cheese and potato mash.
How to make potato kibbeh?
Layered potato kibbeh is a perfect, traditional iftar meal. To make it easier to remove it from the baking tin, grease the tin with melted butter and sprinkle it with breadcrumbs. Cook the potatoes well in salted water and prepare the spiced lamb filling with onion and pine nuts. When the potatoes are done, peel them, and turn them into a creamy mash with seasoning and an egg to make it velvety smooth. Transfer half of it to the greased baking tin, and top with lamb filling, grated mozzarella, and the remaining mash. Use butter and breadcrumbs on top to ensure a golden, crispy baked surface.
What are the layers of potato kibbeh?
The layers of our baked potato kibbeh consist of 3 different things. Creamy mashed potato, succulent lamb filling, and grated mozzarella cheese. The perfectly spiced meat sauce and rich cheese are sandwiched between two layers of smooth mash. As it bakes, the top layer of mashed potatoes becomes golden and crispy on the outside while remaining velvety soft on the inside. Meanwhile, the cheese melts to create a gooey layer of goodness to tie the different textures together.
What spice to use in potato kibbeh?
Potato kibbeh is traditionally spiced with the popular Lebanese 7 spice mix. This spice blend consists of allspice, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, coriander, nutmeg, and black pepper. The combination of these wonderful spices serves to create a depth-enhancing blend with warming qualities and sweet, earthy, and citrussy notes. If you cannot find 7 spice mix, other popular choices include using zesty sumac, even more cinnamon, or using aromatic allspice, which tastes like cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg all rolled into one wonderful warming spice.


Potato kibbeh:
4 tbsp
4 tbsp
Potatoes, peeled
1 tsp
Black pepper, ground
1 tsp
Lamb filling:
Grated mozzarella cheese
75 g
2 tbsp
Onions, finely chopped
Minced lamb
400 g
Pine nuts, toasted
2 tbsp
Black pepper, finely ground
1 tsp
Five spice mix
1 tsp

Potato kibbeh with lamb and mozzarella

A baked, layered potato kibbeh is perfect as a filling iftar meal. Made with mashed potatoes, juicy, well-spiced lamb mince filling, and mild tasting, white mozzarella that melts to create a rich and gooey layer of cheese, it is rich, savoury, and full of creamy textures. You will often see it as fried, oblong balls, but our version is one, big, easy, layered potato kibbeh with meat that is perfect for serving for a large gathering.

To provide a bit of crunchy texture, it is topped with melted butter and breadcrumbs to ensure that the crust of the top layer of potato mash crisps up nicely in the oven. With its beautiful golden-brown surface and tasty, tender interior, this traditional dish is sure to entice and delight you.

Delicious layers of potato and lamb mince filling 

Between the layers of rich and velvety baked potato mash is a layer of melted mozzarella and a filling made with minced lamb, onion, and pine nuts. This filling is juicy, savoury, and flavourful. The toasted pine nuts add a wonderful nutty flavour as well as a bit of crunch. The minced lamb itself has a slightly gamey taste with a lovely earthly quality. When spiced, this signature flavour is taken to new heights in the potato kibbeh.

Flavoured with traditional 7 spice

The succulent lamb filling for this potato kibbeh is flavoured with a so-called 7 spice mix. This spice blend, which is popular throughout the Middle East, is made with cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, coriander, cumin, and black pepper.

It makes the lamb mince filling for potato kibbeh perfectly spiced without making it spicy. Rather, it provides it with lemony, earthy, and sweet flavours as well as the warming quality that so many Middle Eastern dishes are known and loved for. The spice blend also gives the lamb mince filling plenty of depth.

Experiment with your layered potato kibbeh

In some cuisines, potato kibbeh is flavoured with lemon juice or citrussy spices like sumac. Both will add tartness and give it a lemony tang that brightens the dish. Since the colourful spice is also great for sprinkling on top of dishes, you can use it either in the lamb mince filling or on top of the baked potato kibbeh.

If you would like to complement the natural sweet properties of the 7 spice blend, you can add pomegranate molasses to the potato kibbeh filling. This traditional, Middle Eastern ingredient made from cooked-down pomegranate juice is perfect for savoury and sweet dishes alike since it gives them hints of an intense sweet-sour flavour that adds depth and complexity.

Garnish with mint leaves for a bit of colour and bright freshness or a tasty yoghurt dressing seasoned with lemon juice, crushed garlic, and mint.

Ideas for what to serve with potato kibbeh include Middle Eastern rocca salad with pomegranate, filling quinoa salad with feta, or even Italian aubergine rollatini with goat cheese.