Author: Nada E.
Recipe type: Appetiser Cuisine: Lebanese
Prep time:  30 mins Cook time:  25 mins Total time:  55 mins
Serves: Serves 4-6

My infamous Pumpkin Kibbeh recipe, new, improved and served as appetiser-friendly bites!


Kibbeh mixture
1.5 cup steamed and pureed pumpkin OR butternut squash
2 cups fine brown bulgur
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cumin powder
½ tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp cinnamon
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 2-3 tbsp of warm water, mixed until gelled)

Stuffing mixture
1 cup frozen and defrosted (or 2-3 cups of tightly packed fresh) spinach
1 can (drained) or 1.5 cups of cooked chickpeas
¼ cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
1 medium tomato, diced
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
1 large red onion, finely chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp of sumac
pinch of nutmeg
1-2 tbsp olive or canola oil


  1. Start by steaming the pumpkin and pureeing in a food processor. You could also use canned pre-pureed pumpkin in a pinch.
  2. Cook the bulgur as directed on the package and season with salt– it shouldn’t take too long as bulgur is already parboiled so keep a steady eye on it and make sure it doesn’t go mushy.
  3. Combine the pumpkin, bulgur, spices, flax egg and olive oil in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. You should have a mixture that can be easily moulded and is not too crumbly. If it’s too “wet” add in a little more bulgur or even some breadcrumbs would do the trick. Place the mixture in the fridge to cool down and firm up if needed.
  4. Pre-heat your oven to 350 F/180 C.
  5. For the stuffing, sauté the onions and garlic on medium heat in some olive or canola oil for 5-8 minutes until softened. Add in the chopped tomato followed by the spinach and stir through along with the sumac, nutmeg, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Add the chickpeas (along with a little reserve water or vegetable stock if you feel the mixture getting dry – although this shouldn’t be the case if you’re using frozen spinach as it will release its own water) and allow to simmer on low heat.
  6. In a separate pan, toast the walnuts for a few minutes, stirring frequently, then add to the rest of the spinach mixture. Simmer on a low heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed before turning off the heat.
  7. Now it’s time to assemble. Take a heaping tablespoonful or so of the bulgur mixture and flatten in your palm. Place a heaped teaspoon of the spinach and chickpea mixture in the middle and squish it inward lightly (you don’t want to break the outer layer). Using the rest of the bulgur “dough” form a closed oval-shaped ball around the kibbeh and gently pat to secure. Repeat until the bulgur mixture is used up.
  8. Grease a baking tray with some olive oil and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown, flipping once in between to ensure even baking.

Source: One Arab Vegan

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