Shabbat shalom! In honor of this wonderful shabbat, we’re sharing a our kibbe recipe with you, as well as what I think are pretty good directions on how to shape them. I tried taking a video, but let’s just say my phone got covered in oily meat and had to be wiped clean very carefully.¬†Stephanie and I have been writing about kibbe for a long time now. We use it in recipes all the time. It’s a Friday night staple in the Blanco house, and it’s actually surprising if we don’t eat kibbe for Shabbat dinner.


Well what is a kibbe, you ask? They’re really small meatballs. Meat-stuffed-meatballs.


A little clarification: The outside is equal parts ground meat and rice, stuffed with ground meat inside and shaped into a ball with two pointy ends. We make peas and kibbe, kibbe cherry, kibbe mushroom and hamud with them. We throw them into chicken and eggplant dinners. We just love them!

So why did it take so long to actually share this recipe with you? It’s not because we never make them. It’s not because we’re mean. It’s because our hands get so sticky and meaty when we make them, we just don’t think about getting our cameras out and taking photos! But we should. Because even though you can buy these from just about any butcher in Brooklyn, they’re very easy to make, even relaxing and fun. I used to sit at the coffee table and watch a movie while making them. Just make sure to schedule your manicure for after your kibbe are in the freezer.

Oh, and more good news is that you can make a whole lot and then just freeze them. You know how I love the freezer!

Ground rice might be hard to find – but you can grind some rice in a food grinder or food processor; don’t use rice flour, it’s too fine. If you buy it from the butcher, make sure to use it or freeze it right away! the combination of rice and meat makes the meat go bad very quickly (thanks for the tip, marni!).

Here’s what the kibbe should look like as you shape them – The instructions are written for you below, but I know some people are visual learners, so this might help for a lot of you.

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  • 1 3/4 – 2 pounds kibbe meat (1 pound ground beef + 1 pound uncooked ground rice)
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped celery leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • Water
  • Lemon juice
  • Oil





1. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, oil, celery leaves, salt, cinnamon, and allspice and mix well.

2. In a tiny prep bowl, put water, a splash of oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice.

3. Roll the shell (kibbe meat) mixture into 1 inch round balls

4. Dip your finger in lemon juice, then holding the ball in the palm of your left hand, use your right index finger to poke a hole (not all the way) through the ball and hollow it out, thinning out the sides and making a point at the end with your palm.

5. Fill with about 1 teaspoon of the filling.

6. Pinch together the opening and shape into point with your left palm.

7. Place on wax paper lined baking sheet and repeat.

Kibbes can be frozen and used for cooking as needed. No need to defrost them first!