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Shared by Sigi Mantel

Passover Kibbeh

Yield: Approx 36 kibbehTime: 1 H 30 min

Shared by Sigi Mantel

Pile of fried kibbeh on yellow graphic dish.
Photographer: Armando Rafael. Food Stylist: Chris Barsch. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth.

Passover Kibbeh

Yield: Approx 36 kibbehTime: 1 H 30 min

Family Journey

Damascus, SyriaTel AvivHolon, Israel
Gedera, Israel

Meat-filled kibbeh (also called kubbeh) are popular throughout much of the Levant. There are numerous versions of the dish: the best known are crispy, fried torpedo-shaped kibbeh, but there are also ones wrapped in semolina and plunged into ruby hued beet broth, potato kibbeh, kibbeh pie, and many others. This Passover kibbeh recipe from Syrian Jewish cookbook author Sigi Mantel and her grandmother Aliza swaps bulgar wheat shells for ones made with ground rice and matzo meal. 

If it’s your first time making kibbeh, know that it can take a bit of time to get the hang of shaping them and it’s best done with friends or family members helping out. We recommend watching a video or two online (we like this one) before you get started to see the technique in action. Serve this recipe with a tahini sauce for dipping.   

Read more about Sigi’s family in “The Syrian Grandmother Who Taught Sigi Mantel Where to Find Happiness” and find her recipes for ma’udeh (chicken with potatoes), pickled stuffed peppers, and lettuce and parsley salad.


For the shell:

  • 3 cups ground rice
  • 3 cups matzo meal 
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil 
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt 
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika

For the filling:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for frying
  • 2 finely chopped onions
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon baharat
  • Neutral oil for frying
Cooking ProjectsMain CoursesPassover Meat Kosher for PassoverMiddle East


  • Step 1

    For the shell: Combine the ground rice, matzo meal, oil, and spices in a bowl and mix together. Add the water gradually and knead until a soft and uniform dough comes together.

  • Step 2

    For the filling: In a large saute pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Fry the onion until golden and soft, about 8-10 minutes. Add the meat and spices, stirring occasionally until the meat has browned and cooked through. Set aside to completely cool.

  • Step 3

    Shape the kibbeh: Scoop 3 tablespoons of the shell dough into your hand. Carefully flatten the dough into an oval-shape, about 2 inches wide and 4 inches long. (Check out this video to see the technique.) Scoop 1 ½ tablespoons of the cooled meat filling onto the dough. Wrap the dough around the filling, sealing with your fingers as you go. With wet hands, form the kibbeh into torpedo shapes, with pointed ends and a round center.

  • Step 4

    Fry the kibbeh: Heat 3-4 inches of a neutral oil in a medium-sized pot to 350F. Deep fry the kibbeh in batches until they are golden-brown, rotating regularly, 4-6 minutes. Remove the kibbeh from oil and drain on a paper towel.

  • Step 5

    Let cool slightly and serve with tahini sauce.