Squash kibbeh balls

This is an idea I had tried on red lentils a while back: Make patties or balls of red lentils and bulgur similar to a falafel and stuff them with cheese; then I saw that Beth had done a similar job with some pumpkin kibbeh (she stuffed them with a feta mixture);  these kibbeh are usually stuffed with chickpeas, onions and greens.

It is more fun to eat when they are hot and the cheese is oozing out!


  • 1 pound of kabocha squash (any squash will do, just make sure it is thoroughly drained)
  • 4 ounces of extra-fine bulgur #1, soaked in water for 5 minutes and drained thoroughly (squeeze out the water)
  • small white onions, sprinkled with salt and sumac
  • 1/4 cup of minced herbs (parsley, other)
  • Spices: 1/2 tsp. white pepper, 1/2 tsp. allspice, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. hot Aleppo pepper
  • 1/2 cup of fine semolina flour
  • 1/4 cup of unbleached all-purpose flour


  • 8 ounces of goat cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup of walnuts
  • 1/4 cup of whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon of mashed garlic (with salt in a mortar)
  • Spices: 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of seven-spice, 1/2 teaspoon of thyme or wild zaatar, 1/2 teaspoon of Aleppo pepper
  • 1/4 cup of minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup of minced dill (or other herb)
  • Lemons, quartered
  • Oil, to fry the kibbeh in

To make it easier: shape the cheese mixture into teaspoon-sized balls and freeze  for 15 minutes before starting.


  1. Make the kibbeh shell and refrigerate: place the drained squash, chopped onion, herbs and spices, bulgur, flour and semolina in the bowl of a food processor. Process into a homogenous paste. Transfer to a bowl and into the fridge, covered.
  2. Make the cheese filling by combining all the ingredients. Shape into little teaspoon-sized balls and place on a piece of foil into the freezer for 15 minutes to make using them easier.
  3. Take balls of dough (can use a cookie dough scooper) and fill with the cheese. Place in the fridge until ready to fry.
  4. Heat several cups of oil to 375F and fry the balls of kibbeh, a few at a time. Serve warm with extra lemons.

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  1. Margaret
    Posted September 28, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    O these look very tasty. Have not made kibbeh yet. Maybe this one!

  2. Posted September 28, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    This looks and sounds delectable! I have to try it! Wow! what a grand idea. Love it!

  3. Posted September 28, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    im doing some hard core drooling over here on my keyboard. these look and sound soo scrumptious. i need to look for extra fine bulgur.

  4. Posted September 28, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Those kibbeh balls are marvelous! I love the fact that you used pumpkin and cheese to make them.



  5. Posted September 29, 2011 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    They look wonderful. I have a giant squash, I’ll try. I hope I’ll catch the same taste you got.
    Thank you, have a nice day.

  6. Posted September 29, 2011 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    These look absolutely gorgeous. Have to try them soon. Thanks.

  7. Posted September 29, 2011 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    I want one of those, they look soooooo delicious!

  8. Posted September 29, 2011 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    Umm wow. So these are everything I could ever dream of and more. Definitely making them…possibly next week.

  9. Posted September 29, 2011 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Oh…am so glad i came across your site. Very happy to follow you. Such lovely kibbeh balls…would love to try these…

  10. Posted September 29, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    De délicieuses petites balles pleines de saveurs avec un coeur qui s’écoule comme une lave gourmande

  11. Noura
    Posted September 29, 2011 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    So creative, and they look scrumptious.

  12. Posted September 29, 2011 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    I just love those kibbeh balls…. the filling is marvelous!

  13. Posted September 29, 2011 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Dear Joumana, I made squash kibbeh balls. They were wonderful. I wrote” were” because there were nothing left. Thank you. ,

  14. Posted September 29, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Crispy balls looks fabulous and delicious..

  15. Posted September 29, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Love the use of squash here – great idea to utilize the fall bounty.

  16. Posted September 29, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    WOW…these look amazing. I’d never heard of squash kibbeh before, can’t wait to try them.

  17. Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    Oh, these look just amazing and so tempting!

  18. Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    What a neat idea. These look incredibly delicious!!

  19. Posted September 30, 2011 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    The cheese filling looks divine! What a great use of fall squash.

  20. Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    This looks delicious. I just had dinner and keep thinking about eating one or two or more of these delectable morsels.
    Kibeh rocks!

  21. Posted October 1, 2011 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    These look so appetising! How can you go wrong with pumpkin and melted cheese?!

  22. Posted October 2, 2011 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    We have a local Lebanese restaurant that has pumpkin kibbe on the menu and I’ve always been so curious about what that might be!

  23. Posted February 12, 2012 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    I am thrilled that I came into contact with you thanks to your comment regarding my butter biscuits with apricot in the center. I have Lebanese roots from Roum, but I would love to first learn how to make regular Koubeba balls, although I would like to learn the saniyeh and the nayya as well. Most of all please give me, if possible the regular rugby type of ball with the filling of pine nuts, ground meat, cinnamon etc. I’d appreciate it. Cheers and have a good day. By the way I am Greek born in Cairo, Egypt.

  24. Joumana
    Posted February 12, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    @Stelio: Happy to meet you as well! My dad was born and raised in Cairo and had many Greek friends growing up there. I have a lot of different kibbeh recipes posted on the blog, from the traditional kibbeh bsanieyh, to the kibbeh labnieh, to the kibbeh from Mosul, etc etc. Just click on the kibbeh category and you should have enough choices; of course the list is not exhaustive, that’s just a sample!

  25. Malkit
    Posted May 13, 2013 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    What is ״kabocha squash” ?

  26. Joumana
    Posted May 13, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    @Malkit: It is a type of squash like a small pumpkin.

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