Potato bulgur pie (Kibbet al-batata)

There are many versions of potato kibbeh; some are strictly vegan, others contain a layer of meat, some are made into balls and stuffed with onions and nuts, etc. This one is made up of mashed potato mixed with bulgur and stuffed with a layer of ground meat and onions (with a sprinkling of nuts and raisins).

INGREDIENTS: for one pie or 6 servings. Double the quantities if you need to feed up to 10 people.

  • 2 lbs of potatoes (baking or Russet preferably)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup of dry breadcrumbs (or Kaak crumbs)
  • 3/4 cup of extra-fine white bulgur (#1)
  • salt, white pepper, dash of nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp of butter or oil
For the stuffing:
  • 2 cups of ground meat (about 2/3 lb)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • salt, pepper, dash of allspice, dash of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of nuts (pine nuts, almonds, pecans)
  • 1 tbsp of golden raisins (optional)
  • 3 tbsp of oil


  1.  Prepare the stuffing (which can be done the day before or several days and frozen): heat the olive oil and fry the  pine nuts watching them as they can burn in a split second; remove them from the skillet and set them aside on a small plate; add the onion to the skillet  and fry  till soft; add the meat and brown sprinkling the spices.  Finally, when the meat has browned well add the nuts and raisins back in the skillet, stir to combine and turn off the heat. 
  2. Prepare the bulgur and potato:  Place the bulgur in a bowl and rinse under running tap water; sprinkle about 1/2 cup of water on the bulgur and let it sit for a few minutes. Boil the potatoes (or microwave) until soft; peel and mash in a potato ricer. Place in the bowl of a mixer and add the bulgur and spices and the egg. Mix until the mixture is compact and well-combined. (Please read note below)
  3. Grease (preferably with butter) a pyrex or ovenproof dish; transfer half the potato mixture onto the plate. Fill a small bowl with water and with damp fingers, pat the potato dough into the pan and smooth it out; Spread the meat filling over it. Place the rest of the potato dough over the filling, one bit at a time, tapping each mound with wet hands so that it does not stick and can be spread out evenly across the pan. Sprinkle the dry breadcrumbs (or kaak) over the pan; place small nuggets of butter all over the pan (about 6 to 8). Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 20 minutes or until the kibbeh is a bit puffed up and has taken on a nice golden caramel color. Serve warm.

 NOTE: When preparing the bulgur, the idea is to humidify it with a sprinkle of water; if the bulgur is slightly damp and fluffy, great! If there is some water left, make sure you drain it and press it against a sieve before combining it with the potato.

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  1. Posted November 14, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    This looks amazing!

  2. Posted November 14, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    What an awesome casserole! A Lebanese Shepherd’s Pie…



  3. Posted November 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    You should write a book just on kibbeh – you have so many variations in your repertoire and all of them are just fabulous!

    Love everything about this and these would be great as finger food or small plates for the holidays.

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  4. Posted November 14, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    I’ve had a number of different kibbehs over the years, but never one with potato. I KNOW my whole gang would love this, sort of like a shepard’s pie.

  5. Posted November 14, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    This looks delicious. I just bought bulghar for the first time and made lamb tartare and also deep fried the same mixture in balls. They were delicious. It was a Syrian recipe, I think.

  6. Posted November 14, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Great combination and use of bulghur!

  7. Posted November 15, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    This is a lovely variation, haven’t tried mixing bulgur with potato, looks like a wonderful combo:) much lighter too I’d imagine, thanks for sharing,

  8. Posted November 15, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    This dish looks beautiful and so very comforting! I would love some of it in this cold weather here! I will have to make this soon. I love the original kibbeh and who can go wrong with meat AND potatoes!

  9. Posted November 15, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I love bulghur and this combination looks so delicious!

  10. Posted November 15, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    This looks so wonderful! I’m pinning it now. I’m in the U.S. and might add this to my Thanksgiving menu. It would be a nice substitute for mashed potatoes and stuffing.

  11. Posted November 15, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    This reminds me of a Shepard’s Pie. It looks delicious!

  12. Posted November 16, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Joumana, what a great combo of flavors, and comfort food deluxe!

  13. Posted November 19, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    I really,, really like this recipe. This is the kind of homey dish we love and I love the twist on how I would normally make something similar, like a French parmentier. I always love raisins and nuts in meat dishes and the bulgor is intriguing. Bookmarked!

  14. maheswar pusty
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    whats meaning of kibbet plz can u explane me

  15. Joumana
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    @maheswar pusty: kibbeh is a paste with bulgur and another ingredients mixed in

  16. sehr gul
    Posted March 27, 2014 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    Lovely idea I’m always inspired by ur mouth watering dishes this is a must try n easy. Keep up the good work x

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