Sfeeha on pita

June 19, 2011  •  Category:

There is no question sfeeha is a masterpiece in the Lebanese kitchen.

What happens though when one does not have the time, energy or inclination  to make the dough, let it rise, roll it out,  pinch it gently into these adorable mini-meat pies, let them rest, bake, then serve  to a famished audience?

Enter sfeeha on pita.

Make sfeeha filling (in a jiffy) into a paste, slather it on a pita, bake it in the oven 7  minutes and top it with chopped onions, parsley and diced tomatoes.

BIG flavor in mere minutes.

INGREDIENTS: 8 servings

  • 1 pound of ground beef (98% fat free, if possible)
  • 4 ounces of chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup of minced Italian parsley
  • 3 Tablespoons of tahini
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic paste (3 cloves of garlic mashed in a mortar with a dash of salt)
  • 1 Tablespoon of pomegranate molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 3 Tablespoons of labneh (yogurt cheese)
  • Spices: 1 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste), 1 teaspoon of seven-spice, 1 teaspoon of sumac, 1 teaspoon of hot Aleppo pepper or 1/2 teaspoon (or more, to taste) of dried chili flakes


  1. Chop the onion fine and combine with some salt; place it on a sieve lined with a paper towel and let the onion drain its juice for 30 minutes or so.
  2. Place the meat, spices, drained onion, chopped parsley, tahini, pomegranate molasses, labneh and garlic paste in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 2 minutes or until the mixture turns pasty. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375F and line a few baking sheets with foil. Place a pita on the foil and slather about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the meat mixture (depending on the size of the pita) on the pita, using a spatula to spread it as evenly as possible. Continue with the rest of the pitas.
  4. Bake for 7 minutes, checking halfway through. When the meat looks cooked, remove from the oven. Serve warm topped with the salad mixture.

Suggestions for a salad:

  • 2 cups of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups of chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 cup of chopped onion or green onion
  • 1 cup of pomegranate seeds
  • Dressing: 1/4 cup of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of sumac, 1 teaspoon of salt, a dash of allspice


33 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Sonia Rumzi says:

    Looks like Lahmajoun. 🙂 Sounds amazing and yummy!

  2. Devaki says:

    I don’t think I have ever seen something as delightful….wonderful flavors, wonderful colors! I love this Joumana 🙂

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  3. Belinda @zomppa says:

    Boy that looks so incredibly flavorful.

  4. Astra Libris says:

    SO beautiful!!! Such a glorious idea!!!

  5. Banana Wonder says:

    Never had sfeeha before… I am drooling now! Why have I never seen this? !!!

  6. Rosa says:

    OMG, I am definitely bookmarking that recipe! This is an awesome wrap. I love the sfeeha.



  7. Aarthi says:

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  8. Priya says:

    Absolutely delicious, never had sfeeha before, marvellous..

  9. Angel of the North says:

    Genius – pure genius. I am passing this across to all my cooking pals.

  10. Susan says:

    Delicioussssssssssss!! Im here drooooooooling!! at work!! hehe!!

  11. Yasmeen says:

    Hey, great idea! Much easier than folding them over and over again. I’ll definitely try this for a quick lunch.

  12. Nuts about food says:

    I love the meat paste and the idea of combining it with freshly chopped tomatoes and herbs.

  13. Ruby says:

    Any method that brings me sfeeha faster and easier is great by me! I also love the idea of putting salad on top. Fab!

  14. Kalyn says:

    I am drooling! Love the sound of this.

  15. Peter says:

    Reminds me as well of Lachmacun…what are the difference other than this being a quick-fix meal?

    • Joumana says:

      @Peter: Lahmajun has diced green pepper, and no pomegranate molasses or tahini or labneh.

      @Louise: Lamb would make it taste more authentic, since the original sfeehas are made with ground lamb!

      @Joan: The pomegranate molasses adds a hint of fruitiness which is just sweet and tangy at the same time

      @Doc: The original sfeeha is made with lamb, always; seven-spice is a combo of spices used in the Lebanese kitchen; check post
      on it for more details (you can buy the mix at middle-eastern stores)

  16. Jeannie says:

    This sfeeha on pita looks very interesting! I have tasted pita but no sfeeha…the combination looks awesome!

  17. Barbara | Creative C says:

    I just found a Mid Eastern type market in Denver on Saturday. I bought Pomegranate Molasses, Tahini, sumac and pita bread. I didn’t know for what, but now I do. I must have known I would happen onto your site…this is fabulous and doable. Thanks so much!

  18. T.W. Barritt says:

    The perfect hot and savory sandwich!

  19. fimère says:

    il a l’air vraiment délicieux j’aime ce genre de plat
    bonne soirée

  20. wizzythestick says:

    I have never heard of this before but like everything coming out of your kitchen it looks wonderful

  21. Louise says:

    This looks so delicious. I’d love to make it for our weekly pizza and movie night. I’m going through a phase of not really wanting to eat beef- do you think it would work with lamb instead?

  22. Mary says:

    I really am liking this. It looks beautiful and sounds delicious. That’s a hard combination to beat :-). I hope you have a great day.Blessings…Mary

  23. Oui, Chef says:

    There is nothing better than a fabulous, “no compromises” shortcut like this dish. Terrific – S

  24. Joan Nova says:

    I love the idea of cooking the meat on the pita (saves a pan!) Nice flavors too. I notice you use pomegranate molasses often. I wonder what that does to the taste. Does it make it sweet(er) or just moist?

  25. Amanda says:

    Wow – what a brilliantly speedy snack, although I think I’d prefer to make it with lamb mince. Aren’t pita’s just the best – so handy!

  26. senga50 says:

    Un vrai repas comme je les aime, parfumé et savoureux, mangé sur le pouce en visitant l’orient… tu me fais rêver un peu…

  27. Jumanah (Healthy Liv says:

    This looks wonderful! I love regular sfeeha but have yet to try it on pita! Also, the cherry tomatoes really add so much color to the sfeeha- I need to try this!

  28. lisaiscooking says:

    This looks like a great twist on the original! The fresh cherry tomatoes on top look delicious on the pita too.

  29. Faith says:

    What a great, unique twist on sfeeha! I bet Mike would go crazy for this!

  30. Doc says:

    Yum Yum Yum. That is looking ssooo good. Is this ever made with lamb? Also, what is in 7 spice?

  31. MaryMoh says:

    Ooooh, I love this. It’s such a fun way to serve and eat. I really love your pictures….big, bright and just SO tempting!

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