Vegan Pumpkin Kibbeh
Recipe type: Appetiser
Cuisine: Lebanese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 4-6
My infamous Pumpkin Kibbeh recipe, new, improved and served as appetiser-friendly bites!
Kibbeh mixture
  • 1.5 cup steamed and pureed pumpkin OR butternut squash
  • 4.5 cups fine bulghur, cooked
  • 1.5 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
Stuffing mixture
  • 1 400g bag of frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 1 cup of cooked chickpeas
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup of diced tomato
  • Juice of one large lemon
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp of sumac
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil (or cooking oil of choice
  1. Start by steaming the pumpkin and pureeing in a food processor.
  2. Cook the bulgur as directed on the package and season with salt– it shouldn’t take too long as bulgur is already parboiled so keep a steady eye on it and make sure it doesn’t go mushy.
  3. Combine the pumpkin, bulgur, spices, flax and olive oil in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. You should have a mixture that can be easily moulded and is not too crumbly. If it’s too “wet” add in a little more bulgur or even some breadcrumbs would do the trick. Place the mixture in the fridge to cool down and firm up for a couple of hours.
  4. Pre-heat your oven to 350 F/180 C.
  5. For the stuffing, sauté the onions and garlic on medium heat the olive oil for 5-8 minutes until softened. Add in the chopped tomato followed by the spinach and stir through along with the sumac, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Add the chickpeas (along with a little water if you feel the mixture getting dry – although this shouldn’t be the case if you’re using frozen spinach as it will release its own water) and allow to simmer on low heat.
  6. In a separate pan, toast the walnuts for a few minutes, stirring frequently, then add to the rest of the spinach mixture. Simmer on a low heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed before turning off the heat.
  7. Now it’s time to assemble. Take a heaping tablespoonful or so of the bulgur mixture and flatten in your palm. Place a heaped teaspoon of the spinach and chickpea mixture in the middle and squish it inward lightly (you don't want to break the outer layer). Using the rest of the bulgur "dough" form a closed oval-shaped ball around the kibbeh and gently pat to secure. Repeat until the bulgur mixture is used up.
  8. Place the kibbehs on a lined baking sheet and brush with some olive oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown, flipping once in between to ensure even baking. Alternatively, cook in the air-fryer for 15 minutes onn 200.
I almost always use steamed butternut squash for this recipe.
Fine bulgur is parboiled, so you can easily cook it by placing it in a bowl and adding boiling water, then covering with a tea towel for five minutes (similarly to how you would make couscous)
This recipe makes more stuffing than the actual kibbeh mixture, so I would recommend either halving the stuffing ingredients or doubling the mixture ingredients.
Recipe by One Arab Vegan at