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close up view of kibbeh labanieh

Kibbeh Labanieh (Kibbeh Balls In Yogurt)

  • Author: Mariam
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x


Kibbeh labanieh, or kibbeh bi laban, is a delicious Lebanese recipe made with kibbeh balls in a thick mint yogurt sauce.


Units Scale

Kibbeh Dough

  • 2.2 lbs (1 kg) meat (I used lamb here, but you can use veal or beef)
  • 20 ounces (600 grams) fine bulgur wheat (dry weight prior to getting soaked)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped into quarters
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Mint Yogurt Sauce

  • 32 ounces (about 1 kg) whole fat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup short-grain rice (washed and drained)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • 2 teaspoons salt


Make the Kibbeh Balls

  1. Soak the fine bulgar wheat in water for 40 minutes to 1 hour. The bulgar should be soft when ready. Drain the bulgar wheat.
  2. Split the meat into three batches. Ground the first two in a food processor and place them in a bowl. Put the third batch in the food processor along with the onion and spices and process. Add this mixture to the rest of the ground meat. 
  3.  Add the bulgur to the meat and start kneading the mixture with your hands until everything is mixed together (it takes around 5-7 minutes so keep mixing). 
  4. Shape the kibbeh into balls by taking a little bit of the kibbeh mixture in your hand and wrapping it around your thumb. Keep moving your thumb in circles while shaping the kibbeh ball. When you remove your thumb there will be an opening in each piece. Don't stuff the kibbeh balls, they should be hollow.
  5. Close up the kibbeh ball and set it aside. 

Cook the Kibbeh Balls In Yogurt

  1. Add the yogurt to a pot. Stir the cornstarch into the water then strain the mixture into the pot. 
  2. Whisk everything together really well for around 2 minutes before transferring the pot to a stovetop. 
  3. Bring the yogurt to a boil while stirring. Make sure you stir consistently to make sure the yogurt doesn't curdle. After a few minutes, add in the short-grain rice and continue to stir. 
  4. Gently drop the kibbeh balls into the sauce and keep on stirring. 
  5. Add in the dried mint and salt.
  6. Let everything cook together for 10-15 minutes and keep stirring until the sauce thickens. 
  7. Turn off the heat and serve in bowls.


  1. The raw kibbeh balls are freezer-friendly. Freeze raw in a freezer-friendly container for up to 6 months.
  2. Use full-fat unsweetened yogurt.
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Lebanese


  • Serving Size: 1 bowl
  • Calories: 564 calories
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Sodium: 590 mg
  • Fat: 17 g
  • Saturated Fat: 8 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 9 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 52 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 44 g
  • Cholesterol: 101 mg

Keywords: kibbeh labanieh, kibbeh bi labana, kibbeh bil laban, kibbeh balls in yogurt sauce

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