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17 Traditional Lebanese Appetizers: Mouth-Watering Starters

17 Traditional Lebanese Appetizers: Mouth-Watering Starters

Are you looking for amazing Lebanese appetizers for your next party? Here’s a list of excellent finger-licking starters that will make your gathering a success!

A mezze or party platter with this themed cuisine in mind will have a lot of sliced veggies, pita bread, an assortment of dips, and pocket pies. 

Broaden your horizons with this unique Middle Eastern cuisine that sometimes uses surprising ingredients like in recipe #16

Find out how this part of the world turns the humble eggplant into a pickled delight called the Makdous, which is definitely worth the one-month wait.

Eggplants are also popularly made into Mutabal, a savory dip that goes hand in hand with a staple on this party spread like the Herbed Pita Bread

You can have something spicy too, whether it’s a wrap or a vegetable starter that’s famous in this type of cooking. 

With that, throw some wraps into the mix and salads; you’ll be ready to impress your guests. 

Many of these appetizers are served at room temperature and are often easy to prepare. 

Assembling your mezze should not be too difficult, especially when you have these 17 ideas just waiting to discover.

Now let’s get cooking, shall we?

Picture a soft cheese ball sitting atop a bit of olive oil and waiting for you to spread it on pita bread. 

These balls are strained yogurt with salt.

It has a hint of a lemony, slightly briny taste. 

It can take some time to develop into a thick and firm consistency. 

So if you want to spare some time doing something else on an actual day, it’s best to make this in advance. 

The result is a creamy and mild labneh that pairs astoundingly with avocado toast, some Makdous, and bread. 

Give your guests a taste of what’s to come with this traditional starter. 

The spices thrown into the mix lend it its unique taste.

Savor the aroma of the Lebanese 7-spice mix to kick things up a notch.

Get your palates more excited with pomegranate molasses to level up the experience.

The tart goodness of sumac–a spice famous in the Middle East–will take you to the other side of the world in just one bite. 

For added texture, a few pine nuts will do. 

Here’s a filling starter for guests who come to the party starving. 

Several other cuisines offer meat-filled pocket pies or pastries like this one.

But it’s worth making and one you shouldn’t miss out on when preparing a spread with this theme in mind. 

Be mindful of how the cooking process will have a varying effect on Sambousek so that it could have a crunchy, crusty, or soft texture.

This vegan appetizer goes by Taboouli, Tabbouleh, or Tabouleh. 

It’s a well-known dish in Mediterranean cuisines like Arab and Lebanese. 

This salad often appears as a small entree of a Mezza. 

It uses fresh vegetables and herbs like mint and parsley. 

The ingredients are all finely chopped, and even the addition of bulgur is of a fine consistency.

It’s best to eat it by hand, served in a lettuce leaf.

This low-carb, dairy-free, and gluten-free food often graces a Lebanese table spread.

It is well-loved as a dip, snack, or appetizer.

It lends a unique taste to wraps and meat dishes, too.

But mostly, you will find it served on a party platter as it complements a variety of other hot and cold starters. 

To get the best-tasting fare, you’ll want to leave it in the fridge for a few hours before serving.

This crucial step allows the flavors to develop for a more enhanced taste.

Perfectly seasoned, moist interior, and crunchy exterior–these vegetarian fritters are one to love!

It’s beloved in Israel, Egypt, Palestine, and many other countries in the Middle East.

The chickpeas-and-garbanzos mixture makes it a filling appetizer. 

You can eat it with hummus paste, yogurt sauce, or tahini dip. 

Falafels are also a perfect pairing for wraps, sandwiches, and salads. 

When making the recipe, you may want to make an extra batch to store in the freezer next time. 

This recipe is an exciting array of flavors and textures. 

It’s sour and savory at the same time, with a kick of spiciness from the chili. 

On the outside, the smooth-skinned eggplants.

Once you take a bite, there are walnuts and garlic.

These are then submerged in olive oil and kept to cure inside a jar. 

It can take a minimum of two weeks to get the Makdous taste the Lebanese love, and it gets better after a month.

Turn a humble eggplant into a dip that hints at smokiness and creaminess with a garlicky flavor. 

This vegetarian appetizer is an excellent dip for flatbread. 

It’s the best way to enjoy its savory goodness. 

If you’ve never heard of this vegetable reimagined into this clever little mix, it’s definitely worth the try.

It’s blended to a smooth consistency with tahini, roasted eggplants, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and olive oil.

You can further incorporate herbs towards the end of the preparation.

Garnish it with some chopped parsley, cumin, and paprika.

What’s a Lebanese appetizer platter without the sought-after hummus?

While making the traditional chickpeas variation, you can incorporate avocados into the mix until you reach a smooth consistency. 

Make it party-friendly by giving options–guests can dip into the original vs. the reinvented recipe. 

Remember to add the black and sesame seeds towards the end of making this dip. 

Add the taste of tart with a hint of sweetness with sumac.

10. Kibbeh

It is common practice for young women in Lebanon would start to learn how to assemble their mezze.

One of the most popular foods to learn to make at this age is the kibbeh–which is like stuffed croquettes or meatballs with stuffings in their outer shell.

This recipe forms its shell-like exterior with ground beef, bulgur wheat, and onions. 

This meaty food, seasoned with Middle Eastern spices, will envelop a mixture of spiced beef and pine nuts toasted to perfection.

You can choose to deep-fry or bake this delicious food to serve and enjoy!

Level up the deliciousness of creamy hummus by adding the rich, intense flavors of the Lebanese Zaatar Spice Blend.

It’s a homemade mix of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern spices. 

The Kawarma is hummus with seasoned ground lamb

It’s made more flavorful with a nutty touch, the zing of lemon sauce, mint brightness, and chili kick. 

This food is best on a platter with pita bread and some salad. 

You’ll love this exciting dip if you’re a fan of garlicky flavors.

Beiruti is known for having a lot of garlic in the recipe. 

It also boasts the sesame-based condiment, tahini.

It goes well over avocado toast, lavash, pita, or even with some cucumber salad.

Spiced potatoes are always welcome as a delectable treat in this cuisine.

It’s a traditional appetizer served on a platter alongside flatbread and tahini sauce. 

Batata Harrah can also be a delicious sandwich filling.

The crispy and spicy notes of this recipe make it a sure crowd-pleaser.

One can never go wrong serving a platter of pita strips to their guests coming over for a get-together.

This party fave is a well-seasoned, delectably spicy appetizer that will tickle the taste buds.

It’s excellent finger food for all that hummus and dips you’ll be making.

Pan-fried Arayes is a flavor-packed appetizer that is sure to delight guests.

The smell of Lebanese spices is in every bite of the meaty mixture. 

Fry to a crispy, golden brown perfect with tahini sauce or garlicky dips.

A surprising ingredient for some–grape leaves are a beloved ingredient for filling up rice, vegetables, and herbs.

The Warak Enab bi Zeit, as people call them, will then be left to simmer in a broth with the zing of lemon.

Take note to de-stem and blanch the leaves you’ll use as a base for the tasty stuffing.

The combination of fresh feta cheese and some well-chosen herbs give this number a tasty, quite addictive appeal.

Guests will be reaching out for this finger food over and over for its melt-in-your-mouth goodness. 

You can use filo dough or wonton wrappers for its exterior–fried to a beautiful golden brown.

Enjoy this vegetarian appetizer with tahini sauce for the best experience.

The bottom line

It’s a breath of fresh air to experience dining in a different light.

Explore the culture of the streets and homes of Lebanon by setting up a spread of their popular starters.

These appetite-whetting patties, dips, and vegetarian options will genuinely leave an excellent memory for all who enjoy its taste. 

Set up your starter menu with a mix of different types of foods that combine well together. 

This way, you need not travel all across the world to enjoy the meals that you love.

You can have them in the comfort of your own home and even invite friends to enjoy these finger foods and sauces with you.

Traditional Lebanese Appetizers

Traditional Lebanese Appetizers

Are you looking for amazing Lebanese appetizers for your next party? Here’s a list of excellent finger-licking starters that will make your gathering a success!


  • Lebanese Labneh (Soft Yogurt Cheese)
  • Spinach Fatayer (Lebanese Spinach Pastry)
  • Sambousek (Lebanese Meat-Filled Savory Pies)
  • Tabbouleh (Lebanese Parsley Salad)
  • Lebanese Creamy Cucumber Yogurt Salad (Kh’yar Bi laban)
  • Falafel (Deep-fried Balls)
  • Lebanese Makdous
  • Mutabal (Eggplant Dip)
  • Avocado Hummus
  • Kibbeh
  • Hummus Kawarma
  • Hummus Beiruti
  • Batata Harrah
  • Herbed Pita Strips
  • Arayes Kafta (Lebanese Meat-Stuffed Pitas)
  • Warek Enab (Lebanese Grape Leaves)
  • Rekakat (Lebanese Cheese Rolls)


  1. Pick one or more options from our list of Lebanese Appetizers here!
  2. Start creating your new favorite dish.
  3. Share and comment! Did you make any changes to make it even better?

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