Lebanese foods are full of flavorful and fresh ingredients, and it’s so much more than just hummus and kafta! So, we’re going to take you on a tour of Lebanese cuisine, highlighting 27 different foods that you need to try today.
Are you a fan of Lebanese food?
If you’ve been to a Middle Eastern restaurant, you’ve probably tried a few of these dishes.
But if you haven’t had the pleasure of trying any authentic Lebanese food yet, then let us tell you: it’s time to change that.
Lebanese cuisine is one of the most diverse and tasty cuisines in the world.
The secret to its success is the use of fresh ingredients and spices—and not just one or two, but many!
And if you want to know what goes into making some of the most delicious foods on Earth, keep reading!
Lebanese foods are a fusion of spicy Arabic flavors and the textures of Mediterranean food.
From Kousa Mahshi to Shawarma to Fattoush Salad they’ll open your palette to a world of incredible tastes, and you surely won’t get enough.
Plus, Lebanon’s geography, climate, and surrounding influences have all contributed to a cuisine filled with succulent meat, fresh vegetables, and powerful juices.
So, prepare your appetite as we go through 27 traditional Lebanese foods that you need to try.
Check out #16, though, if you love sweets.
Tabbouleh, or parsley bulgur salad, is a finely chopped salad with a base of parsley and finely chopped tomatoes and onions.
It is another staple served next to hummus in a Lebanese spread.
Its lemon-oil sauce seeps through and adds flavor to the other food on your plate.
Also, Tabbouleh is an incredible appetizer, and it is very popular to eat at all times of the day.
Fattouch, or pita salad, is a delicious and popular dish with a base of lettuce, thyme leaves, radish, green pepper, tomatoes, and cucumbers.
But what makes this salad different is that it is made with sumac, oil, lemon, and pomegranate molasses.
Fattouch is often served with fried pita bread on top of toasted pita bread.
The salad is also fresh, filling, and has a bit of a punch.
Prepare it for lunch or dinner, as it is a dish that is definitely worth trying.
Hummus is a dip made of tahini paste, chickpeas, lemon juice, and garlic.
This savory and delicious dish can also be paired with so many foods.
And you can have it as a side dish with chicken platters or grilled meat, cooked or raw vegetables, or spread it on many types of bread.
Muhammara is a beautiful red pepper and walnut dip often paired with nachos, grilled meats, chicken platter, or vegetables.
The dip is also mixed with salt, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, and pomegranate molasses to add more taste.
Like Hummus, Muhammara is part of a mezze or appetizer platter and is perfect for those who want to add a spicy flavor to their meals.
Manakish is a famous Lebanese breakfast, but you can also eat it for lunch.
This dish is also similar to Italian pizza.
It is made from dough mixed with olive oil and thyme that is rolled and spread into a thin, oval shape.
Topped with cheese, vegetables, and yogurt, you can serve it sliced or folded.
There are several forms of Sfeeha, depending on the region where it comes from.
Plus, it uses its hearty and crunchy dough by topping it with minced meat, parsley, and onions.
It’s also called Sfiha; the dough is often cut into squares so you can eat it easily.
This dish is best served with yogurt to balance out the flavors and can be eaten for lunch or dinner.
8. Kaak Bread
Kaak, or Lebanese purse bread, is a type of flatbread dough rolled into oval pieces.
Also, this bread is crispy on the outside, with a flavorful inside full of sesame seeds.
Traditionally, Kaak is topped with cheese and thyme.
It is a perfect food to prepare for those who are always on the go.
Shanklish is made from cow’s milk or sheep’s milk.
The milk is dried out and rolled into small balls, then it is covered in hot peppers, herbs, and thyme.
Often served with a salad of chopped onions and tomatoes, Shanklish is a delicious appetizer ideal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Kibbeh is made from spiced ground meat and bulgur wheat.
But in some versions, the spiced meat is rolled into a large ball and filled with liquid fat and spices.
This dish can also be made into cone-like shapes, and they can be fried or baked.
Plus, you can serve this dish as a delicious appetizer.
Lebanese Shawarma is similar to Gyros and Doner.
It is one of the most famous Lebanese foods on the list.
It consists of thinly cut chicken, beef, or lamb slices stacked in a massive cone-shaped dough.
Often served with fries, lettuce, onions, and hummus, Shawarma can be eaten any time and is a dish that you can make for all of your guests.
Knafeh is composed of layers of Akkawi cheese with semolina dough.
Soaked with syrup flavored with rose water and served on bread, this is a fantastic dish for cheese lovers.
You can also find Knafeh in large trays, making it the perfect dish for get-togethers or weekend dinners.
15. Halawet El-Jibn
Halawet El-Jibn is a traditional Lebanese dessert made of semolina dough and cheese, topped with sugar syrup and cream.
These sweet cheese rolls are delicate, and it melts in your mouth.
Plus, Halawet El-Jibn is a fantastic way to end a meal, especially if you’ve had a lot of rich food.
16. Namoura Cake
Namoura Cake is a sweet and filling Lebanese dessert.
And although it usually is crispy, the texture can be adjusted to make it fluffy if you prefer it that way.
Made with a mixture of semolina, sugar, butter, and almonds, this cake is enjoyed throughout many religious festivities, especially during Ramadan.
17. Maamoul Cookies
Maamoul is a traditional cookie made from semolina dough stuffed with nuts, dates, pistachios, and walnuts.
But if you want to follow the modern recipe, you can stuff these Lebanese cookies with jam or Nutella.
This delicious and sweet dessert is often made during Eid Al Fitr.
And it is served during family gatherings so everyone can enjoy it together.
Kofta is skewered lamb meat mixed with spices and grilled.
However, if you are not keen on lamb meat, you can substitute it with beef or chicken.
Serve Kofta at your next barbecue and watch the guests gobble it up.
19. Rice Pilaf
Rice Pilaf is a Lebanese rice dish that involves cooking in stock or broth.
This is different from regular white rice because spices, vegetables, and meat are added.
But like Chow Fan, Rice Pilaf can also be paired with grilled meat or savory dishes.
20. Warak Eenab
Warak Eenab is known as Lebanese sushi.
The vine leaves serve as a wrap and are filled with rice and meat.
But if you’re a vegan, you can fill the Warak Eenab with rice and vegetables instead—and still enjoy it.
21. Lebanese Baklava
Lebanese Baklava is a mouthwatering dessert that’s sweet, nutty, and deliciously messy.
Each square is simply bursting with delicious flavor!
Often eaten after a meal or as a snack, you can also pair this dessert with your favorite beverage or give it as a gift.
Sambousek is a savory mini pie filled with cheese or spiced meat.
This dish can be served with soy tamarind sauce, or you can eat it as is.
Sambousek is also a delicious snack that can be eaten during afternoon tea or brunch.
25. Kibbeh Nayeh
Kibbeh Nayeh is a raw meat dish made from raw lamb or veal.
Also, this authentic Lebanese dish has a thick, soft, and consistent texture as the meat is processed by a food processor.
And when you serve it with pita bread and sprinkle it with fresh herbs, you’ll be amazed at how much flavor you’re able to extract.
27. Kousa Mahshi
Kousa Mahshi is a Lebanese stuffed zucchini.
And it is made with meat and rice pressed into small zucchini and simmered in tomato sauce.
Kousa Mahshi is also a delicious and savory meal that you can serve at dinner parties.
The bottom line
Lebanese foods may not be as famous as other cuisines in the culinary world, but that does not mean that it has nothing to offer.
From tasty appetizers and sweet desserts to freshly baked bread and savory meats, every authentic Lebanese treat will tell you what perfection is.
So, get ready to expand your palate with these authentic Lebanese recipes you can easily make at home.
- Fattoush Salad
- Kaak Bread
- Foul Moudammas
- Halawet El-Jibn
- Namoura Cake
- Maamoul Cookies
- Rice Pilaf
- Warak Eenab
- Lebanese Baklava
- Batata Harra
- Kibbeh Nayeh
- Kousa Mahshi
- Take a look at our Lebanese Foods list!
- Bring the ingredients to create a new favorite dish.
- Woohoo! You created a home-cooked meal!
- Comment your thoughts on our Facebook page!