Vegan Pumpkin-Bulgur Kibbeh

Pumpkin Kibbe (vegan)

Pumpkin Kibbeh (vegan)

pumpkin kibbe-bz

A word about kibbeh—it is a traditional middle eastern dish made of bulgur (cracked wheat) with onions, spices, and some mash-able ingredient (usually meat). However, there are many vegan (albeit less known) vegetable-based versions of kibbeh available, usually made in the homes of villagers during lent. In other words, you’d scarcely walk into a traditional Levantine restaurant and opt for a vegan kibbeh (too bad!).

Pumpkin Kibbeh is a great finger food, and makes a perfect appetizer or main. It’s also very versatile, so you can pop it into your lunchbox just about anywhere! Some great vegan accompaniments (mentioned on this blog) that go with pumpkin kibbeh are hummus, macrobiotic tabbouli, beetroot-tahini spread, and red lentil soup–so you may want to check these recipes out too!

Kibbeh can be made in different ways: patties, stuffed croquettes, or stretched out pie-like onto a deep-dish oven pan. I’ll show you how to make it in two ways: as both a stuffed rugby-ball-shaped croquette and a shepherd-pie style filled kibbe (stretched out in a baking pan, filled, then covered with another layer of kibbeh mix. Both my kibbeh preparation ways involve baking, not frying–although the kibbeh “ball” version is usually fried. The baked version is way healthier and tastes much better.

Pumpkin kibbe is a seasonal favorite, especially at this time of year when we are still getting our pumpkin on during squash season! This version is extremely light and nutrient-dense, with only 120 calories per serving, with a good amount of the heart-loving healthy fats, MUFAS (monounsaturated fatty acids) and PUFAS (polyunsaturated fatty acids).

And speaking of health benefits, you may want to have a look at the nutrition fact labeling (for the recipe with the pinenut-sumac filling):

Pumpkin Kibbe - NFL

Not only is pumpkin kibbeh super-rich in manganese and Vitamin K, but it also has a wide variery of other vitamins  such as vitamins A, E, B1 (thiamin), B3 (niacin), and B6–and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, iron, magnesium, and selenium. (Note: the spinach-chickpea filling adds in some more iron, vitamin K, and folic acid). Moreover, if you would like to know further information about the benefits of pumpkin itself, you may want to check out this link from

So to start, you will need the following ingredients:

2 cups mashed pumpkin

2 cups of soaked fine bulgur (cracked wheat)

1 cup whole wheat (or gluten free) flour

1 small finely diced onion

1 tsp marjoram (dried or fresh)

1 tsp allspice

½ tsp turmeric

½ tsp paprika

½ tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp fresh chopped basil

1 tsp dried mint

1 tbsp fresh or dried parsley


2 tsp canola oil (in a homemade cooking sprayer)

For the 1st type of filling (pinenut-sumac): 2 tsp canola oil, 3 large onions (diced), a handful of pinenuts, ½ tsp black pepper, ½ tsp sumac, and ¼ cup pomegranate sauce–aka grenadine molasses (optional)

For the 2nd type of filling (spinach-chickpeaas): 1 tbsp canola oil, 2 medium onions (cut into thin wings), 2 cups chopped spinach (or chard), 3/4 cup cooked chickpeas, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp cumin, a pinch of ground black pepper, salt, and 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses.

  1. Carve the pumpkin, peel, and cut into small pieces. Set to boil for around 20-25 minutes until soft enough to be mashed. After the pumpkin pieces have boiled, drain them, and keep them in the strainer, with another container under them to collect the excess water. Refrigerate for a few hours (or overnight).
  2. To prepare the pinenut-sumac filling , chop the onion into thin strips, sauté until transparent, add in the pine nuts and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes until the onion becomes golden. Add in the spices and drizzle in the pomegranate sauce.

OR To prepare the spinach-chickpea filling: chop the onion into thin strips, sauté until transparent, add in the spinach until they are wilted but still bright green. Add in the chickpeas, spices, and pomegranate sauce, stirring for an additional minute.


3. Mash the strained pumpkin pieces, adding all the other ingredients. Knead the mixture, adding flour when necessary.

the ready mixture

the ready mixture

4. If you are making flat kibbeh (stretched out in a pan) lightly grease a deep dish baking pan, and spread half the pumpkin mix onto it. Spoon the filling on top.


5. Cover by spreading the remaining pumpkin mix, and smooth the surface of the kibbeh


6. Using a knife, carve through the kibbeh diamond-shaped lines, spray in another 2 tsp of canola oil, and bake in the oven for around 25-30 minutes at 180 degrees.

diamond kibbeh

And this is how the pieces should look like after baking:


OR: HOWEVER, If you are making kibbeh balls (shaped more like rugby balls lol), simply mould the kibbeh mixture into a cup-shape, spoon in 2 teaspoons of the filling, and close the “cup”, creating two pointy corners of the “rugby ball”.

This is how it should look like:

vegan pumpkin kibbeh

 Makes around 26 pieces, a serving is 2 pieces

Serve and enjoy!

Roula 🙂

Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories: Recipes, Vegan

2 Comments on “Vegan Pumpkin-Bulgur Kibbeh”

  1. October 18, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

    Oh my. I must try this. What a great website this is. So glad I found you!


    • October 18, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

      Thank you Laura! I make pumpkin kibbeh once a month (which leaves me with alot to keep in the freezer, enough to have us eating kibbeh several times before the next batch!) I still haven’t tried your apple butter yet, but I will soon 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: