33 Middle Eastern Recipes That Go Beyond Falafel and Hummus (2024)

33 Middle Eastern Recipes That Go Beyond Falafel and Hummus (1)

The Middle East is made up of all the countries located near or along the Arabian Peninsula—including Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Morocco, and Iran— naturally, its food consists of diverse flavors (though there are some unifying standouts) and cooking methods. We regularly include influences from them when cooking in our own kitchens, using traditional ingredients like harissa and tahini almost daily. Check out these 33 Middle Eastern recipes and soon you’ll be inspired to do the same!

We bet you’ve had some Middle Eastern favorites, like falafel and hummus. Falafel gets a lot of play here at Delish, so we’ve got 4 recipes for you, including baked, vegan and air fryer options (no oil = less mess, hurray). Stuff them in a pita or serve them over couscous for an easy lunch you’ll look forward to. If making falafel feels like too much of a project, try a sabich sandwich with grilled veggies (some days we even swap this in for our beloved breakfast B.E.C 😲). Just don’t forget one of our incredible Middle Eastern sauces, like garlic toum, a halal cart-style white sauce, or red pepper and walnut muhammara.

Looking for something more substantial for dinner? Try our kibbeh saniye, a bulgur and beef pie that also makes a great appetizer, or lamb tagine, a Moroccan spiced stew. While Middle Eastern food does have a large focus on meat in the form of lamb, beef, or chicken, there’s also tons of meatless options. Some of our favorite roasted vegetables pop up often on Middle Eastern menus, like roasted cauliflower and grilled artichokes.

And don’t forget dessert. Try your hand at making baklava for a surefire after-dinner showstopper, or enjoy a chunk of halva for a sweet treat any time of day.

For more region-specific ideas, check out our list of Asian, Spanish, Italian, and Greek dishes.

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1

Grilled Artichokes

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There's no denying the artichoke's allure: they're the roses of the vegetable kingdom. We're pairing the smoky flavors of the grill here with a cool, green pistachio-yogurt cream and adding a little bit of spice and crunch with fried garlic chips and a pistachio-sesame topping.

Get the Grilled Artichoke recipe.

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2

Shakshuka

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Originating in North Africa and now strongly associated with Israeli cuisine, shakshuka typically involves a sauce of tomatoes and red peppers. Ours is mildly spicy, full of flavor, and has perfectly runny eggs.

Get the Shakshuka recipe.

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3

Roasted Vegetable Baked Falafel Sandwiches

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Although these shortcut falafel aren’t as crispy as the classic fried variety, they develop a nice golden crust and contain all the key spices. A zippy roasted pepper salad is the perfect foil, and creamy tahini sauce (aka tarator sauce) ties it all together.

Get the Roasted Vegetable Baked Falafel Sandwiches recipe.

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4

Moroccan Lamb Tagine

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Tagine refers to both the pot and the stew like dish that is cooked inside, but don't write off making a tagine if you don't own a tagine pot. We made ours in a Dutch oven and it comes out perfectly!

Get the Moroccan Lamb Tagine recipe.

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5

Creamy Garlic Hummus

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Hummus is a Middle Eastern dish made of chickpeas and tahini. Garlic or roasted red peppers and other spices are common additions. It's great as a veggie dip or with pita chips.

Get the Creamy Garlic Hummus recipe.

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6

Homemade Pita Bread

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Pita bread (also known as Arabic bread and Syrian bread) is a yeast-leavened flatbread common in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. It can be made with or without an interior pocket (but we love the pocket for stuffing falafel and grilled veggies into!).

Get the Homemade Pita Bread recipe.

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7

Walnut and Pistachio Baklava

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Sticky and rich, baklava is a dessert made of layered sheets of phyllo dough, nuts, spices, sugar and/or honey. Our version uses walnuts and pistachios but feel free to use whichever nuts you like the most.

Get the Walnut and Pistachio Baklava recipe.

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8

Sabich Sandwich

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This hearty vegetarian dish is based on a traditional Iraqi breakfast, and is popular among Iraqi-Israelis. With flavorful seared and marinated eggplant slices, fresh cucumber salad, and creamy tahini sauce, this juicy sandwich is great for any meal.

Get the Sabich Sandwich recipe.

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9

Best-Ever Baba Ghanoush

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We like our eggplant-based baba ghanoush GARLICKY. If you don't, skip grating the raw clove in at the end. Without it, you'll have a more subtle (slightly sweet) garlic flavor that will still make everyone very, very happy.

Get the Best-Ever Baba Ghanoush recipe.

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10

Best-Ever Tabouli Salad

This Lebanese (or Syrian, depending who you ask 😉) salad is sure to improve whatever it's paired with. Bright, fresh herbs get friendly with sweet tomatoes and a sharp lemon dressing to create the salad equivalent of a breath of fresh air.

Get the Best-Ever Tabouli Salad recipe.

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11

Garlic Toum

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Toum is a Middle Eastern garlic spread made of just garlic, lemon juice, salt, and oil—garlic lovers, this recipe is for you!

Get the Garlic Toum recipe.

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12

Lamb Meatballs

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We paired these spiced, herby meatballs with an addicting green goddess sauce, and couldn't stop eating them. They'll soon be a new favorite of yours too!

Get the Lamb Meatballs recipe.

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13

Easy Halva

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Halva is a Middle Eastern tahini-based treat similar to fudge, but less sweet and more crumbly. We're obsessed.

Get the Easy Halva recipe.

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14

Tahini Sauce

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The Delish team solidly believes that tahini should be in your kitchen at all times. Not only is it a delicious topping for hummus or shawarma but can even be delicious mixed with a bit of honey and drizzled on oats!

Get the Tahini Sauce recipe.

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15

Air Fryer Falafel

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We love making these well-spiced falafel in our air fryer—they only take 15 minutes per batch, and stay nice and tender.

Get the Air Fryer Falafel recipe.

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16

Halal Cart-Style White Sauce

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This luxuriously creamy street food rock star has just the right amount of tang. Drizzle on beef, lamb, chicken, or grains or serve as a dip with crudités.

Get the Halal Cart-Style White Sauce recipe.

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17

Lemony Herb Couscous

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While often mistaken for a grain, Israeli couscous is actually pasta! It's a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine that pairs well with everything from lamb to vegetables.

Get the Lemony Herb Couscous recipe.

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18

Fattoush

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Fattoush is a very fresh and bright salad usually served alongside a protein to help cut the fat. Pro tip: Let the juices that drip to the bottom of the salad serve as extra dressing for whatever you're eating next to it.

Get the Fattoush recipe.

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19

Kibbeh Saniye

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This dish used to be considered a poor man's food that used the bulgur wheat to make the ground beef go further. Now it's a great main dish (perhaps served alongside some tabouli salad and tahini sauce?) or appetizer!

Get the Kibbeh Saniye recipe.

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20

Moroccan Carrot Salad

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This carrot-and-raisin salad gets an upgrade with a slightly spicy, slightly sweet, and very addicting sauce. It brings out the sweet freshness of the carrots and makes the whole dish sing. We are tempted to pour it over all of our salads from here on out.

Get the Moroccan Carrot Salad recipe.

33 Middle Eastern Recipes That Go Beyond Falafel and Hummus (2024)
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