Meat pies (Sfeeha)

Origin and Region: Meat pies, known as Sfeeha in Arabic, have origins in the Levantine region of the Middle East, particularly in countries like Lebanon, Syria, Jordan. However, variations of meat pies are also found in other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries.

Meat pies, or Sfeeha, are savory pastries filled with seasoned ground meat, onions, pine nuts, and aromatic spices. These delicious handheld snacks are popular across the Middle East and are often enjoyed as appetizers, snacks, or part of a meal.

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  • For the dough:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • For the filling:
  • 1 pound ground lamb or beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for brushing

Optional Toppings:

  • Sumac
  • Sesame seeds
  • Pomegranate molasses


  • Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled in size for best results.
  • Toast the pine nuts lightly before adding them to the filling for extra flavor.
  • Adjust the spices according to your taste preferences.
  • Use lean ground meat for a healthier option.
  • Brush the tops of the meat pies with olive oil before baking to give them a golden crust.


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until frothy.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and olive oil, then knead until a smooth dough forms.
  3. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. In the meantime, prepare the filling. In a skillet, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened.
  5. Add the ground meat to the skillet and cook until browned, breaking it up with a spoon.
  6. Stir in the tomato paste, pine nuts, chopped parsley, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes, then remove from heat and let it cool.
  7. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Punch down the dough and divide it into equal-sized balls. Roll out each ball into a circle about 4-5 inches in diameter.
  9. Place a spoonful of the meat filling in the center of each dough circle. Fold the edges of the dough over the filling to form a triangle or boat shape, pinching the edges to seal.
  10. Place the meat pies on the prepared baking sheet, leaving some space between them. Brush the tops with olive oil and sprinkle with optional toppings if desired.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
  12. Serve the meat pies warm as a snack or appetizer.

Meat pies, or Sfeeha, are savory pastries filled with a spiced mixture of ground meat, onions, pine nuts, and aromatic herbs and spices. These delicious handheld treats have a golden crust and a flavorful filling, making them a favorite snack or appetizer in the Middle East.

Nutritional Information:

  • Serving Size: 1 meat pie
  • Calories: Approximately 200
  • Total Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 20mg
  • Sodium: 150mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 22g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2g
  • Sugars: 1g
  • Protein: 10g

Conclusion and Recommendation:
Meat pies, or Sfeeha, are a delicious and satisfying snack or appetizer that showcases the flavors of the Middle East. Whether enjoyed on their own or as part of a meal, these savory pastries are sure to be a hit with family and friends. Try making a batch of homemade meat pies for your next gathering and savor the taste of authentic Middle Eastern cuisine.

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