Start your next gathering with fatayer, a Lebanese meat pie that can be served as an appetizer! Featuring ground beef or lamb, a special Lebanese blend of 7 spices, tender red onions, and buttery pine nuts. Pair them with your favorite dipping sauce.
Whenever I have people over the house, I always like to have a spread of things to snack on. Whether it’s for a dinner party, game day, or just a few friends hanging out, it’s a great excuse to try out new recipes.
Some of my best-loved apps include these Chinese scallion pancakes served with chili oil, homemade crab Rangoon, and Mediterranean flatbread pizza. While I love a good plate of wings with a side of ranch, it’s always fun to serve up something unexpected.
Fatayer is a Lebanese meat pie made with your ground meat of choice (I usually opt for beef or lamb) paired with spices, seasonings, and a bit of red onion stuffed into a soft and flaky shell made from an easy homemade dough. There are also recipes for Lebanese spinach pie out there, but I like the pop of meat and protein in this dish. If you’ve been on the lookout for a unique snack, you’ve found it!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Yeast – Use active dry yeast for your homemade dough.
- Warm Water – Warm water activates the yeast before you add it to the rest of the dough ingredients. Not too hot, or it will kill the yeast instead — it should be between 105 and 110 degrees F.
- Sugar – The sugar also helps to activate and soften the yeast.
- All-Purpose Flour – Like most doughs, flour is the base for the crust for your fatayer.
- Salt – Needed for both the dough and the meat filling.
- Vegetable Oil – Also used in the dough!
- Ground Meat – You can use beef or lamb. If you want to make Lebanese spinach pie, replace with spinach.
- Lemon Juice – The added acidity from the lemons tenderizes the meat and brings out its natural flavors.
- Lebanese 7 Spice Blend – Make it yourself using my recipe, or you can buy it online or in the supermarket.
- Black Pepper – Added to the meat filling.
- Red Onion – This ingredient adds even more flavor to the overall results. Red onions take on a slightly sweet flavor when cooked.
- Pine Nuts – Nutty, buttery, and a little sweet, I love the addition of pine nuts in this snack.
- Dipping Sauces – I love serving this Lebanese meat pie recipe with my tahini yogurt sauce or red shatta sauce!
HOW TO MAKE FATAYER
1. Activate The Yeast. Using a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together the yeast and sugar in warm water. Set the mixture aside until it becomes foamy — it should take around 10 minutes.
2. Mix The Dough. Add the flour and salt to a medium-sized bowl and mix with your hands. You can also use a stand mixer bowl. Create a well in the center, then add the oil and yeast mixture. Slowly mix with your hand (or the dough hook attachment) and knead until you end up with a soft, smooth, and tacky dough. Remove it from the bowl and set it on a clean surface. Lightly coat the bowl with a bit of oil or cooking spray, then place the dough ball back inside and cover with plastic. Set it aside for about 90 minutes so that it can rise.
3. Create The Filling. Before you get started, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and place parchment paper or silicone mat on two baking trays. Place the pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat and toast until golden brown, then set aside. Add the raw meat, lemon juice, spices, onion, and pine nuts to a bowl and mix.
4. Assemble The Fatayer. Roll out your dough on a flat work surface until it is ⅛-inch thick. Cut it into 4-inch rounds so that you have 24 in total. Place the rounds on the baking sheets and add the filling. Fold three sides of the dough over to form a triangle and seal the edges gently as you pinch them closed.
5. Bake. Brush each Lebanese meat pie with vegetable oil or spray with cooking spray. Bake them for 18-20 minutes or until they become golden brown. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce like my Tahini Yogurt or Red Shatta Sauce.
What Is Fatayer Made Of?
Also called Lebanese meat pie or Lebanese spinach pie, fatayer are savory pies filled with meat or vegetables. My recipe is for the meat version, using either ground beef or ground lamb. Some recipes also include cheese, but I enjoy them without.
What Country Is Fatayer From?
Stuffed meat pies are enjoyed throughout the Middle East, and this particular version hails from Lebanon. It’s typically served as an appetizer or is included on a mezze platter, and always comes with a few dipping sauce options! Again, there is also a vegetarian-friendly version called Lebanese spinach pie.
How Do You Shape Fatayer?
It’s really easy to form your Lebanese meat pie once you get a hang of it! Follow the instructions on the recipe card below and refer to the photos above to learn how.
Fatayer (Savory Levantine Hand Pie)
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together the warm water, sugar and yeast. Set the yeast mixture aside to rest until it becomes foamy, about 10 minutes.
- With your hand mix the flour and salt in a medium bowl or stand mixer bowl. Make a well in the center and add the oil and yeast mixture. Using your hand or dough hook attachment, slowly mix, kneading until the dough is very soft, smooth, and tacky.
- Tip the dough out onto a clean surface and lightly coat the sides of the bowl with cooking spray or some more oil. Transfer the dough back into the bowl, turning to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 90 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prep 2 baking trays with parchment paper or silicon baking mat.
- In a small skillet over medium heat dry toast the pine nuts until golden brown and fragrant. Set aside.
- In a bowl mix together the raw ground meat, lemon juice, spices, onion and pine nuts. Set aside.
- Roll the dough out on clean work surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into 4-inch rounds, kneading together the scraps, to make 24 total.
- Place dough rounds on baking sheets and place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the center of each round. Bring three sides of the dough up and against the filling, forming a triangle. Seal the dough edges gently as you pinch the seams closed.
- Brush or spray the fatayer with cooking spray or vegetable oil. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.