These fragrant rice balls stuffed with ground beef are inspired by a traditional Middle Eastern dish and are a great make-ahead option for easy lunches or dinners. The baked kibbeh will keep refrigerated for up to three days and reheat wonderfully in the microwave, or freeze them uncooked to have ready to bake for fast weeknight meals.
In a medium saucepan, bring 3 1/2 cups water to a boil. Stir in rice and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Cover, lower heat, and cook until rice is tender and water is absorbed, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover and let cool.
Meanwhile, combine beef and onion in a large skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until onion is tender and beef is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of the mint and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Let cool.
Combine rice, remaining 1/3 cup mint and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse until rice is slightly broken up; do not overprocess or mixture will be too sticky.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Dampen your hands to prevent them from sticking, scoop up about 1/4 cup rice mixture and form into a ball. Press your thumb in the center and press out until you have a bowl shape. Place about 1 tablespoon beef filling in the center, then press rice mixture over filling to enclose. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until you have used remaining rice mixture and filling, dampening your hands as needed; you should have about 24 kibbeh. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn kibbeh over and bake until firm on the outside, 15 to 20 minutes more.
Alternatively, freeze kibbeh before baking: Place the baking sheet in the freezer until kibbeh are frozen solid, about 2 hours. Transfer kibbeh to resealable plastic bags and freeze for up to 3 months. Place frozen kibbeh on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and bake at 325°F until firm, about 1 hour, flipping halfway through.
Per Serving: About 4 kibbeh, 280 calories (30 from fat), 3.5g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 30mg cholesterol, 330mg sodium, 45g carbohydrate (4g dietary fiber, 1g sugar), 16g protein
Serves 6, dairy free, gluten free, sugar conscious, wheat free
Note: We’ve provided special diet and nutritional information for educational purposes. But remember — we’re cooks, not doctors! You should follow the advice of your health-care provider. And since product formulations change, check product labels for the most recent ingredient information.
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