29 Middle Eastern-Inspired Mezze Recipes
Put together a delicious spread of authentic and Middle Eastern-inspired recipes from the cuisines of Turkey, Lebanon and more. Mezze, also spelled meze, means small plates and are served similar to tapas. We like to pair these flavorful Middle Eastern recipes with shish kebabs, lamb, chicken or fish. Try recipes like Chickpeas with Garlicky Yogurt & Toasted Pita (Fatteh Hommos), Pumpkin Kibbeh (Kebbet Laa'tin) and more.
Tomato Dolma with Roasted Eggplant (Köz Patlicanli Domates Dolmasi)
Dolma are stuffed vegetables common from the Mediterranean all the way to Central Asia. This easy recipe pairs ripe tomatoes with a ground beef filling that's lightened with eggplant and onions. Serve the stuffed tomatoes as a starter or double up for a main dish.
Cucumber with Basil, Yogurt, Walnuts & Browned Butter (Yanik Tereyagli Cacik)
You may not typically serve your cucumbers bruised, but intentionally smashing them releases their flavorful juices. Taking the time to soak the walnuts for this dish gives them a special soft texture and plumpness. Serve this vegetable dish with pita as part of a mezze platter or as a side salad.
You'll look like an expert with this easy hummus recipe that produces the lightest, silkiest hummus you've ever had. Chilling the cooked chickpeas ensures that when they're blended with the oil and cold tahini the hummus will come out creamy rather than oily. In a pinch, you can use the quick-soak technique (see Step 1), reduce the chilling time and still get great hummus.
Chickpeas with Garlicky Yogurt & Toasted Pita (Fatteh Hommos)
Fatteh means "broken" and signifies a dish of toasted bread pieces mixed with other ingredients. In this easy recipe, the yogurt is also "broken" with tahini, garlic and oil. Enjoy it immediately, before the crispy bread gets soggy from the yogurt.
Pumpkin Kibbeh (Kebbet Laa'tin)
"Kibbeh" describes dishes made with bulgur, onions and spices. That mixture is combined with everything from tomatoes to goat. It's layered and baked, shaped into balls or footballs, stuffed, deep-fried or eaten raw. This vegetarian kibbeh recipe is made with pumpkin and stuffed with seasoned greens. Sorrel adds a lemony flavor, but you can use chard or kale and add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to the filling. Use fine bulgur or the texture of the dough will be gritty.
Yogurt with Beets (Borani Chogondar)
Borani, a Middle Eastern yogurt dip, can be made with anything from spinach to eggplant to carrots. This recipe gets its shockingly pink color from grated beets. Make it ahead--the longer it sits, the better it tastes.
Cucumber & Pomegranate Salad (Salad-e Khiar-o Anar)
A platter of herbs, scallions and feta is typically served alongside Persian meals in lieu of a Western-style green salad. They are meant to be folded into flatbread as an accompaniment to a meal (or sometimes as the meal itself). This salad is a riff on that, with pomegranate seeds and cucumbers mixed in.
Olive Oil-Braised Jewish Zucchini Peels (Kashkarikas)
A popular Sephardic Jewish dish, cuajado, is made with just the zucchini flesh mixed with fresh cheese and matzo meal. This vegetable side dish recipe was created so the peels wouldn't go to waste. Serve as an appetizer or a side dish. Use any leftover zucchini flesh in stuffings, breads and muffins or just sauté with garlic in olive oil.
Eggplant with Sweet-Sour Onions & Pickled Cherries (Visneli Patlican Bayildi)
This layered dish features super-tender roasted eggplant and sweet sautéed onions spiked with tart and fruity pomegranate molasses. Serve with pita as part of a mezze course or as a side with a larger meal.
Potatoes with Green Tahini Sauce
The cilantro- and lemon-laced tahini sauce is a perfect bold partner for potatoes in this Middle-Eastern-style potato salad recipe. The green tahini sauce is also great tossed with roasted carrots or broccoli.
Lamb with Mint, Orange & Pistachios
Serve this garlic- and cumin-flavored ground lamb recipe as a topping for hummus, or double the serving size, add some pita and a side salad and you've got an easy and healthy weeknight dinner.
Roasted Beet Salad
Walnuts, red onion and dill make this roasted beet salad recipe a fantastic accompaniment to chicken or topping for hummus. If you can't find beets with greens attached, use 1 pound of beets and 8 ounces of chard leaves.
Marinated Eggplant with Green Chermoula
Herbs, lemon, garlic, olive oil and cumin give this healthy eggplant recipe wonderful flavor perfect for pairing with roasted or grilled chicken, lamb or fish.
Matbucha (Slow-Cooked Tomato Sauce)
This slow-cooked tomato sauce recipe takes a little time but yields incredible results. Use it as a topping for chicken or salmon, stir it into a soup or stew, or use it as the base for an amazing pasta sauce.
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Walnuts
Walnuts, tahini, dill and lemon make an irresistible, earthy sauce for roasted cauliflower in this healthy salad recipe. Serve this cauliflower salad with hummus, grilled chicken and pita for a Middle Eastern-inspired healthy dinner.
Grilled eggplant is pureed along with garlic, lemon juice and tahini to make a lighter version of the classic Middle Eastern dip. If you can't find ground sumac for the garnish, chopped pistachios are traditional as well. Serve with pita wedges or use as a spread for sandwiches.
Chickpea & Bulgur Stuffed Grape Leaves
Think hummus meets tabbouleh in these vegetarian stuffed grape leaves, bursting with chickpeas, parsley and bulgur tied together with a lemony, garlicky sauce. The grape leaves will seem soft when just finished cooking, but will firm up as they cool. We prefer these at room temperature or cold--perfect for bringing to work for lunch.
Serve this tart, parsley-dominated tabbouleh at your next backyard gathering.
Chickpea Burgers & Tahini Sauce
Rather than a heavy, fried falafel, here's a lighter version of the pocket sandwich: a chickpea patty served in a whole-wheat pita with a flavorful and lower-in-fat tahini sauce. Make it a Meal: Serve with a tomato-&-feta salad or Parsley Tabbouleh. Wash it down with an organic Wit Bier from Wolaver's.
Tabbouleh with Chickpeas
This tabbouleh recipe with chickpeas has lots of parsley, mint, tomatoes and cucumbers. Toasting brings out the flavor in the cumin, and cinnamon adds a subtle depth to the flavors. Bring this tabbouleh recipe as a side to a party or serve as a one-dish supper for 6 instead of 8.
Eggplant Bulgur Pilaf
One of the most important dishes at a Turkish table, this simple pilaf recipe features a combination of eggplant and bulgur. It is often an accompaniment to meat or chicken.
Lemon & Oregano Lamb Chops
Juicy lamb chops take a trip to the Middle East with a quick herb-and-lemon rub and a tangy cucumber-tahini sauce. Serve with couscous or rice pilaf and a green salad.
This satisfying Middle Eastern wrap is full of dolmas and fresh vegetables. It makes a great take-along lunch if you pack the components separately.
Turkish Lamb & Eggplant Kebabs
Here we combine baharat, a traditional Arabic spice blend, with olive oil, lemon, garlic and tomato paste to make it into a savory rub to flavor lamb-and-vegetable kebabs.
Toasting the pita adds crunch to this bright-tasting salad, and a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of ground sumac--the berry of a bush that grows wild all over Lebanon--add depth. Letting the salad sit for a bit before eating allows the pita to soak up the lemony dressing.
Bulgur & Lentils
Caramelized onions add deep flavor to this fast take on the Middle Eastern dish mjadra, a simple vegetarian recipe featuring bulgur and lentils. Serve with a salad of chopped parsley, tomato and cucumber tossed with a lemon vinaigrette.
Spiced ground lamb, feta and pine nuts top this Armenian-flavored pizza. Beer pairing: ?Break out the stout--the rich, sweet flavors from the lamb and pomegranate molasses yearn for an equally rich, sweet beer.
Lebanese Potato Salad
?Dressed with a tangy lemon vinaigrette and fresh mint, this invigorating--and dairy-free--potato salad makes the perfect summer potluck contribution.
Kibbeh, a seasoned lamb and bulgur mixture, is one of the national dishes of Lebanon. It's often served raw, drizzled with olive oil, with slices of sharp white onion and fresh pita bread alongside, but is also baked or stuffed and deep-fried. This baked version uses lean ground turkey to cut fat and finely shredded zucchini to keep it moist while baking. Make it a meal: serve with toasted pita bread and a salad tossed with a lemon vinaigrette.