Because the Middle East is made up of all the countries located near or along the Arabian Peninsula—including Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Morocco, and Iran— 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 too!
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 BEC 😲). 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.