Lebanese Lamb Pies (Lamb Fatayar)

This recipe is a slight modification of the meat fatayar recipe by Maureen Abood from Rose Water & Orange Blossoms.

Serves 12 to 24

Makes 24 to 30


  • Dough
    • 1/4 cups of warm water (98 to 110 degrees F)
    • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 3 cups all purpose flour (390g)
    • 1/2 teaspoons table salt or 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/3 cup of a neutral oil, such as sunflower or safflower oil
    • 3/4 cut warm water (98 to 110 degrees F)
    • 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Meat Filling
    • 1/2 pound coarse ground lamb
    • 1 small onion, finely diced
    • Juice of 1 lemon (3 to 4 tablespoons of lemon juice)
    • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground mace
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt
    • Few grinds black pepper


Pan to toast pine nuts, 2 medium size bowls, rolling pin, 4 inch round cutter, 2 parchment paper sheets cut to fit half sheet pans, 2 half sheet pans, cutting board, knife, pepper grinder or heavy skillet to crush peppercorns, small bowl or a mug


  1. Dough
    1. In a small bowl or a mug, dissolve 1 teaspoon of sugar into 1/4 cup of warm water. Stir 1 tablespoon of dry active yeast into the sugar water. Let the yeast activate for about 15 minutes.
    2. In a medium size bowl, mix the 3 cups of all purpose flour with the salt.
    3. Make a well in the middle of the flour to pour liquid ingredients into.
    4. Pour in the 1/3 cup of oil and the yeast mixture into the well in the middle of the flour.
    5. Using your hand, slowly stir the liquids and flour together. Once the mixture has been combined, slowly mix in the 3/4 cup of water to make a sticky dough. (You may not need to use all the water.)
    6. Knead by hand until the dough is very soft, smooth, and tacky/sticky to the touch (but it should not leave dough on your fingers when touched).
    7. Place kneaded dough back into the medium size bowl and cover with a plastic wrap or a plate, if the plate will cover the bowl. (That’s right, I don’t oil the bowl or dough.)
    8. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, 60 to 90 minutes
  2. Meat Filling (Make while waiting for the dough to rise.)
    1. Toast pine nuts in pan on the stove top. Heat the pan over medium high heat, when a drop of water will skitter on the pan, add the pine nuts. Stir them constantly and when lightly browned, pour them from the pan onto a plate. Spread them out on the plate to allow them to cool.
    2. Once pine nuts have cooled down, warm to the touch, mix all the meat filling ingredients together.
  3. Assembly
    1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
    2. Line 2 baking sheets with the pre-cut parchment paper. (If you don’t have parchment paper, you can oil the baking sheets.)
    3. Divide the dough into half.
    4. On dry work surface, using lightly floured rolling pin, toll the dough out to 1/8-inch thickness. To help prevent contraction of the dough, carefully lift the dough from the edges.
    5. As close together as you can, cut the dough into 4-inch circles. Knead together the scraps, cover with a bowl, and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.
    6. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the center of each circle of dough. “Be careful not to let the filling touch the edges of the dough where it will be gathered together and closed. A good way to keep the filling in the center is to lower the spoon with the filling over the center of the dough (parallel to it) and use your fingers to slide the filling off the spoon and into the center of the dough circle—or just use your fingers and no spoon.”
    7. These pies have three sides and a bottom. You need to turn a circle with a lump of filling into three sides. Bring two sides of the dough together, a third of way up the mound of filling. Pinch the seam from the top of the pie to the bottom. Bring the last side up, over the filling. The three sides of the dough should meet together in the center over the filling. Pinch the other two sides and you should have a triangle pie. It’s okay to leave an opening at the top of the fatayar. This will allow steam to escape.
    8. Place the fatayar on the baking sheet. Repeat until all the circles have been turned into pies. Spray the pies with olive oil or brush them with olive oil.
    9. Place baking sheet in the middle of the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
    10. Repeat the Steps 4 to 9 with the other half of the dough, then with the scraps that have been kneaded together and left to rest for at lest 10 minutes.


The ground lamb can be replaced by ground chuck or sirloin.

7 thoughts on “Lebanese Lamb Pies (Lamb Fatayar)

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