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11 Best Lebanese Cookbooks

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If you are a fan of Lebanese cuisine and wish to recreate your favorite recipes at home, a Lebanese cookbook can be the perfect addition to your kitchen.

So, what are the best Lebanese cookbooks? The best Lebanese cookbooks are written by renowned Lebanese chefs and include both popular as well as traditional recipes. They are easy to understand and follow and allow you to create the perfect Lebanese dishes, down to their presentation.

Read on for a detailed buyer’s guide on the best Lebanese cookbooks and our top picks of the best ones.

What Is Lebanese Cuisine?

Lebanese cuisine is diverse and influenced by both the East and West. Categorized as one of the most popular cuisines of the Middle East, it is an amalgamation of rich culinary traditions that offer a full sensory feast.

From aromatic herbs to roasted meat and floral sweetness, Lebanese food is full of exotic, earthy flavors and beautiful aromas.

Although a majority of Lebanese dishes feature some type of meat – mostly chicken and lamb, and occasionally beef and fish – there are also several vegan dishes thanks to the country’s love of whole grains, legumes, and fresh vegetables.

Many dishes in Lebanon are served in a dining style known as mezze, where a spread of small plates makes up an entire meal.

Common Lebanese Ingredients

Most Lebanese dishes are made with simple ingredients cooked in basic ways such as grilling, frying, and baking. Some of the most common Lebanese ingredients include:

IngredientDescription
SumacA tangy and fragrant spice with a deep red hue used most commonly as a garnish to add a pop of color and slight acidity to a dish.
Za’atarA spice blend that consists of za’atar (wild thyme), sesame seeds, dried sumac, and salt, most commonly used as a seasoning or garnish.
Tahini pasteMade with ground sesame seeds, tahini is mixed with other ingredients, such as olive oil and garlic, to make tahini sauce.
ChickpeasAn annual legume that is considered a superfood, chickpeas are used in several Lebanese dishes such as hummus, falafel, and balila.
ParsleyA mildly bitter grassy herb native to the eastern Mediterranean, parsley is used liberally throughout Lebanese cooking.
SaucesTwo of the most common sauces in Lebanese cuisine are toum and tarator. The former is a garlic sauce with a creamy aioli-type consistency, and the latter, also known as tzatziki, is a garlicky cucumber yogurt.
Rose waterWater flavored with the distilled essence of rose petals, rose water is used in most oriental sweets to add a floral aroma and sweetness to the dish.
Orange blossom waterA common ingredient associated with Lebanese desserts, most notably baklava.
Pomegranate and pomegranate molassesPomegranates have a sweet-tart flavor and are a popular fruit in Lebanon. Pomegranate molasses is reduced pomegranate juice mixed with sugar used to add brightness and acidity to a number of dishes.

Traditional Lebanese Dishes

Lebanese cuisine is so rich and full of delicious flavors. From savory items to the most delectable sweet dishes, it is one of the most popular Middle Eastern cuisines in the world.

It has made its way into the US with dishes like hummus, falafel, and shawarma becoming more popular than ever. Some of the most popular traditional Lebanese dishes include:

  • Falafel – Deep-fried ground chickpeas, onions, garlic, and spices served in a pita with cucumbers, tomatoes, pickled vegetables, tahini, and hot sauce.
  • Hummus – Made with mashed chickpeas and tahini, hummus comes in many varieties and is most often eaten as a dip and served with pita bread and vegetables.
  • Fattoush – Chopped green salad served with fresh vegetables and toasted bits of pita bread, Fattoush is usually topped with a dressing made with sumac and pomegranate molasses.
  • Tabbouleh – Another fresh salad made with chopped fresh herbs, tomatoes, green onions, and cracked bulgur wheat, tabbouleh has several variations with the Lebanese versions usually heavier on the herbs and omitting the bulgur completely.
  • Pita – One of the most popular Lebanese breads in the world, pita bread is a leavened flatbread known for its puffy pocket and is often served with falafel, hummus, and assorted mezze.
  • Kafta – Also known as kofta outside of Lebanon, these are oval-shaped grilled kebabs typically made from ground beef and seasoned with herbs, onions, and spices.
  • Shawarma – Famous worldwide for its ingenuity, shawarma is slow-roasted lamb or chicken meat sliced thinly and serve as a sandwich with fresh and pickled vegetables and other toppings.
  • Baba Ganoush – Also known as baba ghanouj, it is a roasted eggplant dip made with cooked eggplant combined with tahini, olive oil, and other seasonings, and served as an appetizer or mezze.
  • Baklava – One of the most popular and renowned Lebanese desserts, baklava is a flaky pastry made from thin layers of phyllo dough and doused in hot sugar syrup.
  • Kanafeh – Another popular Lebanese dessert, kanafeh is made with shredded strands of phyllo dough soaked in a similar sweet and fragrant sugar syrup and served with cheese.

Best Lebanese Cookbooks – Buyer’s Guide

If you are looking for a good Lebanese cookbook, it may be easy to get overwhelmed by the array of titles available on the topic. 

Since it involves the use of different ingredients and cooking techniques, it is very important that you buy a cookbook that not only covers all the fundamentals but is also easy to follow and understand.

When buying the best Lebanese cookbook, here are a few features to look for:

Niche

A Lebanese cookbook is very different from a regular cookbook as the former is more niche-oriented.

It should contain recipes belonging to the specific cuisine – at least a majority of them – in order to be labelled a Lebanese cookbook.

If you buy a cookbook that includes recipes of other cuisines as well, depending on how elaborate the cookbook is, you may miss out on many great Lebanese recipes due to non-inclusion.

Number Of Recipes

Lebanese cuisine is rich and full of different flavors and textures. In order to be able to experience the diversity of the cuisine, it is important that you buy a cookbook that covers the maximum number of Lebanese recipes.

Other than the number of recipes, make sure it includes recipes not only for the main courses but also for appetizers, sides, drinks, and desserts.

Instructions

A recipe is only as good as the instructions provided to make it. Clear and concise instructions are one of the main features of a good cookbook as it allows you to create the dish with ease.

The instructions should take you through each step of the recipe and explain the method in detail, along with a bit of background for it. Also, they should be written in an easy-to-read font, making the cooking process more enjoyable.

Ingredients

A cookbook, especially one that has recipes from a different culture and cuisine, can have ingredients that are new to you and may be difficult to find.

If they are not as common, they must be described in detail to make the reader understand without having to search for them online. It may also be helpful if there is information on where to find the ingredients.

If the ingredients are too unique and difficult to find, chances are that you’d get frustrated and never use the cookbook at all.

Indexing

The purpose of an index is to give the reader a quick view of the contents of the cookbook. It is usually listed alphabetically and categorized and sub-categorized for easy referencing.

In a cookbook, the index breaks down all the different recipes based on their type and ingredients used. You will find all the appetizer entries under the appetizer category, and all the dessert entries in the dessert category.

Photos

Food photography is an important part of a cookbook as it shows what the final dish should look like and is helpful when making it on your own.

A cookbook with beautiful, colorful photos not only gives you a better understanding of how the dish should be plated and served but also makes the cookbook more fun to read and follow.

Author

The best Lebanese cookbooks are written by professional chefs or passionate individuals with a love for the cuisine.

It is important to see who the author of the cookbook is as it helps gauge the authenticity of the recipes.

For the most authentic Lebanese recipes, look for cookbooks written by Lebanese chefs or people who have plenty of experience cooking authentic Lebanese food.

The Best Lebanese Cookbooks

You can find several great Lebanese cookbooks written in English for all levels of expertise, whether you are a beginner or an expert.

Here are the best Lebanese cookbooks that make it super easy to create delicious Lebanese dishes right in your home kitchen:

RankProductKey Features
1.Julie Taboulie's Lebanese KitchenWritten by the host of an Emmy-nominated cooking show
2.My Lebanese CookbookWritten by the executive chef and owner of Au Za’atar, a restaurant in New York City
3.Classic Lebanese Cuisine170 savory and heart-healthy Lebanese recipes
4.Rose Water and Orange BlossomsWritten by award-winning blogger with an ingredient-focused approach
5.A Taste of LebanonThe first cookbook of its kind devoted specifically to Lebanese cuisine
6.The Lebanese CookbookFeatures 500 authentic and easy-to-make recipes handed through many generations
7.A Lebanese FeastA vegan-friendly book that focuses on healthy recipes
8.Everyday Lebanese CookingEmphasizes using only fresh produce
9.Bayrut: The CookbookAn authentic, stunning cookbook that captures the true essence of Beirut
10.Kibbee 'N' Spice and Everything NiceIncludes popular and easy recipes for Lebanese and American families
11.Lebanese Home CookingWritten by the chef and creator of the first farmers’ market in Beirut

1. Julie Taboulie’s Lebanese Kitchen

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Written by the host of an Emmy-nominated cooking show, “Cooking with Julie Taboulie,” Julie Taboulie’s Lebanese kitchen is one of the best Lebanese cookbooks you will find on the market.

Julie Ann Sageer (nicknamed Julie Taboulie) has a passion for cooking heritage Lebanese meals, which is evident in how meticulous she is with each recipe in this cookbook.

It includes 125 delicious recipes, each of which comes with easy-to-understand instructions, tips, and tricks for making your favorite Lebanese dishes using fresh ingredients.

From classics such as falafel and shawarma to Bazilla (pea stew) and rosewater-infused desserts, you’ll find everything in here.

You will also learn how to prepare Lebanese staples and make your own multi-purpose spice mixes. In addition to delicious meat and chicken dishes, there are also several vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, and gluten-free options as well.

2. My Lebanese Cookbook

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Written by Tarik Fallous, the executive chef and owner of Au Za’atar restaurant in New York City, My Lebanese Cookbook highlights the best of authentic Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisine.

With a focus on fresh produce, whole grains, and aromatic herbs and spices, this easy-to-follow Lebanese cookbook uses regional recipes and flavors to make you familiar with the cooking traditions of Lebanon.

With more than 80 traditional recipes, from baba ganoush to falafel, baked kafta in tahini, and baklava, it provides specially tailored menus for meal pairings and get-togethers.

It also features a glossary of Arabic terminology, serving traditions, and essential ingredients to make the recipes easier to understand and fun to create.

3. Classic Lebanese Cuisine

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Another great find when it comes to Lebanese cooking, this cookbook is filled with savory and heart-healthy Lebanese recipes from renowned chef Kamal Al-Faqih.

With 170 delicious recipes that feature an abundance of vegetables, grains, poultry, lamb, and fresh herbs and spices, Classic Lebanese Cuisine is full of meals with robust, earthy flavors.

It encompasses the full breadth of authentic Lebanese cuisine and includes favorites such as baba ganoush, tabbouli, and kibbi. It also features Al-Faqih’s signature recipes such as fire-roasted wheat with lamb.

With step-by-step instructions and full-color photographs used throughout the cookbook, it makes Lebanese cuisine accessible to everyone – from the novice to the more experienced cooks.

4. Rose Water and Orange Blossoms

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A great cookbook if you want to enjoy authentic Lebanese flavors – from pomegranates and pistachios to floral waters, cinnamon, lentils, and succulent lamb, Rose Water And Orange Blossoms by Maureen Abood has it all.

Growing up as a Lebanese-American in Michigan, the lush flavors of Lebanese cuisine inspired Maureen to launch her award-winning blog by the same name and compile this cookbook with some of the best recipes.

Taking an ingredient-focused approach, Maureen makes the most of every season’s best and freshest ingredients.

With more than 100 irresistible recipes that are all equally delightful to create and enjoy, this cookbook is a definite keeper if you appreciate Lebanese food and want the most authentic flavors.

5. A Taste Of Lebanon

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The first cookbook of its kind devoted specifically to Lebanese cuisine, A Taste of Lebanon, written by Mary Salloum, introduces foreign readers to the rich and lush world of Lebanese food.

With more than 200 recipes developed and tested by the author, it features great quality Lebanese dishes and useful techniques.

Classified as the best Lebanese cooking guide for beginners as it has simple step-by-step instructions, this oldie but goldie is also loved for its simplistic methods for making delicious food.

Praised by readers for having valuable knowledge and information, it not only offers recipes for popular Lebanese dishes but also for dishes that are a rarity in Lebanese restaurants in the West.

6. The Lebanese Cookbook

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A great collection of Lebanese recipes and techniques, The Lebanese Cookbook is written by Salma Hage, an experienced cook of Lebanese origin who also happens to be the winner of the James Beard Award.

It features 500 authentic and easy-to-make recipes handed through many generations and includes a comprehensive compilation of the author’s family favorite Lebanese recipes.

From light and refreshing mezzes and salads to soups, hearty main courses, bread and pastries, desserts, drinks, and pickles and jams, it is a definitive guide into the world of Lebanese food. 

It also includes vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options and is full of vibrant pictures of various recipes to make them easier to follow.

7. A Lebanese Feast

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A vegan-friendly book that manages to impress readers with its take on vegan ingredients, A Lebanese Feast is written by Mona Hamadeh who shares her love and passion for Lebanon and its delicious and healthy cuisine.

It focuses on the healthier side of Lebanese food and features a huge variety of vegetarian dishes, from mezze platters, and specialty sweets, to traditional dishes and street food.

The main idea here is to introduce readers to the traditional dishes of Lebanon with a stunning combination of flavors.

What’s great about it is that it focuses on using basic ingredients to prepare rich and delicious Lebanese meals that can be enjoyed by all!

8. Everyday Lebanese Cooking

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Another great cookbook from Mona Hamadeh, Everyday Lebanese Cooking emphasizes using only fresh produce and a mix of meat, dairy, and fresh fruit and vegetables to create the healthiest and most delicious Lebanese dishes.

It includes a variety of dishes from Lebanon including the most famous hummus, baba ganoush, and tabouleh, through to the most authentic and traditional recipes from the rural mountains of Lebanon.

With simple and easy-to-follow recipes, you will learn how to turn a few ingredients into a delicious and healthy meal with this book.

Definitely a keeper if you love Lebanese food, each recipe in this cookbook is accompanied by a photograph to entice the reader and help them visualize the final look of the dish.

9. Bayrut: The Cookbook

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Beirut is the capital of Lebanon with a thriving and vibrant reputation when it comes to food, and this cookbook by Hisham Assaad, a Lebanese chef and photographer, captures its true essence.

It is an authentic, stunning cookbook that captures the best that the city has to offer, from classics to the more modern favorites.

With stunning food and travel photography, it also includes wonderful commentary and stories that transport you to the city of Beirut and its mouth-watering cuisine.

A must-have in your kitchen if you love Lebanese food, it is perfect for learning how to create lavish breakfast spreads, traditional Sunday feasts, fresh and vibrant salads, and so much more!

10. Kibbee ‘N’ Spice and Everything Nice

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Kibbee ‘N’ Spice And Everything Nice is a celebration of the love of Lebanese cuisine and includes popular and easy recipes for Lebanese and American families.

Written by renowned author Janet Klush, born to a Lebanese family in Michigan, this cookbook is a delight for all types of readers.

With a variety of recipes, well-explained instructions, and beautiful pictures, it promises great results with every recipe, making it a must-have guide to Lebanese food.

11. Lebanese Home Cooking

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Lebanese Home Cooking, written by Kamal Mouzawak, the chef and creator of the first farmers’ market in Beirut, Souk el-Taye, and owner of award-winning Lebanese restaurant, Tawlet, this cookbook is a great introduction to the world of Lebanese cooking.

Consisting of 50 recipes that have been passed on from one generation to another, it teaches traditional Lebanese recipes with regional and religious variations.

With a focus on vegetarian dishes, its versatile, easy, and equally delicious recipes have made this cookbook a favorite among ambitious cooks.

Final Thoughts

Lebanese cuisine is incredibly delicious and has made its way into the US as well. From hummus to shawarma and falafel, it’s full of incredible flavors and aromas.

The cookbooks listed above are some of the best ones you will find for Lebanese cooking, and we’re sure they’ll make cooking a treat!

With their help, you’ll be able to create a variety of Lebanese dishes and wow your guests with your cooking skills!

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