Give dinner an exotic twist with these Egyptian recipes!
With influences from the Middle East and Mediterranean cuisines, it’s no wonder Egyptian food is amazing.
With these easy recipes, you’ll get to enjoy it at home.
Its fascinating history and culture (not to mention the breathtaking ancient pyramids) make Egypt a fantastic destination. Every adventurer I know has it on their bucket list!
Traditional Egyptian dishes typically include rice, bread, and figs.
While that’s awesome, what gives the cuisine more character and flavor is its influence from neighboring countries.
From creamy hummus to hearty shawarma, Egyptian food has the best the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines have to offer.
Don’t have the budget to travel to Egypt just yet? Explore the beautiful country from home! These Egyptian recipes have you covered.
1. Koshari (Rice with Crispy Onions and Tomato Sauce)
What better way to start off this list than with Egypt’s national dish?
Koshari, or kushari, is a hearty dish of lentils, chickpeas, rice, and pasta in tomato sauce with crispy fried onions on top.
If you want to load up on carbs, this is the dish for you!
This hodgepodge of beans and starches is a classic comfort food in Egypt. A spoonful of koshari is sure to cure your blues.
2. Egyptian Lentil Soup
Lentils are a staple in Egyptian cuisine, and this soup highlights the legume in its glory.
Different Egyptian states have their version of the soup. If you like your soup with a bit of a kick, this version is the one to beat.
Red lentils, potatoes, carrots, onion, and celery are pureed to make one smooth, creamy, and ridiculously tasty soup.
Cumin, paprika, turmeric, and cayenne add warmth and spice to boot.
It may look plain and simple, but it actually has such a complex flavor.
Every vegetable adds a different layer of flavor, and the blend of spices makes it impeccable.
3. Fattah (Meat with Rice, Toasted Pita and Tomato Sauce)
Fattah is a stand-alone dish complete with lamb or beef, rice, pita bread, and a delectable garlic tomato sauce.
Each component works together to create one harmonious and ridiculously delicious dish. One bite will get you hooked!
Fattah is traditionally served during special occasions such as weddings and Ramadan. It’s that good.
4. Ful Medames
Ful medames is a traditional Egyptian breakfast featuring fava beans.
Flavored with garlic and olive oil, it’s a filling and flavorful dish served everywhere in Egypt, from fancy restaurants to busy streets.
It’s so terrific it’s even pharaoh-approved! There’s even an old Arab saying that goes, “beans have satisfied even the pharaohs.”
5. Egyptian Hummus
Hummus is a classic Middle Eastern sauce, spread, or dip that’s popular all over the world.
Made from mashed chickpeas and flavored with tahini (sesame paste), garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice, hummus is rich, creamy, and downright delicious.
Use hummus as a pasta or salad sauce, a sandwich filling, or a dip to pita chips. As long as you’re creative, you’ll never run out of ways to use it!
6. Dukkah (Nut, Seed, and Spice Blend)
Dukkah is a signature Egyptian seasoning that combines nuts, seeds, and spices. If you’re looking to spice up your food the Egyptian way, this recipe is for you.
Don’t worry, you won’t need exotic herbs and spices to pull this off.
In fact, I’m sure you already have everything you need in your pantry: coriander, cumin, sesame seeds, and nuts.
Use dukkah to flavor meats, veggies, and even bread. Oh, what difference it makes!
7. Egyptian Hawawshi
Hawawshi is basically the Egyptian version of the American hamburger. If I’m being honest, I think it’s way better. Try this recipe and find out for yourself!
Crispy pita pockets are filled with a mixture of ground beef, onions, and peppers.
Adding to the excitement is the hawawshi seasoning, a mix of allspice, paprika, cardamom, cinnamon, and more.
This blend of spices can transform any dish from bland to brilliant.
8. Egyptian Lentils and Rice
Lentils and rice, or koshari, is a staple in the Egyptian dinner table.
It combines the goodness of rice, chickpeas, and lentils to make a seriously hearty dish.
Tying them all together is a rich tomato sauce that’s too delicious for words.
This recipe used the slow cooker, so trust that it’s ridiculously easy to make.
9. Egyptian Tomato Sauce
Tomato sauce is ubiquitous in Egyptian meals. You’ll find it being used on pasta, rice, noodles, casseroles, you name it.
In fact, it’s not uncommon to find a bowl of tomato sauce on an Egyptian dinner table.
That said, if you’re serious about immersing yourself in Egyptian cuisine, you’ll have to learn how to make your own tomato sauce.
This sauce is so wonderfully garlicky, tangy, and spicy, it’s bound to be a staple in your home.
10. Rice Stuffed Veggies with Tomato Sauce (Mahshi)
Stuffed vegetables aren’t new to us, but the Egyptian mahshi is quite something else.
Mahshi is a vegetarian dish of baked vegetables with an aromatic rice filling. The vegetables may vary from bell peppers and eggplant to squash and zucchini.
The filling is a mixture of rice and tomato sauce seasoned with cilantro, mint, and dill. It’s so good, you won’t even miss the meat!
11. Chicken Shawarma
Shawarma is a personal favorite. I don’t know what it is, but there’s just something about that succulent meat, tender pita, and rich garlic sauce that’s just to die for!
When I chanced upon this recipe, I had my doubts.
I didn’t think it was possible to make ridiculously tasty shawarma without the need for a vertical rotisserie! But boy was I wrong.
If you’re a shawarma lover like me, I suggest you pin this recipe. It’s definitely for keeps.
Ground lamb or beef is flavored with onions, garlic, and spices, formed into patties, and grilled to perfection.
It can be served with salads and sauces, but my favorite way to eat it is with soft, toasted pita bread.
This isn’t your average ground meat dish, folks. The fragrant herbs and spices make kofta a cut above the rest.
13. Egyptian Mahlab Bread
Bread is a big part of Egyptian cuisine, and this Mahlab bread is one of the best. It’s puffy, thin, crunchy, and seriously addictive.
Don’t be surprised to find yourself wanting one mahlab after another!
Whether you like your meal sweet or savory, it doesn’t matter. Mahlab bread tastes great with anything, be it cheese, watermelon, or figs.
Falafel is probably one of the most popular Egyptian dishes known to man. Why wouldn’t it be? This fava bean-based treat is epic!
Top your falafel with tomato, onion, pepper, and tahini, and eat it with naan. It’s simple, but it sure hits the spot.
15. Salata Baladi
Salati baladi is an Egyptian salad made of cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, parsley, and onion.
Dressed with a blend of lemon, vinegar, cumin, and chili pepper, this salad is just as delicious as it looks.
16. Egyptian Garlic Yogurt Cucumber Salad
Love the yogurt and garlic combo? If so, this salad is a must-try.
Salatet Zabady Bil Ajur is a beautiful and refreshing salad.
Made of juicy cucumber with a creamy garlic yogurt dressing, this salad is the perfect summer appetizer.
You can enjoy it on its own or use it as a dip or topping to meat entrees. It’s drool-worthy, either way.
17. Toum/Tooma (Garlic Sauce)
Tooma is a white garlic paste originating from Lebanon.
This ridiculously rich condiment is the usual accompaniment to barbecues, kabobs, and shawarma.
It can also be used as a filling to pita bread and panini or a seasoning to boiled potatoes.
It’s just as creamy as mayo and tastes like no other. The garlic’s pungent flavor definitely packs a punch! The lemon juice balances it out well with its tartness.
18. Om Ali (Umm Ali- Egyptian Bread Pudding)
They say you should always make room for dessert, and with this one, trust me, you’ll want to do so.
Om Ali is an Egyptian bread pudding guaranteed to knock you off your feet.
Puff pastry (not day-old bread) is soaked in milk and loaded with coconut flakes, raisins, nuts, and sugar.
The oven takes care of the rest, and when it’s done, my goodness, you are treated to pudding perfection.
On to dessert number two: basbousa is a sweet semolina cake with yogurt. How amazingly unique!
This cake is wonderfully soft and studded with almonds. Coconut gives it character and yogurt makes it seriously moist.
A sweet and sticky syrup is drizzled all over to give it extra flavor.
It’s such a staple in Egypt that you’ll see vendors selling it at almost every corner.
20. Egyptian Ghorayebah (Butter Cookies)
Capping off this list is the rich and buttery ghorayebah. If you love butter cookies, these will make you fall for even more.
Besides the outstanding flavor, these cookies are also melt-in-your-mouth soft and tender. It’s everything you can ask for in a cookie.
But wait, there’s more! This recipe calls for five basic ingredients. It couldn’t get any better than that.
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