Lebanese Christmas recipes

For Christmas, Chef Jad Youssef of the ever-popular restaurant Lebnani has created two alternative Lebanese recipes perfect for Christmas turkey leftovers and an alternative for turkey on the big day!

If you’re a fan of Lebanese food, or would like to try something a little different for your festive food this year, check out these recipes from Chef Jad!


Turkey Leftover Dish

Serves 4-5

Turkey Kadouche (Turkey Wrap)Leftover turkey, onion chutney, pomegranate molasses, zaa’tar labne, cucumber pickles (gherkins)


  • 4-6 pitta bread
  • 3-4 sliced cucumber or gherkins pickles
  • 1 shredded cos lettuce
  • 1 large sliced red onions
  • 5-6 tbsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ tbsps sea salt
  • 2 tbsps pomegranate molasses
  • ½ tbsps coarse black pepper
  • 1 tbsps brown sugar

Ingredients for Zaat’ar Labne

  • 500g natural yoghurt
  • tbsps Zaa’tar
  • 1 whole grated cucumber
  • 1 tbsps sea salt
  • 8-10 chopped fresh mint leaves


  1. Pull the left-over turkey and reheat in its liquid/sauce.
  2. In a separate pan, heat olive oil and add the sliced onion and sauté for 10-15 minutes until soft, season and add pomegranate molasses, cook until caramelized for another 10-15 minutes then mix all together with the lamb, and simmer for 10-15 minutes on low heat.
  3. Mix the natural yoghurt, grated cucumber, chopped mint and season.
  4. Take a wrap (pitta bread) and spread labne in the middle, add the shredded cos lettuce, sliced pickled cucumber and the lamb, roll and toast.



(Can be substituted with turkey)

Serves 4-5

Slow-roasted lamb shoulder, Baharat, smoked green wheat, golden sultana and pomegranate


  • 1 whole lamb shoulder 2.5-3kg
  • 1 brown onion cut into quarters
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • ½ whole garlic bulb
  • 750 ml water or chicken stock if available

To marinate the lamb

  • 2 tbsps middle eastern Baharat
  • ½ tbsps coarse black pepper
  • 2 tbsps natural yoghurt
  • 2 tbsps sea salt (to taste)
  • ½ bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsps pepper paste or tomato paste
  • 100 ml veg oil
  • 100ml pomegranate molasses

For the freekeh

  • 500 g smoked green wheat
  • 1 tbsps Middle Eastern Baharat
  • 1.5 tbsps sea salt (to taste)
  • 1 whole seeded pomegranate
  • 1L Lamb stock
  • ½ diced brown onion
  • 3 grated garlic cloves
  • 100g golden sultana
  • 100ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  1. Trim the shoulder for any excessive fat.
  2. To a food processor, add all ingredients and blitz till smooth paste.
  3. Brush generously the lamb with the marinade and let it in the fridge for at least 6-8 hours
  4. Preheat the oven to 200C fan, roast for 30 min until golden brown on the top, take out and add 750ml water or chicken stock to the tray. Cover tightly with foil, reduce the heat to 160C from 180C, baste every 30 min and cook for 3.5/4 hours, then remove the foil and cook for final 20 min uncovered. Take it out and let it rest covered with foil before serving.
  5. Strain the liquid and simmer on low heat in a separate pan, lace with olive oil, then add the diced onion and grated garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Strain the soaked freekeh for 30 minutes and add to the same pot and stir for 4-5 minutes, add the sultana season with salt and Baharat, add 1L of the strained lamb stock, reduce heat and cook for 30 minutes.
  6. Reduce the rest of the liquid on a medium heat until thickened, add the lamb back and baste to reheat.
  7. Served with freekeh cooked in lamb stock, with the thick glossy lamb sauce and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and chopped mint.