Fatayer features spiced ground beef and potatoes stuffed into flaky pastry pockets for delicious meat hand pies. This popular Lebanese dish is perfect for dinner or a snack. They’re also great for entertaining as this fatayer recipe can easily be doubled to feed a crowd.
Savory beef and potato filling, seasoned with warming spices, is tucked into pillowy pockets of dough for one incredible, comforting bite.
These Lebanese meat pies are very similar to some of my signature bomb recipes — they use the same frozen dinner roll dough and are also stuffed with all kinds of flavorful fillings.
Choose from a variety of flavor options including breakfast, dinner, and dessert!
Or, try your hand at mini chicken pot pies. You’ll still need a fork to eat them, but they’re perfect for individual servings or freezer meals!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Ground Beef – Choose a lean blend so the filling isn’t too greasy, but not so lean that you lose moisture and flavor — 85/15 (or 85%) would be perfect.
- Potatoes – Peel and dice these very small so they cook through evenly. I typically make my pieces about 1/4 inch-sized.
- Seasonings – Every savory dish needs garlic powder and onion powder!
Cinnamon and allspice add loads of warmth and Middle Eastern flavor, then salt and pepper enhance everything.
If you prefer more garlic flavor, decrease the cinnamon and allspice a little. If you prefer more cinnamon, increase it to 2 teaspoons or even a tablespoon!
- Butter – You’ll need unsalted butter for the filling — slice into cubes and place one inside each hand pie.
Then, brush melted salted butter over the top of each Lebanese meat pie to help it brown.
Lebanese Meat Pie Recipe Tips
- Taste test the filling. I like to take a spoonful of the meat mixture and cook it in the microwave first.
That way, I can be sure that it’s seasoned properly and make any necessary adjustments.
- Use a scoop! This ensures that the fatayer filling is evenly divided and prevents the savory hand pies from bursting due to being too full.
- Thaw rolls quickly. Place them on a microwave-safe plate and heat on defrost for about 3 to 4 minutes — or until the dough is no longer frozen, but not cooked.
- Rotate your trays. Halfway through baking, swap the tray positions in the oven to ensure that all of the meat hand pies are baked evenly and golden brown on top.
- Need a smaller batch? Feel free to halve this fatayer recipe if needed, or prepare the whole batch and freeze some for later.
Typically, fatayer are served with plain yogurt for dipping, along with a fresh cucumber salad.
You could also add a tray of hummus and veggie sticks, or a platter of your favorite grilled vegetables. Grilled zucchini is a great choice!
Fatayer Recipe FAQ
Yes — you can prepare the meat mixture a day in advance and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble.
Or, put everything together, cover, and chill until you are ready to bake.
Pine nuts are a popular addition to Lebanese meat pie, especially when they are toasted first. You could also add a little feta cheese on top of the meat mixture before sealing up the dough.
Many fatayer recipes include diced onion (yellow or sweet) and tomatoes as well. Just be sure to finely dice the tomatoes and drain them well if using canned.
And instead of the combination of spices listed, try a blend like 7 Spice or Shawarma. Or, add cayenne or red pepper flakes for some heat.
Storing and Freezing Lebanese Meat Pies
Not only is fatayer good in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, but it freezes beautifully. Allow hand pies to cool before storing them in a Ziploc bag.
Freeze for up to 3 months and thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Warm leftovers in the oven at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Easy Appetizers
Fatayer (Meat Hand Pies) + Video
- 24 frozen dinner roll dough, I use Rhodes
- 2 pounds lean ground beef, 85-88%
- 2 large Russet potatoes, peeled and fine diced (about 2 cups)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 24 pieces (cut into 6 pieces and then cut each into ¼’s)
- 1/2 cup salted butter, melted (for brushing) I like to use Kerry Gold
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Lightly flour a large cutting board or a countertop. Place frozen dough balls on the counter to thaw, flipping them once after about 30 minutes. Shortcut method in Donna’s notes.
- Combine beef, potatoes, eggs and seasonings. Mix with clean hands until combined. I usually will take a small scoop of the meat and microwave it to make sure it is plenty flavorful. Adjust seasonings to taste. Set aside.
- Lightly toss 1 piece of dough in flour and flatten and stretch like you are making a mini pizza. Stretch dough to about 3-4” across. I like to use a small rolling pin to make sure that I do not get any thin spots.
- Add about 2 tablespoons of the beef mixture to the center of the flattened dough. Add a pat of butter on top of the beef mixture).
- Grab the top and bottom edges of the dough and crimp together on the right side. Pull the left edge up to meet the crimped dough. crimp the two edges to the dough to make a triangle package.
- Place on a cookie sheet. Repeat until there are 12 on each cookie sheet.
- Brush fatayer with melted butter.
- Bake the bombs for 12-15 minutes until the tops are golden brown and the bombs are no longer doughy, swapping the trays half way during cook time.
- Serve and enjoy!
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published November 2021, updated and republished November 2023
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