Middle Eastern Recipes

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Middle Eastern Recipes and Arabic Food Ideas

The Middle East has a rich culinary history and it shows in the bold, spicy flavours of their major dishes. Our selection of Middle Eastern recipes mixes together traditional dishes with interesting fusion recipes.

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Middle Eastern Cuisine

Middle Eastern cuisine is known for its vibrant flavours, aromatic spices and diverse array of dishes. The most common components of Middle Eastern food includes the likes of:

  • Grains: Rice, bulgur, couscous and various types of grains.
  • Breads: Pita and flatbreads are commonly found in Middle Eastern cuisine.
  • Meat: Most commonly lamb and chicken are the meats of choice in Middle Eastern cuisine, often grilled, roasted or stewed.
  • Fresh vegetables: Aubergine, tomatoes, peppers and onions, for example, are often used in salads and stews.
  • Legumes: Chickpeas and lentils, as well as other beans, are often used in dishes like hummus, falafel and stews.
  • Herbs and spices: Commonly cumin, coriander, sumac, parsley, mint and garlic are used to give Middle Eastern dishes their distinctive flavour.
  • Nuts and seeds: A vast array of nuts and seeds are used in Middle Eastern cuisine, including the likes of almonds, pine nuts, sesame seeds and pistachios. These ingredients are used for texture and flavour in various savoury dishes, as well as desserts.
  • Fruits: Dates, figs, pomegranates and citrus fruits are frequently used in Middle Eastern cuisine.

Middle Eastern Food - Typical Dishes

Middle Eastern food, whether in restaurants or cooked at home, is now one of the UK’s most favoured cuisines – but this wasn’t always the way. Restaurants serving American, French and Italian cuisine, for example, spread to the UK way before Middle Eastern ones did. The first handful of Middle Eastern restaurants can be traced back to London, which also specialised in Lebanese and Turkish foods. Once Brits got a taste of the distinctive and unmissable Middle Eastern recipes, demand grew and led to a nationwide boom – which is continuing to snowball to this day. If you’ve never tried Middle Eastern food, here’s what you can expect:


Labneh, a strained yoghurt served with olive oil, herbs and vegetables, eaten with bread or as a dip, is a popular Middle Eastern breakfast. Additionally, shakshuka, poached eggs in a spicy tomato and pepper sauce, often served with bread, is a common breakfast dish.

Lunches and dinners:

  • Shawarma: Hugely popular in Middle Eastern restaurants, shawarma is thinly sliced meat (usually lamb, chicken, or beef) wrapped in pita bread, usually accompanied by vegetables and tahini sauce.
  • Kofta: Ground meat, mixed with spices and herbs, shaped into balls or patties, and grilled or baked, served with rice, bread or salad. Take a look at our herby lamb koftas on garlic naans here.
  • Moussaka: Layers of aubergine, potato and minced meat (usually lamb or beef), baked with a tomato sauce and topped with cheese or béchamel sauce.

    ### Sweets and desserts: Baklava, halva and various pastries like knafeh and ma'amoul, often made with honey, nuts, and filo pastry, are popular sweet treats in Middle Eastern cuisine.

Middle Eastern Food - FAQs

What is the most popular food in the Middle East?

Falafel is one of the most popular foods in the Middle East; it is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas or fava beans, often served in sandwiches or as part of a mezze platter. Whether you are visiting the Middle East or simply want to try Middle Eastern recipes in your own home, falafel is a must.

If I order home Middle Eastern recipes from HelloFresh, when will they be delivered?

When you order with us, you’ll tell us which delivery date is most convenient for you. Our standard delivery slot is between 8am and 7pm, but you can choose an 8am to 12pm slot for an extra charge. Later delivery slots are also available between 5pm and 9pm in London.

What if I’m not home when my Middle Eastern recipes arrive?

Don’t worry if you’re not home when your order arrives. Our couriers will leave your order in your safe place; you can tell us where this is in your account.

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