Lebanese Green Bean Stew

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Lebanese Green Bean Stew is a simple yet incredibly luscious stew of tomato sauce, green beans, and beef. It’s simple to make in one pot, spiced with cinnamon!

A white bowl filled with red sauce stew, green beans, beef chunks, and rice.
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This stew is one of many special stews in the Lebanese culinary canon. It’s one of those unforgettable comfort foods that is nostalgic for most anyone who has ever eaten it, because one taste will have eaters asking for it again. It is no doubt one of the favorite dishes of eaters of Lebanese food! A thick tomato broth makes the foundation of the stew, with savory caramelized pieces of beef, onion, and cut green beans. Cinnamon spices this dish beautifully, as it is a traditional spice in Lebanese cuisine paired with meats and cooked tomato dishes.

Lebanese Green Bean Stew with Beef is lubieh, yahneh, or loubieh bi zeit in Arabic. Loubia bi lahme is the same dish, made with lamb instead of beef. My mother-in-law Louise always made her lubieh with chicken, very delicious!

Why you’ll love this Arabic Green Bean stew

Lebanese green beans are quite straightforward to prepare, made in one pot, and require just a few ingredients. The pot of beef, onion, tomato broth, and tender green beans simmers to a luscious stew. Ladle the delicious dish over Lebanese rice and some pita or flatbread to enjoy the broth even more.

This is a delicious stew that gains flavor and suppleness when allowed to rest overnight, so it is a terrific make-ahead meal that allows you to fill the dinner table quickly the night it is served.

Also, lubieh satisfies a crowd! It is a nutritious food that allows you to serve it as a main course to several people economically.

Ingredients on the counter with tomato sauce, salt and cinnamon, beef pieces, diced onion, and green beans

Ingredients to make green bean stew with meat

Beef. Your meat can vary here based on preference or even what you may have leftover. I find the very best, most succulent beef stew is made with leftover chuck roast (or roasted special for the lubieh). Beef stew meat, chuck roast (raw), sirloin steak, or other lean cut of beef is suitable.

Extra virgin olive oil, to start the stew to cook the meat and onions.

A medium yellow onion, diced.

Spices. The clean and simple flavor of salt, black pepper pepper, and cinnamon brings the traditional lubieh flavor I have always known and loved. 

Tomato sauce. A combination of sauce and water make the base for the thick stew. 

Green beans. Use fresh green beans cut into 1-inch pieces, frozen short cut beans, or canned short cut beans.

How to make Lebanese Green Beans

Step 1. Trim and cut the roast into 1- to 2-inch stew pieces. You can skip this step if you are using stew meat.

Step 2. In a large pot (4 quarts), over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Pat the meat dry and season with a couple of teaspoons salt and black pepper. Brown the meat in batches, removing the meat as it is finished.

Step 3. Add the onions, season lightly with salt and pepper, and sauté until soft and translucent. I like to use a wooden spoon here.

Step 4. Add the meat and the cinnamon to the pot. Mix well and add the tomato sauce and the cups of water. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 90 minutes.

Step 5. Add the beans and cook until the beans are soft and the stew flavors meld together, another 90 minutes.

Tomato stew with meat and green beans with a copper ladle in the pot

Substitutions and tips

Tomato juice is a fine alternative to tomato sauce + water. I also love using it to make stuffed cabbage rolls. To get a deeper flavor from the juice, add a tablespoon of tomato paste to the pot with the onions. Fresh tomatoes are more challenging for this dish because they require preparation of removing the skins and seeds.

This tasty stew enjoys all kinds of vegetables, particularly mushrooms or okra. Okra stew is another of the traditional Lebanese stews just like the Green Bean Stew, but substituting okra for the green beans. If you have red onions instead of yellow, that will work fine.

Try making the stew in an instant pot (pressure cooker) or slow cooker, following the same instructions but cooking according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

The stew is easily vegetarian by substituting the beef with mushrooms and/or cooked white beans. That makes a delicious vegetarian side dish.

Add some heat. A dash of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes add a nice element of heat.

Try the lubieh with chicken instead of beef. Rather than caramelizing the meat, simply add skinless boneless chicken breasts to the pot once everything else is there. Allow them to poach in the stew until the meat is fully cooked. Remove the chicken from the pot, shred the chicken, and return it to the pot. Reheat and serve. 

Other meats that work great in this recipe are venison (I’m from Michigan! Venison-land!) and lamb shoulder meat.

Make ahead and storage

Make this dish ahead by up to three days and enjoy how even more beautifully tender and savory the dish becomes with time. Store the whole pot in the refrigerator if you have room, that way when you reheat the stew, simply put it on the stove directly from the refrigerator to reheat. Otherwise transfer room temperature stew to a large bowl, covered, and refrigerate. Reheat cold stew by starting at medium high temp on the stove, bringing the stew to a boil, then immediately reducing the heat to simmer until heated through.

Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Lebanese green beans freeze very well! Place portions in freezer bags or containers for up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen on the stove top by placing the frozen stew on a pot and reheating on medium temperature with the lid on the pot. Stir frequently to break up the frozen stew and heat through until hot.

Vermicelli Rice in a pot with a spoon
Green bean stew with meat on a bed of rice in a white bowl

What to serve with green beans and tomatoes?

Like many an Arabic recipe, this dish pairs perfectly with Lebanese Rice, a light rice that includes vermicelli pasta in it. Brown rice is another good option. A crisp Lebanese Salad (Salata) is a favorite with lubieh! Pass pita bread or flatbread alongside the stew, as well as a bowl of labneh or plain yogurt to dollop on top.

Frequently asked questions

Should I blanche my green beans before I cook them?

For this dish, blanching the beans before adding to the stew isn’t necessary. They will cook thoroughly during the long simmer of the stew.

Can I make my own Lebanese spice blend?

While my recipe calls for cinnamon as the primary spice, Lebanese 7 Spice is also a natural here. You can make your own or purchase this spice (also known as baharat). I love the Lebanese 7 Spice in my shop!

How to infuse flavor into green beans?

Green beans will take on flavor with a quick poach in salted water.

How to jazz up green beans?

Try them here in this classic Lebanese dish, but also try them simply steamed and then glazed with olive oil, dried mint, garlic, and salt. Check out my recipe for Pomegranate Green Beans too.

More Lebanese Soup Recipes

A traditional stuffed squash recipe is delicious as a stew similar to this green bean stew. Try Lebanese Koosa Soup with Meatballs!

My Fragrant Lebanese Chicken Soup Recipe is full-flavored and warming.

A hearty vegetarian soup is Lentil Bulgur Soup with Mint Olive Oil

A white bowl filled with red sauce stew, green beans, beef chunks, and rice.
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4.84 from 12 votes

Lebanese Green Bean Stew Recipe

Known as Lebanese yahneh or lubieh, this stew is even better the next day, so it's a perfect make-ahead recipe. We love to roast the chuck roast ahead and use the roasted meat for the stew, or use leftover roast to make this.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
Servings: 8


  • 3 lb Beef chuck roast or stew meat
  • 2 tablepoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Few grinds Black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 28 oz. cans tomato sauce
  • 28 oz. water
  • 1 pound Fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in 1-inch pieces, or canned or frozen short cut green beans
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  • Trim and cut the beef into 1-inch stew pieces.
  • In a 4 quart pan, over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Pat the meat dry and season with salt and pepper. Brown and caramelize the beef in single-layer batches, removing the meat as it is finished. Take care not to overfill the pot with beef or the meat will simply steam rather than caramelize. Turn the heat down and add more oil as needed if the base of the pot gets burnished.
  • Add the onions to the empty pot, season lightly with salt and pepper, and sauté until soft and translucent while scraping up any browned bits as you go.
  • Add the caramelized meat and the cinnamon. Mix well and add the tomato sauce and the water. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 90 minutes.
  • Add the beans and cook until the beans are soft and the stew meat is very tender, another 90 minutes.


Calories: 26kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.4g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 587mg | Potassium: 141mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 393IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Maureen Abood
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Servings: 8
Calories: 26
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  1. Lévon says:

    5 stars
    Hi Maureen. I love this rather simple but delicious recipe of green bean stew. I basically grew up on these types of Lebanese inspired foods of the levant. However, there are few variations on this particular dish as you may well know. One of them would be adding potatoes and some diced tomatoes along with tomato paste to give that slight starch factor to thicken the sauce and enhance the overall flavor.

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Excellent Lévon! My dad loved lubieh with potatoes. I never thought of how that thickens the sauce and it sure does, beautifully. Thank you!

  2. Sue Dirani says:

    5 stars
    Another great recipe, Maureen! I’ve been making this for years, though I always struggled with how to spell “yahneh”. 😉 So you have solved this mystery for me.
    My mother always used a can of tomato paste and water instead of tomato sauce so it is thinner, probably, than your version. And we use garlic instead of onion. I’ve recently started using my stove-top (i.e. non-electric) pressure cooker for making yahneh and the results are fantastic in a much shorter time. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      That’s so funny Sue! I bet yours is so good with the garlic. And how easy with the pressure cooker. Thank you!

  3. Thomas DuBois says:

    Thank you for this lovely recipe for one of my all-time favorite dishes. We always made this with allspice, but I think cinnamon is a better choice. Simple and elegant.

    I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned the possibility of adding chickpeas and a dash of turmeric, especially if the dish is vegetarian. Am I the only one who does this?

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      The addition of chickpeas and turmeric sounds so so good! I look forward to trying that. It is indeed surprising we haven’t added at least the chickpeas!

  4. Theresa Scruggs says:

    I love this !

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      So delicious!!

  5. JS says:

    I make mine along the lines of French onion soup, along with the beef & green beans add lentils & provolone on top.

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      That sounds SO good!! I’ll have to try it!

  6. Beth Abbass Levos says:

    We have enjoyed lubieh in our house for generations. We use diced tomatoes, chicken broth and water for the broth. Lots of cinnamon, all spice, salt and pepper for spices and pour over basmati or white rice. Delicious!

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Oh I bet it’s really delicious with the chicken broth, thank you Beth!

  7. Denine Kaspor Boyle says:

    A family favorite growing up and now my children love this too! We have always used ground lamb; (my mother used chunkier meat whether beef or lamb and okra.) I also add a touch of allspice and have the best luck in the crock pot; layered with browned meat, raw green beans cut into short pieces and tomato sauce or puree. On high for 4 hrs.

  8. Bruce Antion says:

    One of the best dishes my Scots-Irish and German mom learned to cook from Sita. Salad, with endive and/or dandelion, cucumbers, onions, lettuce and tomatoes, dressed with oil, lemon and vinegar. I have some venison in the freezer that might be good to try.

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Bruce you remind me that we just recently had this dish with venison! And it was great! I’ve added that option to the tips and substitutions. Thank you!!

  9. Marilyn Nader says:

    Hi Maureen,

    I always enjoy reading your recipes and commentary. I have been making string beans and stew meat for a long time and my recipe differs from yours in a few ways.

    Given your proportions, I would definitely use one very large onion instead of a medium onion. And, I would add some minced garlic. I would probably use Chuck Roast which is one of the cuts of beef that you suggested. However, I think 3 pounds of meat to 1 pound of green beans would be too much meat for my liking. So, I would probably use 2 pounds of meat and 1 1/2 pounds of beans. One of the major ingredients that I like to use instead of straight cinnamon is BAHARAT seasoning. My supply usually comes from a specialty Lebanese store in Brooklyn, but it is difficult for me to get it on a regular basis, so I might try ordering it from spice world. The first ingredient in their PA HARAT seasoning is, in fact, cinnamon, but there are other spices added, in which give Baharat a distinctive flavor, I read a number of reviews from that company, and most people seem to like it, although a few of the people who have commented who seem to be Lebanese say that it is a little heavy on the cinnamon . But, I think from my experience, and my families’ cooking, i much prefer BAHARAT seasoning to straight cinnamon. I use it in so many different recipes and it adds a very distinctive flavor. Have you ever tried it? I think your readers would enjoy it. Thanks for your recipes.

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Thanks Marilyn! First, I’m a huge fan of 7 Spice! I sell my own in my online shop HERE! I’ve noted it in the tips about this recipe as a great alternative spice to add. One thing I love about this stew recipe is that you can adjust it to your own taste: more meat, less meat, chicken instead of meat, more or fewer beans, etc! Yours sounds delciious.

  10. Jody Lien says:

    So here’s my story…I got married in 1995 to a blonde haired, blue eyed man. My in-laws were 8th cousins from Canada that met at a funeral. MIL’s Mom was Grandma Lil, and she came from the old country. My (now ex) husband still has several cousins that buy their beautiful wives & bring them to Canada (Winnipeg, mainly). Grandma Lil told us several times that my ex owns land in Lebanon, & that the women over there were going to throw themselves at him, because ‘Nobody over there has ever seen a blonde haired, blue eyed Arabic before!’ Grandma Lil wasn’t even 5′ tall, but she was a workhorse. Sunup to Sundown, Cooking, cleaning, she on top of everything, ‘Serve your table, ladies, Serve your table’ with a thick accent rolling off of her tongue, in what I called her sexy lounge singer voice, (but was really from smoking for 60+ years), barely sleeping. ‘Eat, Eat!’ she would tell us all the time we were awake. Grandma Lil beat breast cancer twice, she was tough as nails, when something upset her she would swear under her breath in Arabic. I know several of those words too, just can’t remember what they mean! ×) She was so highly respected, I am sad to say she has passed on but she lived a very good long life. The yakhne that they made used a tomato base, chicken, garlic, onion, green beans, garbanzo beans (chick peas) & cumin. The more cumin the better. This ‘stew’ was the all served over cooked rice. I thought I had died & went to Heaven. They laughed at me because they said this is the dish they make to use up leftovers, you just throw whatever you have that you need to use up in there. Haven’t made this in decades, but am going to soon. My other favorite is kibbe. Mine has to be cooked, but the majority of the men loved their ‘tiger meat.’ Such wonderful flavors, amazing dishes that I would never have had the privilege of tasting (my life was pretty sheltered) had I not met & fell in love with this man, & his family. Thank You for posting your recipe. Hopefully seeing yours can jog my memory enough to make it just like Grandma Lils’.

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Oh my goodness, thank you for sharing your memories and wonderful stories! I hope you will make these dishes and feel the love (and deliciousness!) you have enjoyed in your warm Lebanese family!

  11. RJ Wilson says:

    Hello, thank you for this recipe. I am eating this as leftovers for my lunch right now. In my family my great grandmother would make this all the time for her kids and it has passed down through the generations. They were poor when they came to America from Lebanon in 1890 so this was the catch as catch can dish. If they were lucky enough to have lamb at the time it was in the dish. There was usually a potato or two and of course the tomato and water. Green beans usually won out over peas. My dad would use a few potatoes sliced up and a whole onion along with the meat and often leave out the beans and peas. I make this now every couple weeks for my 16 year old who loves it (I love it too). Interestingly, we don’t sauté the onions. We stew them just like the potatoes in the tomato/water mix, right along side the meat that was browned with salt and pepper. My dish misses something from my great grandma’s. I have to believe it is the cinnamon or the mint. We always had a mint garden and mint was in kibba and everything else. I will try that in a couple weeks. Thanks for this post.

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      I love all of that RJ! I bet the onion is just fine as you do it. Mint sounds delicious in this, I’ll try it too…

  12. Kathy LaRue says:

    Hi Maureen! Just making this tonight and in reviewing the ingredients I’m not seeing mushrooms or the amount. Is that info included somewhere else? Thank you!

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Kathy, thank you! I’ve updated the recipe to reflect about 1/2 pound of mushrooms will do it. More or less won’t hurt anything though!

  13. Kyle Culver says:

    Where’s the GAHLIC.

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Hi Kyle Culver!! For some reason we don’t include gahhhlic! I know it’s delicious and a great addition to this dish!

  14. FatherRaphael says:

    Aha! I’ll give it a try. Thanks Maureen. Suhtyne!

  15. FatherRaphael says:

    Dear Maureen

    I don’t know of any Lebanese who use mushrooms in Lubieh. I’m sure its good but are mushrooms something you added?

    +Father Raphael

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Father Raphael, thanks for asking. We just add mushrooms because we love them, true to the classic or not!

  16. FatherRaphael Abraham says:

    Dear Maureen


  17. Dorothy says:

    Hi there, I make the meatless version of this and use Lebanese 7 spice blend. I use frozen green beans and make in my pressure cooker. It’s one of my favorites and has been a stable since I went vegan. I’m going to try it with peas and potatoes next time. Or maybe right now… I’m getting hungry!

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Ohh, I bet those spices make it extra delectable!! I think you will love it with peas!

  18. Steffani Klele McGurn says:

    Maureen- my Tate Anna always used the leftover bones from the Spring lamb that she had frozen every year! I use lamb shanks for the meat, so the old people have the bones to suck on! Ha, it drives the kids crazy. I love this dish and the way it fills up my kitchen with a delicious aroma, reminding me of sitting in my Tate’s kitchen waiting to help serve dinner! Making it for Christmas dinner this year to serve with rice, Kibbe and spinach pies!

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      How delicious!!

  19. Linda says:

    This is still one of my favorites! Your version is so similar to my Lebanese grandmother’s. She used to make it for us all the time and now I make it for my grandchildren. Even my grown boys know how to make it. My grandmother made two versions- one with ground lamb or beef and peas – the second was trimmed 1″ pieces of chuck steak or lamb with fresh green beans. Instead of cinnamon, we use Syrian spice. For me, it’s comfort food at its best!

  20. Thomas Roth says:

    This is served at the Lebanese Festival here but they put no meat in it.
    There’s no reason to use fresh beans nor mushrooms.
    I made it with canned beans, canned tomatoes, cinnamon and allspice.
    Obviously there are many variations as when making meatloaf. I’ve seen recipes which call for a ton of garlic, too.

  21. DENISE K Clements says:

    In our household, Sitto gave us many options for Yahneh. Sometimes stew beef with green beans, or chicken wings with either baby lima beans or peas (which ever she had on hand). This was a very popular dish in the winter when someone had been sick. I continued the tradition with my children whenever they were sick. It seemed like a warm, nurturing comfort food.

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      I’m fascinated by your Sitto’s yahnehs! And how great that you are keeping the tradition alive and well. Very special.

  22. Jennifer says:

    I look forward to trying!

  23. David Anthony says:

    I grew up eating this stew- though my mom, being Irish (to my dad being Lebanese) would add some sliced potatoes to the recipe- we never had it with mushrooms. I thought it as a basic American dish; it wasn’t until my 20s that I realized that only Lebanese people knew what it was. I really truly thought that this dish was as all American as apple pie.

    Don’t get me wrong – my family would make it, even I would make it and people who never saw it before LOVED it.

    Thanks for not only posting the recipe but also the comments. Reading some of them warmed my heart and brought back memories of my long gone sitoo. She died when I was in 11 years old in 1976 and I still miss her.

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      David, so special and so funny too! Thank you!

  24. Antoniette says:

    I’m a little older Lebanese and have cooked yahneh many times. I usually make it with spring lamb and canned string beans, and no mushrooms. I’d like to try the mushrooms , but my husband would object. I season with cinnamon and no alspice but I do use fresh garlic. I do also make it vegetarian for some of my friends and it is almost as good . I just had a dinner that I donated for a fund raiser and had yahneh as one of the dishes . The Archbisop of our church came and loved it.
    I also make it with chicken and peas, garlic , cinnamon, salt and pepper. It’s good too.
    I loved reading your blog and enjoyed hearing about you and your siblings. I hope everything goes well with you .
    Best wishes,
    Antoniette W

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Antoniette, thank you so much! You are a yahneh expert! I’d love to try it with chicken and peas. My father used to ask if we were adding peas all of the time and we never did it! Please keep in touch!

  25. Marie says:

    One curious question I have……………my older brother just had a yard sale, where I found 3 copper items /tools that were homeade by my father, which I immediately grabbed up, while excitingly asking “what WERE these used for?” My brother smiled, and said “for falafel” 2 paddles on handles, and 1 with a round encased mold looking tool with small handle…………I would love to know, if you have ever saw anything like this in your household? My father worked at Pontiac Motors in Michigan, as a tool and die maker, which contributed to his talent of many “handmade” items, (I have a frame made of brass, with 50 caliber shells, from WWII), that holds favorite photos of dad and mother………..Thank you

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Wow! Sounds like a very interesting hand-tooled falafel mold. How cool. I don’t know if it’s exactly like the falafel molds we see (google the molds and you can compare!) but what a special piece of family history. Thank you for sharing here!

  26. Marie says:

    I have ALWAYS had this dish growing up with lamb only, fresh green beans, and allspice in place of cinnamon………..understanding it is a “peasant” dish, where, in the 60s growing up, lamb was cheaper than beef anyway………lol…………..otherwise, it is very comparable recipe, minus mushrooms, and sauce replaced with fresh tomatoes, as we grew our own garden, and our family of 7, would never have it without the chunks of fresh tomatoes………..thank you for sharing your version…………….Our family recipe came back to me as i read yours……..Marie Joseph-Bacon (Abouchachine family name from Beirut)

    1. Maureen Abood says:


  27. Lee says:

    My mother in law used to make this.. so good! She also made a meatloaf (ground beef) in a roasting machine, with carrots and potatoes.. much like a pot roast… with this same tomato cinnamon sauce poured on top and around the potatoes and carrots…….. Can anyone tell me, how to make this? Please?

  28. Lori Gibreal Newell says:

    I was #10 in a family of 11 Lebanese and grew up eating the beans, rice and kibbi although I have never had it with mushrooms.

  29. Charlotte says:

    I grew up eating all theses wonderful Syrian/ Lebanese dishes.
    Growing up around the corner from Situ I was able to watch her prepare dinner, not realizing at the time that by helping her in the kitchen at such a young age would be ingrained in my heart and forever be a part of my future life and cooking .
    My mom was Syrian/Lebanese and my dad was Scotch Irish, so you see I had the best of all cultures combined.
    To this day I prepare all of Situ recipes that I made with her and I must say that your delicious recipes are extremely close to my ingredients.
    My children loved the food growing upas well as my grandchildren do today..
    I enjoy reading your Blog.
    Keep up the great recipes and stories..

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      This is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing!

  30. glenda baddour palmer says:

    I have eaten this dish all my life. Our family did not like green beans so we substitued the peas. I make it for my family all the time and they love it. Sometimes I put cut up potatoes but as my aunt told me, her mother did not do that and it was not the real thing.. The version I make takes a long time because I brown everything separate and then put together. It is worth it.

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      So good, thank you!

  31. Phyllis says:

    This was a staple growing up in our house and my grandmother and mother sometimes used peas instead of string beans. It’s such a simple dish to make, and comfort food at it’s finest! I’ve never had it with mushrooms, but think I’ll try it! Mmm, can smell it now….

  32. Maureen Sanderson says:

    I was hoping to make this for company this wekend, but all the fresh green beans don’t look very good. Would you use canned or go with less than appealing fresh? My mom says to use syrian pepper. would this be in addition to cinnamon or instead of? And lastly, if making vegetarian, would you just omit the beef or add something else instead? Thank you!

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Hi Maureen–If the beans seem very large and sort of hollow, go with canned or frozen. You could certainly add a dash of Aleppo pepper in addiiton to the cinnamon; that will blend nicely. For vegetarian yaheneh, use mushrooms in place of the meat, very delicious!

      1. Maureen Sanderson says:

        Thank you! It tasted just like I remembered! I believe it was the cinnamon. The Syrian pepper my mom refers to is a combination of spices which includes cinnamon so maybe that was the difference. SYRIAN PEPPER (DA’A) black pepper, white pepper, nutmeg, ground cloves, cinnamon and allspice. Is that something you are familiar with?

        I’m thrilled to have found you as a resource. My mom enjoyed your description of the yogurt making process as she recalls her grandmother putting her little finger in to test. I might need to try that next!

        1. Maureen Abood says:

          Oh, I see Maureen, that’s a spice blend rather than the spicy Aleppo pepper I thought you were referring to. That mix sounds delicious and like one of many blends used all over the region. Get after the laban-making too! And hello to your mom.

          1. Maureen Sanderson says:

            Thank you! I set my mom’s ipad up with your site bookmarked – I know she will find everything you write as delightful as I do.

            I’m looking for a recipe my mom makes that she calls ishee sp? not sure how it’s spelled but it’s a mix of grated summer squash and zucchini with egg, flour mint.. do you have a recipe for something like that?

      2. Sharon says:

        I’ve never had lubieh with mushrooms, but my sister’s Lebanese husband and mother-in-law have always made a veggie version with chickpeas instead of beef or lamb. In the summertime they swap the warm spices for lots of basil. It’s addictive!

        1. Maureen Abood says:


  33. Michael says:

    ALL: As Maureen knows I am working with memories of a friend who made a tonne of amazing Lebanese cuisine. She called “Lubieh” the “Kraft Dinner of the Lebanese” which I’m sure some of you will get as it’s a Canadian reference. She made it with Chicken and Mint (instead of Cinnamon). It was DELICIOUS!
    For years I used to enjoy this and tried to convince my (Irish) mother to try it. She refused for years. One day she relented and – to this day – she absolutely LOVES Lubieh.

    If you’re interested in the Chicken version (and Maureen doesn’t mind) I’d be happy to share.


    1. Maureen Abood says:

      I’d be very interested in your chicken lubieh, Michael! Please email me if you like!

  34. Michael says:

    Got your response to my post and am here.
    Can I just say that if you were single and in Canada I would EASILY propose to you! lol
    My (Lebanese) friend only ever made this with Chicken. I never thought to make it with Beef. AND mushrooms?!??!! SOLD!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You absolutely ROCK!!!!!

    Side note: I know it’s not Lebanese but I made an amazing Lasagna this week that I call a “4×4 Lasagna”. It has 4 kinds of mushrooms (button, Cremini, Portobello & Porcini) and 4 kinds of cheese (Ricotta, Parmesan, Mozzarella & Fontina). My partner is vegetarian and LOVES mushrooms (as I do) and I thought this would make her VERY happy. She was in heaven. 🙂

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Michael, what a great comment, thank you! You rock too–4×4 lasagna and lubieh with chicken? Count me on on that heaven!

  35. Teresa Abraham says:

    Hi, Maureen: I asked my brother Chuck what he would like me to make for our Sunday dinner at his house today. Looks like we’re having some cousins in from Grand Rapids. He asked me to make Lubia. I’ve made it a couple times, trying to make it like my mom’s, but thought I’d look it up online. So when I typed it up your site pops up. How cool! Chuck will love that. -Teresa-

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Teresa, you made my DAY! Thanks so much and tell your family hello–what a wonderful sister you are, cooking for all of the family. It’s going to be delicious!

  36. Rae Trees says:

    I’ve only just come across this blog as today I’m cooking ‘beans, mutton and rice’, it looks the same as your yahneh! We don’t put the mushrooms in it, just onion, lamb, tomatoes and beans.. and served on rice.The whole family love it and that’s what we are having Christmas Eve for dinner, served with crusty bread.

    my grandfather was Lebanese and we actually grew up with the Aboods from Kempsey.

    Cheers and have a wonderful Christmas.

    Rae Trees.

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Rae, how cool! Aboods in Kempsey! Enjoy your delicious stew and a wonderful Christmas with your family.

  37. Scot Gabriel says:

    Sorry, I meant the pea option!

  38. Scot Gabriel says:

    Hi Maureen: Just made a huge pot of lubee to be served tomorrow evening as the cousins arrive from all over for Thanksgiving weekend! It brought back an age-old discussion in our Lebanese community here in Lawrence: does one season lubee with cinnamon or allspice? At least here, the division seems to be drawn by Lebanese hometown! And if you are unlucky like me and my siblings and hail maternally from an allspice jurisdiction (thanks to Sitho Maroon who was actually 100% Irish yet a phenomenal Lebanese cook having trained with our “Big Sitho”) and paternally from a cinnamon jurisdiction (Sitho Gabriel has actually just become a cook in her eighties!), you are torn. I have been told that you take you lubee spice from your mother’s side though! So at least for tonight it was allspice!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    PS: my mother calls the rice option “Basillah e ruz”. It is tasty also!

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      AWESOME!!!!! We have waaaay too much in common, Scot!! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  39. alice hrdy says:

    cousins!! love the blog! I am making this dish now (known affectionately as ” loobie” at my house). Your Aunt Pat didnt use mushrooms that I remember but we bought some this am so they are going in!! love to you all! keep the recipes coming. Much love, Alice.
    @ Dick– LOL at your post

  40. Ellen Hildenbrand says:

    Hi Maureen– please let Peggy know that I made this delicious dish last Sunday using her recipe and it was incredible. I never caramelized the meat before — (took forever but well worth it). My Mom’s recipe calls for Campbell’s Tomato Soup which always made me wonder if I had written the recipe down incorrectly! The Lubieh just improved overnight and we enjoyed it even more as leftovers!
    Thank you both for sharing the sweet story and the yummy recipe! E.

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Ellen, I am so excited to hear this!!! Thank you for letting me know that you are cooking up a storm over there, and so glad you enjoyed the recipe!!!

  41. Patti Markho says:

    I loved the article until I read the back and forth between you, Maureen and Dick – loved that more 🙂
    Peggy, you made me laugh out loud when you said your Dad asked you if you were using peas or beans every time. I had the pleasure of eating Yahneh at the Abood house many years ago and it was everything you describe above and more……deeee-lish!! I especially remember how much your Dad enjoyed it.

  42. Peggy Abood says:

    Dicky sweetheart brother, you know we don’t use cumin in anything, ever! You are one of the supreme teasers about this dish especially as the zoom rolls down your chin! Enjoy!!!

  43. Richard Abood says:

    If I remember correctly, Del Monte canned green beans made their way into this dish more often than not in the Abood household. And the meat was not usually given such TLC to bring out its’ fully caramelized potential, either. Cut up, very well done left over pot roast is my clearer memory. And it produced a pretty darn good Yah.
    Your fancy extra virgin olive oil, and baby bella mushrooms, and farm market green beans are a little daunting for this peasant dish – but I will give them a try, because I know you are an expert in the genre, and particularly because it looks pretty good in the picture…but a full teaspoon of cinnamon I will not! Just a dash. And you forgot to mention the cayenne pepper and the cumin.

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Well isn’t that something. I’m glad to see you are finally weighing in, Richard. You change out that full teaspoon cinnamon (yes) for cumino and you will be the only one eating your yahneh……

      1. RevW says:

        Yay! Someone besides me who doesn’t use cumin in anything. Cumin instead of cinnamon… shudder. Thanks for reminding me of this! Making it tonight. My mother’s recipe may have been Tunisian- green beans or sliced zuchinni and the meat could be beef or lamb or goat, leftover or not, even ground meat, or with pasta and no meat.Tomatoes could be sauce, or fresh, or canned. With or without mushrooms. The only things that were always included were sauteed onions & garlic, and cinnamon. With NO cominos.

      2. Carol Walter says:

        Loved this dish -in addition I added nutmeg, allspice, to the cinnamon. (Equal) At the end some coriander. FLAVOR!!! I need a lot. More onion too. I did use less water and glad I did . PS I used frozen green beans.(worked well) Great dish – Enjoy!

    2. Maureen Abood says:

      Mother says: “Richard, back then we didn’t have fresh beans in Lansing in the middle of winter..”

  44. Kelly Tivey says:

    I CANNOT wait to make this over the weekend!! Thanks!

  45. Geralyn Lasher says:

    I am with you Peggy–Lubieh has always been one of my favorites! In the Lasher house we never have added the mushrooms, so I am eager to give that a try next time I make it. We serve it over hashwi. Love, love, love it!