Spiced Beef with Hummus


spiced beef with hummus-2

Spiced Beef with Hummus

This is one of my all time favourite ways to use minced (ground) beef without any tomato products. It’s based on a Lebanese dish and is great with lamb as well.

Baharat is a wonderful Lebanese spice blend containing 7 different spices. It adds a gorgeous fragrance but if you can’t find it, see below for an easy alternative home made spice blend.

enough for: 2
takes: 15 minutes

2 onions, peeled & diced
500g (1lb) minced (ground) beef
2 teaspoons baharat or ground cumin
handful pine nuts
8-10 large tablespoons hummus
4 handfuls baby spinach, to serve

1. Heat a generous glug of oil in a large frying pan. Cook onion over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, until starting to soften but not brown.

2. Add beef and increase the heat to high. Cook, stirring often until the beef is well browned all over. Add the baharat and stir fry for another minute or so. Taste season.

3. Serve spiced beef on a bed of hummus with pine nuts sprinkled over. Serve baby spinach on the side.

Leftover Potential

Will keep in the fridge for a week or so.


can’t find baharat? – no problem. Just use 1/2 teaspoon each of ground coriander, cumin, paprika and cinnamon.

vegetarian / vegan – replace the beef with lentils that have been simmered in water until tender (anywhere from 15-30 minutes) and drained. Drizzle in a little extra virgin olive oil to make up for the lentils being low in fat.

budget – skip the pine nuts or use toasted bread crumbs instead. You might like to add in some lentils as well to make the beef go further.

home made hummus – just whizz together a can of chickpeas with 1-2 cloves garlic and 3 tablespoons each lemon juice, tahini and the canning liquid.

sesame free
– for a tahini / sesame free version, skip the hummus and serve on a bed of mashed white beans or chickpeas with lemon juice and a little olive oil.

carb lovers / more substantial
– serve with flat bread or cooked quinoa.

paleo (gluten, grain + dairy-free)
– replace the hummus with this Cauli hummus. Or you could serve beef with cashew & cauliflower mash instead of hummus.

more veg – add cherry tomatoes or sliced mushrooms to the pan with the beef.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

beef – pop it in the freezer

baharat or cumin & pine nuts – keep in the pantry.

hummus – will keep in the fridge for a few weeks. Can be frozen.

baby spinach – either pop them in the freezer or wilt down in a covered pot with a little olive oil. This way they’ll keep in the fridge for a few weeks.

Problem Solving Guide

can’t find baharat? – make your own by combining equal parts of ground cumin, paprika and cinnamon. OR simply replace with ground cumin on its own.

beef burning – the heat is probably too high, or you haven’t been stirring often enough. Reduce the heat quickly and give it a good vigorous stir. A little more oil may help.

too dry – if your beef is low in fat, it can be quite dry. Normally the hummus balances it out, but if you’re worried you could drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil.

too spicy? – the baharat can be intense. If you’re tasting on its own, remember it will be diluted when you eat the finished meal with the hummus and salad

too bland? don’t forget to season. Salt, pepper and lemon juice are all your friends here.

Serving Suggestions

Great as a meal on it’s own. Or you could serve a little Lebanese bread or pita bread on the side to help scoop everything up.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Denise Pastor March 10, 2017

This is a favourite in our house, I don’t always have the hummus. I love adding cabbage which is featured in another recipe in your blog. I was sceptical at first. It is really tasty, even my ‘almost vegetarian’ husband, likes me to make it.


jules March 15, 2017

Great Denise!


Ellie Armsby September 20, 2014

made it with lentils and the substitute spice blend you suggested – another one for the favorites list!


jules September 26, 2014

Glad to hear it works well with lentils Ellie!


Marina Doucerain September 15, 2014

One thing I really like about Stonesoup recipes is how easy they are to customize, depending on what you feel like – or what you have in your fridge.
In that case, I had only a little bit of frozen ground horse meat but 10 pounds of onions, no pine nuts but a half full jar of cashews, and some mint lying around. It all worked out beautifully: I used 6 onions instead of two, and sprinkled the whole thing with chopped cashews and chopped mint leaves. Loved it!


jules September 18, 2014

Wow Marina!
So glad it worked. Thats a lot of onions to get through! Lucky most dishes won’t mind having extra onion. 🙂


Chris Boyd August 15, 2014

We really liked this dish, next time I will double the spice though. This is great rolled up in a flour tortilla with taco-type fillings!


jules August 21, 2014

Great Chris… love the idea of using tortillas 🙂


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