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Lebanese Knafeh Recipe


Delight your taste buds with the delectable flavors of Lebanese Knafeh, a traditional Middle Eastern dessert that combines sweet and savory notes in a mouthwatering treat. This irresistible dish is a true symbol of Lebanese cuisine, known for its rich history and unique ingredients that create a memorable dining experience. Get ready to indulge in the sweet and cheesy goodness of Lebanese Knafeh with this easy-to-follow recipe.

Origin and History Of This Recipe:

Lebanese Knafeh holds a special place in Lebanese culture and cuisine, with its roots tracing back to the city of Nablus in Palestine. This sweet dessert has been enjoyed for generations, with each family adding their own twist to the classic recipe. Made with shredded phyllo dough, a gooey cheese filling, and a sweet sugar syrup, Lebanese Knafeh is a popular dish served during special occasions and holidays. Its authenticity and tradition have been preserved throughout the years, making it a beloved dessert in Lebanese households.

Things To Expect In This Post Article:

In this post, we will explore the traditional Lebanese Knafeh recipe, step-by-step instructions on how to make this delicious dessert, a list of ingredients needed, nutritional information, serving suggestions, and tips and tricks to enhance your cooking experience. Additionally, we will provide variations and substitutions for dietary needs, as well as storage and reheating instructions to ensure you can enjoy Lebanese Knafeh at its best.

Ingredients List:

  • 1 pound of kataifi dough (shredded phyllo dough)
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 pound of akkawi cheese or mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • Crushed pistachios for garnish

Preparation Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and butter a baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, separate the kataifi dough into small pieces and mix in the melted butter.
  3. Press half of the dough mixture into the bottom of the baking dish to form a crust.
  4. Spread the shredded cheese evenly over the crust.
  5. Cover the cheese with the remaining dough mixture and press down gently.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice to make the sugar syrup. Cook until the sugar is dissolved.
  8. Pour the sugar syrup over the hot knafeh and let it soak for 15-20 minutes.
  9. Garnish with crushed pistachios before serving.

Cooking Time & Servings:

The Lebanese Knafeh recipe takes about 1 hour to prepare and serves 8-10 people.

Personal Touch:

Lebanese Knafeh holds a special place in my heart, bringing back memories of family gatherings and celebrations. The delicious combination of sweet syrup and cheesy goodness never fails to impress, making it a must-have dessert for any occasion.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving (1 piece):

  • Calories: 350
  • Total Fat: 20g
  • Saturated Fat: 12g
  • Cholesterol: 60mg
  • Sodium: 300mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1g
  • Sugars: 20g
  • Protein: 8g

Health Conditions And People To Avoid This:

People with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies should avoid Lebanese Knafeh due to the cheese content. Additionally, individuals with diabetes should consume this dessert in moderation due to its high sugar content.

Nutrition and Benefits To The Body:

The Lebanese Knafeh provides a good source of protein from the cheese and essential nutrients from the sugar syrup and dough. While it is a delicious treat, it should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.


Excessive consumption of Lebanese Knafeh can lead to weight gain, increased cholesterol levels, and a higher risk of diabetes. Eating moderately is perfectly fine, but acquiring excess of this dessert can have negative effects on your health.

Tips and Tricks:

  • For a healthier version, use low-fat cheese and reduce the amount of sugar in the syrup.
  • Add a hint of rose water or orange blossom water to enhance the flavor of the sugar syrup.
  • Serve Lebanese Knafeh warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delightful dessert experience.

Equipment Needed:

  • Baking dish
  • Saucepan
  • Mixing bowls
  • Oven

Variations or Substitutions:

  • Substitute the kataifi dough with shredded phyllo pastry for a different texture.
  • Swap the cheese for a dairy-free alternative like coconut milk or cashew cheese for a vegan version.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve Lebanese Knafeh warm with a drizzle of extra sugar syrup and a sprinkle of crushed pistachios for added crunch and flavor. Pair it with a cup of hot tea or Arabic coffee for a truly authentic experience.

Storage and Reheating Instructions:

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the knafeh in an oven at 350°F (175°C) for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through.


Indulge in the sweet and savory flavors of Lebanese Knafeh with this easy-to-follow recipe that captures the essence of Middle Eastern cuisine. Whether you are a fan of traditional desserts or looking to try something new, Lebanese Knafeh is sure to impress your taste buds and leave you craving for more. Share your cooking adventures with us and enjoy this delightful dessert with friends and family.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: What is the texture of Lebanese Knafeh?
A: Lebanese Knafeh has a crispy and flaky outer layer with a gooey and cheesy filling, making it a deliciously unique dessert.

Q: Can I use different types of cheese for Lebanese Knafeh?
A: Yes, you can use akkawi cheese, mozzarella cheese, or ricotta cheese for a different flavor and texture in Lebanese Knafeh.

Q: How long does Lebanese Knafeh last?
A: Lebanese Knafeh can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, but it is best enjoyed fresh for optimal taste and texture.

Q: Can I freeze Lebanese Knafeh?
A: It is not recommended to freeze Lebanese Knafeh as it may affect the texture and flavor of the dessert.

Q: Can I make Lebanese Knafeh in advance?
A: Yes, you can prepare the components of Lebanese Knafeh in advance and assemble them just before baking for a convenient dessert option.

Q: Are there any variations of Lebanese Knafeh?
A: Yes, you can add different toppings such as honey or rosewater syrup for a unique twist on the classic Lebanese Knafeh recipe. Experiment with flavors to suit your preference.

Q: Is Lebanese Knafeh gluten-free?
A: No, Lebanese Knafeh contains phyllo dough, which is made from wheat flour and is not suitable for individuals with gluten intolerance.

Q: How can I make a healthier version of Lebanese Knafeh?
A: To make a healthier version, use low-fat cheese, reduce the amount of sugar in the syrup, and opt for whole wheat phyllo dough for a nutritious twist on this traditional dessert.

Q: How long does it take to make Knafeh from start to finish?
A: The total cooking time for Lebanese Knafeh is approximately 1 hour, including preparation and baking time.

Q: Are there any dairy-free alternatives for this recipe?
A: You can try using dairy-free cheese or a vegan cheese alternative to make a dairy-free version of Lebanese Knafeh.

Q: Can I make Knafeh ahead of time for a party?
A: Yes, you can prepare the Knafeh in advance and reheat it before serving to save time on the day of your event. Just be sure to store it properly to maintain its freshness and flavor.

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