In our family, we have a few dishes that are frowned upon to eat with a fork. This Lebanese-spiced spinach and meat is one of them. It’s a great one-pan Lebanese dinner. We make a big batch of this on weeknights and scoop it up into warm pita bread – no forks in sight.
This can very easily be a pantry dinner made up of staples that you have on hand. I always have ground beef in the freezer and a bag of onions in my crisper. This is also great with lamb, if you have it. I keep a package of pine nuts frozen too, to have on hand when I’m making a Lebanese dinner. During the summer, there’s always a bag of spinach in the fridge from my CSA pick-ups, but during the winter frozen spinach works just as well. This is my favorite thing to pull together when I’m tired or pressed for time after work, or when it’s been awhile since a grocery run. But you’d never guess that this is a thrown together, simple meal. Serve with warm pita and a side of hummus and you’ve got dinner on the table!
If you’re looking for a quick and easy weeknight dinner that comes together in under 30 minutes, try this out. Just make sure you have lots of fresh pita bread on hand!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced (about one cup)
- 1 pound ground beef or lamb
- 2 teaspoons cumin, divided
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon pepper, divided
- ½ teaspoon allspice, divided
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 1 5oz package fresh baby spinach or 1 10oz package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- Pita bread for serving
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until just starting to turn translucent, about 2 minutes.
Add ground meat to onions and break up with a spoon as it cooks. At the same time, add 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon cumin, and ¼ teaspoon allspice. Cook for about five minutes, then add pine nuts. The meat will not be fully cooked yet but you want to let them cook together for the last few minutes. If your meat starts to sear, reduce heat to medium low. Continue to cook onions, meat, and pine nuts until the meat is just about cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes.
When the meat is nearly done cooking, add spinach, an additional ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon cumin, and ¼ teaspoon allspice, and cook until wilted, about 5 more minutes. If the meat starts to dry out, add about ¼ cup water.
Once everything is cooked through, taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with warm pita bread.