Lebanese spinach stew
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Lebanese spinach stew: Yakhnet Sabanegh

Yakhnet Sabanegh is a Lebanese spinach stew that is served with roasted pine nuts, fragrant buttered rice or bulgur. I’ve always loved spinach, so I was probably a rather unusual child. That’s why I honestly still can’t understand why so many children supposedly have an aversion to this divine vegetable. Yet you can make such incredibly tasty things with it. Spinach can not only be made into a stew, but can also be put into dumplings with feta or used to make a green shakshuka.

Levantine home cooking

I used to come home from school and sometimes it smelled like… nothing. Catastrophic, not at all possible, an absolute impertinence. (I would then always immediately rush to the reserves of our small but always full chocolate stash). After all, you shouldn’t keep a hungry child who has just had a whole 3 hours of school waiting (I was a diva as a hungry child… I still am today). But as if by magic, a delicious spinach stew appeared on the table about 30 minutes later. My mother is quick at cooking, but Yakhnet Sabanegh is actually prepared in no time at all.

Spinach stew according to mom’s recipe

Yakhnet Sabanegh simply means “spinach stew“. My family has two different recipes for this. My mother leaves out the meat, which makes the dish immediately vegan. And she has it on the table within 30 minutes! So if you want to make the stew vegan, increase the amount of pine nuts for extra crunch.

And the grandma-style version

I have used my grandmother’s recipe and also use some minced beef, which gives the spinach stew a stronger, heartier character. But freshly roasted pine nuts are a must here too!

Spinach: fresh or from the freezer?

I personally love using fresh, young spinach in salads. I prefer to use the frozen version for stews. The spinach is washed and shock-frozen immediately after harvesting. This means that most of the nutrients remain in the vegetables. What’s more, the spinach is then conveniently already chopped and I can use it straight away.

Ingredients for the stew

You will need the following ingredients for this aromatic spinach stew:

  • Chopped spinach, frozen (or fresh baby spinach)
  • Minced beef
  • Vegetable stock (dried powder or fresh from the jar)
  • Onion
  • Garlic (fresh or as a paste)
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon, untreated
  • Pine nuts
  • Coriander, ground
  • Salt, pepper

And what comes with it?

I recommend serving with buttery rice or bulgur. In Lebanon, the Yakhnet Sabanekh is eaten incl. She doesn’t eat rice with cutlery, by the way, but scoops it all up with fresh flatbread. So of course you can also serve it with fresh flatbread.

How easy it is to prepare the spinach dish

  1. Chop the onion and garlic.
  2. Fry the minced beef with onion and garlic
  3. Add the coriander and spinach and deglaze with the stock.
  4. Add the lemon juice to the stew and simmer.
  5. Toast the pine nuts and add to the pan.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Prepare buttered rice or side dish of your choice.
  8. Serve the spinach stew with buttered rice and lemon wedges if desired.


  • For a vegan version of the dish, simply leave out the meat or replace it with chickpeas.
  • Use frozen spinach! You can of course also use fresh spinach, but the preparation of the spinach would take longer.
  • To roast the pine nuts, use a non-stick pan and leave out the oil. Heating the kernels releases their own fats and makes them nice and buttery.
  • The spinach stew is a real summer stew, by the way! The lemon juice gives the dish a wonderful freshness.

Quick & easy cooking

Now you know everything you need to cook my family recipe. Just one question remains: vegan or with beef?

No matter what you decide, it will taste good and I wish you a good appetite.

Recipe for Yakhnet Sabanegh – Lebanese spinach stew

Libanesischer Spinateintopf
Print Recipe Rezept speichern
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 People
Calories 337


  • 500 g Spinach chopped, frozen
  • 250 g Ground beef
  • 200 ml Vegetable broth
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 3 EL TBSP Olive oil
  • 1 Lemon
  • 30 g Pine nuts
  • 1 TSP Coriander ground
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1 x Butter rice


  • Defrost the spinach.
  • Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.
  • Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and fry the minced beef for about 3 minutes. Add the onion and garlic, turn the heat to medium and fry for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the ground coriander and spinach and deglaze with stock.
  • Squeeze the lemon and add the lemon juice to the stew. Simmer the stew for about 15 minutes.
  • Briefly toast the pine nuts without oil in a pan on medium heat until they have some colour and add to the stew. Season the stew with salt and pepper.
  • Prepare the butter rice according to the recipe
  • Serve the spinach stew with buttered rice and lemon wedges if desired.


Recipe contains affiliate links. 


Calories: 337kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 341mg | Potassium: 996mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 11853IU | Vitamin C: 52mg | Calcium: 152mg | Iron: 5mg

If you love stews too, then be sure to try fasolia, okra stew or Lebanese potato stew.

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