Similarly to the Mediterranean diet, the rich Lebanese cuisine is full of super foods and healthy ingredients.

Many of the traditional dishes are basically made with beans, vegetables and olive oil. Think of the iconic hummus b thineh, baba ghannouj, and tabbouleh!

Although you may find several dishes that are naturally gluten-free, the Lebanese people enjoy eating pita bread with a lot of meals. For example: They dip small pieces of bread in the hummus/baba ghannouj plate (no need for a spoon here).

Watch out for the following if you are coeliac or if you can’t consume gluten:
Restaurant kitchens are most likely cross-contaminated with gluten. Here are some examples I’ve seen in the past:

  • Your grilled meat/chicken skewer could arrive to your table right on a piece of bread
  • Fried fish is usually breaded (using wheat flour) and served along with fried bread
  • If you order a whole grilled chicken, you will likely get it wrapped in bread
  • Just as ceasar salad has croutons on top, fattoush has pieces of grilled or fried bread
  • French fries could be breaded with gluten-containing ingredients, or they could be fried in the same oil used for crispy chicken

List of Lebanese mezza

  • πŸ”΄ Tabbouleh – usually contains burghol
  • 🟠 Fattoush – contains grilled or fried bread
  • 🟒 Hommos b thineh – safe unless touched bread
  • 🟒 Baba ghannouj – safe unless touched bread
  • πŸ”΄ Sfeeha – made with wheat flour
  • πŸ”΄ Sambousik – made with wheat flour
  • πŸ”΄ Mankouche (manakish) – made with wheat flour
  • 🟒 Warak 3enab (vine leaves) – safe
  • πŸ”΄ Kibbeh – usually contains burghol

List of Lebanese main dishes / sandwiches

  • πŸ”΄ Shawarma – served in a sandwich that’s not normally GF
  • 🟠 Rice over chicken – could have gluten in the sauce or the vermicelli
  • πŸ”΄ Moghrabiye – the small balls are initially made of wheat
  • 🟠 Mloukhye – usually has grilled bread on top, could contain vermicelli in the rice
  • πŸ”΄ Falafel (balls) – not gluten-free, unless labelled otherwise
  • 🟒 Mjaddara – usually safe, unless rice got replaced with burghol
  • 🟠 Anything grilled or fried – risky – ask if it can be made in a non-contaminated environment

List of Lebanese desserts

  • πŸ”΄ Baklawa – the dough is made of wheat flour
  • πŸ”΄ Sfouf – wheat flour is used, just like cake
  • 🟒 Debes bi tahini (Tahini and carob molasses) – normally safe
  • 🟠 Knafeh (without the bread) – risky
  • 🟠 Custard – usually GF but could have additional flavors or be contaminated during production
  • 🟠 Jello – could be safe, depends how it’s made

List of Lebanese drinks/spirits

  • 🟠 Arak – usually GF but people can make it differently
  • 🟒 Wine – usually gluten-free
  • 🟒 Lebanese (or Turkish) coffee – safe

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