Are you ready to discover the rich and diverse flavors of Saudi Arabian food? From traditional dishes steeped in history and culture, to contemporary creations that have taken the world by storm, we have the ultimate guide to the most popular and delicious foods from the land of Saudi Arabia.
In this blog post, we will be showcasing 35 of the most beloved and sought-after dishes that you should definitely try in 2023. Whether you’re a foodie looking to expand your palate or simply looking for something new to try, you won’t want to miss out on these mouth-watering delicacies.
Saudi Arabian cuisine is heavily influenced by the country’s geography and history. The desert landscape and Bedouin nomadic lifestyle have had a significant impact on the dishes that are traditionally prepared and consumed.
As a result, many of the traditional dishes are hearty, filling, and made with locally sourced ingredients such as lamb, rice, and dates.
We’ll start with some of the most popular traditional dishes, such as Kabsa and Mandi, both of which are rice-based dishes that are typically served with meat or chicken.
Next, we’ll move on to some of the more contemporary creations that have become popular in recent years. We’ll also explore some of the sweet treats that Saudi Arabia has to offer, such as the ever-popular Baklava. And don’t forget about the dates, which are a staple in Saudi Arabian cuisine, used in both sweet and savory dishes.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the culinary delights of Saudi Arabia and discover the 35 most popular and delicious foods that you should know in 2023.
Popular Arabian food ideas
Looking to try a new saudi arabian food in 2023? Kabsa is one option that will definitely be popular. This dish is made from fava beans, which are mashed and shaped into small patties, and then deep-fried. The resulting dish is crispy and filling, perfect for a quick meal. Alternatively, you could try kabsa soup, which is a mix of fava beans and lamb broth. Either way, these dishes are sure to be a hit with any saudi arabian fan!
It is usually served with meat or chicken and is considered a staple in Saudi Arabian cuisine.
In Saudi Arabia, it is customary to eat rice with every meal. And when it comes to rice, the most popular variety is Mandi. Mandi, which is also popular in other Arab countries such as Bahrain and the UAE, is a type of rice that is cooked with saffron and a blend of spices.
Mandi can be served as a side dish or main course, and can be enjoyed with any type of protein or vegetable. Families usually cook mandi together on the same plate, so everyone can enjoy their own portion.
This popular Arab dish will likely continue to be popular in 2023 because of its versatility and deliciousness.
Experts predict that Shawarma, the popular Saudi Arabian food, will gain even more popularity in the coming year. Typically, chefs make Shawarma from chicken or lamb and skewer it on a vertical rotisserie. Chefs cover Shawarma in spices and grill it until it’s cooked through.
Many restaurants serve Shawarma, often accompanied by fries and a drink.
Chefs make this Middle Eastern sandwich with marinated meat and various toppings, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and tahini sauce, and wrap it in a pita bread. It’s a popular street food in Saudi Arabia and around the Middle East.
Falafel is a popular saudi arabian food to try in 2023. It is a fantastic dish made from ground chickpeas, which are mixed with spices and formed into balls. Chefs deep-fry it and serve it with a variety of toppings. Falafel is a healthy food choice, as it is low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
This recipe is a popular street food in Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries. Cooks often present Shawarma in a warm pita bread, accompanied by a variety of toppings such as fresh salad greens, creamy tahini sauce, and spicy hot sauce.
Many people enjoy the satisfying and delicious taste of Shawarma, thanks to its combination of flavors and textures in the sandwich. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick and easy lunch or a filling dinner, Shawarma is sure to hit the spot.
Biryani is a beloved dish in the Arabian region that has stood the test of time. For centuries, people in the region have been savoring the flavorful and aromatic combination of rice, spices, and meat.
Experts anticipate that in 2023, Biryani will remain a favorite choice for those seeking a flavorful and hearty meal
There are many variations of biryani, so everyone can find something they love. Some of the most popular styles include chicken biryani, shrimp biryani, and lamb biryani.
There are also vegetarian versions available, so everyone can find something they enjoy. Biryani is perfect for any occasion – from a casual night out with friends to an elegant dinner party.
Experts predict that this popular dish in Saudi Arabia, Harees will become even more popular in the coming years. This delicious Italian recipe is a mixture of rice and minced lamb or beef that is wrapped in a piece of dough and then deep-fried.
Chefs serve Harees with various sauces, such as mint chutney, tomato sauce, and sweet honey syrup. Wedding planners often include Harees as part of the wedding buffet at weddings.
During Ramadan, people often serve Harees as a simple but filling dish.
7. Stuffed Grape Leaves
Stuffed Grape Leaves as a popular saudi arabian food to try in 2023.
Grape leaves are a popular dish in Saudi Arabia and around the Middle East. They are stuffed with rice, meat, or vegetables and then dipped in an egg and breadcrumbs mixture. Some variations also include coating them in ground nuts, spices, or semolina.
People can enjoy the grape leaves as a meal on their own or as an appetizer before serving more substantial fare. They make a healthy and convenient option for those looking for a light yet flavorful meal.
People commonly eat them as an appetizer or main course and chefs can prepare them with a range of fillings. Some Popular filling options include chicken, beef, lamb, or vegetable.
The popularity of kofta as a popular saudi arabian food to try in 2023 is indisputable. Almost every restaurant or street stall in the kingdom offers Kofta, a meatball-like dish. Cooks serve it with a variety of sauces, including tahini, chili sauce, and garlic sauce. Kofta’s versatility allows it to be served as a main course or as part of a mezze platter, making it a suitable option for those in search of a hearty and satisfying meal.
In Saudi Arabia, the most popular cuisine is traditional Arabic food. It can be hard to find a restaurant that serves anything else! However, there are some great things to try if you’re looking for something different from the norm.
One of these dishes is machboos, which is basically a type of rice dish with shredded chicken or beef cooked in a tomato sauce. It’s a really delicious and simple dish that’s perfect for a quick lunch or dinner.
So if you’re ever in Saudi Arabia and want to try something new and tasty, give machboos a go!
With more people travelling to Saudi Arabia for work and holiday each year, there is an increasing demand for foods from the country. Fattoush, a popular saudi arabian food, will be one of the most in-demand dishes in 2023.
There are many variations of fattoush, but the most common version features finely chopped vegetables mixed with tahini (sesame paste) and lemon juice. Cooks often serve it with flat breads like lavash or naan and can top it with eggs, chicken, or lamb.
11. Shish Tawook
Shish tawook is a popular saudi arabian food to try in 2023. Chefs prepare this dish by marinating lamb in spices and then grilling it. It is a popular option for those who are looking for something different to eat, and it is also a great choice if you are looking for something that will fill you up.
Cooks serve it with rice, Tunisian-style flatbreads, and an Arabic sauce. The dish is very popular in restaurants and homes.
Hummus is a popular saudi arabian food to try in 2023. People can enjoy its diverse flavors as a dip, spread on sandwiches, or as an ingredient in recipes. To prepare hummus, chefs blend chickpeas, tahini sauce, and lemon juice.
This creates a creamy, flavorful spread that has become a staple in households and restaurants around the world. With its versatility and satisfying taste, hummus is a popular choice for a snack or as part of a larger meal.
Cooks also use it as a sauce for proteins like chicken or fish, adding an extra layer of flavor to their dishes. Some people enjoy it on bread as a sandwich spread, or as a dip with vegetables.
The dish is popular in the Middle East and North Africa. People enjoy hummus as an appetizer, a main dish, or as a dip for their pita or vegetables. Its versatility makes it a popular choice for any meal.
13. Baba Ghanoush
Baba Ghanoush: Baba Ghanoush is a popular eggplant dip that originates from the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia. Made from roasted eggplant mixed with tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and seasonings, this creamy and flavorful dip is a staple in Saudi Arabian cuisine.
People usually serve it as an appetizer with warm pita bread or vegetables for dipping. It can also be spread on sandwiches or used as a topping for meats and vegetables.
The smoky flavor of the roasted eggplant combined with the tangy lemon and garlic make this dish a crowd-pleaser.
Tabbouleh is a popular salad made from parsley, bulgur wheat, tomatoes, cucumbers, mint, and lemon juice. This dish is a staple in Saudi Arabian cuisine, and is often served as a side dish or as a light lunch.
The combination of fresh herbs, crunchy vegetables, and nutty bulgur wheat make this dish both healthy and flavorful. The lemon juice provides a bright and tangy flavor, while the mint adds a refreshing touch.
Tabbouleh is a great Saudi Arabian food for hot summer days and can be easily prepared in large quantities for gatherings.
Samosas are a type of pastry filled with savory fillings, such as spiced meat or vegetables. They are popular in many countries, including Saudi Arabia, where they are often served as a snack or appetizer.
Samosas are made by wrapping a triangular shaped dough around the filling, then deep-frying or baking until crispy. The crisp exterior and savory filling make samosas a satisfying and convenient snack. They are often served with chutneys or dips for added flavor.
Kibbeh is a very popular Saudi Arabian food, made from ground meat (typically lamb or beef), bulgur wheat, and spices. The mixture is formed into balls or patties, then fried or baked.
Kibbeh can be served as a main dish or as a snack, and is often served with tahini sauce or other dips. The nutty flavor of the bulgur wheat combined with the spicy meat make this dish a flavorful and filling option. Kibbeh is also a popular dish during religious celebrations and gatherings.
Musakhan is a traditional dish from Palestine, which is also popular in Saudi Arabia. It consists of roasted chicken, caramelized onions, and spices, served on top of flatbread.
The chicken is marinated in a mixture of spices, then roasted until tender and juicy. The caramelized onions add a sweet and tangy flavor to the dish, while the spices provide depth and warmth. Musakhan is typically served as a main dish and is often accompanied by rice or vegetables.
18. Stuffed Zucchini
Stuffed zucchini is a dish made by hollowing out zucchinis and filling them with a mixture of meat, rice, and spices. This dish is popular in many countries, including Saudi Arabia, where it is often served as a main dish or as part of a larger spread.
The zucchinis add a crunchy texture and fresh flavor to the dish, while the stuffing provides a satisfying and filling center. Stuffed zucchini can be baked or fried, and is often garnished with fresh herbs or a squeeze of lemon for added flavor.
Labneh is a popular Middle Eastern cheese made from strained yogurt. It is a staple in Saudi Arabian cuisine, where it is often used as a spread or as a dip. Labneh has a creamy and tangy flavor, and can be flavored with herbs, spices, or olive oil for added depth.
It is typically served with warm pita bread or vegetables for dipping, and can also be used as a topping for meats or vegetables. Labneh is a healthy and versatile Saudi Arabian food, as it is lower in fat than most cheeses and provides a good source of protein.
Maqluba is a traditional dish from the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, made from meat, vegetables, and rice. The ingredients are layered in a pot, then flipped over onto a serving platter to reveal a colorful and flavorful dish.
Maqluba is typically made with chicken or lamb, and can include vegetables such as eggplant, tomatoes, and onions. The dish is flavored with spices and often garnished with nuts or herbs for added crunch and flavor.
Maqluba is a filling and flavorful dish, perfect for special occasions and gatherings.
21. Kashkawan Pizza
Kashkawan Pizza is a unique type of pizza found in Saudi Arabia, made with a traditional flatbread crust and topped with kashkawan cheese, meat, and spices. This delicious Italian cheese is a type of salty cheese that adds a tangy and salty flavor to the dish.
The pizza is often topped with meats such as ground beef or lamb, and spices such as cumin and paprika. Kashkawan Pizza is a filling and flavorful option, perfect for a quick and easy meal.
Kanafeh is a popular Middle Eastern dessert made with thin vermicelli-like noodles made of semolina dough and soaked in a sweet syrup. The noodles are layered with cheese, typically a soft, white cheese like akawie or nabulsi, and sometimes topped with ground nuts.
It is made with marinated meat cooked on a spit and shaved off to be served with a side of rice, vegetables, and a variety of saucesThe entire dessert is then baked until golden and served hot with a drizzle of syrup on top.
Kanafeh is a rich and sweet treat that is perfect for special occasions or as a special dessert.
Dates are a staple food in Saudi Arabia, and are widely grown and consumed in the country. They are a type of sweet, juicy fruit that can be eaten fresh or dried, and come in a variety of different varieties.
They are often used as a sweetener in many traditional dishes, such as sweet cakes and pastries, and are also enjoyed as a snack on their own. Dates are a nutritious and versatile food that are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
24. Arabic Juice
Arabic Juice, also known as jallab, is a popular drink in Saudi Arabia made from grape molasses, dates, and rose water. It is made from a variety of fruits such as pomegranate, mango, and strawberry, blended together and sweetened with sugar or honey.
The juice is sweet and flavorful, with a unique and slightly floral taste. It is typically served over ice and can be enjoyed on its own or as a base for other drinks, such as smoothies or cocktails. Arabic Juice is a refreshing and hydrating drink, perfect for hot days or as an after-dinner treat.
Awamat are a type of deep-fried dough ball that are popular in Saudi Arabia. They are made from a mixture of flour, yeast, and sugar, and are often served with a sweet syrup or honey. Awamat are a sweet and slightly chewy treat that can be enjoyed as a snack or dessert.
They are often found at street stalls and markets, and are a popular treat for people of all ages.
Luqaimat are small, sweet dumplings that are popular in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia. They are made from a mixture of flour, yeast, and sugar, and are typically fried until golden.
Luqaimat are then drizzled with sweet syrup or honey, and are often garnished with nuts or cinnamon for added flavor. Luqaimat are a sweet and satisfying treat that can be enjoyed as a dessert or snack.
Basbousa is a sweet and moist cake made from semolina flour, sugar, and coconut. The cake is often flavored with rose water or orange blossom water, and is typically served with a sweet syrup on top.
Basbousa is a popular dessert in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, and is often served at special occasions and gatherings.
Jareesh is a type of porridge made from cracked wheat and water, and is a staple food in Saudi Arabia. It is often flavored with spices, such as cinnamon or cardamom, and sweetened with sugar or honey.
Jareesh can be enjoyed as a sweet breakfast or snack, and is also used as a base for other dishes, such as stews or sauces.
Balaleet is a sweet vermicelli pudding that is popular in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region. It is made from vermicelli noodles, milk, sugar, and cardamom, and is often garnished with saffron and pistachios.
Balaleet is a sweet and creamy dessert that is perfect for special occasions and gatherings.
Thareed is a type of traditional flatbread that is popular in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region. It is made from a thin, round flatbread that is typically topped with a mixture of spices, meat, or vegetables.
The bread is then broken into smaller pieces and served as a main dish or as a side to other meals. Thareed is a staple food in Saudi Arabia, and is often enjoyed as a filling and satisfying meal.
The bread is typically made with a mixture of wheat flour, water, and salt, and is cooked on a hot griddle or oven. The combination of flavors and textures make Thareed a popular and versatile food in Saudi Arabian cuisine.
Mehalabiya is a creamy, sweet pudding that is popular in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. It is made from a mixture of milk, sugar, cornstarch, and flavorings, such as rose water or vanilla.
The pudding is typically topped with nuts or fruit and is served chilled. Mehalabiya is a delicious and creamy dessert that is perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth. The pudding is a staple dessert in Saudi Arabian cuisine and is often served at special occasions and gatherings.
Zalabiya is a type of fried dough ball that is popular in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region. It is made from a mixture of flour, yeast, and sugar, and is typically shaped into a ball or a twisted shape before being fried until golden.
Zalabiya is then drizzled with syrup or honey, and is often garnished with nuts or cinnamon. Zalabiya is a sweet and crispy treat that can be enjoyed as a snack or dessert. It is often found at street stalls and markets, and is a popular treat for people of all ages.
Mutabbaq is a type of stuffed pastry that is popular in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region. It is made from a thin, flaky dough that is filled with a mixture of meat, cheese, or vegetables, and then folded into a triangular shape.
Mutabbaq is then fried until golden and crispy, and is often served with a side of sauce or dip. Mutabbaq is a filling and satisfying food that can be enjoyed as a snack or a main dish. The pastry is a staple food in Saudi Arabian cuisine, and is often found at street stalls and markets.
Qeema is a type of minced meat dish that is popular in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region. It is made from a mixture of beef, lamb, or chicken that is seasoned with spices and onions, and then sautéed until fully cooked.
Qeema is often served as a main dish, and is often accompanied by rice, bread, or vegetables. The dish is a staple food in Saudi Arabian cuisine, and is often enjoyed for its savory and flavorful taste. Qeema is also a versatile food that can be used in a variety of different dishes, such as pies or stews.
35. Stuffed Vine Leaves
Stuffed vine leaves, also known as Dolma, is a dish made from rolled vine leaves that are stuffed with a mixture of rice, spices, and sometimes, ground meat. The dish is popular in Saudi Arabia, as well as in other countries in the Middle East and Mediterranean region.
The vine leaves are first blanched, then filled with the stuffing mixture, and finally, they are rolled up into a neat cylinder shape. The stuffed vine leaves are then cooked in a flavorful broth, usually with tomato sauce and spices, until they are tender and flavorful. The dish is often served as a side dish, but can also be enjoyed as a main dish, especially when combined with other dishes such as rice or meat.
The combination of the tender, slightly sour vine leaves with the savory and aromatic stuffing mixture creates a unique and delicious taste that is a staple in Saudi Arabian cuisine.
Frequently Asked Questions
The number 1 food in Saudi Arabia is rice and meat dishes. The most popular dish is Kabsa, which is a combination of spiced rice and chicken or lamb. It is usually served with a variety of side dishes such as hummus, tabbouleh, and grilled vegetables.
Other popular dishes include Mutabbaq (a stuffed pancake), Mandi (rice cooked with meat and spices), and Shawarma (grilled meat). All of these dishes are typically served with traditional flatbreads such as shrak or khubz.
Saudi Arabia is well known for its delicious and unique sweets. One of the most popular Saudi Arabian sweets is called Kunafa, a pastry made with cheese, sugar syrup, and semolina dough.
It is usually served warm and topped with crushed pistachios or almonds. Another popular sweet is Umm Ali, which is similar to bread pudding but made with phyllo dough, milk, nuts, and raisins.
Lastly, there is Qatayef, a pancake-like dessert filled with cream or nuts and then fried in oil. Qatayef can be served either savory or sweet depending on the filling used. All of these desserts are beloved by Saudis and enjoyed during special occasions such as Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr.
It is difficult to definitively answer this question as food preferences vary significantly from person to person and culture to culture. However, many countries are renowned for their cuisine and could be considered as having some of the best food in the world.
France is often cited as having the finest cuisine in the world. French cuisine is known for its high quality ingredients, rich flavors, and classic recipes that have been passed down through generations.
Dishes such as steak frites (steak with french fries) and coq au vin (chicken cooked in red wine) are popular favorites throughout France.
The most famous fruit in Saudi Arabia is the date. Dates are a staple of the Saudi Arabian diet, and they have been cultivated in the region for thousands of years.
They are a sweet and nutritious snack that is enjoyed by many throughout the country. Dates are also used in traditional dishes such as ma’amoul, a type of pastry filled with dates, nuts and spices. Dates are often served with coffee or tea at social gatherings, and they are an important part of religious ceremonies.
Date palms are also an integral part of the landscape in Saudi Arabia, providing shade and food to many communities across the country.
The national drink of Saudi Arabia is coffee. Coffee has been a part of Saudi Arabian culture for centuries, and it is typically served with cardamom. It is often enjoyed after meals as a way to relax and socialize with family and friends.
Coffee is usually prepared using an ibrik, which is a small pot that sits on top of the stove. The beans are ground, boiled in water, and then poured into cups without any additional sweetener or milk. The resulting beverage is strong and aromatic, with a unique flavor that can only be found in Saudi Arabia.
In recent years, tea has become increasingly popular in Saudi Arabia as well. Green tea is often served with mint leaves or jasmine flowers to add sweetness and fragrance. Like coffee, it is enjoyed after meals as a way to relax and socialize.
When it comes to shopping in Saudi Arabia, there are a number of great items that you can purchase. One of the most popular items to buy is traditional clothing and accessories.
Saudi Arabia is known for its beautiful traditional garments, like the thobe and abaya, which make perfect souvenirs or gifts. Additionally, you can find some amazing jewelry pieces in Saudi Arabia, such as gold and silver necklaces and bracelets.
Another item that is great to buy in Saudi Arabia is local food products. There are a variety of unique spices, teas, and sweets available at local markets and stores. You can also find some delicious Arabic dishes like kabsa or shawarma that you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the world!
Finally, if you’re looking for something more modern, then head to one of the many malls throughout the country. Here you’ll find everything from designer clothing brands to electronics and home goods.
Generally speaking, food in Saudi Arabia is quite affordable. The cost of living in the country is low compared to many other countries, and the cost of groceries is no exception. For example, basic items like eggs and milk are inexpensive, while a meal at a restaurant can be surprisingly affordable.
In addition to being affordable, food in Saudi Arabia is also widely available. There are supermarkets and grocery stores all over the country, as well as street vendors that sell snacks and meals. No matter what kind of food you’re looking for, it’s likely that you’ll find it in Saudi Arabia.
Overall, food in Saudi Arabia is both cheap and accessible. Whether you’re looking for a quick snack or an elaborate meal, there will be something to suit your budget.
The best chocolate in Saudi Arabia is Al Nassma. This luxurious camel milk chocolate, made from the finest ingredients, is a unique and delicious treat. It has a smooth texture and rich flavor that makes it stand out from other chocolates.
Al Nassma offers an assortment of flavors including dark, white, and milk chocolate, as well as specialty flavors like cardamom and saffron. The brand also produces seasonal varieties such as dates, gingerbread, and pumpkin spice. Not only does Al Nassma offer exceptional quality and taste but their packaging is also attractive and modern.
They have created an elegant look that stands out on store shelves. If you’re looking for the best chocolate in Saudi Arabia, Al Nassma is definitely worth trying!
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In conclusion, Saudi Arabian cuisine is a rich and diverse culinary tradition that is characterized by its use of spices, herbs, and fresh ingredients. From the creamy sweetness of Mehalabiya to the savory and filling Mutabbaq, there is a dish for every taste and preference.
Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or a newcomer to the world of Middle Eastern cuisine, the 35 most popular Saudi Arabian foods listed in this blog post are a must-try. Whether enjoyed as a snack or a main dish, these dishes are a testament to the rich culinary heritage of Saudi Arabia and the region.
So next time you’re looking to try something new and delicious, don’t hesitate to explore the exciting world of Saudi Arabian cuisine.
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