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Are those cold dreary days getting into you? Do you long for the warmth and joys of a hearty and healthy meal that will satiate your hunger during those long winter nights?

Then, look no further because my wholesome Freekeh with meat shanks recipe is here to warm your soul and fill your tummy!

Every spoon of this amazing Freekeh is a delight. Experience a celebration of textures with fluffy Freekeh, tender beef shanks, and golden crunchy nuts. I’m not gonna lie, the combination is just WOW, and you’d probably end up licking your spoon afterward. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Fluffly Freekeh Cooked to Perfection Bustling with Flavors

Lebanese style Freekeh with Beef topped with roasted nuts
Sometimes happiness is as simple as digging in a warm hearty meal that fills your soul with joy!

Durum Wheat

There’s something very satisfying about consuming an ancient grain like Freekeh that is packed with amazing health benefits, and prepared in a modern way that preserves its traditional taste!

What’s even better is how absolutely filling this dish is. It’s just what you need to help you beat the midnight hunger of the long winter nights.

The Taste of Warmth in Every Spoon

Instant pot freekeh with beef shanks healthy and filling
Nothing brings joy to a dish more than the crunch of golden roasted nuts!

The Story of Freekeh

While Freekeh might sound like an exotic hipster food to many of us, it is actually an ancient grain. It has long been a part of the diet of the people of Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria since before Christ. So how did it come to be?

The story goes that a long long time ago, a Middle Eastern village came under attack and their crops of young, green wheat caught fire during the siege.

Scared of losing all their food supplies, the villagers managed to find a way to rescue the burned crops by rubbing away the burned chaff to reveal the roasted wheat kernels inside. Actually, this is where the name Freekeh comes from. Freekeh, Freekah, or Freek all mean “rubbing” or the “rubbed one” in Arabic. Fortunately, today we don’t have to worry about rubbing any grain thanks to the wonders of advancement.

Comfort Food at Its Finest

Hearty and delicious, Freekeh is comfort food at its finest!
Enjoy the amazing taste of this ancient grain and reap its health benefits!

Why is Freekeh a Superfood?

If you’re into healthy food and clean eating, then you might have heard the phrase “Freekeh is the new quinoa” before. Indeed, Freekeh is one freaking amazing grain. It has a lot of qualities that make it worthy of being called a superfood, for it is:

  • Low in fat
  • High in protein and fibers: Compared to quinoa, Freekeh has double the amount of fiber and protein.
  • Low glycemic index: This means that the carbohydrates in Freekeh take a longer time to break down in the body, which makes it more filling than other grains.
  • Rich in zinc, iron, and clacium
  • Good source of prebiotics and probiotics: which is believed to improve the bowl’s health.

Feed Your Soul, Pamper Your Body!

The earthy flavor of Freekeh with perfectly tender moist meat and crunchy nuts
The taste of health and warmth!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Freekeh?

To put it simply, it’s the STAR of our dish. LOL.
Joking aside, Freekah, Freekeh, or Frikeh is the name of the grain known in English as Durum wheat. Durum wheat is also known as pasta wheat or macaroni wheat. It is harvested from young, green wheat. It is then scorched, roasted, dried, and rubbed. Actually, the word Freekeh comes from Arabic ‘to rub’, and it refers to the process of making Freekeh.

What does Freekeh look and taste like?

Freekeh is green. In fact, it’s sometimes referred to as green wheat. It has a pronounced flavor: nutty, earthy, and slightly smokey as it is roasted.

What can I use as a Freekeh substitute?

For this recipe, it’s possible to substitute Freekeh or durum wheat with your whole grain of choice. Some great substitutes would be Farro, barley, whole-wheat couscous, or quinoa. Cook each grain accordingly and apply this recipe’s spices to the process. 

Is Freekeh gluten-free?

No, as Freekeh is essentially wheat, it’s definitely NOT gluten-free. However, based on anecdotal evidence, it seems that freekeh might be easier to digest for those with less severe gluten-sensitivities. But it is NOT recommended to consume Freekeh if you have any gluten sensitivities without consulting your physician or nutritionist first.

How can I store Freekeh?

Like most grains, this should be stored in a dark and dry place. You could also keep the uncooked grains in the freezer. Now you might be surprised to hear this, but you can also freeze cooked Freekeh. Just make sure to add some water when reheating it.

Authentic Freekeh in Easy Steps

Hearty creamy freekeh with meat and topped with golden nuts
When life becomes cold, warm your soul with a hearty bowl of Freekeh

Ingredients You Need to Make Freekeh

  • beef shank or Chicken Breast
  • bay leaves (optional)
  • seven spices
  • durum wheat
  • water
  • onions
  • olive oil
  • seven spices
  • Himalayan salt

How to cook Freekeh with Beef Shanks

  1. Add beef shanks, bay leaves, and 1 tsp of seven spices to an instant pot filling it with 3 quarts of water. Set for 45 minutes.  Once finished using a metal strainer, cleanout the broth.  
  2. Meanwhile, wash durum wheat and strain. Then soak the wheat in warm water for about 5-10 minutes then drain excess water.
  3. In a pot add oil and sauté’ cubed onions until golden brown.  Add in the drained durum wheat, water, 7 spices, salt, and bouillon cubes and the cooked beef shanks.
  4. Using a wooden spoon, begin to break the beef shanks into chunks. Allow to boil for 2 minutes, then cover and simmer on medium-low for 20 minutes, stirring a few times to prevent from sticking. 
  5. Once finished, allow the finished wheat to rest for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.⁣⁣ Place in a serving plate and top with toasted nuts!  Enjoy!

Take a Look at Those Delicious Middle Eastern Recipes

5 from 1 vote

Freekeh with Beef Shanks

By: Lama
A delicious dish of cooked Durum wheat, or freekeh, with hearty pieces of beef shanks.


  • Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker


  • 1 lb. beef shank or Chicken Breast
  • Bay leaves, (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 3 cups soaked Durum wheat
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 onions
  • 3-6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt, or to taste


  • Add beef shanks to instant pot filling it with 3 quarts of water, bay leaves, and ⅛ tsp of seven spices. Set for 1 hour on high. 
  • Once finished using a metal strainer, clean out the broth.   
  • Meanwhile, wash the durum wheat and strain. Then soak the dry durum wheat in warm water for about 5-10 minutes then drain excess water.  
  • In a medium-sized pot, add olive oil and sauté’ cubed onions until golden brown. Then, add in the drained durum wheat, water, 7spices, salt, and bouillon cubes, and the cooked beef
  • Using a wooden spoon, begin to break the beef shanks into large strips or bite-size chunks. Allow to boil for 2 minutes, then cover and simmer on medium low for 20 minutes, until cooked. Be sire to uncover and stir a few times to prevent from sticking. 
  • Once finished, allow the cooked durum wheat to rest for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.⁣⁣ Place in a serving plate and top with toasted nuts!  Enjoy!


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About Lama

I'm Lama, welcome to my blog where you will find simple and diverse recipes your entire family will enjoy. I am honored to connect with you through the recipes I prepare!

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