Dominican Kipes Recipe – A Delicious Appetizer

These Dominican Kipes or Quipes are incredibly flavorful, hearty, and have a deliciously meaty, crisp, and juicy texture. While they take a while to make, it is well worth the effort.

If you love this one, go check out some of my other authentic recipes from the Dominican Republic!

What Are Dominican Kipes?

Dominican Kipes, also commonly called quipes, are a type of deep-fried meat-filled bulgur wheat roll. They are very similar to Lebanese kibbeh. The biggest difference between them is that kipes use ground beef and exclude middle eastern spices and seasonings.

These crispy rolls are usually served as appetizers. But honestly, I usually just make an entire meal out of them! They are incredibly filling, rich with flavors, and have delicious soft and crispy textures.

They do take some time to make, but the effort is well worth it. If you want to make them in advance, simply shape them, and then freeze them uncooked in an airtight container.


For the bulgur wheat mixture

  • Bulgur: This is one of the main ingredients in kipes and gives them their signature chewy texture. I use fine bulgur, but you can also use coarse. Just keep in mind that the cooking time may need to be adjusted if you use a different type.
  • Water: You need to let the bulgur rest in water so that it can soften and rehydrate.
  • Beef: You will need 3/4 of the beef to create the kipe dough. You can use any ground beef but I like to use ground chuck because it has a good fat content and is very flavorful.
  • Seasoning: The seasoning of the kipes dough is pretty simple. I use salt, pepper, adobo, freshly made sofrito, or any kind of sazon. But feel free to experiment with other seasonings that you like.

Filling of the kipe

  • Beef: I always use ground beef when making kipes filling. You can substitute this for lamb, chicken, or turkey if you prefer.
  • Onion: One small onion is all you need for this recipe. It will be finely diced and added to the beef filling.
  • Spices: I like to use a combination of sofrito, adobo, cilantro, salt, and black pepper. You could also add in some smoke chilies or even cinnamon.
  • Tomato sauce: This is optional, but I like to add a little bit of tomato sauce to my kipe filling. It adds a touch of sweetness and acidity that balances the flavors out nicely.

How to make the kipe?

  1. Start by rehydrating the bulgur wheat. Place the bulgur in a large bowl and pour in enough water to cover it. Let it sit for 3-6 hours or even overnight.
  2. After the bulgur has softened, drain any excess water and add all the seasoning and 3/4 of the beef and mix everything together until it is well combined.
  3. Now, it’s time to form the kipes. Wet your hands with water and take about 2 tablespoons of the mixture. Mold it into a small round shape and then make a small indentation in the center. Fill the indentation with 1-2 teaspoons of the beef filling and then pinch the top closed. Repeat this process until all the kipes are made. For the best result put the kipe into the freezer for at least 1 hour.
  4. To cook the kipes, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom. Once the oil is hot, carefully add in the kipes (being careful not to overcrowd the pan) and fry them until they are golden brown and crispy on all sides. There you go, serve them hot with a light dipping sauce and enjoy!

Tips And Tricks For Making Dominican Kipes

  • You can cook these inside an air-fryer for a less oily alternative. The frying time will be roughly 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of your quipes.
  • Use ground beef that still has a little bit of fat in them. The fat helps to add flavor and a creamy texture. I like to buy 80% lean beef.
  • If your kipes fall apart when you deep-fry them, you can rest them in the fridge for a couple of hours to help them firm up. This will prevent them from breaking apart when you fry them in hot oil.
  • If you cannot find any sofrito near you, you can try using some recaito. And if you still can’t find anything similar, just find a cilantro-based pesto or puree with a little bit of tomato sauce.
  • Another ingredient that is often a little hard to find is adobo. You can have a look here at the best substitutes for this seasoning.


What do you serve with Kipes?

Dominican Kipes are great on their own. But, if you do want to add something alongside them, a great option is salad dressing or dip. You can also garnish them with lemon juice for extra flavor. And they go really well with a glass of refreshing Morir Sonando.

Dominican Kipes Recipe - A Delicious Appetizer

Can you make meat-free Dominican Kipes?

You can make a brown lentil or mushroom filling instead of a meat filling. However, the ground meat really helps keep the bulgur mixture together. So, you may need to make some other adjustments to your recipe if you see that yours isn’t staying together. It usually involves adding an egg.

How do you store quipes?

Before they have been deep-fried, it is best to keep them uncooked inside an airtight container in the freezer. Once they have been fried, they are best eaten immediately. If you do store them in the fridge, they last for around 4 days. You will need to re-crisp them before you eat them again.

More Snacks Recipes

Jamaican Beef Patties

Colombian Empanadas

Beef and Cheese Empanadas

Dominican Kipes on a plate with one cut in half.

Dominican Kipes Recipe – A Delicious Meaty Appetizer

These Dominican Kipes are stuffed with complex, rich, and uber delicious flavors. They are easy to make and can even be frozen for later meals. Give them a try with one of my refreshing Dominican drinks.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 239 kcal


For the bulgur wheat mixture

  • 1 3/4 cups bulgur wheat
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tbsp sofrito paste
  • 1 tsp adobo seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the meat mixture

  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 1 tsp adobo seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp sofrito paste
  • 2 tsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the filling and cooking

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


Prepare the bulgur wheat

  • To start, combine the bulgur wheat and water in a large bowl. Make sure that the water covers the bulgur completely. Then, cover the bowl and allow it to rest for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Once your bulgur has softened completely, drain it from the water. Place the remaining wheat in a muslin cloth and press it hard to squeeze out any excess water.
  • Next, you can season the bulgur. Combine it with the sofrito paste, adobo seasoning, salt, cilantro, and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Work the mixture with your hands until it is combined. Set it aside.

Make the ground beef mixture

  • Next, start your ground beef mixture. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, salt, adobo seasoning, oregano, sofrito paste, and cilantro.
  • Work the mixture with your hands until you get a uniformly smooth paste-like meat mixture.
  • Next, add the freshly ground black pepper and mix it well again.

Make the kipe dough

  • To make your kipe meat and bulgur dough, combine two-thirds of the meat mixture with the bulgur wheat. Work the ingredients slightly with your hands so that they can combine.
  • You can use the dough like that or if you like you can place the mixture in a food processor and pulse it until you have a smoother, thick, and paste-like dough.

Make the filling

  • To start, heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Saute the onions for 3 minutes or until they become translucent.
  • Next, add the final third of your ground meat mixture. Allow the mixture to cook while continuously breaking the chunks apart with your spatula.
  • Once your ground beef is completely cooked, add the tomato sauce and mix it in well.
  • Allow the filling to cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Then, add the lid and allow it to simmer for another 10 minutes so the flavors can infuse.
  • Remove the lid and reduce the meat juices and sauce completely. Continue cooking the ground beef until you have a thick juicy mixture.
  • Set it aside and allow it to cool completely to room temperature.

Assemble the Dominican Kipes

  • Take a big spoonful of bulgur and meat dough and roll it into a smooth ball.
  • Then, using your fingers, carefully press a hole into it to create a pocket for the filling.
  • Next, add about 1 to 2 teaspoons of ground beef filling inside.
  • Then, carefully work the top of the dough ball together until it is completely closed. Work the Kipe into an elongated oval or cone-shaped snack.

Deep-fry your Dominican Kipes

  • Next, preheat your frying oil to 360ºF (180ºC). Then, add two or three kipes inside the oil and fry them until they are golden brown and fully cooked.
  • Once fried, drain any excess oil on a paper towel. Repeat the process until all of your kipes are fried.
  • Serve your Kipes immediately with some additional chopped cilantro.


Calories: 239kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 31gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 606mgPotassium: 680mgFiber: 8gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 111IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 59mgIron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

Similar Posts

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

One Comment

  1. Ibelca.G. says:

    I love quipes I’ve tried about 10x. Very flavorful and delicious. However for some reason I can’t get them crispy and yes I fry with vero hot oil 380 in deep fryer also tried on stove with thermometer to ensure enough heat but no matter what I do they are soft not crispy. They do not break apart in oil my only problem is I can’t get them crispy. What in the world am I doing wrong please help. I do also put in fridge overnight to ensure the texture and don’t fall apart