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Medfouna is a traditional Berber pizza that consists of a mixture of ground lamb, herbs and spices. The dough is folded over the filling, creating a sealed parcel, which is then baked until golden brown. This popular pizza dish is similar to a calzone which is enjoyed in the Berber regions of Morocco.

Moroccan Berber pizza medfouna with ground meat filling served in a plate.
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The word Medfouna (المدفونة) comes from an Arabic word that means “buried,” which makes sense because it’s usually cooked underground, giving it a golden, crispy texture. However, in this recipe, I’ll be making this tasty Moroccan Berber pizza using an oven instead since it’s more common in households.

Medfouna, known as Berber Pizza, has a deep history in how the Berber people from North Africa cook. Originating from Morocco’s Berber regions, it reflects the culture and cooking skills of these communities. Cooking this dish is like a special family recipe, passed down through generations, showcasing the region’s history and traditions.

Although they called it a Berber Pizza, I see it more as a stuffed flatbread, which is similar to the Italian calzone or the Middle Eastern fatayer. Nonetheless, it is delicious since the taste reminded me of the Beef Arayes I ate in Jordan. In this post, I made my version of Medfouna, which you are going to love it.

Moroccan Berber pizza medfouna with ground meat filling served in a plate.Moroccan Berber pizza medfouna with ground meat filling served in a plate.

Recipe Ingredients

These are the ingredients you need to make this delicious Berber Pizza Medfouna:

I. Ingredients for the Dough

  • Flour: I am using all-purpose flour for my dough.
  • Instant Yeast: This makes the dough rise. It works quickly.
  • Egg: Adds richness and moisture to the dough.
  • Salt: Makes the dough stronger and adds some flavor.
  • Brown Sugar: Gives a little sweetness and helps the crust turn golden during baking.
  • Water: Makes everything stick together. Just the right amount is needed.
  • Olive oil: This adds a nice flavor to the dough and makes it soft.

II. Ingredient for the Meat Fillings

  • Ground Lamb: Finely chopped lamb that makes this pizza flavorful and meaty.
  • Onion: Adds a sweet and tasty flavor to the filling.
  • Garlic: Crushed garlic cloves that bring a strong and yummy taste.
  • Coriander and Parsley Leaves: These two green leaves for a fresh and slightly citrusy flavor.
  • Olive Oil: This is like a smooth operator, making the meat filling rich and silky.
  • Spices (Ras el Hanout, Cumin, and Paprika): Imagine these as flavor heroes, giving the filling warm, earthy, and smoky notes.
  • Feta Cheese: Creamy and tangy cheese that surprises your taste buds with richness.

Step by Step Instruction

I. Making the Dough

Step 1: In a large bowl, I added the flour and salt. After that, I poured olive oil and gently stir to mix.

Step 2: I combine water, brown sugar, and yeast in a large cup, which I gradually pour into the flour. Do not pour all of it but rather it must be gradual.

Step 3: Next, I gently stir and then knead for up to 5 minutes until it achieves a soft and fluffy consistency. Cover it with a clean cloth and leave it for 1 hour to let it double in size.

II. Making the Meat Fillings

Step 4: While waiting for the dough to grow, add olive oil in the separate pan at medium heat.

Step 5: Once hot, add the ground lamb and gently stir to mix for a few minutes. Add the chopped garlic stir again, and let the ground meat cook for 5-10 minutes. Make sure there is some juice in the meat since you don’t want the filling to be dry.

Step 6-7: Next, I added the spices (cumin, ras el hanout, and paprika), and coriander leaves & parsley leaves. Stir to combine.

Step 8-9: Season it with salt and black pepper for taste. Once done, transfer into the plate bowl.

Step 10-11: By using the same pan, I poured more olive oil before adding the chopped red onion.

Step 12-13: Stir the red onion for several minutes until it turns golden brown. Once done, transfer the caramelized onion into the ground lamb mixture. Mix it gently and then set it aside.

III. Assembling and Baking the Pizza

Step 14: Divide the dough into 2 portions, which I shaped each into a bal. In each dough, use the rolling pin to flatten it into a round shape around 10-12 inches in diameter. After that, place it on a baking sheet.

Step 15-16: Spread the meat fillings on top of the dough and sprinkle the crumbled feta cheese above it.

Step 17-18: Take the second batch of dough, and flatten it with a rolling pin to make a circle like the first layer. After that, gently put it over the meat and Feta cheese filling, covering everything evenly, and then press the edges together using your fingers or a fork to seal it tightly before baking.

Step 19: Preheat the oven to 200 C or 400 F. Gently transfer the Berber pizza into the oven. Let it bake for 15-20 minutes or until it is golden brown and crusty.

Final Step: Remove from the oven and let it cool down for a few minutes before slicing into 8 pieces or depends on your preference. Enjoy this pizza with hot tea.

Moroccan Berber pizza medfouna with ground meat filling served in a plate.Moroccan Berber pizza medfouna with ground meat filling served in a plate.

Substitution Ideas

  • Meat Substitution: opt for ground chicken or beef in place of lamb.
  • Spice Variation: Consider using baharat or Arabic masala spice as an alternative to ras el hanout.
  • Cheese Option: Choose goat cheese or any white cheese instead of feta cheese.
  • Vegetable Addition: Introduce spinach, zucchini, or bell pepper if you prefer a vegetable-filled option.
  • Flour Mix: Use a combination of half all-purpose flour and half semolina flour if desired.

Other Meat Filling Recipes

Here are my other Arabic meat filling recipes that you may enjoy cooking at home:

  1. Saudi Muttabaq
  2. Spinach Fatayer (Lebanese Spinach Pie)
  3. Chicken Fatayer (Chicken Pie)

📋 Recipe Card

Medfouna (Berber Pizza)

Saif Al Deen Odeh

Medfouna is a traditional Moroccan Berber pizza featuring a blend of ground lamb, herbs, and spices encased in folded dough, baked to a delightful golden brown finish.

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 25 minutes

Total Time 35 minutes

Course Main Course

Cuisine moroccan

Servings 8 Serving

Calories 420 kcal


For the Dough:

  • 2 cups of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Instant Yeast
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ teaspoon of Salt
  • ½ teaspoon of Brown Sugar
  • ½-3/4 cup of Water adjust as needed
  • 1 tablespoons of Olive Oil

For the Filling:

  • 400 grams of Ground Lamb
  • 1 medium-sized Onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 cup Coriander Leaves chopped
  • 1 cup Parsley Leaves chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Ras el Hanout
  • 1 teaspoon of Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of Paprika
  • Feta Cheese add as much you want
  • Salt and Black Pepper for Taste


For Making the Dough

  • In a large bowl, combine flour and salt, then add egg & olive oil, stirring gently to mix.

  • Combine water, brown sugar, and yeast in a large cup, gradually pouring it into the flour and gently stir using a wooden spoon.

  • Knead using your clean hand for up to 5 minutes or until the dough achieve a soft, fluffy consistency. Cover it with a clean cloth and let it rest for 1 hour to double in size.

For Making the Meat Filling

  • While the dough rises, heat olive oil in a separate pan over medium heat.

  • Once hot, add ground lamb, stirring for a few minutes. Add chopped garlic and continue stirring, letting the meat cook for 5-10 minutes. Ensure some juices remain to prevent the filling from drying out.

  • Add spices (cumin, ras el hanout, and paprika), coriander leaves, and parsley leaves. Stir to combine.

  • Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Transfer the mixture to a plate when done.

  • In the same pan, add more olive oil before adding chopped red onion.

  • Stir the red onion until golden brown, then transfer the caramelized onion into the ground lamb mixture. Gently mix and set aside.

For Assembling and Baking the Pizza


  • Add more flour if the dough is sticky or wet.
  • If the dough is too dry, add more water if needed.
  • You can slice either 4-6 portions instead of 8.
  • You can substitute with ground beef  or chicken instead of lamb.
  • For more pictures of the step by step instruction,  please look at the post section. 


Serving: 8SlicesCalories: 420kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 25.8gFat: 18.2gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 800mgPotassium: 602mgFiber: 2.9gSugar: 7.8gCalcium: 253mgIron: 12mg

Keyword Berber Pizza, Medfouna

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