When I think back on my time spent near the Mediterranean, so many wonderful Turkish appetizers come to mind.
Much like in Spain, those who live there have a deep love for snack foods and serving appetizers in terracotta pots to a table full of people.
Many can be served as a side, or even as a main course! They’re full of fresh ingredients and are loaded with great flavor.
So whether you’re looking for a light salad, homemade flatbread, or cheesy pie, you’ll find something worth trying on this list of 15 Turkish appetizers.
I know many people are split on eggplant, and I think it has a lot to do with the texture. Like mushrooms, they can be rubbery when cooked wrong.
The flavor is undeniably mild, but due to its porous texture, the eggplant will soak up flavor like a sponge!
When roasted, eggplant will become rich and creamy, and the topping of tomatoes, parsley, and pistachios adds fantastic color to this tasty vegetable.
Fava beans have a wonderfully unique flavor profile, with hints of nuts, sweetness, and even cheese.
This appetizer is super popular in Turkey, and it can be made to set up firm or as a dip.
When kept firm, it can be served as a bite-sized snack or sliced and served with crackers as a cheese substitute.
If you want to use it as a dip, try adding some lemon juice and extra oil. It makes a great alternative to hummus.
If you’ve wanted to try homemade flatbread but don’t have a mixer, this recipe is for you!
This soft and tender flatbread recipe can be made in one bowl with minimal kneading and just 15 minutes of rest time.
It incorporates Greek yogurt (or a Greek yogurt subsitute) into the dough, which adds moisture and a tangy flavor. Make them as large or small as you like, and serve with dinner.
You could also turn these into pizzas! Follow the recipe, cook them in the pan before topping with tomatoes and cheese, and broil until bubbling.
These are not the sweet BBQ beans you might be used to. Instead, they contain tomatoes, onions, garlic, and carrots.
The Mediterranean seasoning makes these a great little side to any meal.
Cranberry beans have a slightly more mild flavor than pinto beans and are readily available in Turkey.
They can be bought dried or canned, but you can use pinto if it’s all you have.
Between the juicy roasted tomatoes and crisp garlic chips, I could eat this dish as a main meal any day.
The key to getting the perfect texture on your eggplant is to salt your slices and let them ‘sweat’ for about 45 minutes.
This will draw out any excess moisture and make them perfect for frying.
Take care with the skin, as some eggplants have thicker skin, and you may need to peel them before slicing and cooking.
I fell in love with these pizza-like bread boats many years ago. They’re a cross between stuffed bread and a savory pie, and I wish I made them more often.
Again, this can be made by hand and will require minimal kneading to form a smooth dough.
Once rested and portioned, you will need to roll out an oval shape that will be relatively thin.
Fill the middle with your desired filling. I highly recommend the feta and mozzarella mixture. Then pinch the two ends so you have a canoe shape.
There’s no reason vegans have to miss out on a plate full of ‘meaty’ meatballs and spicy marinara.
I love finding vegan alternatives, and this one is terrific. Between the red lentils and the bulgar wheat, you will be left with some super filling meatballs.
My only suggestion would be to fry them once you’ve formed your meatballs to create a nice crust on the outside.
Slightly sweet, slightly smoky, and just as spicy as you like, this dip is on another level to boring old hummus.
One key thing to note is that this recipe uses toasted walnuts to create that creamy texture.
You could substitute for cashews or use chickpeas if you want it nut-free.
If you can’t find pomegranate molasses in the store, you can make your own with ease.
This recipe is almost like a Turkish chimichurri. It uses tomatoes, onion, garlic, and parsley and will enhance anything from kebabs to burgers to chicken.
One of the critical ingredients is pomegranate molasses.
As mentioned above, it’s super easy to make your own, and you can’t substitute the vibrant color it provides.
As tempting as it is to throw everything into a food processor, this dish needs a little love.
It’s best to dice everything by hand to avoid too much excess moisture.
My favorite thing about this recipe has to be the color. It’s lively and beautiful and will brighten up any table.
And then there’s the taste! Juicy tomatoes, crunchy onions, and perfectly ripe peppers and cucumbers are mixed with a simple dressing that keeps it fresh and light.
There’s nothing better than a crispy veggie fritter. They can be served as a simple snack or as a side to some perfectly roasted chicken.
These are extra special because they have dill and feta right in the mix.
Be sure to grate and salt your zucchini, giving it time to expel any excess moisture that would prevent the fritter from crisping up in the pan.
I can only describe these as Turkish taquitos! Warm, crisp, and full of melted cheese, they’re a step up from soggy mozzarella sticks.
Use feta or a feta-alternative for the middle. You won’t want anything too watery, like cream cheese.
Add anything else you think would work, too. I like to throw in some onions and even leftover chicken.
Using phyllo will guarantee a crunchy shell, and you can have a batch of these on the plate in just 30 minutes.
Ok, so I know I said before that hummus was boring. I didn’t mean it! I promise!
I actually love hummus, and you’ll always find a pot in the fridge. But the store-bought stuff has nothing on this homemade recipe.
I like to roast my garlic to help deepen the flavor and create a creamier finish.
I also like to peel my chickpeas (for the same reason), but if you don’t mind the texture, you can leave them unpeeled.
Bulgur is a whole grain and is super high in fiber. I like to use it because it has excellent texture and adds a different flavor than something like couscous.
As far as appetizers go, this could be a meal on its own. It uses tomato paste and pomegranate molasses, so you know it’s packed with flavor.
This simple little pie drew quite a crowd at my last big gathering. It’s light, crisp, and full of salty feta, leeks, and parsley.
Adding yogurt to the egg wash is an excellent way to infuse moisture and flavor into the flaky pastry.
I doubled my pie and added an extra layer of filling to the mix, and I’m so glad I did. They didn’t last long!
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