Looking for the best Turkish recipes to bring a unique twist to dinner?
If you ever had a kebab, then you know that Turkish food is far from being bland. Still not convinced?
Let these 25 authentic Turkish recipes take you on a mouthwatering journey!
The Turks’ way of cooking joins the ranks of Italian, French, and Chinese cuisines. So, it’s no surprise that Turkish restaurants are sprouting in different countries worldwide.
Appetizing, diverse, and delectable, Turkish recipes always leave a pleasant surprise and, of course, satisfied palates.
From bulgar pilaf to kebabs, these authentic dishes take your tastebuds on a trip to Turkey! Let’s start the tour, shall we?
Kofta, or Turkish meatballs, are so much better than the store-bought version.
They’re perfectly tender and are infused with flavors from cumin, dried thyme, black pepper, and salt.
For this recipe, you can use 100% beef or lamb or a combination of both.
If you want to heat things up, add chili powder or red pepper flakes to the kofta spice mix.
Serve these meatballs with pita, salads, and dips for a complete meal.
Lahmacun means “dough with meat,” so expect a thin, crispy pizza topped with minced meat, veggies, and lots of herbs.
Creating homemade pizza isn’t always time-consuming, especially when using store-bought pizza dough.
For the best Turkish pizza, focus on creating a tasty minced meat mixture.
The authentic way to eat this pizza is to wrap it up like burritos.
Just add red onions, mint leaves, and a drizzle of lemon juice on top, wrap up the pizza slice, and voila! You’ll have a delicious Turkish meal for busy mornings.
Stuffed eggplant, or karniyarik, is a well-loved dish in Turkey because of the flavor-packed bite it gives.
Imagine an eggplant filled with minced meat mixture, then baked to perfection. The filling is smoky, garlicky, and full of tomato goodness!
Try making karniyarik if you want to include eggplants in your weekly meal plan.
While authentic karniyarik is usually fried, this recipe makes a healthier version by instructing you to bake it in the oven.
Brighten up your morning by having scrambled eggs the Turkish way! Menemen is a well-prepared dish for a traditional Turkish breakfast.
It looks complicated at first, but everything you’ll need is just sitting in your kitchen pantry. Plus, the prep time is quick, too.
Menemen, in its basic form, is just eggs scrambled with peppers, tomatoes, onions, and seasonings. Sprinkle with chili flakes and feta cheese for an extra flavor boost.
Make sure to serve these eggs with crusty bread on the side. You wouldn’t want the delicious pan sauce to go to waste!
5. Doner Kebab
I used to be curious about the meat cooked in vertical rotisseries when passing by Turkish eateries. When I finally had a taste, I was hooked for life!
That’s why I’m so glad to have this doner kebab recipe. If you’re a fan of this dish, you can recreate it at home, close to the authentic way.
You can skip cooking in rotisserie mode because the secret to a delicious doner kebab is the spice mix.
The perfect blend of black pepper, cumin, garlic powder, isot pepper, oregano, and salt will create a comforting Turkish meal.
Once you’re done cooking the meat, wrap them up in a tortilla bread along with onions, shepherd’s salad, and fries.
Pide, or Turkish bread, is somewhat comparable to pizza or chapati. It’s a boat-shaped, baked flatbread that can be eaten plain or stuffed with meat, cheese, or spinach.
Combine all these stuffings if you want to go bold. After all, this Turkish bread is customizable.
Now, you don’t have to be a professional baker to make pide. If you know how to mix, knead, and roll, you’re good to go!
Borek is another delightful pastry dish from Turkey. Typical fillings include cheese, potatoes, and spinach, but it’s traditionally stuffed with meat, too.
Borek has different varieties, and this recipe yields “sigara boregi” or cigar borek. It’s a simple yet delicious mid-day snack, best served with tea or salad on the side.
8. Turkish Rice
Skip the plain ol’ white rice because this Turkish version will become your new favorite!
It pairs well with various dishes, from meats to stews to vegetables, absorbing all their flavors.
Using baldo or arborio rice, you can make a bowl of fluffy rice with a nutty flavor and aroma.
Proper Turkish rice is also buttery, so make sure to cook it in butter first.
Turkish lentil soup is velvety smooth, nutritious, and oh-so-spicy. It gives you the much-needed heat and the best warming flavors, perfect for the wintertime.
Chunks of plain croutons add bulk to this hearty soup, while a few drops of lemon brightens up all the flavors.
Having trouble convincing picky eaters to eat veggies? Well, you’re in luck, because these zucchini fritters are irresistible!
If you want this dish to have a complex texture, feel free to add other veggies such as onions, carrots, and potatoes.
Fry the battered zucchini until golden brown and crisp. Serve with a Turkish yogurt (recipe available below) for a complete Mediterranean delight!
11. Turkish Salad
Turkish salad is a summer meal loved by many Turks. The salad combines a couple of pantry staples like cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, lemon juice, and parsley.
Refreshing and zesty in every bite, Turkish salad is super easy to make, with a prep time of 15 minutes!
Just mix everything in a bowl, freeze for an hour, and serve.
The Turkish version of potato salad has no mayo but is still so flavorful.
This recipe calls for the freshest ingredients, herbs, and spices. The result is a light and delicious salad that pairs well with barbecued or grilled meats.
The best part is, you’ll only need a few ingredients that are probably in your pantry right now. These include potatoes, eggs, black olives, parsley, and green onion.
Simit is a well-known breakfast food from Turkey. It’s also called Turkish bagel. It’s typically sold in the streets and is a popular choice among busy people passing by.
This twisted ring-shaped bagel gets dipped in molasses mixture and dredged in sesame seeds before baking.
There are different ways to eat this Turkish pastry. For instance, you can turn it into croutons and sprinkle on soup. Just chop them up and heat until crunchy.
Meanwhile, the traditional way to enjoy simit is to eat it as is with a salted yogurt drink on the side.
Bring the wonderful flavors of Turkey to your kitchen with this recipe for bulgur pilaf.
While enjoying the richness of this side dish, you’ll also get nutritional value from the bulgur wheat.
Bulgur wheat is available in most supermarkets, in the international food section. Other ingredients include tomatoes, onion, chicken broth, and tomato paste.
Feel free to add more veggies to enhance the texture and flavor of this rice dish.
One of my go-to winter soup recipes is full of veggies and classic Turkish spices.
This hearty soup is made even better with orzo pasta, which thickens the soup and makes it more filling.
Take this dish to the next level by adding lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and cheese on top. Yum!
Nutritious bulgur has lots of uses. If you can’t get enough of this classic Turkey ingredient, try adding it into a salad.
Bulgur salad, or kisir, is found in many casual Turkish restaurants and is often served with sweet and savory pastries.
Its refreshing taste also makes it an excellent side dish for grilled chicken and meats. The longer the salad rests, the better its flavor gets.
Go ahead and be creative with the ingredients. Just make sure they’re fresh and add a nice crunch and color to the salad.
White bean salad is typically served as a side dish. But since this recipe yields a protein-rich and flavorful dish, you can have it as a main vegetarian meal.
A great shortcut would be to use canned beans. For the dressing, all you’ll have to do is combine lemon juice, salt, and olive oil.
To add more tangy notes, a teaspoon of sumac will do the trick. Serve with Turkish meatballs because those two are the perfect combination.
Gozleme is another easy flatbread dish from Turkey that requires only three ingredients!
Cooking time is around 20 minutes, and everything comes together quickly. The results will surprise you with a golden crispy flatbread with tasty fillings.
The spinach and feta cheese is by far my favorite stuffing. Other options include spiced ground meat using lamb or beef.
19. Turkish Hummus
In its most basic form, hummus is a creamy paste made with mashed chickpeas infused with flavors from garlic, tahini, and lemon.
The Turkish version uses much more tahini than the Greek variation. So for this recipe, expect a delicious dip rich in sesame flavor.
Turkish hummus is best served when warm. It offers a crunchy texture in the first few bites because of the crispy bits of beef on top.
This recipe will give you some of the most beautiful and tastiest cabbage rolls in the world.
These vegetable rolls are swimming in a creamy tomato sauce flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg. Take a bite, and it gets even better.
Each cabbage roll is full of meaty goodness from a well-spiced lamb mixture.
Mildly sweet flavors are added to the rolls once you throw in some pine nuts and dried apricots.
Healthy and super easy to make, ayran, or Turkish yogurt drink, is so refreshing to have on a hot summer day.
You’ll only need water, yogurt, and sea salt to make this nutritious drink. Everything’s ready in 5 minutes.
Using a blender isn’t necessary unless you want to add other ingredients like grated cucumber, ground cumin, or chopped mint for flavoring.
For the best consistency, the recipe instructs to follow the 1:1 ratio of yogurt and water.
Of course, you can make adjustments depending on your preferred thickness for the drink.
A fresh, green salad dressed up with a creamy dressing, this dish is downright tasty and a cinch to make.
Just combine sour cream, yogurt, and lemon for the dressing, then mix the rest of the ingredients.
It’s an excellent side dish for Mediterranean-style meals like shawarma.
Try adding the salad to a pita bread for a light, nutritious lunch.
23. Turkish Coffee
The traditional way to make Turkish coffee is to brew the ground coffee in a small pot, along with a cardamom pod. Adding sugar is optional.
There’s no need for cream or milk, so expect the Turkish version to be stronger than other types of coffee.
Fun fact: Turkish coffee is also used for fortunetelling. Psychic advisors believe that there’s a meaning behind the residue of coffee grounds in your cup.
These chunks of lamb are grilled on a metal skewer and marinated in tomato paste and classic Turkish spices. These lamb kebabs will give you a flavor bomb!
Once it’s cooked, place on a flatbread along with juicy, roasted tomatoes and devour. I’m sure it’ll be gone in seconds.
If you like kebabs, you’ll also enjoy other variations of this dish that use marinated beef and chicken.
Yogurt is not only for a summery drink. You can also use this versatile ingredient to make a refreshing dip!
Just add in some cucumbers, mint, and garlic. Chill the dip until ready to use or serve as a side dish.
This dish is a great accompaniment for barbecued meats or meatballs. Want to turn it into a soup? Yes, you can!
Just add cold water to the yogurt and cucumber dip, then serve.
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