Lahmacun Recipe - Give Recipe (2024)

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Lahmacun, also known as Turkish Pizza, is one of the most popular Turkish fast foods! It is a super thin flatbread topped with a spicy ground beef or lamb mixture. Put some onions, salad and parsley on it, squeeze lemon over these and roll it up. YUM!

Lahmacun Recipe - Give Recipe (1)

We definitely have an obsession with Turkish food. Lahmacun, a super tasty street food, is always in our top list. Others are manti, which is meat stuffed dumplings, Adana kebab and döner kebap.

Jump to:
  • Is Lahmacun A Turkish Pizza?
  • Is Lahmacun Turkish Or Armenian?
  • Types Of Lahmacun
  • Ingredients
  • For The Dough
  • For The Topping
  • How To Make The Dough
  • Is There A Shortcut For Lahmajoun Dough?
  • How To Cook It
  • Serving Suggestions
  • FAQs
  • More Turkish Recipes
  • 📖 Recipe

Is Lahmacun A Turkish Pizza?

Lahmacun, lahmajoun or lahmajun is one of the most delicious dishes in Turkey. It is world widely known as Turkish pizza but the only similarity between lahmacun and pizza is how they look.

They are both round shaped and topped with a mixture. On the other hand, the dough crust of these are quite different. Lahmacun has a thinner crust, doesn’t have cheese and always topped with a ground meat(beef or lamb) mixture. Plus, it is rolled up before eating.

There is another type of flatbread in Turkey which is more similar to pizza: Pide. Its dough and toppings are quite similar. However, the shape of pide is oval (like a boat) and the edges of it are folded. That might be the reason why it’s not called pizza.

Also, check out our Turkish flatbread bazlama recipe!

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Is Lahmacun Turkish Or Armenian?

Turkish and Armenian cultures have a lot in common in terms of their food because they used to live together during Ottoman Empire in the past.

Lahmacun is one of the foods both cuisines have. It is known as lamadjo in Armenia or Armenian pizza around the world.

So it’s hard to say who invented lahmacun first.

Also, there are some slight variations between these:

Turkish Lahmacun: Generally, it's super thin and topped with minced beef or lamb mixed with vegetables, herbs, and spices, then baked until the crust is crispy. It's typically served rolled with additional fresh fillings.

Armenian Lahmacun: This version usually incorporates more garlic and bell peppers in the topping. Also, the topping contains sumac and pomegranate molasses. It's often served flat, sometimes with a squeeze of lemon on top.

Lahmacun is not just limited to Turkish and Armenian cuisines; it's a popular dish in various Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries, including Syria and Lebanon.

Types Of Lahmacun

So how do we eat lahmacun? Put some parsley, onions and salad on it, squeeze lemon over these, roll it up and enjoy!

There are two types of lahmacun in Turkish cuisine:

Large and crispy: One of them is with very thin and crispy crust and as big as a plate as you see in the pictures here in this post. This one is made all around the country with some little twists.

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Small and soft: The other version is as smaller as a saucer and quite popular in the southern part of Turkey. It is called findik lahmacun. Fındık means hazelnut in Turkish and it is a word used to describe how small this version of lahmacun is. It has a soft and thicker crust as the dough is made with dry yeast.

Ingredients

The ingredients for lahmacun can be put in two groups: For the dough and for the ground meat topping.

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For The Dough

  • Flour: Use all-purpose flour.
  • Salt: Regular table salt works perfectly.
  • Water: It should be lukewarm to optimize the dough's texture.
  • Dry yeast (optional): We don't use it but there are versions of lahmacun dough that include yeast. It results in a slightly thicker and softer crust.

For The Topping

  1. Ground beef (beef mince) 80% lean: The 80% lean version adds more flavor due to its higher fat content. If using 90% lean, consider adding some olive oil to keep the topping juicy and flavorful. You could also use ground lamb for a more traditional taste.
  2. Onions: They should be finely chopped.
  3. Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes provide acidity, sweetness, and moisture to the topping.
  4. Parsley: It's typically finely chopped and mixed directly into the topping.
  5. Tomato paste: This concentrated form of tomatoes adds a deep, umami-rich tomato flavor that complements the beef beautifully.
  6. Spices: Use black pepper, paprika, cumin. They add warmth, heat, and depth to the topping. If any of these spices is not available, you can use alternatives like cayenne pepper or chili powder, although the taste will be slightly different.
  7. Vinegar: This adds acidity to balance the richness of the beef and the sweetness of the onions and tomatoes. You can use apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, or even lemon juice as a substitute.
  8. Water: A small amount of water can be added to the topping to ensure it stays moist and does not dry out during baking.
  9. Optional add-ins: Finely chopped red or green bell peppers, a few cloves garlic (grated), chili flakes and a pinch of cinnamon.

How To Make The Dough

It is a simple 3-ingredient no-yeast dough. Although there are lahmacun recipes around calling for yeast, there is really no need for that. Masters of lahmacun in Turkey says that it shouldn’t be a soft dough because you roll it out thin. So if you don’t like working with yeast, this recipe is for you.

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Whisk together 3 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Pour water gradually over these and mix with your hand until everything holds together well. It should be a hard dough. You might need to wet your hand a few times when making this dough. Alternatively, you can make the dough in a stand mixer too.

Slightly dust the counter with flour and transfer the dough on it. Knead it about 5-7 minutes until you have a smooth dough.

Give it a log shape about 14 inches (35cm) length. Cut it into 11 pieces. Roll each of them into a ball and place on a lightly floured surface. Cover them with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rest until you prepare the topping.

PRO TIP: Don’t forget to cover the remaining patties with a clean kitchen towel when rolling out one of them. Otherwise, they might dry out.

Is There A Shortcut For Lahmajoun Dough?

Yes! You can use store-bought pizza dough, but it might not be rolled out as thin as the homemade dough. Still, it works fine for those who don’t want to bother making the dough from scratch.

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How To Cook It

Traditionally it is cooked in a large stone oven, but it’s not possible when you are making it at home. There are two cooking options of homemade lahmacun:

  1. In the oven: Preheat the oven to 450F/230C. Roll out each piece of dough balls on a floured counter into a thin circle. Place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can bake two flatbreads in a baking sheet at a time. Spread a thin layer of the topping mixture on it. Make sure all parts including the edges are coated well. Gently press on the mixture so that it sticks on the dough well and spreads evenly. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Repeat the same steps for the remaining dough balls. Change the parchment paper with a new one after baking three times of baking.
  2. On the stove: Heat a non-stick pan with a lid over medium low heat. Roll out a dough ball on a floured counter into a thin circle that is not bigger than the pan you are using. Gently place it in the hot pan. Spread the topping mixture on it using a spoon. Gently press on it with the back of the spoon. Cover the pan with the lid and cook it for 7-8 minutes or until you see some marks at the bottom. Repeat for the remaining dough balls.

Serving Suggestions

It is a must to pair lahmacun with a glass of ayran, a drink made from yogurt or salgam suyu, a turnip juice drink.

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Also, serve it with fresh parsley, spices, lemon wedges, a sumac onion salad, chopped tomato salad and ezme salad on the side.

People generally order two or three lahmacuns - if not more, so one is never enough. Some restaurants serve it sliced like a pizza, but traditionally it is eaten whole and rolled up like burritos.

Storing & Reheating

In the fridge: Put the leftovers in an airtight container and store them in the fridge. They keep well for 3-4 days.

In the freezer: Wrap each with foil and keep in the freezer for 3 months.

To reheat in the oven: Preheat the oven at 400 F (200 C) and reheat lahmacun for 5 minutes. When reheating frozen lahmacun, keep them in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

To reheat in a pan: Heat a large pan with a lid over medium heat. Put your lahmacun in it and heat covered for about 5 minutes or until hot. If it is frozen, it will take longer.

FAQs

Can I use feta cheese when serving lahmacun?

It is not a traditional thing in Turkey. But if you are a fan of feta and love it on anything, go ahead and use it.

Can I make it vegan?

Yes! Substitute vegan mince for the meat in the topping. Alternatively, you can use finely chopped mushrooms. It might be better to cook the mushrooms first and then combine it with the other topping ingredients.

More Turkish Recipes

  • Gozleme
  • Cheese Spinach Borek
  • Turkish Eggs
  • Stuffed Onions
  • Chicken Kebabs
  • Karniyarik
  • Turkish Delights

You might also like:

  • Revani Recipe
  • Turkish Baklava Recipe
  • Ezogelin Çorbası
  • Kuru Fasulye Recipe (Turkish Beans)

As always: If you make this recipe, let us know what you think by rating it and leaving a comment below. And post a pic on Instagram too—tag @give_recipe so we can see!

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📖 Recipe

Lahmacun Recipe

Lahmacun Recipe - Give Recipe (14)

Print Recipe
★★★★★5 from 5 reviews

Thin flatbread topped with a spicy ground meat mixture and baked in oven.

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 11 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Turkish

Ingredients

Scale

Dough:

  • 3 cups flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and ¼ cup lukewarm water

Topping:

  • 400g (14oz) ground beef, 80% lean
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • ½ cup tomatoes, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  1. Whisk together 3 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.
  2. Pour water gradually over these and mix with your hand until everything holds together well. It should be a hard dough. You might need to wet your hand a few times when making this dough. Alternatively, you can make the dough in a stand mixer too.
  3. Slightly dust the counter with flour and transfer the dough on it. Knead it about 5-7 minutes until you have a smooth dough. Give it a log shape about 14 inches(35cm) length. Cut it into 11 pieces. Roll each of them into a ball and place on a lightly floured surface. Cover them with a clean kitchen towel and let them rest until you prepare the topping.
  4. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 F/230C. Roll out each piece of dough balls on a floured counter into a thin circle. Place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can bake two flatbreads in a baking sheet at a time.
  6. Spread a thin layer of the topping mixture on it. Make sure all parts including the edges are coated well.
  7. Gently press on the mixture so that it sticks on the dough well and spreads evenly. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Repeat the same steps for the remaining dough balls.
  8. Change the parchment paper with a new one after baking three times of baking.

Notes

  1. You can make these using whole wheat flour too or a combination of all purpose flour and whole wheat flour.
  2. You can use your food processor to have finely chopped onions, parsley and tomatoes. Make sure no big pieces left.
  3. Cooking on the stove: Heat a non-stick pan with a lid over medium low heat. Roll out a dough ball on a floured counter into a thin circle that is not bigger than the pan you are using. Gently place it in the hot pan. Spread the topping mixture on it using a spoon. Gently press on it with the back of the spoon. Cover the pan with the lid and cook it for 7-8 minutes or until you see some marks at the bottom. Repeat for the remaining dough balls.
  4. You can freeze baked lahmacuns for future eating.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 232
  • Sugar: 1.7 g
  • Sodium: 452.9 mg
  • Fat: 7.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 29.6 g
  • Protein: 10.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 25.8 mg

Keywords: lahmacun, Turkish Pizza

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Reader Interactions

Comments

    Leave a Reply

  1. Recipe land says

    Thanks for sharing this recipe

    Reply

  2. Marie says

    Thanks for sharing your recipes. I have always loved Mediterranean and Persian food, so I recently decided to try Turkish cuisine. On a recent trip to Houston we drove by a Turkish restaurant and decided to give it a try. The first thing we tried was this lahmacun. So delicious! We tried several other things and absolutely loved it all. We also enjoyed the warm and caring people who worked in the restaurant. I love Turkish food so much that I have made several dishes since then and have several Turkish spice blends that I keep on hand. I am so glad I found your website and look forward to trying out many of your recipes!

    Reply

    • Zerrin & Yusuf says

      Hi Marie,

      We're thrilled to hear about your love for Turkish cuisine and your positive experience at the Turkish restaurant. Lahmacun is indeed a delightful dish! We're so happy you enjoyed it, and even happier that you're enthusiastic about trying out more recipes from our website.

      Having Turkish spice blends handy can really level up your home cooking! We're excited to see what you'll whip up next. Don't hesitate to share your culinary adventures with us, we'd love to see your takes on the recipes.

      Thank you for your kind words, and happy cooking!

      Reply

  3. Saima says

    Checking the recipe to make these again. I make 4 at a time in the oven on silicone oven tray liners or on my pizza stone. So delicious.

    Reply

    • Zerrin & Yusuf says

      Hi Saima,
      Thank you for the tip and for the 5-star rating 🙂 Have a lovely day!

      Reply

  4. Dale Waddington says

    Hi Guys,
    I have yet to try this recipe but have had success with others and I look forward to more! A general request... Can you please list your ingredients in grams as well as 'cups'. Cups of flour are meaningless as a quantity as the bulk density can vary so much. By all means keep the cups for our American friends but please also include the metric equivalent.
    Thank you.

    Reply

    • Zerrin & Yusuf says

      Hi Dale,

      A good heads up! We will keep this in mind. It is not possible to add the gram measurements in all the recipes overnight, but we will do it. Thanks!

      Reply

      • Sandy says

        Thank you for taking the time to share your recipe. People can easily look online for conversions to grams…thanks again

    • Sandy says

      Google is your friend!

      Reply

  5. Quentin says

    Good morning, I am about to try your Lahmacun. You say to mix all ingredients for the topping together but the photographs appear to show the onion, tomatoes and parsley placed on top after cooking. Which is the prefered please? Kind regards Quentin

    Reply

    • Zerrin & Yusuf says

      Hi Quentin,

      Thank you for your question. Yes, mix everything well for the topping as the recipe says.

      In the photographs, you see how lahmacun is traditionally served. With side dishes like a simple tomato salad, sliced onions and extra parsley. These three sides always come together at any authentic lahmacun restaurant. Lemon wedges also accompany these. We always squeeze lemon on lahmacun, put some parsley (almost a must) and a little salad or onion slices (optional) on it and make a wrap. This is how lahmacun is eaten in Turkey and we highly recommend eating it this way.

      Reply

      • Quentin says

        Thank you for your very prompt response, I am humbled.Can I please ask if a sprinkling of bahrat would take anything away from this dish please.

      • Zerrin & Yusuf says

        You are welcome! Baharat is traditionally not used in Turkish style lahmacun. But we always think you can get creative and make your own twist on recipes. Would love to know what you think when you make the recipe.
        Cheers!

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Lahmacun Recipe - Give Recipe (2024)

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