Homemade Turkish Lahmacun


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  • Total: 90 mins
  • Prep: 60 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
411 Calories
14g Fat
52g Carbs
24g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 411
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 52mg 17%
Sodium 957mg 42%
Total Carbohydrate 52g 19%
Dietary Fiber 7g 26%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 24g
Vitamin C 106mg 530%
Calcium 100mg 8%
Iron 6mg 33%
Potassium 856mg 18%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you’re a fan of pizza but can do without the cheese, you’re sure to love lahmacun (LAH’-MAH’-juhn), a Turkish street food. It has a much thinner dough and doesn’t use cheese in the topping, and is usually rolled or folded before eating. Lahmacun is a good example of Turkish regional cuisine and is originally from the southeastern part of Turkey famous for its spicy kebabs and other meat dishes. You can find this tasty, spicy treat all over the country in restaurants, cafes, and fast-food chain restaurants that specialize in lahmacun. In addition, many home cooks prepare lahmacun using their own mixture of Turkish spices and fresh ingredients.

This recipe for lahmacun is easy to make and features a homemade dough and spicy beef topping. If you are short on time, you can substitute a package of fresh, ready-made pizza dough. The lahmacun is traditionally served with lemon wedges and a mixture of Italian parsley, sliced red onion, and sumac on the side.


For the Dough:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon instant dry yeast

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 cup water (warm)

For the Topping:

  • 3/4 pound (12 ounces) ground beef (70% lean)

  • 1 yellow onion (finely grated)

  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic (finely grated)

  • 1 cup Italian parsley leaves (finely chopped)

  • 2 ripe tomatoes (finely grated)

  • 1/2 green bell pepper (finely grated)

  • 1 tablespoon red pepper paste

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • Garnish:

    Lemon wedges

Steps to Make It

Make the Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Put the flour in a large mixing bowl, add the yeast and salt, and combine.

  3. In a small bowl, stir the olive oil together with the warm water.

  4. Make a well in the middle of the flour with a spoon and pour the water and oil mixture into it.

  5. Blend the flour into the liquid by folding the dry ingredients from the sides into the center.

  6. Flour your work surface and your hands.

  7. Turn out the dough and knead it for about 15 minutes until the dough is soft and elastic.

  8. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil inside the mixing bowl and spread it around with your fingers to oil the inside.

  9. Put the dough back in the bowl and cover it with a cloth or towel.

  10. Leave it in a warm place to rise for 30 to 45 minutes. The dough should rise to about double the size.

Make the Topping

  1. While the dough rises, prepare the topping. Mix all the topping ingredients together in a large bowl. Set aside.

Make the Lahmacun

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Put a large a non-stick sheet tray into the oven to preheat.

  2. Turn out the dough on a floured surface and divide it into six even pieces.

  3. Roll out each piece into a very thin round or oval shape. Try to get each one as thin as possible without tearing it.

  4. Spread the topping thinly and evenly over the top of each dough round with your fingers. Don’t press down too hard.

  5. Remove the sheet tray from the oven (with oven mitts) and carefully place each lahmacun on it. Don’t allow them to overlap.

  6. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until the topping is sizzling and the edges of the dough are brown. Always check the lahmacun as they cook to prevent them from burning.

  7. Serve the lahmacun piping hot with lemon wedges for squeezing and a plate of sliced onions mixed with sumac and sprigs of Italian parsley.