Homemade Turkish Lahmacun

Turkish Lahmacun

The Spruce / Bahareh Niati 

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Rise: 30 mins
Total: 90 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
375 Calories
13g Fat
43g Carbs
21g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 375
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 50mg 17%
Sodium 745mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 16%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 45mg 223%
Calcium 74mg 6%
Iron 5mg 27%
Potassium 656mg 14%
*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, doesn’t use cheese in the topping, and is usually rolled or folded before eating. Lahmacun is a good example of Turkish regional cuisine. It is originally from southeastern Turkey, which is 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 (240 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon instant dry yeast

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 cup warm water

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the Topping:

  • 3/4 pound ground beef, 70 percent lean

  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely grated

  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely grated

  • 1 cup finely chopped Italian parsley leaves

  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes, finely grated

  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, finely grated

  • 1 tablespoon red pepper paste

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Lemon wedges, for garnish

Steps to Make It

Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this lahmacun is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Homemade Turkish lahmacun ingredients

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  2. Add the flour to a large mixing bowl followed by the yeast and salt and combine.

    Flour in a large mixing bowl with yeast and salt

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

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

    Olive oil and warm water together in a bowl

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

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

    Flour with the water and oil mixture in a bowl

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

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

    Homemade Turkish lahmacun dough in a bowl

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  6. Flour your work surface and your hands.

    Floured wood surface

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

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

    Kneading dough on a wood surface

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

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

    Bowl with oil

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

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

    Dough in a bowl covered with a towel

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

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

    Homemade Turkish lahmacun dough in a bowl

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

Make the Topping

  1. While the dough rises, prepare the topping. Gather the topping ingredients.

    Homemade Turkish lahmacun filling ingredients

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  2. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Set aside.

    Mix together topping ingredients

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

Make the Lahmacun

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Put a large a nonstick sheet tray into the oven to preheat.

    Nonstick baking sheet

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  2. Turn out the dough on a floured surface and divide it into 6 even pieces.

    Dough divided into six equal rounds

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  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.

    Homemade Turkish lahmacun rolled dough

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

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

    Homemade Turkish lahmacun dough with filling on top

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

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

    Homemade Turkish lahmacun dough with topping on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

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

    Homemade Turkish lahmacun on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

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

    Homemade Turkish Lahmacun

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

How to Store

Store leftover lahmacun separated by parchment or waxed paper in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

Is Lahmacun Turkish or Armenian?

Lahmacun is a popular dish in Turkey and Armenia (where it is also known as lamadjo) as well as in Syria, Lebanon, and Israel.