Have you ever tried Turkish food before? Largely the mixture and refinement of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines, Turkish cuisine is a continuation of the Ottoman cuisine, and borrows elements from a number of different cookery styles, making it a fusion of various traditions and flavors.
Depending on where you are in Turkey, the cuisine will vary — the Ottoman court cuisine, for example, is light in spice level, as is Istanbul’s food and Izmir’s, while the Black Sea Region of Turkey tends to be fish-forward. Of course, no matter what kind of Turkish dish you want to feast on, our Food Monster App probably has some plant-based version for you to sample. Check out some of our favorite Turkish dishes below, and let us know which one you love most!
This Turkish Eggplant Dip makes a perfect side dish for a barbeque, but it is also great for lunch on bread or as a snack to dip in with some bread or vegetables. Is there really anything better than garlicky eggplant?
Lahmacun: Turkish Pizza is a dish consisting of a flatbread topped with minced meat prepared in a savory tomato sauce. In spite of its name, it is popular throughout Armenia, Lebanon, and Syria as well as Turkey. In this meat-free version, meat is substituted for crumbled rice cakes, which takes on the flavor of the spicy paprika sauce. Garnish with lemon juice just before serving, then roll it up and eat it like a wrap!
Turkish Stewed Green Beans are known as “fasulye” in the country’s native tongue. For this simple recipe, simmer some green beans, tomatoes, and a few other ingredients together and then enjoy the spectacular results. Don’t let its simplicity fool you, fasulye is extremely versatile and can be served as the main course or as an exciting side dish.
Manti: Turkish Dumplings With Yogurt and Paprika are delicious Turkish pastries with potato and chard stuffing that feel like a silky dream in your mouth for you and your guests. These are sort of like mini pierogis with a different filling and more spices! YUM. This Manti recipe can be prepared either with regular or gluten-free flour. If you’re looking for a new recipe to add to your dinner plans, this is a definite yes.
Turkish Stuffed Peppers are served Turkish-style with currants, pine nuts, dried mint, allspice, and dill. It’s an aromatic and delicious dish that’s not only simple to make, it’s delicious! These are made using dolmalik biber, a type of Turkish pepper with thin walls, but regular bell peppers work just as well.
Are you looking for a cheap, simple, and tasty dish? Fellah Köftesi: Turkish Bulgur Dumplings could be just the thing for you. The preparation is very easy and the results are hearty, flavorful dumplings served in an aromatic tomato sauce. Sprinkle fresh parsley on top and a dollop of dairy-free yogurt, if desired.
Yaprak Sarma are low-FODMAP Turkish stuffed grape leaves that are typically grape vine leaves rolled and filled with minced meat. This vegan version has a rice filling that is seasoned well with lemon, fresh parsley, paprika, mint, and pepper paste. Filling and rolling the vine leaves is a bit time-consuming, but you will end up with an enormous amount of yaprak sarma that you can eat from for days.
If you have not had Lahmajun: Armenian/Turkish Pizza before, you should give it a try. If you have had it, give this recipe a whirl. While this dish is traditionally made with ground lamb or beef and served with lemon wedges, this plant-based update is truly delicious.
When you’re in a pinch, hands-off cooking is the best and it doesn’t get much easier than this Batrik: Turkish Tomato Bulgur Salad. This is a Turkish dish made by letting sit in a sauce made from fresh and sun-dried tomatoes. Although this salad is grain-based it requires no cooking at all. As the bulgur sits in the tomato purée, it softens and absorbs their flavor. It’s topped with chopped pistachios and walnuts for crunch and a pop of green color.
Typically made with cheese and spinach between layers of buttery filo pastry, this Turkish Tofu and Spinach Börek is an easy plant-based version of the traditional dish. Since ready-made filo pastry is often vegan already (check the packet first, of course) it makes life much easier on all fronts and can be coated with a dairy-free margarine so you don’t lose out on the buttery, golden kind of filo this vegan börek demands. In place of cheese, crumbled tofu, with a dose of nutritional yeast to give it a cheesy hint, does a very fine job for the filling.
Looking for more amazing Turkish recipes? Then we highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!
Lead image source: Lahmacun: Turkish Pizza