Easy Homemade Lahmacun (Turkish style pizza)
This delicious and easy to make Lahmacun is topped with a well spiced ground beef, lamb or vegan mince mixture. It’s baked or pan fried until perfectly crisp. The spice mix in the mince really makes all the difference and adds so much flavour to this Turkish style flat bread pizza. I love to top mine with toasted pine nuts and chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions roses in a lemony vinaigrette - I also crumble some feta over mine but that is just me.
What is Lahmacun?
Lahmacun is a popular street food/dish in Turkey and Armenia (where it is also known as lamadjo) as well as in Syria, Lebanon, and Israel. If you love pizza, you’re sure to love lahmacun (LAH’-MAH’-juhn). It has a much thinner dough, doesn’t use cheese in the topping, and can either be rolled or folded before eating it.
What is Lahmacun made with?
Lahmacun is basically made of three components - flat bread, spiced mince meat, and the veggies that go into the mince. It’s also usually topped with lemon juice, chopped freshly parsley and red onions. Let’s break down each component.
- The flat bread: You can make your own flat bread or you can use store bought flat bread naan or even prepared pizza dough for a shortcut. My simple homemade from scratch flatbread/pita bread recipe is a great one to use for this dish. I used Bob’s Red Mill Grain Free Flatbread Mix which is a quick and fabulous option for the base of this recipe. It’s an easy mix to use and your flat bread comes together in minutes - no proofing required and produces a crispy grain free and gluten free flat bread base. It has a subtle nuttiness and sweetness to it that my husband loves and he is pretty picky when it comes to anything gluten free. Bob’s Red Mill always has you covered with so many grain free options for baking and cooking for all your dietary needs.
- The spiced mince filling: usually lahmacun is made with either minced lamb or beef and a mixture of veggies but you can also use your favorite vegan mince in place of the meat as well. If you want to skip the meat all together you can can use the veggie mix on its own with all the spices for a vegetarian take one this tasty dish. All of those options would be fabulous - because what makes the filling or the mince so delicious is the distinct spice mix. The combination of spices is amazing and really works well with whatever you chose to use for the filling.
- The Topping: The lahmacun is traditionally served with lemon wedges and a mixture of Italian parsley, sliced red onion, and a sprinkling of sumac. I like mine loaded with a lemony chopped salad - but you can either pile it on or have it on the side. I also added crumbled feta because the Greek in me just couldn’t resist.
Can Lahmacun be made ahead?
The mince meat can be prepared the night before and stored in an sealed container in the fridge. It can also be frozen for up to 2 months. The flat bread mix I used can be made in 5 minutes so making it ahead doesn’t really save you much time. If you are making homemade flat bread/ pita you can definitely make it ahead and allow it to proof overnight in the fridge. That will definitely save you time.
How to make Lahmacun /Turkish style pizza: This is the fun part! Here’s an overview of the easy steps. Scroll down for the full recipe with exact measurements.
PREPARE the flatbread Either make your own homemade flatbread or you can use my recipe for it - or you can use store bought pizza dough. Or another great hack is to spread the meat mixture of naan. If you are using the Bob’s Red Mill flatbread mix you simply mix the flour with water, oil and eggs and then roll it out into the size you want your flat bread to be.
MAKE THE FILLING For the topping, I like to use a food processor to chop my veggies very fine. If you don’t have a food processor just try to chop your veggies by hand as fine as possible. Then I mix in the tomato paste, spices and the meat and it’s ready to spread onto your flat bread
ASSEMBLE AND BAKE THE LAHMACUN Preheat the oven. Place the flatbread on baking sheet. Spread the topping over each flatbread pizza and then bake for 10-15 minutes. For a softer texture in your flatbread make make sure to not over bake but for a crispier one you may want to bake for a couple extra minutes. Also keep in mind the thicker the layer of the meat mixture is, the longer it may take for it to cook through. I usually do a moderate even layer. Once done top with whatever garnish options listed below and enjoy!
We couldn’t get enough of this Turkish style pizza. I’m partial to Turkish flavours and food, - I think for a few reasons, I enjoy them as many of them are familiar and I always enjoy food that is well spiced and seasoned. I think many parts of Turkish food and culture are familiar as they can be similar to Greek - I grew up with and have very dear to me Turkish friends and I have also become slightly obsessed with Turkish movies - so this recipe has been a long time coming I think. Finally this very simplified version of a Turkish classic is on the blog to be enjoyed!
I have partnered up with Bob’s Red Mill to bring you this fabulous recipe, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Olive & Mango.
For the mince and veggie mixture
- ½ small red onion, peeled chopped
- 1 small cubanelle or green pepper, seeds removed and chopped
- 1 small red pepper, seeds removed and chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon of dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon of dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon regular chili flakes
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- ¼ cup of flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 200g minced lamb or beef or vegan mince
For the flat bread
- 2 Eggs
- ¼ cup Oil
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ cup Water
- 1 package Bob’s Red Mill Grain Free Flatbread Mix
- Dried sumac for sprinkling
- Toasted pine nuts
- Chopped fresh parsley
For the salad
- Sliced cucumber, red onion, cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta, parsley dressed with lemon juice or red wine vinegar and olive oil to taste
- Place the onion, garlic, peppers, tomato paste and parsley in processor and process until finely chopped - then empty out into a large bowl and stir in the meat and the spices until fully combined (almost paste like), set aside.
- Pre heat oven to 400 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
- In a large bowl whisk together eggs, oil, salt, water and flat bread mix in a large bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Divide dough in half and on a lightly floured surface roll into two 6-8 inch rounds, using wet fingers to smooth edges.
- Divide the topping between the bases, spreading it to the edges of the dough in a thin even layer. Transfer to baking sheet,then bake for 10-15 minutes until the base is blistering and the topping is cooked.
- Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the sumac and pine nuts, then top with the salad or serve on the side if using
- If you don’t have flat bread mix you can make it yourself using my simple homemade from scratch flatbread/pita bread recipe or you can make it even easier by spreading the meat mixture over store bought flatbread or naan bread or you can even use your favorite pizza dough to make it. If using my homemade recipe, roll it out to 4mm thick, and spread on the meat right before the pan frying step- just spread on the meat mixture place in baking pan and bake for the same amount of time as the recipe above calls for.
- Make this vegan using your favorite vegan mince. (You will have to make or use a vegan flatbread or dough)
- You can make this stove top in a large frying pan. Using medium heat, cook uncovered for 3 minutes then lower the heat and cover and cook for 4 -6 minutes. Lastly, uncover and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- If you have leftover meat filling feel free to make more flatbread or pizza dough / or you can freeze it for up to two months if you wanted to save it and make more later.