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Lahmacun; Turkish thin pizza with ground lamb topping

Lahmacun, Turkish thin pizza with ground lamb, onion and tomato topping

Lahmacun, Turkish thin pizza with ground lamb, onion and tomato topping

This thin, delicious Turkish pizza called lahmacun is the ultimate street food in Turkey that we all love. A very popular lunch time snack, lahmacun is sold in street stalls as well as in restaurants at home. In Kebab houses, mini lahmacuns are served as an appetizer that I just can’t get enough. We Turks also love to have it as a take away food, a great, healthy alternative to fast food and  the children love them too. Lemon is liberally squeezed over and then it is rolled up with sliced tomatoes, onion and parsley salad, piyaz.

Turkish cuisine is packed full of delicious, healthy recipe options, easy to make too. over 90 authentic Turkish recipes are included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. Signed copies are now 25 % at this link and delivered worldwide including the US and Canada.

Here is my lahmacun recipe; hope you enjoy it as much as we do,

Afiyet Olsun,


Serves 4 – 6

Preparation time – 45 minutes (+1 hour rest for the dough)                        Cooking time – 20 minutes

Dough ingredients:

5 ml/ 1 teaspoon active dried yeast

1/2 teaspoon sugar

150 ml/ 2/3 cup lukewarm water

350 gr/3 cups strong white bread flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon mild olive oil

Topping ingredients:

15ml/1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped or grated

2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped

1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

225gr / 8oz ground lean lamb

15ml/1 tablespoon tomato paste

5ml/1 teaspoon paprika flakes

Juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 200 C / 400 F

First make the dough. Place the sugar and the yeast in a small bowl with half the lukewarm water. Set aside for about 15 minutes until frothy.

 Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl, make a well in the middle and add the creamed yeast and the rest of the lukewarm water. Using your hand, draw in the flour and work with the mixture to dough, adding more water if necessary.

 Turn the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic. Drip a few drops of olive oil into the base of the bowl and roll the dough in it. This will help the dough not to dry up. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and leave in a warm place for about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

 While the dough gets ready, prepare the topping. Lightly soften the onions in the olive oil. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until the liquid has been absorbed. Add salt to taste and set aside to cool. Put the ground lamb in a bowl and add the tomato paste, parsley, paprika flakes, lemon juice, cooked onions and tomato. Season with salt and pepper and work this mixture into a paste with your hands. Cover and keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.

Once the dough doubled in size, punch down the risen dough, knead it on a lightly floured surface and divide into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a thin flat round, stretching the dough with your hands as you roll. Oil the baking sheets and place the dough rounds on them and spread a thin layer of the meat mixture covering the edges too. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the meat is nicely cooked.

Stack cooked lahmacun on top of one another and cover  with aluminum foil or clean towel, to keep moist.

Serve lahmacun hot, with lemon wedges to squeeze over by the side.

Mini lahmacuns; mini Turkish pizzas with ground meat and vegetables topping

Mini lahmacuns; mini Turkish pizzas with ground meat and vegetables topping

 Afiyet Olsun,


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26 Responses to Lahmacun; Turkish thin pizza with ground lamb topping

  1. jaz November 8, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

    i have been wanting to make this so thank you for the recipe!

    • Ozlem Warren November 8, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

      You are welcome Jaz, hope you enjoy making your own lahmacun!:)

      • Yasemin February 18, 2019 at 11:34 am #

        Merhaba, thank you for this recipe.

        Can I use baking powder instead of yeast and if so how much?

        • Ozlem Warren February 19, 2019 at 10:20 am #

          Merhaba Yasemin, thank you for your note – I haven’t used baking powder at this recipe and I would stick with the dried yeast – every supermarket carries dried yeast, easy to obtain. I hope you enjoy it, Afiyet Olsun, Ozlem

  2. seniordogsabroad November 9, 2013 at 4:00 am #

    [Marked as spam by Antispam Bee | Spam reason: Server IP]
    Özlem, Thanks for this recipe. We make Italian style pizza from time to time but really, this is so much lighter and healthier. We’ll definitely try it.

    • Ozlem Warren November 9, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

      Merhaba Jolee, you are very welcome, I hope you enjoy making your own lahmacuns, so glad you’ll have a go at them – afiyet olsun 🙂

  3. BacktoBodrum November 10, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    [Marked as spam by Antispam Bee | Spam reason: Server IP]
    I don’t know why I have never made theses as I make pizza all the time. This is much more healthy.

    • Ozlem Warren November 12, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

      Hi, I suppose you can get the real thing in Bodrum, but making your own is quite nice too – you know what’s in it : ) Selamlar, Ozlem

  4. Peri November 11, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    One of my all time favorite recipes, Ozlem! Each bite just melts in the mouth. XxPeri.

    • Ozlem Warren November 12, 2013 at 9:43 pm #

      thank you Peri, glad you enjoy lahmacun! Ozlem xx

  5. Phil in the Kitchen November 15, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

    I have eaten something like this in the past but I’m sure that it didn’t have any lemon. So it can’t have been authentic! Lemon would make a real difference to the taste. This is definitely making me hungry.

    • Ozlem Warren November 17, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

      You are right Phil, a good squeeze of lemon bring the whole thing together nicely, a must for me! Glad you enjoyed the post.

  6. Turkey's For Life December 7, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

    [Marked as spam by Antispam Bee | Spam reason: Server IP]
    Mmmm, I just love lahmacun. So long since we’ve had some…and we’ve certainly never tried to make our own at home. Always just seems easier to get it while out. Might have a try one day, though. 🙂

    • Ozlem Warren December 7, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by Julia, I don’t blame you – you can get such great lahmacun at home!:) making yourself if fun too though, hope you enjoy it : ) Ozlem

  7. cali April 17, 2015 at 2:26 pm #

    Merhaba Ozlem,

    Is it OK to use other ground meat such as buffalo? I have a ton in the freezer.

    • Ozlem Warren April 17, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

      Merhaba Cali, I haven’t used myself but why not? I hope you enjoy it, afiyet olsun!

  8. Leah S November 25, 2018 at 11:49 pm #

    Thank you for this recipe! It takes me back to my visit to Cappadocia in 2011, when our driver bought us lahmacun for dinner on-the-go. I make these for family and friends, and they all love it! A little onion salad with sumac perfectly tops it!

    • Ozlem Warren December 4, 2018 at 10:42 am #

      Merhaba Leah, lovely to get your note; so glad you enjoyed my lahmacun recipe and it brought happy memories of Cappadocia- love that region too! Afiyet olsun, Ozlem

  9. Roger June 12, 2019 at 6:20 am #

    Just made these and they were really good. Not complicated, just a little planning needed to prepare the dough. The lemon really makes the taste sparkle. I will certainly be making them again.

  10. mark July 20, 2019 at 8:31 pm #

    Just made these lahmacun. They were delicious. Thanks.

    • Ozlem Warren July 23, 2019 at 10:54 am #

      Glad you hear you enjoyed my lahmacun recipe, afiyet olsun! Ozlem

  11. Hurriyet September 3, 2019 at 12:30 pm #

    Greetings Ozlem, what is your recommendation on salt/pepper amount to start with? I have no idea & unlike some can’t taste raw meat mixture.


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