Turkish Cuisine: Best Mediterranean Food

Reasons for cuisine diversity

The wide variety Turkish cuisine has makes it one of the best Mediterranean food in the world.

The richness of the Turkish kitchen/cuisine depends on several factors such as:

  • The vast geography the Turks have lived on and the ingredients that these places have provided
  • Coming across with different kinds of cultures and incorporating their culinary traditions on their migration route from Central Asia to Anatolia
  • The legacy of an imperial kitchen (Ottoman Palace Kitchen) and the recipes created by the extraordinary cooks to please the royal family


Soup is an indispensable part of Turkish cuisine in the winter. Lentil soup, yogurt soup and ezogelin soup are among the most preferred soups. Soups are served as the first course at lunch and dinners.

lentil soup (mercimek çorbası)ezogelin soup (ezogelin çorbası)yoghurt soup (yayla çorbası)
Lentil Soup
(Mercimek Corbasi)
Ezogelin Soup
(Ezogelin Corbasi)
Yoghurt Soup
(Yayla Corbasi)


When the word kebab comes to mind, most people tend to think of a skewer with small pieces of meat together with vegetables such as onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers (red pepper, green pepper) grilled, generally over charcoal. But in Turkish kitchen, this is just one variation of kebab and actually this type of kebab is named as Shish Kebab (Şis Kebap) or Chop Shish (Çöp Şiş).

In Turkish kitchen, kebab encompasses a great variety of meat-based meals not only grilled or skewered meats, but also stews and casseroles.

lamb chop shish (kuzu çöp şiş)adana kebab (adana kebap)beyti roll (beyti sarma)
Lamb Chop Shish (Kuzu Şiş)Adana Kebab (Adana Kebap)Beyti Roll (Beyti Sarma)


Doner is cooked on a vertical rotisserie. It could be made from lamb, beef or mixture of them. Chicken doners are also preferred due to their being budget-friendly.

beef doner with rice pilaf (pilav et döner)chicken doner (tavuk döner)
Doner served with rice pilaf and garnitureChicken Doner

Pides (Pitas) and Lahmacun (Turkish Pizza)

Pide (pronounced as pee-deh) is crisp, puffy flatbread usually baked in a hot brick oven, and topped with mince, cheese , sucuk (beef sausage), pastrami or vegetables (potato, spinach etc.).

minced pide (kıymalı pide)cheese pide (kaşar peynirli pide)mixed minced cheese pide (kıymalı kaşar peynirli pide)
Minced (Kıymalı) PideCheese (Peynirli) PideMinced-Cheese Pide

Lahmacun is made of a round (sometimes elliptical) and very thin piece of dough topped with minced meat (beef, lamb or both), vegetables and herbs. Lahmacun is commonly served with parsley, sliced lemons, and onions with sumac.

turkish pizza (lahmacun)

Lahmacun (Turkish Pizza)

Dolmas and Sarmas

Dolma is a vegetable (bell peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, zucchinis ) stuffed with filling including rice, minced meat, grains (bulgur), herbs (mint, dill), parsley, spices (red pepper, black pepper). onion. Some of the ingredients might be left out according to one's taste and resources.

Sarma is one of the most liked dishes in Turkish kitchen. It could be made from vine leaves, cabbage or chard but the most popular one is the one with the vine leaves. The vegetable leaves are wrapped around the filling which is similar to the filling of dolma.

stuffed vegetables tomato eggplant zucchini pepper (domates patlıcan biber kabak dolma)vine leave cabbage together (yaprak lahana sarma birlikte)
Bell pepper, eggplant and zucchini dolmasCabbage and vine leave sarmas


Turkish kitchen is known with its wide variety of desserts. The most known Turkish desserts are baklava, delight (Turkish delight) and kunefe.

pistachio baklava (antep fıstıklı baklava)assorted turkish delight (karısık lokum)kunefe shredded kadayif with cheese (künefe)
Pistachio (Antep fıstıklı) BaklavaTurkish Delight (Lokum)Künefe

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