Meat Dishes

10 Delicious Meat Dishes From Turkey

Turkish cuisine is dominated with endless delicious meat dishes. Turkey is an exotic location in the heart of both Europe and Asia so no wonder the varieties are so good. With one of the more diverse cultures and a fine tourist attraction, Turkey does take everyone by surprise. 

That is of course not to mention their influence throughout the ages and ancient culture which is well preserved right till this modern day.

Turkish food is much loved by many people today and has been for a long time. Across England, there are so many new and luxury Turkish restaurants in busy cities such as London and Birmingham.

So, if you love meat, want a change of culture and broaden your pallet, then you’ve come to the right place for some delicious meat dishes.

iTHINK brings to you, 7 tasty meat dishes from Turkey.

Tender Icli Kofte – Stuffed Meatball

Meat Dishes

You just can’t go wrong with meatballs and they are everywhere so we shall start off with this infamous recipe.

This authentic stuffed meatball made from bulgur wheat can be baked or cooked in a broth. An absolute must to try. Combine with bulgar wheat pilaf for a wholesome treat.

Meat dishes are usually lengthy to make but this recipe will take an average of 20 minutes to make and serves 12. Fast and delicious!



  • 450g bulgar
  • 167g semolina
  • 473ml warm water
  • 250g lean meat
  • 2 tbsp red pepper paste
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  •  Salt to taste


  •  250g ground beef
  • 100g chopped walnuts
  • Parsley
  • 2 onions diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  •  113g butter
  • Chilli flakes (for sauce)


  1. Heat butter in a pan and sauté onions. Add ground beef, salt and pepper stirring occasionally. Turn the heat off to add parsley and walnuts once cooled. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. Combine the semolina and bulgar wheat together to form a mixture. To this add the red pepper paste, cumin and salt. Pour 2 cups of warm water over this and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Knead for 10 minutes to form a dough then make small balls.
  4. Using the thumb and index finger make a hollow opening and fill them with the meat mixture.
  5. Pinch edges shut.
  6. Boil the balls in salty water until they float to the top.
  7. For the sauce melt the butter with chilli flakes and pepper paste in a separate pan. Pour over the bulgar balls and viola!

This recipe was modified from Cookpad

Izmir Meatball and Potato Casserole

Now for something that is both hearty and delicious. This meat dish is a real delicious treat not only because of the meat but the combination with potato as we all know that these two are a match made in heaven. Couple this with Turkish spices and bingo.

In Turkey they have many famous meat dishes and most of these have some sort of kofte variation. The creative variety is very tempting.

This recipe takes approximately 60 minutes to prepare and serves around 8 people.


  • 450g ground beef
  • 1 onion
  • 1 egg
  • 4 slices white bread
  • Parsley
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 3-4 mixed peppers
  • 4 tomatoes (2 grated)
  • Cooking oil


  1. Combine the ground beef and onion in a bowl.
  2. Soak and wet the bread before adding it to he meat along with the spices, parsley, salt, pepper and egg. Knead and set aside. Make into meatballs shapes.
  3. Heat oil in a pan then fry the meatballs till cooked.
  4. Cut the potatoes into wedge shapes and fry them in the same oil.
  5. In a large casserole dish arrange the meatballs at the bottom and arrange the cooked wedges on top.
  6. Cut the green and red pepper alongside the tomatoes to go on top of this dish and pop into the oven for around 30 minutes at 250 degrees.
  7. Combine the grated tomatoes, tomato paste, hot water and salt/pepper to make the sauce. Pour over casserole once finished for a delicious combination of flavour.

This recipe was modified from The Spruce Eats

Divine KarniyarikStuffed Aubergine

Meat Dishes

Next, we have a satisfying meat and vegetable fusion. This dish consists of my favourite vegetablesaubergine!


  • Small aubergines
  • Lamb mince
  • Vegetable oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic cloves
  • Tomatoes
  • Fresh parsley
  • Chilli Flakes
  • Ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Slice the aubergine pieces midway and get ready to fry in a fry pan with vegetable oil
  2. In a separate pan begin to cook the mincemeat over slow heat and allow it to cook until brown. Then add to this the chopped onion, garlic and bell peppers
  3. Once the mixture is soft add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. To this add cumin, salt, pepper and parsley.
  5. In an oven dish, arrange the aubergines belly side up and stuff them with this mixture.
  6. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 180 degrees and enjoy.

For extra flavour you can add a green chilli and red tomato into the dish and bake together.

This recipe was modified from

Hunkar Begendi: Turkish lamb and eggplant

A classic Ottoman dish – no list would be complete without the infamous history attached to this dish famously liked by the Sultan Murat VI centuries ago.

The key for this dish lies in its slow roasting of vegetables combining with he succulent meat.

This dish is served best with garlic bread or any Turkish flatbread to soak up the cheese and is a slower cook time of 2 hours.


For the lamb stew:

  • 500g lamb cut in cubes
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  •  1 cup stock
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper
  • 4 tbsp olive oil

For the eggplant puree

  • 4 eggplants
  • 75g butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 355ml
  • Pinch salt
  • 75g grated cheese


Preparing the lamb stew

  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan and sear the meat. Then gradually add in the onions so they can caramelise.
  2. To this, add the garlic, chopped peppers and tomato paste.
  3. Add stock and cover/simmer for 1 hour until meat is tender.

For the aubergine puree:

  1.  The aim is to char the aubergine on each side evenly on an open gas flame, turning it with tongs every few minutes. Then peel and mash.
  2.  Roast the flour and butter over low heat then stir in milk to simmer and cook for a while.
  3.  Fold in the mashed eggplants.

You can dust in some cheese, salt and pepper to taste or even nutmeg for an added kick. Garnish with some good old parsley – a staple herb in every Turkish food.

Layer the puree over the lamb stew and serve on a flatbread.

This recipe was modified from

Lahmacun – Turkish Pizza

Another staple classic in Turkish cuisine and readily available worldwide. This crispy thin bread topped with a spicy minced meat mixture is a quick savoury treat.

Lahmacun can be a convenient brunch or on-the-go snack and is amazing with garlic sauce, tahini, humous or any other Mezze.

The great part is the ingredients are all readily available and easy to source!

The total preparation time is 25 minutes and serves a maximum of 8 people.



  • 236ml water
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 384g flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp virgin olive oil

Mince mixture:

  • Parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 tsp cumin and allspice
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 200g ground lamb
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • Extra virgin olive oil



  1. In a small bowl combine water, flour, salt, sugar, yeast and olive oil and mix.
  2. Knead this for 10 minutes until dough is elastic and set in a warm spot covered with a damp cloth for 2 hours to rise.
  3. Once risen form 4 balls from the dough for the flatbread. This needs to be rolled out thinly.

For the mince mixture:

  1. In a food processor add the garlic, red pepper, shallot and parsley.
  2. Add the ground lamb, tomato paste and olive oil along with all the spices.
  3. Add this mixture onto the flatbreads which you’ve rolled and put onto baking tray. Bake for 5-7 minutes.

You can add radish, mint sauce and any other garden vegetable for more variety.

This recipe was modified from The Mediterranean Dish

Delicious Doner Kebab

Meat Dishes

A top ten meat dish list would not be complete without this staple. A combination of slow cooked meat served with either yogurt or spices. This dish is highly popular on its own or combined with rice or flatbread.

This recipe will make enough for 2 people.


  • 200g lamb
  •  Salt and pepper to taste
  •  1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ chicken stock cube
  • 30g butter
  • Turkish flatbreads

For the dressing:

  •  Greek-style yoghurt
  •  Fresh mint
  •  Sesame seeds


  1. Season the lamb with salt/pepper.  In a medium skillet heat some olive oil then add the meat and cook for 7 minutes at least.
  2.  Pour the stock over this and bring the lamb to boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Cook the lamb for at least an hour.
  3.  Add butter and lemon juice and simmer till lamb is cooked. Warm the flatbread in a frying pan for 2 minutes on each side for a crispy texture and warmth which goes excellently with the tender meat.
  4. For the sauce, you can combine Greek yogurt, fresh mint, grated carrots, radish and sesame seeds.

This recipe was modified from BBC Food

Exotic Iskender Kebab

This splendid recipe has a long history originating from the cold city of Bursa and becoming a favourite for the nation. The excellent thing about Iskender is that it can be made from leftover meat which is a great use for it.

This recipe will serve 2 but remember meat does take long to cook.


  •  Any selection of beef/ lamb or entrecote marinated with oregano and olive oil for a few hours
  • 150g of pitta bread or any Turkish bread
  • 1 tbsp yogurt
  • 4 green peppers
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (for marinade and frying)
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1 peeled garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 400ml water
  • Chilli flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Some melted butter for the topping


  1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the chopped tomatoes.
  2. To this add the garlic, chilli flakes and some salt and pepper to taste. Once they soften, add some water and tomato paste to this mixture. Keep adding water whilst heating until it is the desired thickness.
  3. Cook this for 30 minutes then set aside.
  4. Char the peppers on an open flame on the stove.
  5. In a pan heat some olive oil and fry the beef in this meanwhile heating the flatbread in a separate pan too.
  6. The meat should look crispy and brown once done.
  7. Cut the bread into chunks and arrange on a plate then add the meat on top. Ladle the sauce on top.
  8. Top it up with butter, yogurt and tomato sauce!

Tip: use unleavened bread (tortilla, roti) which is meant to be flat and visually works well with Iskender

This recipe was modified from Turkeys for Life

Perfect Etli Kapuska – Turkish Cabbage stew

Meat Dishes

An absolutely delicious comfort food. Using meat and vegetables this makes for a hearty meal and is sure to win some hearts at any dinner table.

This recipe will serve 4 and takes around 1 hour 45 minutes to prepare.


  • 300g stew beef or lamb cut into small chunks
  • White cabbage
  • 2 chopped onions, quartered and sliced
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 500ml hot water
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • Some chilli flakes
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat some oil or butter in a pan and cook the meat till tender.
  2. When brown, add your onion and stir until they are softened.
  3. Add tomatoes, mix and simmer for 5 minutes before adding your paprika, tomato paste, chilli flakes, salt and pepper.
  4. Stir until paste is fully dissolved.

This recipe was modified from Turkeys for Life

Ultimate Turkish Musakka

This dish serves 8 people and takes about an hour. This dish is incredibly versatile as you can make it out of any vegetables the most popular being aubergine of course. This recipe is light, fresh and colourful.


  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 400g lean minced lamb
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • 4 aubergines


  1. Heat some olive oil in a dish, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Then stir in garlic and stir occasionally.
  2. Cook the lamb portion in olive oil and let it cook thoroughly by putting a lid on. Once done remove and set aside
  3. Add the cinnamon, allspice, oregano, bay leaves and thyme into the onion mixture. Add the meat and tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour until meat is tender and sauce has visibly reduced.
  5. In a frying pan gently fry the aubergines for 8-10 minutes and drying once cooked.
  6. For the cheese sauce: melt together the butter and flour mixing continuously gradually stirring in the milk. Stir in the cheese and seasoning.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and spoon a third of the turkey mixture into the base of a dish.
  8. Cover with half the aubergine slices. Repeat the layers, finishing with a layer of the turkey mixture. Pour over the cheese sauce.
  9. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan on top and bake for 50-60 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown. 

This recipe was modified from Goodfood.uktv

Delicious Canak Koftesi

A nice simple one for the kids to enjoy or to cook for family gatherings where there will be younger people. Beef can be quite heavy on its own but the potato definitely fives this recipe an added oomph of flavour as we all know that lamb and potatoes have a special affinity…

This recipe will serve 6 and takes about 40 minutes to make so yes get those aprons and oven gloves out!


  • 500g ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 4 slices stale white bread
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Fresh parsley chopped
  • Potatoes
  • Butter
  • 79ml milk
  • ½ ground white pepper
  • 43g grated Turkish Kasar


  1. For the meat cups add the ground beef, egg and spices to a mixing bowl.  Gently wet the bread and add.
  2. Knead this altogether then leave aside to rest for about 15 minutes.
  3. Make balls out of the mixture and make a hole in the centre, then use your fingers to lengthen the sides upward and enlarge the hole.
  4. Set your meat cup in a baking tray and repeat these steps with rest of the meat mixture.
  5. To make the mashed potatoes, peel your potatoes and boil them until soft. Mash them and add butter and spices.
  6. Beat them with an electric mixer for several minutes then slowly add the milk while you continue to beat them until you have stiff peaks.
  7. Using a spoon, fill the centres of each meat cup with a portion of the mashed potato.
  8. Sprinkle the top of each potato with grated cheese. Bake them in 200 degrees hot for about 20 minutes.
  9. Serve along with Turkish rice pilaf or salad vegetables. 

This recipe was modified from The Spruce Eats





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