Vegan Turkish Lahmacun Flatbreads

I have been wanting to share this recipe with you for so long! Ever since I tried Lahmacun at What the Pitta in Shoreditch during January it has been on my mind all the time. Lahmacun is often dubbed as “Turkish pizza” thanks to its bread base. Traditionally it is baked with spiced ground pork or beef mince, and then topped with fresh veggies and parsley. What the Pitta made their’s with soy mince but I really wanted to let the vegetables shine through. One of my happiest surprise discoveries when living in Germany was the high Turkish population there and the affect that this has on the food culture. In the UK, a kebab shop is where you go for a dodgy meal at the end of a night out. In Germany, its where you go for a healthy lunch. The array of fresh vegetables on offer was a revelation to me! So many delicious flavours and textures made choosing veggie options really accessible. I wanted to recreate that in my version of a Lahmacun, even if it does mean straying quite a bit from tradition. 

Vegan Turkish Lahmacun Flatbreads
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A Turkish flatbread topped with a spiced paste and fresh vegetables.
Recipe type: Main meals
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 2 pizzas
For the dough
  • 350g strong white flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp easy mix dried yeast
  • 1 tsp soft brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Polenta, for dusting work surfaces
For the hot topping
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes OR 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 small bunch parsley
  • ½ red onion
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ can chickpeas
For the fresh topping
  • ¼ cucumber
  • ½ red onion
  • ¼ medium red cabbage (or ½ small)
  • 3 salad tomatoes
  • 4 radishes
  • Generous pinch salt
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Tahini, for drizzling
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
For the dough
  1. Sift the flour, yeast, salt and sugar together in a bowl and make a well in the middle.
  2. Measure out 120ml of body temperature water, add 1tbsp of oil and pour into the flour mix.
  3. Mix with a wooden spoon, or a wooden fork if you have one until mostly combined, and then start to mix with your hands.
  4. Flour a work surface and then tip the dough out onto the surface. Kneed for a few minutes until it develops a sheen and feels smooth.
  5. Clean the mixing bowl and add a drop of oil. Place the dough into it, cover and leave to rise for an hour.
  6. After an hour, the dough should have almost doubled in size. Knock the air out and kneed briefly. Split in half to make two bases. Dust a rolling pin with the polenta and roll the half the dough out until it is around 10 inches in circumference. Finish by spreading the dough with your fingers to get more of a round shape. Repeat with the second.
For the hot topping
  1. Whilst the dough rises, make the topping. Preheat the oven, and a pizza stone if you have one, to 220'C.
  2. If using sun-dried tomatoes: add the tomatoes and parsley to a food processor and blend into a rough paste.
  3. Add the onion and pulse until roughly chopped. Stir the sumac, chilli flakes, and cinnamon into the rough paste.
  4. Spread the paste over the two bases. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, and scatter over both pizzas.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
For the fresh topping
  1. Cut the cucumber in half or quarters depending on how large it is, and remove the seeds. Finely slice the cucumber, radishes and onion, shred the cabbage and dice the tomatoes.
  2. Tip into a bowl, add the salt, sugar, lemon juice and a glut of olive oil.
  3. Toast the pine nuts in the over -they turn quickly so keep an eye on them
  4. To serve scatter over the fresh toppings along with the pine nuts and tahini.
Tip: leave the tomatoes on the windowsill to let them ripen up and develop a richer flavour.

With the Bank Holiday coming, get this recipe on the go to share between family and friends. With lots of fresh, raw toppings, the base can be served either hot or cold so it is easy to prepare ahead of time. Add the fresh topping right before serving to ensure that the base stays crispy.