The Most Popular Dishes of Turkish Cuisine

Turkish cuisine is renowned worldwide for its rich and diverse flavors. Influenced by the vast territories and various cultures of the Ottoman Empire, Turkish cuisine has developed unique recipes over the centuries. Here are some of the most popular dishes in Turkish cuisine:

1. Kebabs

Adana Kebab: Made from spicy minced meat skewered on thin, long skewers, Adana kebab hails from the city of Adana. It is cooked over charcoal and usually served with flatbread, tomatoes, onions, and peppers.

Iskender Kebab: A famous dish from Bursa, Iskender kebab consists of döner meat served with yogurt, tomato sauce, and melted butter. The base is a layer of bread, which absorbs the delicious sauces.

2. Stuffed Vegetables and Wraps

Yaprak Sarma: Grape leaves stuffed with a mixture of rice, onions, tomatoes, and various spices, yaprak sarma can be prepared with or without meat. They are typically garnished with lemon slices.

Dolma: Vegetables such as zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers are hollowed out and stuffed with a rice or meat mixture. Dolma is a staple in Turkish cuisine.

3. Soups

Lentil Soup: Made from red lentils, this soup is enriched with onions, carrots, and potatoes. It is typically served with a squeeze of lemon and garnished with mint.

Tarhana Soup: Prepared from fermented tarhana dough, which is dried and powdered, tarhana soup is flavored with yogurt, tomatoes, and spices.

4. Pides and Pastries

Lahmacun: A thin dough topped with a mixture of minced meat, onions, and spices, then baked in a stone oven. It is served with lemon, parsley, and tomatoes and eaten rolled up.

Water Börek (Su Böreği): Layers of thin dough filled with white cheese and parsley, then baked with butter. It is known for its multi-layered texture.

5. Desserts

Baklava: Made of thin layers of pastry filled with nuts (usually walnuts or pistachios) and sweetened with syrup. Baklava is one of the most famous Turkish desserts, dating back to the Ottoman era.

Künefe: A dessert made with shredded dough and unsalted cheese, sweetened with syrup. It is especially popular in the Hatay region.

6. Mezes

Hummus: A blend of chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic, hummus is garnished with olive oil and red pepper. It is a Mediterranean dish that has become a favorite in Turkish cuisine.

Haydari: Made from yogurt, white cheese, garlic, and dill, haydari is a staple on meze tables.

7. Pilafs

Bulgur Pilaf: Made with bulgur, onions, tomatoes, and peppers, bulgur pilaf is often served alongside meat dishes. It is a healthy and tasty alternative.

İç Pilaf: Prepared with lamb liver, pine nuts, and currants, iç pilaf is commonly used as a filling for stuffed vegetables and wraps.


Turkish cuisine, with its rich and diverse dishes, has gained worldwide acclaim. From kebabs to desserts, soups to mezes, Turkish cuisine offers a wide range of flavors to suit every palate. In this post, we have introduced some of the most popular dishes in Turkish cuisine. If you are looking to explore Turkish food, these dishes are a must-try.