This Turkish Gozleme recipe will take you right to the streets of Turkey! It’s a simple, crisp flatbread stuffed with vegetables, meat, cheese… whatever you’d like. This recipe contains a creamy spinach and feta filling or a bold, savory meat filling. Pick one, or enjoy both!
Gozleme is a wildly popular Turkish street food that’s literally stuffed with flavor. That is to say, it’s a basic flatbread stuffed with a filling, either meat or veggie, and quickly fried into a delicious dough pocket that you can take on the go. It’s very simply seasoned, and really highlights the flavors of each ingredient.
I use two fillings in my Turkish gozleme recipe: a tangy, rich spinach feta mixture and a simple ground beef or lamb filling. There’s no “right” way to enjoy these stuffed flatbreads: serve them sliced up as a tasty shareable, serve whole with a spritz of lemon, or just chow down as is!
Enjoy more of what Turkey has to offer with these Pide Bread, Lokum, and Bulgur Salad recipes.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Dough – A traditional Turkish gozleme recipe uses a simple dry yeast dough containing all purpose flour, warm water, Greek yogurt, olive oil, and kosher salt.
- Spinach and Feta Filling – A creamy and savory filling made with:
- White Onion – Diced yellow, red, or really any other onion would do as well.
- Baby Spinach – With small leaves, a tender texture, and a sweet flavor, it makes for a perfect filling.
- Dill & Parsley – Both herbs are bright and refreshing. You can use cilantro as well, or in place of either.
- Red Pepper Flakes – A dash of this seasoning adds just a bit of heat. If you prefer less spice, use paprika.
- Crumbled Feta Cheese – Bold, tangy, and delicious. For an even stronger flavor and creamier texture, you can use goat cheese instead.
- Meat Filling – For a more protein-dense and filling center, use:
- Lamb or Beef – Either ground lamb or a lean ground beef blend would be fine.
- White Onion – As with the cheese and veggie filling, any other onion would work as well.
- Cumin – This hearty and earthy spice has a very bold flavor. Though hard to substitute, other strong spices such as coriander, fennel, or garam masala are possible alternatives.
- Sweet Paprika – Sweeter and fruitier than generic paprika powder, though regular paprika could also be used.
- Ground Cayenne – A smoky, warm seasoning. Hot paprika, red pepper flakes, or chili powder can be used instead.
HOW TO MAKE GOZLEME DOUGH
- Mix. Sift the flour into your mixing bowl. Make an indent in the center and pour in the water, dry yeast, yogurt, olive oil, and salt. Combine by hand or using a dough hook attachment on a stand mixer. The dough should be soft and pliable but not sticky. If too sticky, add more flour. If not pliable, add more water.
- Divide & Let Rise. Cut the dough into 6 even pieces and roll them into balls. Let rest in a warm area, on a floured surface, and covered with a damp towel for 30 minutes.
Roll Into Circles. When ready to fill, roll the dough balls into thin circles that are almost transparent — as thin as you can get them. They should be large enough to fill the pan when folded in half.
Time Saver: Make the filling ahead!
The filling will keep for up to four days, so save time and make it ahead. Just store it in a covered container in the fridge.
HOW TO MAKE TURKISH GOZLEME WITH MEAT FILLING
- Mix the Filling. Add all of the meat filling ingredients to a bowl and stir until it forms a thick, spreadable mixture.
- Fill. Evenly divide the meat among each dough circle. Spread the mixture over half of each circle. Take the uncovered side and pull it over the filling, patting down gently to squeeze any air out. Pinch the edges of the dough to seal the pocket.
- Fry. Heat olive oil in a skillet and add the pocket, frying for just a couple of minutes on each side. Repeat with each pastry.
PRO TIP: Rolling the Dough
The flatbread dough needs to be rolled out very thinly. You’ll know it’s perfect when you can see your hand underneath (See photo below).
If the dough tears, don’t worry; it’s very forgiving. Just use your fingers to press it back together.
HOW TO MAKE GOZLEME WITH SPINACH AND FETA FILLING
- Saute the Filling. Saute the diced onion in olive oil over medium heat. Once translucent, throw in the spinach, dill, parsley, salt, and red pepper flakes and continue cooking. Once the spinach wilts, add the feta and cook for another 2 minutes. Allow to cool before adding to the dough.
- Fill. Place an equal amount of filling in the center of each dough circle. Fold the top piece of the circle over to the bottom. Do the same with the bottom edge, folding it over the top. Take the left and right edges and tuck them under. The shape will be like a tight, neat rectangle package.
- Fry. Heat olive oil in a skillet and add the package, frying for just a couple of minutes on each side. Repeat with each pastry.
Absolutely yes! Although they do taste best when they’re fresh, gozleme are freezer friendly, both before and after frying. Just be sure to wrap them well and allow to them to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before cooking or reheating.
Using the recipe here yields 6 servings of spinach and feta gozleme, with 367 calories each.
If you make the Turkish stuffed flatbread with ground lamb and onion, each serving will be 540 calories. Using 90% lean ground beef instead of lamb will reduce the calories a little bit, to 460 calories.
This Turkish flatbread is made with a very simple yeast dough containing all purpose flour, Greek yogurt, and olive oil. It’s seasoned with just a bit of kosher salt, and has a mild, yeasty, and comforting flavor.
While spinach and feta or meat are the common Turkish street food fillings, you’re really only limited by your imagination! This recipe can be customized in so many ways. Here are just a couple of ideas:
A filling of red and yellow bell peppers, mushrooms, and goat cheese
A combination of gooey, melty cheeses for a next level pan fried cheese sandwich
Mix things up with shredded BBQ chicken for saucy, bold flavor
This post, originally published on Silk Road Recipes April, 2021, was last updated with new content, photos and/or video in May, 2022.
Gozleme Turkish Stuffed Flatbread
Spinach and Feta Filling
- Sift the flour into a large mixer bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the water, yeast, yogurt (optional), olive oil and salt. Mix by hand (6 minutes) or using a dough hook attachment, knead on medium speed for 3 minutes. Sprinkle with extra flour or water if needed to achieve a soft, pliable but not sticky dough.
- Divide the dough into 6 pieces and roll into balls. Place on a floured surface, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes. The dough doubles in size.
- For the Spinach Feta: Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Saute the onion until translucent. Add the spinach, dill, parsley, salt and red pepper flakes and cook until spinach is wilted. Add feta cheese, toss to mix and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
- Roll each dough ball into a large circle (large enough to fill the skillet you are using when folded in half). Dust with extra flour as needed to avoid sticking. Roll it as thin as you can without tearing (See Note 1).
- Divide the spinach feta filling into 6 portions and place in the center of each piece of rolled out dough. Take the top piece of dough and bring it down and over the filling. Repeat with bottom portion, up and over top piece of dough and filling. You should have 2 ends on the left and right. Gently lift and tuck each under the center of the gozleme. You should have a nice square or rectangle shaped package.
- Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large frying pan and pan fry the gozleme on each side for a couple of minutes until golden. Repeat with others and add more oil if needed.
- Cut into pieces, or roll up and serve with lemon wedges.
- For the Meat Filling: In a bowl add the meat filling ingredients and mix well. Be sure to add WARM water. This should be a thick meat slurry that is spreadable.
- Divide and spread the meat mixture over half of each dough circle. Carefully lift the empty dough side up and over the the filling. Gently pat down to push air out. Seal the edges by pressing the dough together. Repeat, keeping them covered as to not dry out as you finish making the remaining gozleme.
- When you place your hand under the dough you should be able to see through the pastry. It should be thin enough to be almost translucent.
- Calories with ground lamb = 540
- Calories with 90% lean beef = 460
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.