Cheese and spinach stuffed Turkish gozleme is going to be the new talk of the town! They are made using a very basic and easy dough recipe and an amazingly simple filling! And what makes it extremely versatile is that you can easily adapt or change the hearty spinach and feta filling we’ve used.
This gozleme recipe is one of the most loved street foods in Turkish cuisine. You can serve it traditionally with delicious and refreshing ayran or tea. Although not traditional you can even serve it with Turkish cacik dip or creamy hummus.
What is Gozleme?
Gozleme is a type of traditional Turkish stuffed flatbread like pide. The bread itself can be made from either unleavened dough, or yeast leavened dough. This dough is rolled into a very thin sheet, filled with toppings, sealed and then cooked.
Where it differs most from pide, gozleme is cooked on a griddle called saj or in a skillet whereas pide is baked in oven.
Gozleme is one of the most famous Turkish pastries known by tourisits visiting our country. How has it become that famous? Local people make and sell it at almost all tourist attractions. You can see them everywhere you visit in Turkey. It doesn’t matter where you go, it could be a historical place, beach or a plateau. You can even find gozleme at roadside restaurants when your bus has a break.
Local people don’t need to have a restaurant for this. Just a stand and fire will be enough for them. It’s not surprising to see women making gozleme even at the back of a pickup truck. They generally use a very thin iron plate on fire to bake pastries. It works with electricity and very practical. People use wood fire in villages and gozleme baked on it is absolutely more tasty.
For this recipe we use a leavened dough that consists of flour, salt, instant yeast and water. This is a very basic leavened dough that is very quick to combine.
The filling is where the real magic is. We love our classic spinach and feta filling. We chose to use only a few basic ingredients whose flavors complement each other beautifully.
However, there are a wide range of other traditional Turkish fillings that can be made. You can also choose to add some classic gozleme filling ingredients to this one.
Classic meats used in gözleme include minced beef, smoked or fresh seafood, and lamb. Popular vegetables include spinach, eggplants, onions, zucchini, leeks, chards, mushrooms, and peppers.
How to Make Dough (with and without yeast)
Making Gozleme dough is extremely easy to do and you can follow the same steps as with our lavash bread recipe. Today, we will be making a leavened dough, but we will also explain how to make an unleavened dough.
You can see exactly how to shape and cook gozleme in our How to Shape and Cook Section below.
Dough with Yeast
First, make the dough. Combine the flour, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add warm water and mix the ingredients with your hands or a stand mixer. Continue until a rough dough ball forms. Knead for about 5-10 minutes.
Second, let the dough rise. Wet the bottom of a bowl and gently wet the surface of the dough with a wet hand. Add the dough and cover it with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Allow it to rest until it doubles in size – this can take up to 40 minutes.
Dough without Yeast
First, combine the ingredients. Combine 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ cup oil, and ¾ cup water. Mix the ingredients together until a dough ball forms.
Second, allow the dough to rest. Place the dough in a slightly wet bowl and allow it to rest for roughly 15-20 minutes. This will help the gluten strands relax and make it easier to roll out.
Spinach and Cheese Filling
Our spinach and cheese filling is extremely easy and quick to make and doesn’t even require any cooking.
Simply combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and just like that, an easy and delicious filling. We love using feta cheese but you can use a combination of different cheese for even more flavor.
There are a ton of different gözlemé fillings that you can use. One of the most popular fillings in Turkey is a potato filling.
To make potato filling is simple; boil the potatoes, finely chop them, and then combine them with some other ingredients like paprika, red pepper flakes, and chopped parsley. This mixture has to be completely cooled before using it as a filling.
Another popular filling is either a ground beef or lamb one. To make it you can quickly sauté some onions, add the ground meat, season the mixture with some spices and freshly chopped parsley, then finally, allow it to cool and use it.
Finally, as we have already briefly mentioned, you can use a combination of cheese for a filling. A recipe we love contains feta, kaşar cheese, and cottage cheese. Mix these with some fresh herbs like parsley and dill, and finally green onions.
How to Shape and Cook
First, make the dough and allow it to rest. Combine the ingredients and allow it to rest before shaping it. You can check out our section on making gozleme dough with and without yeast for precise steps.
Second, divide, portion, and shape the dough. Lightly dust the surface with flour and place the dough there. Gently deflate it and shape it into a log. Cut the log into 6 equally sized pieces and roll each into a ball.
Third, roll them into very thin sheets. Repeat this after you cook a gozleme.
Next, add the filling into one half and fold the other half over it – it should form a half circle.
Then, seal the edges with your fingers. Make sure you cover the balls with a damp kitchen towel while you work to prevent them from drying out.
Next, cook the gozleme. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and cook each gozleme for about 3-4 minutes per side.
Finally, transfer the cooked gozleme onto a paper towel and brush it with some olive oil. Cut each in triangles and serve immediately.
How to Store and Re-heat
Place your cooked Turkish gozleme inside an airtight container. During summers you can keep it inside the refrigerator and in winters you can keep them at room temperature for one day.
To reheat these delicious stuffed flatbreads, simply add them in a pan over low heat, or alternatively you can reheat them in the oven.
Yes you can. Check out our section How to make gozleme dough with and without yeast to find the recipe we use as well as steps to follow.
Unfortunately these flatbreads aren’t meant to be baked in the oven. Traditionally they are cooked on a saj or griddle – a large thin iron plate. Using a non-stick pan is the closest piece of equipment to it.
We wouldn’t recommend freezing gozleme. The filling will soften the dough once thawed and it will lose a ton of flavor. This dish is best served fresh and warm.
As always: If you make this recipe, let us know what you think by rating it and leaving a comment below. And post a pic on Instagram too—tag @give_recipe so we can see!
Sign up for the FREE GiveRecipe Newsletter to get the new recipes into your inbox! And stay in touch with us on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram for all the latest updates.
Turkish gozleme filled with spinach and feta cheese.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 6
- Category: Lunch
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: Turkish
3 cup all purpose flour (more to use when rolling out)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 cup warm water (1-2 tablespoons more might be needed)
4 cup baby spinach leaves or chopped spinach
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup crumbled feta
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil (more to brush cooked gozlemes)
- Combine flour, salt and yeast in a mixing bowl.
- Pour warm water over it and mix with your hand or in a stand mixer until everything holds together. This might take 5-10 minutes.
- Wet the bottom of the bowl and the surface of the dough with your wet hand. Cover the bowl with kitchen towel or a plastic wrap. Let it rest for 40 min. until it doubles in size.
- Dust the counter with a little flour and transfer the dough onto this surface. Deflate the dough, knead it for 1-2 minutes and make a log. Cut it into 6 pieces, shape each into balls. Cover them with a damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying.
- To make the filling, combine everything in the list in a bowl.
- Grab a dough ball, sprinkle flour all over it. Roll it out thin. Sprinkle little flour as needed when you feel it gets sticky when rolling out. Try to give it a circular shape, but it doesn’t have to look perfect.
- Put about 3 tablespoons of filling on the half of the rolled out dough. Fold the empty half on the filling and seal the edge by firmly pressing on it with your finger tips.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Transfer the gozleme into hot pan. Cook both sides for 3-4 minutes each.
- Put a paper kitchen towel on a large plate and transfer the cooked gozleme on it. Brush it with olive oil and cover with a clean kitchen towel so that the cooked gozlemes keep warm until you finish the remaining dough and filling.
- Repeat the same steps for the remaining dough and filling.
- Optionally cut each in triangles and serve immediately.
- To make the dough without yeast: First, combine the ingredients. Combine 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ cup oil, and ¾ cup water. Mix the ingredients together until a dough ball forms. Second, allow the dough to rest. Place the dough in a slightly wet bowl and allow it to rest for roughly 15-20 minutes. This will help the gluten strands relax and make it easier to roll out.
- When rolling out a dough ball, make sure you cover the rest of with kitchen towel to prevent them from drying.
- After transfering each cooked gözleme onto a plate, brush it with some olive oil and then slightly cover with a kitchen towel to prevent it from getting too crispy.
Keywords: gozleme, Turkish gozleme, gözleme