Have you ever had breakfast in Turkey? It is by far the most tempting breakfast in the world! A traditional Turkish breakfast is super rich with a variety of delicious foods. You eat with your eyes first and literally feel in heaven!
Today we will look at the most famous Turkish breakfast recipes out there. Traditionally, in Turkey, all breakfast foods are served together. The more food, the better. The table should look really LOADED. You feel like there is no limit.
For Turkish people, breakfast (kahvalti) is never a grab-and-go meal. It has to be in the form of a spread including several foods. Let's learn a bit more on this morning feast.
What Is A Turkish Breakfast (Kahvaltı)?
Breakfast means kahvaltı in Turkish. It is a combination of two words: Kahve and altı (Coffee and beforehand). When combined, these two words describe the food you have before coffee.
A typical Turkish breakfast isn’t just a simple meal of the day. It’s seen as one of the most important rituals in this cuisine.
During this time, you are meant to leisurely enjoy your meal, take in all of the delicious flavors, and enjoy some time with your loved ones around the table. In fact, on weekends it can last for hours and have many courses!
So it comes as no surprise that there are loads of traditional Turkish breakfast dishes out there!
There might be regional differences but the main foods that are always on the table in the mornings are eggs (boiled or fried), cheese, black olives, green olives, jams, butter, honey, bread, green peppers, tomato and cucumber slices.
And this table becomes even more abundant at the weekends. More foods are added on table to make a full Turkish breakfast. Menemen and fried eggs with sujuk are always the star of weekend mornings.
Besides the foods above, you see pastries like simit (Turkish bagel), boyoz (a type of flaky pastry made with sunflower oil and tahini), borek, gozleme, pide are served in addition to bread. And bread has to be special at a typical Turkish brunch. Bazlama is the most loved breakfast bread as it is so good when eaten warm with some butter on it.
Also, you can add fresh or dried fruits, nuts, a mixture of tahin and pekmez(grape molasses), kaymak (similar to clotted cream) and honey, a good quality olive oil, herbs like parsley, fresh dill or mint (with some drops of lemon juice).
Now, you know why people in Turkey are looking forward to having breakfast at the weekends.
How To Eat This Huge Breakfast
If you have never experienced it, you might be wondering how to eat Turkish breakfast. Although it is huge and consists of lots of dishes, you don't have to eat them all. You take a little bit of everything (or whatever you prefer) on your plate. You finish what you have on your plate and then if you want to continue, you can take more.
And it is completely a personal preference to start with sweets or savory dishes.
If you happen to visit Istanbul or another place in Turkey, you have to experience a festive Turkish breakfast! Until then, check out the guide we have prepared and create your own Turkish breakfast spread with a selection of foods below.
Menemen is one of the most typical Turkish breakfast recipes. People in Turkey have a weakness for this dish.
It is like a combination of scrambled eggs and tomato sauce with peppers. And a great dish to dip bread in.
This one-pan breakfast can also be served as a light lunch or dinner, especially during summer when you have the best tomatoes of the year.
Another simple, quick, hearty dish, but this time, healthier! This low-carb breakfast is filling, easy to customize, and great for serving in individual portions.
And best of all, you only need three ingredients! Spinach, eggs, and onions! You can season them with any spices that you'd like, but we prefer keeping them simple.
Sucuklu Yumurta (Sucuk & Eggs)
There are sausages in several cuisines and sucuk is a Turkish sausage made from ground beef. It is loaded with cumin, paprika and garlic flavors. If you are normally a fan of sausages, you have to try sucuk with eggs!
It is a staple dish when it comes to full Turkish breakfast. It’s simple, quick and so tasty! This dish only consists of fried eggs, and Turkish sucuk sausages served straight from the pan.
Heat little oil in a frying pan and cook the slices of sucuk about 1 minute per side. Push them on one side of your pan and crack the eggs. Cook the eggs until the whites are set. Scatter the cooked sucuk slices on the eggs and serve immediately.
Sometimes sucuk is substituted by pastirma, dried cured beef, which can be eaten as it is as well.
Many people love eating them two together, while others serve it as part of a Turkish breakfast platter.
This dish is a boat-shaped flatbread that is topped with a variety of filling. It could be vegetarian with cheeses and vegetables or meaty with chopped or ground beef or lamb. Optionally, it could be topped with an egg.
Pide is originally eaten for lunch or dinner, but it could be served at breakfast as well.
There are few things better than our cheese and spinach gozleme! It's similar to quesadillas but made with a thicker Turkish bread dough and a rich cheesy filling. You can also play around with different additions (spices, herbs, etc.).
Once assembled, gozleme is cooked on a griddle (saj) or in a hot skillet. This gives it a smoky undertone and helps crisp the dough.
It is one of the classic Turkish breakfast ideas. There are several types of borek in Turkish cuisine and all of them can be served as a breakfast food. It is made with phyllo sheets filled with any filling of your choice. But the most common is a cheese and spinach filling.
Besides the variety of börek filling, there are several methods of cooking or shaping borek. You can roll them up and fry them in oil as in our Sigara Boregi Recipe or give them a spiral shape and bake as in our Potato Borek.
Another type of borek is a classic. Make the dough sheets from scratch, cook them in boiling water and fill them with cheese and bake as in our Su Boregi Recipe. This last one is very similar to making lasagne.
If you haven’t tried bazlama, you are missing out! It’s one of the most popular items served with a Turkish breakfast spread or Turkish brunch.
A dough is made with flour, yeast, water, oil and yogurt. The leavened dough is shaped and baked in a pan over the stove.
Bazlama has a chewy outside and an extremely soft, fluffy inside. You can serve it as-is with olive oil, but it goes great with many Turkish breakfast items.
Simit is a beautiful ring-shaped bread that looks like a bagel. It is topped with sesame seeds and has a crunchy but soft exterior with a slightly chewy center.
Simit is perfect to pair with various breakfast ingredients like feta cheese, fried or scrambled eggs, tomatoes, fresh cucumbers, and cured meats.
However, most people enjoy this typical breakfast in Turkey as-is with some slices of cheese.
This is the perfect on-the-go savory snack. It's a delicious dough stuffed with different kinds of cheese, olives, or potatoes. But you can even make it with no filling. Once shaped, they are glazed and garnished with nigella seeds or sesame seeds before getting baked.
Pogaca is typically served with other Turkish breakfast foods, but many enjoy them as a snack on their own too.
Few Turkish breakfast recipes are complete without cheese! And there are so many to choose from!
You have several Turkish cheeses made from goat milk, sheep milk or cow milk. that can be served at breakfast. White cheese (beyaz peynir), which is almost the same as feta cheese, is the most popular one. You can find it at any market.
Lor cheese (lor peyniri) is another popular and cheap cheese that is easy to find in the country. It is a Turkish style cottage cheese made from goat milk or cow milk. It is often served with a drizzle of olive oil and spices like red pepper flakes (pul biber) and sumac.
Ezine cheese, a ripened soft, medium-hard option that goes well with other breakfast foods.
Fresh Kasar cheese, which is similar to Greek kasseri, is the ultimate yellow cheese to use for grating over dishes as it melts wonderfully. You can also use a more pungent option called Kars Kasar, which is hard and extremely ripe.
And, if you are lucky enough to find some at your cheese shop or Turkish supply store, you have to try Van herbed cheese (Van otlu peynir). Van is a city in the east part of Turkey and this special cheese is produced there. It is made in a very unique way and are heavily seasoned with herbs, spices, and salt.
If you have a sweet tooth, you will love this sweet section of breakfast. Several fruit jams are served together and you taste whichever you like.
Some the most popular jams you see as a part of breakfast spread in Turkish cafés are strawberry jam, orange jam and sour cherry jam. These two are always accompanied by other jams like plum jam and mulberry jam. Some places even serve walnut jam or fig jam.
Jams in Turkish cuisine are a bit different from the ones in Europe or in US. They are all made without pectin and also the fruit is never mashed. The fruits are either kept whole or cut into big slices.
It is an amazing alternative to chocolate spreads. And it takes 1 minute to make!
Tahini (sesame seeds paste) is combined with grape molasses in a bowl and served as a sweet dip. You just grab a piece of bread and dip it right into tahin pekmez bowl.
You can play around with the amount of tahini and molasses you use depending on how sweet you want the spread to be.
Kaymak (kajmak), which is similar to clotted cream, is an extremely unique food. It is made by simmering milk (usually buffalo milk) for hours until it coagulates. There are two ways you can make it: young or old (fresh or aged).
You can find Turkish kaymak at Turkish, Middle Eastern or Mediterranean markets. The brand we often see at these markets are Yayla, Sütdiyarı and Gazi.
This creamy, rich and thick dairy spread is often paired with honey in the same bowl. Bal kaymak (honey and kaymak) is a food combo you can never resist. Grab a toasted bread or warm bazlama, spread some bal kaymak on it and throw it in your mouth. Heavenly!
There are many variations of acuka. Most of them are made with tomato paste, olive oil, garlic cloves, walnuts and spices like cumin, paprika and red pepper flakes.
Serve it on bread, as a topping for your or as a dip.
Kuymak / Mıhlama (Melted Cheese and Cornmeal)
This dish is made from a mixture of butter, cornmeal, and string cheese (Turkish melted cheese). It’s simple, yet incredibly delicious and versatile. Not to mention, the endless pulling with a wooden spoon can be quite mesmerizing and loads of fun!
This is not a traditional Turkish breakfast in Istanbul, but popular in some households. You can serve it with various breads or egg dishes.
Breakfast and tea go hand-in-hand in Turkey. You won't find any brunch in Istanbul without tea! And it is often served with a set of teapot and tulip glasses.
And making Turkish tea at home is incredibly easy and quick. It will give you the best flavor possible! Tea is also low in calories, contains a ton of nutrients, and won't overwhelm the flavor of breakfast foods.
The word breakfast means kahvaltı in Turkish. It means kahve altı, the food you have before cofee. So breakfast in Turkey ends when you have a cup of Turkish coffee.
Unlike your regular morning coffee, Turkish coffee is served after breakfast. The cooking method is also different. It is cooked in a special coffee pot called cezve on the stove until you see the foams on the surface. The more foams, the better.
Turkish coffee has its own ritual. It is served in special small cups accompanied by a glass of water per person and one piece of sweet treat like chocolate or lokum on the side.
Turkish breakfast mainly consists of eggs, cheese, olives and vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers and green peppers. So it is light and healthy indeed. That being said, if you add more foods like jams, honey or pastries to make a full Turkish breakfast, you gain more calories.
The quickest on-the-go breakfast for people in Istanbul is simit, which can be bought from street vendors. If they have time to go to a café though, they have a few options. They can order a breakfast plate (kahvalti tabagi), which consists of eggs, cheese, olives, tomatoes and cucumbers.
Maybe butter and honey could accompany too. If they want something richer, they can order full Turkish breakfast (serpme kahvalti), which includes a lot more dishes like several jams, cheeses, nuts and pastries.
Yes, there is always a form of egg. It could be hard boiled, soft boiled, fried, in the form of an omelette, menemen or cilbir.
Olives, white cheese (feta cheese), eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, bread and tea are the essential elements that make a breakfast Turkish.
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!
Turkish Breakfast Foods (+Eggs With Sucuk Recipe)
Here are all the foods that are served in a Turkish breakfast platter. Pick some or all of them to prepare it yourself.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 2
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: Turkish
- Sucuklu yumurta, sucuk & eggs (Please read the instructions below.)
- Green olives
- Black olives
- Olive oil
- Green peppers
- Dried Fruit
- Turkish tea
To prepare a full Turkish breakfast:
- Choose some or all of the foods above.
- Place them all on the table.
- Make an individual portion for yourself by taking a little bit of everything.
To make sucuklu yumurta:
- Heat little oil in a frying pan and cook the slices of sucuk about 1 minute per side. Push them on one side of your pan.
- Crack the eggs into the pan. No need for adding extra oil or butter. Sucuk releases its own oil when cooking.
- Cook the eggs until the whites are set.
- Scatter the cooked sucuk slices on the eggs and serve immediately.
- You can find the recipe links and more information about each food listed here in the post above.
- Turkish breakfast is a large spread and everybody eats whatever they want, and each food has its own nutritional value. So it is hard to give them all here.
- The nutritional facts are only given for sucuklu yumurta (sucuk & eggs) and they are only estimated values.
- Cooking time is given only for sucuk & eggs.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 329
- Sugar: 0.2 g
- Sodium: 979.3 mg
- Fat: 27.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 1.3 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 18.3 g
- Cholesterol: 230 mg
Keywords: Turkish breakfast