This Vegan Turkish Lahmacun Pizza is easy to make, incredibly tasty, and will be quickly your new favorite homemade flatbread pizza recipe! It’s topped with a spicy mixture of healthy vegetables, vegan mince, fresh herbs, and flavorful spices. So if you’re looking to switch out your traditional pizza then you should try this popular middle eastern dish.
The Best Healthy Fast Food Recipe that’s Vegan and Tasty!
Looking for a dish to serve to your next movie night? Or maybe are you looking to try out a new pizza variation? Then you should definitely try this Vegan Turkish Pizza, also known as Lahmacun (spelled lahmajun).
And the best thing? It’s easy to prepare with simple wholesome ingredients and perfect to make ahead and freeze for the future!
What is Lahmacun?
Lahmacun or Turkish flatbread/pizza is a very simple pizza or flatbread topped with a tasty mixture of flavors, including minced meat, tomatoes, peppers, and parsley or other fresh herbs. While traditional Lahmacun recipes are most commonly made with ground beef or lamb, I used a vegan mince alternative made of gluten-free sunflower granules. However, you can easily adjust this recipe by adding your favorite ingredients and making your own variation.
Why you’ll love this Vegan Turkish Pizza “Lahmacun”
Think of traditional American pizza but way healthier (without cheese and made vegan). While this Turkish Lahmacun is loaded with fresh, plant-based, and nutritious ingredients like tomatoes, parsley, kalamata olives, and more, it’s definitely a better alternative to thick greasy pizza. So if you’re craving for pizza but don’t want the guilt, this middle eastern favorite Lahmacun is for you!
Another thing I love about this recipe is, that it’s pretty versatile. As mentioned above, you can add ingredients that you like – from fresh vegetables to different kinds of herbs and even your favorite vegan minced meat alternative.
Can you make this ahead?
The answer is yes! You can prepare the topping and the dough ahead and bake your pizza whenever you feel like. Isn’t that great?
In a warm kitchen, yeast dough usually takes around 45-60 minutes until it has doubled in size. However, when the temperature drops, it can take much longer, up to 12 hours in the refrigerator. So if you’d like to prepare the yeast dough the day ahead, simply place it in the refrigerator overnight where it rises slowly. Just be sure to cover it tightly to prevent the top from getting dry. Then you can continue the next day.
Also, the veggie topping can be prepared ahead of time. Simply put it in a tight lid container and refrigerate until you’re ready to assemble your pizza.
How to make Turkish Pizza
Now let’s get to cooking! Here’s an easy step-by-step guide, showing you how to make a tasty homemade Turkish flatbread pizza! The full recipe with exact measurements can be found in the recipe card below!
STEP 1 – Prepare the yeast dough
According to my vegan naan recipe, prepare the flatbread dough and let it proof until it’s doubled its size. (See make-ahead tips above or freezing instruction below.)
STEP 2 – Make the topping
For the topping, in a bowl, place the sunflower mince granules and cover it with hot vegetable broth or water. Allow to soak for 10 minutes, then transfer to a fine-mesh strainer. Let drain and press excess liquid out with your hands. (If you’re using tofu or any ready-made vegan mince alternative, you can skip this step).
Next, add it to a bowl along with the remaining ingredients for the topping (olive oil, onions, garlic, red bell pepper, tomatoes, tomato paste, ajvar, and parsley). Give it a stir to combine and season with salt, pepper, and chili to taste. (To add more flavor, you can sauté the veggies + mince in olive oil for a few minutes before combining it with the other ingredients.) After that, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
STEP 3 – Prepare dough and oven
Once the yeast dough has doubled in size, knead it again for a few seconds. Then form into a ball and divide into 4 equal pieces (the amount of pieces depends on you whether you’d like to make bigger or smaller pizzas).
With a clean kitchen towel or cling film, cover the pieces and let them rise for another 15 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 428°F (220°C) and with a parchment paper, line one or two baking sheets.
STEP 4- Assemble Lahmacun
To prevent the dough from sticking to your working surface, dust it with a bit of flour and then roll out each ball into an oval-shaped flatbread or round pizza. Place on the baking sheet that you prepared. Spread the topping over each flatbread pizza and brush the edges with a bit of olive oil if you like.
Bake your Turkish Lahmacun pizzas for 10-15 minutes. Just make sure to avoid overbaking them if you want your pizza to be softer as they will get drier the longer you bake them. However, if you want your pizza to be on the crustier side, then you can add a few minutes to your baking time.
STEP 5 – Garnish and enjoy it!
Now top your baked lahmacun with red onions, kalamata olives, and fresh herbs or other ingredients you like. For an added tangy kick, drizzle with fresh lime or lemon juice and serve with vegan tzatziki and fresh salad for a side dish or make a wrap with vegan falafel or a doner with BBQ pulled Jackfruit for a satisfying main course. There are so many ways how you can serve this pizza – just get creative!
Tips for making the best lahmacun
Want to make the best Turkish pizza? Here are some handy tips:
- Pizza dough – I prefer making my homemade vegan naan dough recipe to use it for this recipe because it will ensure the perfect consistency! However, feel free to use a classic pizza dough recipe or get a store-bought dough to keep things easier.
- Use fresh ingredients – Like a lot of recipes, using fresh ingredients will make your pizza tastier. And, if you’re planning to store or freeze them, these fresh ingredients will last longer making your lahmacun as delicious as when you bake them on the same day.
- Want a crunchy crust? – If you love crunchy pizza, just bake them a few minutes more as instructed. This will dry the dough more, producing a crunchy crust.
- Add your own twist – Do you have a favorite herb, spice mix, or maybe leftover vegetables? Then why not add them. This recipe is very versatile so you can add any ingredients that you like!
- Which vegan mince can I use? You can substitute the dry sunflower mince or soy granules with 8 oz (200 g) firm tofu (pressed, then crumbled) or any ready-made vegan minced meat/ ground beef alternative you like. Also, cooked lentils, mashed beans, or other legumes make a great protein-rich substitute for the traditional ground meat topping – Get creative!
How to store and freeze Vegan Turkish Pizza
If you have some leftover assembled and already cooked pizzas, you can refrigerate them for a day or two. Simply wrap in cling film or place in an airtight sealed freezer bag and reheat in the microwave or oven before serving.
Now if you’re planning to make Lahmacun on a different day or later, you can easily freeze the unbaked pizzas! Simply roll out the prepared yeast dough into pizzas or flatbreads. Then stack them up, laying a piece of parchment paper between each pizza flatbread. Finally, place the stack in a freezer bag, and seal it tightly. You can freeze just the dough or even top it with the veggie mixture before freezing.
This Vegan Lahmacun Recipe is:
- Easy to make
- Meat-less, Dairy-free
- Perfect to prepare ahead
- Can be frozen
- Versatile (pizza, pita, doner, wraps & more)
- Perfect as a snack (make smaller mini pizzas for kids and friends)
- A great healthy twist on traditional pizza!
Looking for more Turkish food or pizza or flatbread recipes?
I have many simple yet delicious Turkish food, different flatbread, and pizza recipes here on the blog that you should try! I’m sure you’ll find something on this list to suit your tastes!
- Turkish Borek (Spinach Rolls)
- Turkish Bulgur Salad (Kisir)
- Easy Vegan Homemade Naan
- Homemade Tortillas
- Aloo Paratha (Stuffed Flatbread)
- Best Homemade Pizza Dough
- Garlic Mushroom and Spinach Pizza
- Pizza Toasts with Tomatoes and Mozzarella
If you try this easy Vegan Turkish Lahmacun Pizza, please leave me a comment below sharing how you liked this recipe! And if you take a picture of your “healthy fast food” dish and share it on Instagram, please make sure to tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka, so I won’t miss your post! Have fun trying!
Vegan Turkish Lahmacun PizzaAuthor:
- 1 Recipe Vegan Naan
- 1 package sunflower mince or soy granules 2.7oz (76g), *see notes for substitutes
- 1 cup hot vegetable broth to soak the vegan mince granules
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves pressed
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp ajvar or paprika paste
- 1-2 tomatoes finely chopped and juice removed
- 1 red bell pepper finely chopped
- ½ cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ tsp chili optional to taste
To serve (optional):
- red onions
- kalamata olives
- fresh herbs
- lime or lemon wedges
- vegan tzatziki
- Prepare the flatbread dough according to my vegan naan recipe and let it proof, as instructed until it has doubled in size. (*See make-ahead + freezing instruction above!)
Make the Topping
- In the meantime, place the sunflower mince in a bowl. Pour the hot vegetable broth over it and allow it to soak for 10 minutes. Then transfer to a fine-mesh strainer. Let drain and press excess liquid out with your hands. (If using tofu or a ready-made vegan mince alternative, you can skip this step, *see notes).
- Place the prepared vegan mince in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients for the topping (olive oil, chopped onion, pressed garlic, chopped red bell pepper, chopped tomato, tomato paste, ajvar, and parsley). Stir to combine and season with salt, pepper, and chili to taste. (For more flavor you could also sauté the veggies + mince in olive oil for a few minutes before combining it with the other ingredients.) Then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Prepare Dough and Oven
- Once the yeast dough has doubled in size, knead again for a few seconds, then divide into 4-6 equal pieces (or less or more if you’d like to make bigger or smaller pizzas).
- Form the pieces into balls, then cover them with a clean kitchen towel or cling film and let them rest for another 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 428°F (220°C) and line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Dust your working surface with a bit of flour and roll out each ball into an oval-shaped flatbread or round pizza, whatever shape you desire. Place on the prepared baking sheet(s). Spoon the topping over each flatbread pizza and brush the edges with a bit of olive oil as desired.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes (the longer you bake them, the crustier they get so avoid overbaking if you want the pizzas being softer rather than crusty).
- Dough: I prefer making my homemade vegan naan dough recipe to use it for this recipe because it will ensure the perfect consistency! However, feel free to use a classic pizza dough recipe or even store-bought dough.
- Vegan Meat: You can substitute the dry sunflower mince or soy granules with 8 oz (200 g) firm tofu (pressed, then crumbled) or any ready-made vegan mince/ ground beef alternative you like. Also, cooked lentils, mashed beans, or other legumes are a great option for the topping - Get creative!
- Nutrition information is calculated for 1 pizza of 6.
- Please read my blog post for make-ahead, storage + freezing instructions, and further helpful information on this recipe.
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