Turkish-Style Tortilla Pizza (and an Ode to Istanbul)

A few years ago, I got the chance to visit Istanbul for an unforgettable week. I absolutely loved the city and am itching to go back again some day. From the breathtaking architecture, to the delicious food, to the unique activities you have to put on your “to-do” list (like visit a hammam, for example!), Istanbul is one of the best holiday destinations.

Foodie-to-foodie, there are three things I urge you to try if you ever find yourself there:

  1. the mastic ice-cream (proper name being “dondurma”). You can’t miss it during the summer months; street vendors bang spoons against the steel ice cream containers to catch your attention!
  2. get off the beaten path and head to Ortaköy, famous for baked potatoes (Kumpir) but these are nothing like the British “canteen” fare with baked beans; these potatoes are stuffed with a multitude of ingredients ranging from sausages, to pickles and sweetcorn to ketchup and mayo, and so much more.
  3. finally, you can’t go to Turkey and not try Turkish pizza!
Pide, also known as Turkish pizza with pomegranate juice in a random Istanbul cafe.

Pide, also known as Turkish pizza with pomegranate juice in a random Istanbul cafe.

As I’m yet to master bread-making, I was really excited to try this well-known twist on Turkish pizzas, made using store-bought tortillas. It kind of reminds me of Lebanese “kibbeh” served in flatbread. Super easy to make and deceptively filling! Allow one tortilla per person as a snack, cut into “slices” like a pizza, and enjoy!

Turkish pizza

About to hit the oven

You can play around with the ingredients and add some more chillies if you like (I actually used some harissa, technically making this dish a fusion of Turkish, Mexican and North African cuisine!) Use good quality mince (I prefer lamb) and don’t worry about the short cooking time; as the layer of mince is very thin, it WILL cook, provided the oven is very hot when you put it in.


(makes 8 pizzas)

500g good quality mince (such as lamb)
1 small onion, chopped very finely
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp harissa 
1 tsp salt, or adjusted to taste
Black pepper to taste
Small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped 
8 flour tortillas

First of all, mix the lamb, onion, tomato, garlic, harissa, coriander and seasonings together. Use your hands to really mix it all together well, then set aside for about half an hour.

Now, preheat your oven (preferably grill setting) at the highest temperature it can go to; you want it to get very hot while you prepare the pizzas.

Spread equal amounts of the mince on each tortilla, using the back of a spoon to carefully spread it out in a very thin layer. Cover the entire tortilla, then place onto a baking sheet greased very lightly with a bit of olive oil. You will probably only be able to fit one pizza on a baking sheet, and so you’ll have to make these one at a time. But don’t worry, each one only needs about five minutes in the oven!

After five minutes, they will be ready to eat (you can tell when the mince has browned and “shrunk”) but the tortilla will still be relatively soft. I like mine like this, but if you want them to crisp up more, leave them in for a further 1-2 minutes.

Turkish pizza


15 thoughts on “Turkish-Style Tortilla Pizza (and an Ode to Istanbul)

  1. Tasneem says:

    These look delish! Can’t wait to try them out – up for a pizza party where we try these out with varying types of bases (khubz, tortillas, cypriot pita, naan etc) ?

    • Habiba says:

      I love Turkish food too Amelia! No places near me in Islamabad or London though, unfortunately. So I’m trying to pick up as many Turkish-inspired recipes as possible!

  2. Honey What's Cooking says:

    There is a Turkish place near me I’ve been meaning to try. This looks so good. I wanted to go to Istanbul this fall, but with the riots there I held back. I’ve heard such great things… hopefully someday in the near future.

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