For The Love Of Pide – Recipe And Favourite Fillings

Let’s talk about pide! And also give you a fantastic, easy pide recipe which you can use and adapt to suit your own tastes. Why? Well, because who doesn’t love a Turkish pide whenever you’re in the country. We’re here in Turkey all the time, so we eat lots of it!

We’ve said before that çorba (soup) and the various types of köfte are bastions of Turkish cuisine. If we’re having three pillars, let pide be that third pillar. Is there any town in Turkey that doesn’t have at least one simple pide salonu where you can go to enjoy this famous flatbread with your favourite filling? We very much doubt it.

And, as with other masters of their trade, the pideci (pide chef) will have their own recipe for pide dough along with the toppings. Here in Fethiye, there are numerous places to enjoy pide. And locals and visitors alike all have their own favourite places in which to eat it.

Pide Recipe: If you’re not in Turkey and are really craving a pide, you can make your own at home quite easily. Our recipe for pide is at the bottom of this article.

Favourite Pide Recipe Fillings

But what of those favourite traditional pide fillings? Which is yours? Do you like the addition of cheese along with your favourite filling? Do you like an egg cracked over the top?

Without any hesitation, we definitely know ours: Kuşbaşılı. No cheese. No egg. Just kuşbaşılı.

Kuşbaşılı Pide

Kuşbaşılı Pide

We love a spicy kuşbaşılı pide

A kuşbaşılı pide is the one we made in our recipe for pide, below.  ‘Kuşbaşı’ means “bird’s head.” Don’t worry, that’s not what’s on top of your pide. It just means little chunks of meat. And they make for a perfect topping!

Onions, peppers and tomatoes are also to be found in the mix. And, if you know us, you’ll not be surprised to learn that we always ask for our kuşbasılı pide to be ‘acılı.’ Whether it’s fresh chillies or chilli flakes, give us some heat on our pide, please.

Kuşbaşılı Pide Pronunciation: If you’re in a resort, your pide fillings are usually translated into English. But, for us, that takes away from the identity of what you’re about to eat. ‘Diced meat Turkish pizza’ just doesn’t do it for us.

We all know what pizza is. We can also know what pide is. And, for our favourite pide of all time, we order kush-bash-er-ler pee-de.

Kıymalı Pide & Kaşarlı Pide

Kıymalı pide is perhaps more popular than kuşbaşılı and it’s one that many of our friends order when they come over on holiday. Kıymalı is minced meat, and, whilst we do love mince, it’s not a favourite as a pide filling for us.

Cheese Pide And Meat Pide

Which one? Kıymalı pide or kaşarlı pide?

We’ve also got lots of friends who are huge cheese lovers. If this is you and you are a purist, you can order just a cheese pide. No other toppings – nothing but cheese!

Again, this is not the filling for us, so this photo is of a friend’s pide when we ate at Güven’s in Çalış one time.

The traditional topping used for cheese pide is a Turkish cheese called kaşar. This is a cheese that melts easily and becomes oozy and stretchy. Every cheese lover’s dream. This is a kaşarlı pide.

Minced Meat And Cheese Pide Pronunciation: If you find yourself in restaurant or pide salon which doesn’t offer translations on their menu, if you want a minced meat filling you can order kiy-ma-ler pee-de. And if you are craving a cheese feast, you can order kash-ar-ler pee-de.

Sucuklu Pide

We absolutely love sucuk and, as a pide filling, the dough and the spicy meat are a perfect match.

Sucuklu Pide

Sometimes, it just has to be a sucuklu pide

For me, sucuklu pide is an indulgence and I only order it in places that I know make it how I like it. The slices of sucuk are often laid on top of a layer of kaşar cheese. Because you have two oily ingredients, there needs to be a red hot pide oven, only a light sprinkling of cheese and a sturdy pide dough.

If those three elements don’t come together, you can end up with a floppy, greasy pide. Not good! Get it right, however, and a sucuklu pide is a real treat.

Sebzeli Pide

Vegetarians and vegans, never fear! There is pide out there for you too. Sebzeli pide (seb-ze-lee pee-de) means your pide is going to arrive with chopped vegetables on top.

Vegetable Pide

If you’re vegan or you don’t like cheese, you can just have the vegetable topping

Just let your waiter know you don’t want cheese on your pide if you are vegan – and check that your pideci hasn’t got a penchant for brushing melted butter over the dough.

Whilst we never order a vegetable pide when we’re out, we have made them at home and they’re just full of flavour when you use quality ingredients. You can add whatever you like. But, traditionally, a sebzeli pide will come filled with kaşar cheese, tomato, green pepper and mushroom.

Kapalı Pide

Not all pide resembles a canoe shape. The Black Sea city of Trabzon is famous for its wholesome circular pide. And not all pide has its fillings on full show. Black Sea Pide (Karadeniz Pidesi) is often closed and filled with kuşbaşı or kavurma (a tender braised meat) and oodles of melted butter.

Resembling an elongated rugby ball, the top is sliced off and yet more butter can be added – and even a raw egg.

One day, this article will be updated with our own Black Sea pide experience. We’ve eaten it here in Fethiye but we get the impression we’ve just not yet had the full authentic experience…

Kapalı Pide

Kapalı (closed) spinach and cheese pide at Kumsal in Ölüdeniz

Usually, however, a kapali pide simply means the edges have been folded right over each other so that the pide filling is concealed. Our favourite version of this in the Fethiye area is the spinach and cheese pide at Kumsal in Ölüdeniz.

Whenever we eat at Kumsal, we order a kuşbaşılı pide along with a spinach and cheese pide. So it only seemed right that we used these fillings for our own pide recipe.

How To Make Turkish Pide

When you get it right, there’s something very satisfying about making your own pide dough and working with it to make a real Turkish favourite. We’ve worked with pide dough, before – some we cheekily asked for in a restaurant – so we knew the consistency we were looking for.

Keeping The Pide Dough Simple

There are so many pide recipes out there. And so many different ways that people go about making their dough. We’re of the belief that the dough should be simple, yet good quality. A perfect base for your favourite fillings.

As you start to bring together your pide dough ingredients in your mixing bowl, it will be very sticky. And then you will get to a stage where it seem as though it’s going to be too dry.

Don’t worry! Once you get your hand in there and keep working until everything has come together into a ball, it will actually start to feel slightly tacky. This is exactly how you want it to be. And once you have your dough ball, cover your mixing bowl and leave it to prove for at least one hour.

Shaping The Dough & Adding The Filling

We prepped our pide fillings whilst the dough was proving

Our Chosen Pide Recipe Fillings

While your dough is proving, you can prepare your pide fillings. Our absolute favourite pide filling is kuşbaşılı. And we’ve eaten enough kusbaşılı pide over the years to have a rough idea of how to make the filling. A slightly spicy tomato mix of meat, garlic peppers and onions.

We also love spinach pide. You don’t see this filling too often in restaurants, at least around Fethiye, but we love the spinach pide at Kumsal in the resort of Ölüdeniz. We don’t get there too often so we thought we’d indulge by doing our own at home.

For our spinach filling, it’s just a very simple mix of sauteed spinach with tomato and seasoning.

Building Your Pide

Our dough recipe will give you three to four pides. Obviously, the pide salons around Turkey have huge stone ovens and a professional pideci who can make pides to various lengths and widths. We don’t have that luxury.

The size of our pide is dictated by the size of our baking tray – which is quite small.

For reference, our tray is roughly 40 cm squared. Depending on how thick or thin you like your pide dough to be, you can make three to four pides.

Turkish Pide Recipe

Bake your pide in the oven for around 20 minutes

Once your dough has proved, place it on a floured work surface and just roll it with your hands into a thick sausage shape. Then you’re going to divide it into three or four equal pieces.

Take your first piece and pat it flat. Then just start to tease it into an oblong shape with your hands. Sprinkle a little flour over the top of your dough and then you can use a rolling pin to roll it to an even thickness. Roll your oblong dough to the length of your baking tray.

From Work Surface To Tray

At this point, don’t make the mistake we first made. As you can see in the top collage photo, I arranged the kuşbaşılı filling onto the pide dough whilst it was still on the work surface.

As neither of us is a professional pideci, we don’t have a long, flat paddle to transfer our pide from the work surface to the oven. It was tricky to manoeuvre the pide onto the baking tray.

So, lightly grease your baking tray and place your pide dough directly onto it laying it along the edge. Then add your filling. Leave a gap around the edges and fold these over once you’ve arranged your filling. Give the ends a twist. And there you have your pide!

Once your pides are ready for the oven, give the top of the dough a brush with olive oil. Then bake at 220 degrees for around 20 minutes.

Our Recipe For Pide – Ingredients And Method

Let’s take a look at the ingredients and method for making your own Turkish pide at home. Don’t forget, you can experiment with your own fillings.

4.5 from 2 reviews
Turkish Pide Recipe
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 3
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
This recipe for pide is quite simple. You can make your pide fillings whilst your dough is proving. Make your fillings from meat or vegetables or a mix of both.
For The Pide Dough
  • 250g plain flour
  • 160 mls warm water
  • 1 heaped tsp dried yeast (approx 5g)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Drizzle of olive oil (approx 10 mls)
For The Kuşbaşılı Pide Filling
  • 100g cubed beef (roughly 1 cm cubes)
  • ½ medium onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • ½ red pepper deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and grated
  • 1 fresh chilli finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp salça (tomato paste)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Small knob of butter for frying
For The Spinach Pide Filling
  • 1 handful spinach leaves, washed and roughly chopped (approx 100g)
  • ½ medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4-5 cherry tomatoes quartered (optional)
  • 1 tsp salça (tomato paste)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Sunflower oil for frying
For The Pide Dough
  1. Add you flour to a mixing bowl and make a well in the middle.
  2. Now sprinkle your yeast and sugar around the perimeter of your well.
  3. Add your salt to the centre of your well.
  4. Now mix your oil and water rigorously before pouring it into the centre of your well.
  5. Using a fork to begin with, start to bring your flour into the well a bit a time, stirring as you go.
  6. Keep going until most of the flour and yeast is incorporated.
  7. Now use your hand to keep gathering it all together until you have a slightly sticky ball of dough.
  8. If it feels very sticky, add an extra couple of teaspoons of flour and knead in your bowl for a couple of minutes.
  9. Once you have a very soft, sticky dough, mould into a ball and place back in your bowl.
  10. Cover your bowl with a clean towel or cling film.
  11. Leave to prove for 1 hour.
  12. While your pide dough is proving, turn your attention to your pide fillings.
For The Kuşbaşılı Pide Filling
  1. In a small frying pan, gently heat a small knob of butter and add your onion and red pepper.
  2. Saute until they start to soften and then add your meat.
  3. Let your meat start to brown and release its juices.
  4. As the juices start to reduce, add your tomato, chilli, garlic, spices and seasoning.
  5. Cook until your tomato softens and starts to break down.
  6. Now add your salça and 1 tbsp water.
  7. Simmer until your sauce has reduced and your meat is soft.
  8. Remove from the heat.
For The Spinach Pide Filling
  1. Gently heat your oil in a small frying pan and add your onion.
  2. Once your onion starts to sweat, add your spinach and cook until is starts to wilt.
  3. Now add your tomatoes (if using) and a splash of water and cook on a medium heat until your tomatoes start to break down.
  4. Add your salça, paprika and seasoning and stir everything together.
  5. Remove from the heat.
How To Make Your Pide
  1. Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius
  2. Lightly sprinkle flour over your work surface and place your pide dough onto the work surface.
  3. Use your hands to roll it into an oblong shape and then cut into three or four equal pieces, depending on the size of your oven.
  4. Take your first piece of dough, pat it down with your hands and stretch it into a flat oblong shape.
  5. Now use a rolling pin to roll your oblong to the length of your baking tray.
  6. Lightly grease your baking tray and lay the dough at one edge of the tray.
  7. Take a few spoonfuls of your filling and lay it along the centre of your pide dough from top to bottom, leaving a little space around the edges.
  8. Fold the sides inwards and then twist the ends of your pide so that your filling is cradled.
  9. Repeat the process until you have three or four pides in your baking tray.
  10. Brush the edges with olive oil and then place in the centre of your oven for around 20 minutes.
  11. When they are cooked, remove from the oven and serve immediately.
Prep time in our pide recipe includes allowing time for your pide dough to prove and cooking of the meat and spinach whilst the dough is proving.
For your kuşbaşılı filling, your meat needs to be cut into roughly 1 cm cubes.
When you are adding your pide filling to the dough, unless you have a paddle for placing the pide into the oven, it's much easier to lay your dough on the baking tray first and then adding your filling.
We have said that you can make 3 or 4 pides from your dough. Our oven is quite small (our baking tray is roughly 40 cm squared, for reference) so we could only fit three pides onto the tray.
In future, we will roll the dough thinner and make four pides.
If you don't want to use your pide dough all at once, you can keep it in the fridge for a couple of days as long as it's sealed. The dough will continue to prove, however, so just push it back down occasionally.

And that’s how we make our traditional Turkish pide.

Time To Serve Your Pide

Naturally, you have to pretend you’re in a pide salon or a restaurant and slice your pide up into diagonal slices. It just wouldn’t be the same otherwise.

Pide Recipe Meat And Spinach Filling

It’s a satisfying feeling, eating your own homemade pide

There’s still work to be done for us – improvements to be made. We’re both really happy with the recipe for the dough. Next job is to work on rolling it out even thinner and also making sure to get the filling closer to the ends so that the twist doesn’t need to be as big.

More Pide Recipe Info

We actually made double the amount of dough that we have stated in our recipe for pide, above. We put the other half in the fridge for the following day and made a sucuk and cheese pide. And a mixed vegetable and cheese pide too.

Be aware that if you choose to do this, your dough will grow overnight so you’ll need to push it back down before you go to bed.

Apart from that, however, just knocking up some homemade Turkish pide as a lunchtime treat or to share with friends – that’s going to become a common occurrence in our house. Hope you enjoy it, too.

Afiyet Olsun!

Pide Recipe – Afternotes

In Turkey, pide is a flatbread and there are many different types. The word isn’t exclusive to the flatbreads with toppings listed above.

  • When you are eating köfte with piyaz or if you order an Iskender Kebab, these are commonly served on top of hot pide bread.
  • During the holy month of Ramazan, the bakeries of Turkey will be busy keeping up with demand for the special Ramazan bread that is eaten during this time.
  • Kır pidesi usually resembles a closed pide that is often filled with cheese, green herbs, minced meat or potato. The dough is softer and more airy and it is often sold as a budget street food. Perfect food on the go.

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  1. Brenda Walters says

    Thank you so much for this recipe, as you said you can’t beat a good pide. As we are unable to travel to Calis yet I will give this a try. My young grandson will love trying this, he is also a fan of Calis and pide, that is when we get to see him again and be able to cook together.
    Thank you

  2. Stan Knights says

    We come to Fethiye every year for the past 10 but maybe not this year. During that time we have had a Pide or two. This recipe works well the dough base is perfect although on first go I put in too much filling but it was a total delight. Thank you

  3. Fenella Hawkins says

    Great recipes. Thank you. Longing for the time I can come back to my home in Uzumlu

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