10 Delightful Turkish Meze Dishes

Discover Turkey and its meze culture

Turkish Meze Culture

Meze is the general category of dishes that are brought in small quantities, cold and hot, to start the meal off in Turkey. It is similar to the Spanish tapas. Here are the 10 best Turkish meze dishes (appetisers) to accompany the spirits.


An indispensable part of the Aegean cuisine, fava is a type of appetiser which is made by cooking and mashing the beans. Served usually with fresh diced onions, dill and lots of olive oil, this dish is a classic, hearty appetiser.

Mercimek Koftesi

Mercimek koftesi (lentil patties) is traditionally made out of lentils, mashed and shaped into patties with a tomato sauce, freshly chopped parsley and spring onion providing a fresh crunch with each bite. Mercimek Koftesi, which is not only vegetarian but also vegan, is widely available throughout Turkey.


Saksuka (sauteed vegetables) is a major dish of Turkish cuisine. Eggplants, tomatoes and potatoes are roasted, and then covered in a rich tomato-onion sauce. Saksuka, which is often served with yogurt, is a fresh, hearty meze or side dish for all to enjoy.

Karides Guvec

Karides guvec (shrimp casserole) is one of the most delicious and deeply satisfying meze dishes in Turkey. Dip your bread the bubbling sauce of butter and garlic of fresh shrimp.

Pacanga Boregi

The flavourful taste of beef, the thin pastry, and the texture of cheddar cheese melting in one bite. One of the most popular savory pastries in our country, pacanga boregi (beef and cheese pastry) is served hot and typically eaten as an appetiser. Apart from the basic ingredients, some people also like to add peppers and tomatoes to the filling.

Deniz Borulcesi

Deniz borulcesi (samphire salad), which is a sea vegetable, is found widely along the coastline of Turkey. This delicious sea vegetable is best enjoyed as a meze. It is cooked simply in olive oil with crushed garlic and fresh lemon juice.

Balik Kokorec

Balik kokorec (fish kokorec) is finely diced fish that has been liberally seasoned with spices, tomatoes, onions and peppers. It should not be confused with the traditional kokorec in Turkey. This is a fresh and flavourful meze dish.

Cerkez Tavuk

Cerkez tavuk (Circassian chicken) is a hearty Turkish meze dish in every way. Traditionally dressed in fresh herbs and diced walnuts, it is one of the creamiest, most comforting chicken dishes you will ever taste.


Humus is a common hot meze made from a soft mixture of chickpeas, oil and garlic. In Turkey, it is served hot with a thin layer of smoked beef on it. Try it with some crispy fried bread, you will not be disappointed.


Ezme is a spicy tomato salad. It is made by cutting tomatoes, peppers, chilies, onions, garlic and herbs into small cubes, and served with lemon juice, pomegranate molasses and olive oil.

Turkish Meze Culture
Delicious Babagannus, Hatay