food to glow

feel good food that's good for you

gozlemeImagine flaky pastry, crispy and buttery. Now imagine it enveloping spiced minced lamb, juicy and dripping. Well, you’re not getting that today. But don’t be too disappointed because I’ve got something just as good, but a bit healthier. Naturally.gozlemeGozleme are a popular Turkish street food, often stuffed with lamb, vegetables or cheese. You can also get them as thinly fried pastries consisting of just butter – or cheese and butter – layered into the dough as you would if making puff pastry, and fried to flaky perfection. Not quite everyday food for most of us, but possibly something to try. Just once.

I have eaten gozleme in Turkey. Not in a jostling, colourful and spice-fugged market, but in a rather pleasant hotel. This was back in our carefree pre-child days, when we would rock up to a travel agent (remember those?) for a last-minute deal, and the next week land in a warm country not knowing anything more than we would be staying in a three-star hotel. No town or hotel name. How intrepid were we?

We got lucky with this trip. After a truly hair-raising bus trip of winding mountain roads, car-swallowing potholes and a driver with a death wish (or maybe he was late for his dinner), we pitched up at a bougainvillea-swathed apartment. More importantly was the pulse-quickening sight just below our window: a poolside buffet laid with platters of food, pitchers of wine and bottles of fiery, anise seed-scented raki. Good start. One of the favourite dishes was shatteringly flaky gozleme. One bite sent splinters of pastry in all directions, but a good bit of it into one’s mouth. Heavenly. I don’t remember the fillings, but as we were vegetarian I’m sure they were veg and cheese, but what I cannot recall. It was 20 plus years ago.

There were also plates of griddled aubergines and courgettes, laced with mountain herbs and crimson flecks of chillies, platters of kebabs and flatbreads, and too many salads to count. I felt a bit lightheaded, probably from the lingering heat, but quite possibly from happiness. After a quiet fist bump that we had opted for half-board, Mr A and I stripped off quite a few layers of clothing and headed down to tuck in. Magical.

Today’s meal version is quite different to the snacky street food ones that are more typical. Rather than a singular filling in an envelope of windowpane pastry, these hunkier yeasted dough pastries are filled to bursting with bright vegetables and your choice of flavourings. I guess it is really much more a stuffed bread. But a lot easier than most stuffed breads.

To be honest, I think the sweet potato needs the balance of salty, citrussy feta cheese rather than the cheddar shown. Our last test pastry had the feta, and Mr A crammed it in his mouth before I could divide it up further. So perhaps switch the potato to white and the cheddar will work perfectly. As for the chutney, it is brilliant but I am thinking of trying lime pickle next time. Maybe I will mix the two. Now that would be a perfect foil for the sweet potato. And yes, I know these aren’t Turkish flavours, but I do like them.

I am keen to make the flaky version for myself but I really love this dough, one I have lightly adapted from an Australian recipe. On a side note, if you follow a Australian recipe verbatim – and you aren’t Australian – do remember they have different measuring cup sizes to the US and UK. I checked and adjusted my measurements for UK and US readers. In my opinion weight trumps volume as a yardstick of measurement, so to speak.

If you have never made yeasted dough, this is one to start with: it is easy and very forgiving of amateurs such as myself. You would definitely manage it, no problem. If you are still nervous, make the gozleme with filo pastry, or the thicker Turkish equivalent, yufka. If going the filo route you will need some clarified butter or  oil to brush between the layers – about two sheets of dough for each of four large pastries.

Although I no longer have a little one in the house (Rachel has long towered over me), I feel confident that – barring the chilli and maybe the chutney (certainly the lime pickle), this is will be a big hit with children and teens. We scoffed them down as they were made, but if you are not so hungry/greedy/needing natural light to photograph, take your time and eat these with a crisp salad and maybe some lemon wedges.

Researching the recipe I noticed quite a variation in dough and filling types. Here are a few examples that merit a click.

Gozleme ( butter and cheese) via Turkish Food and Recipes

Spinach and Feta Gozleme via Manu’s Menu

Gozleme (lamb mince) via Kidspot

Easy Filo Pastry with Cheese (Gozleme) via Mommy Cook For Me

Have you had Gozleme? Have you made it? Which dough and what fillings do you like?

gozlemeBroccoli, Cheese and Sweet Potato Gozleme (easily vegan)

Last year: Cauliflower and Green Olive Tapenade Gratin

Two years ago: Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagne – low-fat and luscious

Miss R’s track of the week: Fly Boy Blue/Lunette, Elbow (brand new – album out in March)

Gozleme are a popular Turkish street food, often stuffed with lamb, vegetables or cheese. You can also get them as thinly fried pastries consisting of just butter – or cheese and butter- layered into the dough as you would if making puff pastry, and fried to flaky perfection. Not quite everyday food for most of us!

If you can’t make the time for the dough – or you want it buttery and crispy – do use filo or the Turkish equivalent. Change out the vegetables and flavourings to your liking and the season, just making sure they aren’t too wet. A chard, halloumi and sumac take are on my ‘to make’ list. Oh btw, this will make a terrific inclusion in a lunchbox, maybe with a wee pot of yogurt to dip it in.

The Dough

Adapted from

8g quick yeast (the kind that you activate in water first)

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp caster/fine sugar

275ml warm water

2 tbsp olive oil

450g (3 & 1/3 cups) white spelt flour, or plain flour (not bread flour)

1 tsp kalonji/Nigella seeds/black cumin seeds (optional)gozleme dough


400g sweet potato, white potato or pumpkin, peeled and small dice

1 tbsp olive oil

1 red onion, peeled and diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

150g broccoli, thinly sliced small pieces

1-2 chillies, finely chopped (optional)

salt and pepper

75g grated strong Cheddar cheese OR 100g best feta cheese (optional) OR 100g sliced and pan-fried paneer

A few tablespoons good quality spicy mango chutney (I like Patak) or lime pickle (optional)

Other savoury filling ideas: chard, potato and cheese; spinach, pea and feta; cabbage, caraway, beef or Quorn mince; cooked green lentils and chard with chilli; chard, halloumi and sumacgozleme filling

1. Make the dough by stirring together the yeast, water and sugar. Set the mixture aside for a few minutes until it starts to look a bit bubbly.

2. Now sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and pour in the bubbly, yeasty water. Mix with a wooden spoon or one hand to make a soft dough. It will be quite loose and sticky. Turn it onto onto a well-floured board and knead for five minutes, until elastic and springy. I did all of this in my Kitchen-Aid with the dough hook attached. If doing likewise, mix until the dough is fully on the hook and not in the bowl – about three minutes.

3. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and lay on an oiled baking tray; cover and leave to rise until nearly doubled. The rising time really depends on the room temperature – anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour. The warmer the room, the quicker the rise.

4. While the dough is rising (proving), prepare your filling.

5. Steam the potato or squash until tender but not falling apart. My sweet potatoes took 10 minutes to steam. Lightly mash them, keeping it all quite chunky.

6. Saute the onion until soft then add the garlic and broccoli, cooking for a further eight minutes or so on a low-medium heat. Add the cooked potatoes and seasoning. Set aside to cool a bit.gozleme filling

7. When the dough is ready take each piece and either dust a board heavily with flour or lightly dust a silicone mat or use baking parchment – I used a mat as the dough is quite soft and desperate to stick to my wooden countertop. Shape one piece into a rough rectangle, patting and stretching it fairly thin then rolling out with a floured rolling pin. Get it as thin as you dare, but not risking it tearing. Trim the sides to keep the shape.

8. Heat a ridged griddle pan or large, heavy sauté pan on a medium flame.

9. Place one quarter of the vegetable mixture on the upper half of the rolled pastry sheet. Top with a quarter of the cheese of choice and chutney or pickle, if using. Use the mat or baking paper to pull the dough up and over the filled half. Press to seal the dough edges. I rolled the edges up with my fingers, but that isn’t necessary.gozleme

10. Carefully transfer the pastry parcel onto the heated griddle- I tipped it from the silicone mat directly onto the hot griddle – and cook for three minutes on each side. Carry on with the remaining dough and filling. Cut each pastry into three or six pieces. Eat warm.

Makes 12-24 pieces, serving 4-6 as lunch/heavy snack, or as an appetiser/part of a mezze

This recipe is easily halved, or you could freeze half the dough if you wanted to get ahead for the next time.gozleme

This week I’d like to send this over to the weekly Javelin Warrior’s Cookin’ W/ Luv Made With Love Mondays hosted by the exceedingly lovely Mark. Popping back to the UK for the new and veg-centric Extra Veg challenge hosted by Fuss Free Flavours and Utterly Scrummy. Then over to Ren Behan who hosts Simple and In Season from her elegant, eponymous blog. And finally over to the Four Seasons Food Challenge (‘Virtuous’ is the theme) over at Eat Your Veg and Delicieux. Thanks so much for these fabulous public platforms and for your fantastic hosting. Most appreciated x6797570797_5f6497bd2e_mExtra Veg Badgefsf-winterrenbehanssbadge

43 thoughts on “Broccoli, Cheese and Sweet Potato Gozleme – Turkish-style Pastries

  1. Oh my gosh they look so delicious…

  2. thespicyrd says:

    Not sure which I imagining more. The delicious gozleme, or a pre-kids spur of the moment trip to Turkey. I’m sure both would be equally fabulous 🙂

    1. 😉 Both!

  3. Louisa says:

    Ooh! I do remember these…it was in my early 20’s with my then boyfriend (now husband), in Patara, served in a small restaurant that we stumbled across down a dirt track (it was more like someone’s house with a lovely vine covered garden with blue tables.)They were like a big fluffy pillow stuffed with veggies and topped with Greek yogurt and mint. I can almost taste it now…

    1. Good description! I like the idea of the simple yogurt and mint sauce to dip with.

  4. Gozleme is a firm favourite with me, Kellie, but it has to be GOOD… and yours certainly is! Love that it’s filled with goodness.

  5. Vic says:

    coincidentally, I just posted a few days ago a picture of a Turkish woman making these gozleme pancakes in a restaurant window in Istanbul:

  6. aryana0821 says:

    Wow they look so wonderful .

  7. Love it! Love the recipe, love the alternative options, love the back story!!!! All fabulous 😀😀😀

    1. Thanks so much, Elaine. I have some leftover dough and will play with some other ideas. Love all the smiley faces 😉

  8. Anita Menon says:

    What a lovely idea for a Sunday brunch. Thank you for sharing!

  9. healthyyfood says:

    Yumm, looks amazing!

  10. Ooh, definitely going to try this yeast bread! I love making flatbreads, dosas, corn tortillas (of course!), etc but I have never made a gozleme. And I agree I think feta pairs well with sweet potato, or maybe even a za’atar/sumac + cumin dipping oil if no chutney is around! Love your story about the trip too. 🙂

    1. Yes, za’atar and sumac, or dukkah, would be good. I was going for a different vibe this time, but middle eastern does seem my default choice!I just got some ruby chard and will make up a mid east one, with leftover dough – along those lines, just for me. Once the dough is made it is so quick.

  11. Deena Kakaya says:

    You know I much prefer this version because it doesn’t go so soggy when it’s cold, but then your wonderful
    Light and fresh filling would lend even more to lightness. Lovely xx

    1. You mentioning ‘cold’ in your comment made me remember that I had thought this would be a good lunchbox food, so I must edit the post and include that. Thanks! I bet loads of your blog post recipes of late would fit in this dough quite nicely!

      1. Deena Kakaya says:

        That’s a good point Kellie, we could link up 😉 xx

  12. Eat Your Veg says:

    Oh yes please Kellie! Just what I fancy for my lunch RIGHT now! They look delicious. A great lunch box idea too.

  13. ohlidia says:

    This looks fabulous!

  14. narf77 says:

    Pastry, soft veggies and cheese. You can’t lose with that combination! YUMMO! I tend to go by weight in recipes these days because of what you just mentioned about different measurements. Weight is a good way to bypass cultural variations. My sister makes gozleme with minced lamb and swears that it is so good she has to have it once a week or she may just expire. I figure that is enough of a recommendation for me (aside from the lamb). I am going to give this a go with homemade vegan feta. I agree with you about the sweet potato (or pumpkin if you chose to swapsies it for the sweet potato) needing a salty foil. Cheers for another sterling recipe 🙂

    1. I think my husband wants me to make the lamb mince version soon, to which I will probably go with cinnamon, cumin and chilli in with the onions. I won’t blog it in case I case it freaks some people out. Yes, the measuring thing I do stick with grams, but I need to bear in mind those who loyally stick with their cups (my relatives for a start!). So, lots of translating goes on behind the scenes, let me tell you ‘-) I will one day have to attempt some vegan cheese making. Send mea link to your best recipe? The labels on the bought stuff really doesn’t appeal. Thanks my lovely 🙂

      1. I would also like the vegan cheese recipe. I found many good one,s only to discover that they use carageenan (not for healthy guts). Waiting patiently…. Thanks for making my mouth water again Kellie….

      2. Yes, that particular seaweed is insidious in many vegan and vegetarian foods, but it is also the dubious oils and emulsfiers too. And I’m not too keen on the texture. I’d rather have a little cheese every once in awhile than eat the commercial vegan cheese. I would love to proven wrong about vegan cheese though!

      3. narf77 says:

        Somer (a vegan mormon) has some wonderful cheezy recipes on her blog but you need to be able to get your hands on Pomona dry pectin. Easy peasy in the U.S. but not so easy here.

        Check out Miyoko’s artisan vegan site as she wrote “the book” on vegan cheezes and shares some of her recipes here (let me know if you want some of them, I bought the book 😉 ).

        This post points you in some really tasty directions…

        I don’t have this book yet but am SURE going to buy it ASAP. The book is just text (and that makes it a lot cheaper) but there is a supporting website that gives you all of the pictures.

        And three more recipes…

        There are heaps more out there. Just Google “Homemade vegan cheese”; “Vegan cheese”; “Non Dairy Cheese” and that should get you started. If you love to research food like I do (a good substitute for stuffing it in my face 😉 ), you will love the thrill of the vegan cheeze chase 🙂

      4. Brilliant links and explanations, Fran. Thanks so, so much for taking the time to look up and write this up. I’m sure others reading this will also be thankful. I’ll let you know when I try one. Cheers my lovely

      5. narf77 says:

        Any time. I just hope it helps some people out there 🙂

  15. Annie says:

    This recipe is utterly fantastic! We are having an odd culinary evening as due to various commitments there was only me and the boys for tea – so everyone had a free choice of what they wanted – boys opted for uninspiring boy food and I thought I would try your recipe which has been calling to me since you blogged it. I am ignorant of Turkish cooking so had no idea what to expect but it is so flavoursome and light – loved the crispy breadiness. Boys bemused as I keep going on about it – I consider it a hugely successful experiment and will unleash it on the more tasteful members of my family in due course. Quick ignorant question – I have spare risen dough – can I freeze it at this stage – otherwise may be tempted to make and eat more…
    Thank you so much!

    1. Freeze – yes. It will be absolutely fine, Miss Annie. I haven’t frozen this dough (too greedy) but other doughs I have frozen. Super excited you have made it and pleased with it. Yay! Thanks so much for leaving this encouraging comment. Boy food? Do spill…

    2. PS what fillings did you go with?

      1. Annie says:

        Basically what I had to hand from your main recipe. Mix of butternut squash and sweet potato (roasted mine – steaming just too worthy for me), chilli, onion, garlic, feta cheese and mango chutney – really light and yummy – highly recommended!

      2. Yay! Thanks for confirming the recipe. I sometimes don’t know whether our tastes are a bit ‘out there,’ but if I get your thumbs up, all is well and I am happy. Big hugs to your gorgeous family. Or ‘mob’ as your other half seems to refer to them in. :-).

  16. This looks so good, and of course has my current favourite ingredient …..butternut squash so I’m sold. So comforting at this time of year. I also loved the back story and you have me dreaming of a last minute getaway…..but alas dogs and Andis unpredictable heads make this less than likely for now! I’ll content myself with your scrummy food instead 🙂

    1. Hopefully I’ll catch up with you tomo on your Mr A. I’ll be bringing in plenty of black bean chilli (but not spicy), kale caesar & triple ginger cake so I’ll have Jim save you a bite. Cheers, my lovely.

  17. I’ve never been exposed to gozleme before, so I was eagerly reading every word, Kellie. I’m fascinated by the pastry-like bread with lamb or cheese filling – it sounds awfully tasty (if not particularly healthful). This is a very tasty way to pack in some veggies and I’m intrigued by the sweet potatoes with feta…

    1. I know you would love the lamb version. Make the dough and you are set up for anything! I must be on a roll (LOL) because I was making dough for chapatis today. My family are happy with the influx of bready carbs 😉

  18. I need these in my life right now! Healthy Turkish street food – you got me! Thanks for linking up to Simple and in Season – what a treat 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Miss Ren. Always a pleasure having something make it onto Simple and in Season. Cheers also for the fab tweets. I should get you to write mine. Yours always sound way more enticing than mine. 😉

  19. Corina says:

    I love the sound of these and wish I’d tried them when I visited Turkey a few years ago.

  20. It looks so delicious! Thanks for sharing, Kellie anderson! 🙂

  21. thehungrymum says:

    this has some of my v fav things in it – yum! If you would be so kind as to send courier with great slab I would be very grateful 🙂

  22. Jack william says:

    Great recipe. I will definitely this try and share my feedback with you. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.