Why Lahmacun Is a Dish All Pizza Lovers Need to Try

Lahmacun, also known as Armenian pizza or Turkish pizza, takes thin crust to a whole new level.

It’s no secret that Americans love pizza. An estimated three billion pizzas are sold each year! In fact, 93% of us will eat a slice at least once in the next month. So why not switch it up?

Enter lahmacun (pronounced LAH-mah-joon) a delicacy composed of a cracker-thin crust topped with a variety of zesty toppings, plus ground beef or lamb. It’s a pizza that’s popular in Armenia, Turkey and other Middle Eastern countries. You may have seen it spelled lehmejun, lahmajoon, lahmajun—no matter what, the word refers to this incredible recipe.

What is lahmacun? 

It’s beloved street food in Turkey and roughly translates from Arabic to mean “dough with meat.” After cooking in the oven for around 10 minutes, the specialty is typically topped with a hearty chopped salad, a winning pairing with American pizza, too. Don’t forget a splash of lemon juice and parsley, a traditional garnish that adds an extra pop of flavor!

Here’s our quick, contest-winning recipe for lahmacun!

What’s the difference between American pizza and lahmacun?

Well, lahmacun has no cheese or tomato sauce! But popular toppings include onion, garlic and green pepper, which is similar to a traditional American pizza. The vegetables are mixed with a ground meat of your choosing and placed on top of thin dough, similar to a tortilla. (Kids and other picky eaters in your family will enjoy the freedom to select their own toppings.)

Unlike American pizza, lahmacun is commonly rolled up and eaten like a burrito, with the ultra thin crust giving it a satisfying crunch. As long as you don’t use milk or butter to make the dough, this dairy-free meal is a great alternative for those who are lactose-intolerant. Remove the meat and you have a great vegan option, too.

Check out some of our other favorite pizza flavors from around the world.

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Stephanie Harte
Stephanie Harte is a Milwaukee-based writer, specializing in the performing arts as the Wisconsin editor and digital content manager for Footlights. Along with Footlights, Harte's work has appeared in the Shepherd Express, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. Harte graduated from Marquette University in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and minor in digital media. During her time at Marquette, she served as excutive arts and entertainment editor for Marquette Wire and editor in chief for the Marquette Journal.