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Turkish Iskender Kebab Recipe


The Turkish Iskender Kebab is a mouthwatering dish that combines tender slices of grilled meat with warm pita bread, savory tomato sauce, and creamy yogurt. This traditional recipe is beloved in Turkey for its rich flavors and hearty appeal. Follow along to learn how to recreate this delicious meal at home and impress your friends and family with your culinary skills.

Origin and History Of This Recipe:

The Iskender Kebab is named after Alexander the Great, who is said to have loved eating meat with bread and yogurt. The dish was created in the 19th century by Iskender Efendi in the Turkish city of Bursa. He combined thinly sliced lamb or beef with pita bread, tomato sauce, and yogurt to create this iconic dish that has stood the test of time.

Things To Expect In This Post Article:

In this post, we will be discussing the history and origin of the Turkish Iskender Kebab, providing a detailed list of ingredients, step-by-step preparation instructions, cooking time, servings, nutritional information, and tips and tricks to enhance your cooking experience. Additionally, we will share variations, serving suggestions, and storage/reheating instructions to help you enjoy this delicious dish to its fullest.

Ingredients List:

  • 1 lb of lamb or beef, thinly sliced
  • 2 pita bread
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for cooking

Preparation Steps:

  1. Marinate the sliced meat with garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper for at least 1 hour.
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan and cook the marinated meat until browned and cooked through.
  3. Toast the pita bread in the oven until warm and crispy.
  4. In a separate pan, sauté the onion until caramelized.
  5. Warm the tomato sauce in a saucepan.
  6. Assemble the Iskender Kebab by layering the meat over the toasted pita bread, topping with onions, tomato sauce, and a dollop of yogurt.

Cooking Time & Servings:

This recipe takes approximately 30 minutes to prepare and cook, and it serves 2-4 people, depending on portions.

Personal Touch:

Growing up in Turkey, Iskender Kebab was a favorite dish in my family. The combination of tender meat, tangy yogurt, and flavorful tomato sauce always brought us together for a delicious and satisfying meal.

Nutritional Information:

  • Calories: 350 per serving
  • Protein: 25g
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Fat: 18g

Health Conditions And People To Avoid This:

People with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies should avoid this recipe due to the yogurt component. Additionally, individuals with high cholesterol should consume this dish in moderation due to its higher fat content.

Nutrition and Benefits To The Body:

The Iskender Kebab provides a good source of protein, essential for muscle growth and repair. The yogurt in the dish offers probiotics for gut health, while the meat provides essential amino acids and iron for overall health.


Consuming excessive amounts of red meat can increase the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. Always enjoy this dish in moderation to maintain a balanced diet.

Tips and Tricks:

  • For a lighter version, use chicken or turkey instead of lamb or beef.
  • Add fresh herbs like parsley or mint for a burst of freshness.
  • Serve with a side of salad or grilled vegetables for a complete meal.

Equipment Needed:

  • Skillet for cooking meat
  • Oven for toasting pita bread
  • Saucepan for warming tomato sauce
  • Knife and cutting board for slicing ingredients

Variations or Substitutions:

  • Vegetarians can substitute the meat with grilled eggplant or mushrooms.
  • Gluten-free individuals can use gluten-free pita bread.
  • For a spicier version, add red pepper flakes or chili powder to the meat marinade.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve the Iskender Kebab with a side of chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, and parsley salad for added freshness. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice for extra flavor.

Storage and Reheating Instructions:

Store any leftover Iskender Kebab in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, warm in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes or until heated through.


We hope you enjoy making and sharing this delicious Turkish Iskender Kebab recipe with your loved ones. Feel free to experiment with different ingredients and flavors to make it your own. Don’t forget to share your creations on social media and tag us in your photos! Bon appétit!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use chicken instead of lamb or beef in this recipe?
A: Yes, you can easily substitute chicken for a lighter alternative. Simply adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Q: Is this dish gluten-free?
A: It can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free pita bread or serving the meat and toppings over a bed of rice or quinoa.

Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time?
A: While it’s best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the components ahead of time and assemble just before serving for optimal taste and texture.

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