Tag Archives: dinner

Meatball and Vegetable Casserole-(Izmir Kofte)

Meatball-and-Vegetable-Casserole-(Izmir Kofte)-1

This is one of the famous dish which can be either cooked in the oven or on top of the stove. It is generally served with rice pilaf. This meatball recipe is different than Grilled Turkish Meatball recipe, because this time we add onion, egg and spices.


  For the Meatballs:

  • 450 gr /1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 2 slices of stale bread, soaked in water and squeezed dry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 bunch finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

  For the casserole:

  • 1 lb medium potatoes, sliced
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 1 green bell pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 240 ml / 1 cup water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


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In a large bowl, mix all meatball ingredients and knead well till the mixture resembles a soft dough. With wet hands take a piece the size of a large walnut and roll into a large finger shape about 1 inch thick. Continue until all the mixture is used. Then create layers with the meatballs and the vegetables. (As you can see in the pictures I lightly fried potatoes but you don’t have to fry it.)

Meatball-and-Vegetable-Casserole-(Izmir Kofte)-4

In a small bowl, mix tomato paste, water and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Cover it with aluminum foil. Preheat the oven to 400F and bake it for about 30-35 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and the sauce has thickened.

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Lentil Soup-(Mercimek Corbasi)


Soup is such an important dish in the culture that I grow up. In Turkey, especially in my family I cannot imagine a dinner without a soup 🙂 When I was a little kid lentil soup was the only dish that I was eating for every meal. Now, most of the kids have same  routine, lentil soup is a must dish for them.

This recipe is from Turkish cuisine and it is healthy, simple, yummy and absolutely hearty 🙂 In general this soup is served with a lemon.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large size onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 medium size potato, chopped
  • 1 cup of red split lentil, washed and drained
  • 5 cups of water or chicken stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1tsp groung cumin
  • black pepper, red pepper, oregano
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


Heat the olive oil on medium heat in the pot. Fry the onion, carrot and potato until they start to soften but are not browned. Onions should be transparent. Then add lentils, water or chicken stock, salt and spices.

Once boiling reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until the carrots and lentils are tender. Turn off the heat and let the soup cool down for a few minutes. Blend in a food blender, or if you have hand blender blend the soup in pot. If you like hot, you can add extra paprika to the bowl.

Serve steaming hot with wedges of lemons. Squeeze liberally in to the soup to taste. You can serve the soup with a piece of crusty bread.

Click to see how to make this soup in a short video.