Menemen is a delicious, traditional Turkish breakfast recipe made with eggs, green peppers, and fresh tomatoes.
This is a hearty breakfast without being overwhelming and it's a great way to start the day with lots of fresh vegetables.
Why You'll Love this Turkish Eggs Recipe
Menemen is the national breakfast dish of Turkey for a reason - it's absolutely delicious!
If you love a warm and filling breakfast, then you've got to try this. While it does take some time to simmer the tomatoes and peppers, it's absolutely worth it.
The flavor in this dish is phenomenal considering it's made with such simple ingredients!
Ingredients You'll Need
While this is an authentic menemen recipe, there's interesting debate over whether or not the traditional version should include onions in the recipe.
This being said, I'm sharing this recipe without onions because I love eating menemen for breakfast or brunch and I find the version without onions milder. However, feel free to include a chopped yellow onion if you'd like (add it in with the green peppers).
To make this recipe you'll need:
- Green Peppers - You'll need ½ pound of green peppers. I used poblano, but you can use green bell peppers, shishito peppers,
- Tomatoes - I like using fresh tomatoes because you can grate them and then discard the skin. You'll need 1 pound of ripe, fresh tomatoes or 1 can of diced tomatoes. If you use canned tomatoes, give them a quick blitz in a blender to get a saucier consistency.
- Eggs - You'll need 3 large eggs for this recipe.
- Dried Pepper - You'll need ½ teaspoon of either urfa biber, Aleppo pepper, or crushed red pepper flakes. I like using urfa biber because it has a great smoky flavor, but use whatever you have on hand!
- Salt - You'll need ½ teaspoon of kosher salt.
- Olive Oil - You'll need 1 tablespoon of olive oil to cook the peppers. Feel free to substitute for butter if you'd like a richer flavor.
- Fresh Herbs - This is optional, but I love a tablespoon or two of chopped fresh parsley on top. You can also used fresh or dried mint as well!
- Cheese - This is also optional, but I like an ounce of crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese on top. If you can find a Turkish white cheese, use that, but outside of Europe and the Mediterranean region it's a bit hard to find!
What to Serve with Menemen
Menemen is often served as part of a larger breakfast spread. You can serve it with several accompaniments like:
- Bread - the traditional Turkish bread pide is often served with menemen. I like to serve it with pita because that's easy to find.
- Olives - a small bowl of kalamata or green olives will add a nice salty bit.
- Cucumbers - slice up two or three small, Persian cucumbers. You can use these to scoop up the tomato sauce or as a fresh palate cleanser.
- White Cheese - slice up some queso fresco or feta and drizzle it with honey.
More Turkish Recipes to Try
If you like Mediterranean flavors and want to try more recipes from Turkey, check out these recipes too!
- Turkish Lentil Soup (Mercimek Corbasi) - A wonderful red lentil soup that's blended to a creamy texture.
- Turkish Cucumber Salad - a super simple side salad full of fresh flavors.
- Cilbir (Turkish Eggs in Yogurt) - Turkish poached eggs on a bed of herby yogurt, topped with melted chili butter.
- Turkish Chopped Salad - A refreshing and bright chopped salad with bell pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, and herbs.
Tips for Making this Recipe
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Cooking Tips - While people sometimes call menemen "Turkish scrambled eggs", don't actually over stir the eggs. You want both the whites and the yolk to be visible in the final dish. When you crack the eggs into the tomato pepper mixture, break the yolks with a wooden spoon and then leave them be.
Specialty Ingredients - You do not have to make this recipe with urfa biber or Aleppo pepper (you can use red pepper flakes), but they are fun to have in your spice cabinet. I use both regularly and I enjoy the subtle flavor differences. Urfa Biber has smoky undertones and Aleppo pepper has fruitier undertones. You can buy them online from The Spice House (Spice House Urfa Biber and Spice House Aleppo Pepper).
Storing Tips - This recipe will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stovetop so the eggs don't become rubbery.
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- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ pound green peppers (about 2 poblano peppers*), diced
- 1 pound tomatoes (about 3 beefsteak tomatoes**), grated on a box grater with skins discarded
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon urfa biber, Aleppo pepper, or red pepper flakes
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ounce crumbled queso fresco or Turkish white cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot add the diced pepper. Sauté the pepper for 4 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
- Pour the grated tomato into the skillet. Stir to combine and let sauté for 15 minutes.
- Once the tomato pepper mixture has thickened, add the paprika, salt, and pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
- Break the eggs on top of the tomato pepper mixture and break the yolks with a spoon. Let the eggs cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until just set. The yolks can be a little runny as they will continue to cook once the skillet is removed from the heat.
- Top with the crumbed cheese and chopped parsley.
- Optional - serve with some pita bread or pide, and optional sides like olives, sliced cucumber, or cherry tomatoes.
*You can use green bell peppers, shishito peppers, or any other mild green pepper you'd like.
**You can also use a can of diced tomatoes, but blend it in a blender for 30 seconds to break down the tomato into a sauce.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 313Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 220mgSodium: 639mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 18g