A fresh and herby recipe for Turkish Eggs featuring creamy whipped goat cheese, herby cucumber salad, fried eggs and a chile oil. Serve with a piece of buttered bread and get in there! No doubt, this will become a new breakfast, brunch and dinner go-to.
Table of Contents
Why This Recipe Works
This recipe is inspired by a dish from Sabine, a Cafe and Marketplace in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. Their take on Turkish eggs features whipped feta, fried eggs, and herb and arugula salad, avocado, seed mixture and aleppo butter all served with crusty bread.
And while we fell in love with their Turkish eggs, we wanted to put our own spin on them. Whipped feta is a mainstay when it comes to Turkish Egg recipes and instead of jumping on the bandwagon, we chose to whip together creamy chevre (fresh goat cheese) and Greek yogurt—creamy and tangy all around!
And finally, we found Aleppo pepper was very hard to find in most grocery stores. So we opted to combine cayenne pepper and ancho chili powder to achieve a somewhat similar flavor and heat. If you have aleppo pepper, by all means, use it! You can order it online or find it at most Middle Eastern markets.
What Are Turkish Eggs (Cilbir)?
Turkish Eggs, traditionally known as Çılbır, pronounced chil-bir, is a savory breakfast dish composed of a thick garlicky yogurt mixture, poached eggs and a spiced chili oil or butter drizzled over top. The saucy dish is often served with crusty bread for soaking up the resulting silky yolk and yogurt sauce.
notes from the test kitchen
In the test kitchen, we find we prefer fried and basted eggs for this style of dish opposed to poached. However, the traditional Turkish Eggs dish known as Cilibir is made with poached eggs. Check out this recipe where we dive into how to make the perfect poached eggs.
For the creamy base of this dish, we combine chevre (fresh goat cheese) and Greek yogurt. Find chevre in the specialty cheese section of the grocery store. Be sure to set the cheese out at room temperature for a few minutes before processing it with the Greek yogurt—this will help it whip.
We adore Persian cucumbers in the test kitchen. Sometimes labeled as mini cucumbers or snacking cucumbers, these tiny cukes are similar in texture to English cucumbers but far shorter—about 6 inches in length—and much crunchier. They’re often sold in packages of a half dozen. If you can’t find them, an English cucumber is a great substitute.
We like the combo of fresh dill and parsley here. Dill is absolutely essential—so if you have to choose one, choose dill. You can also use cilantro or chives if you’ve got them. Then be sure you store your fresh herbs correctly!
Aleppo pepper—known as pul biber (pul = flake, biber = pepper) in Turkey, and as Halebi bibar in Armenia—is popular in Turkish, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes. The pepper gets its name from Aleppo, a long-inhabited city along the Silk Road in northern Syria, and is grown in Syria and Turkey.
Aleppo pepper is less hot than crushed red pepper (about half the heat), is wonderfully earthy and slightly tangy. It has a flaky, oily texture and deep bloody hue. You can find it online at Amazon or at a local Middle Eastern market.
Sure, you can make the whipped goat cheese mixture and chile oil ahead of time. Store the whipped goat cheese mixture in a glass container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. For the chile oil, heat 3 tablespoons oil in a small skillet over medium until shimmering. Stir in the aleppo pepper then remove from heat and let cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Absolutely! If you can’t find Aleppo pepper (Turkish red pepper) you can use crushed red pepper flakes in place of the Aleppo pepper. Keep in mind, crushed red pepper flakes are spicier, so the oil will be more intense than if it were made with Aleppo pepper. Start with ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes and add more to taste.
Instead of adding 2 tablespoons of oil to the oil used for cooking the eggs, melt 4 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat just until melted. Add the Aleppo pepper, remove from heat, and let rest 5 minutes.
– Add a teaspoon of lemon juice and a dash of lemon zest to the cucumber and herb salad.
– Try adding some regular or smoked paprika to the chili oil.
– Swap the toast for warm naan.
– Bring a big pot of water to a boil and grab your slotted spoon for poached eggs.
What to Serve Turkish Eggs With
Spicy Candied Bacon
Simple Grape Salad Recipe
Turkish Eggs with Pickled Shallot and Cucumber Salad
Whipped Goat Cheese
- 4 ounces fresh goat cheese (chevre)
- ½ cup whole milk or 2% Greek yogurt
- 1 small garlic clove, grated
Shallot & Cucumber Salad
- 6 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Kosher salt
- 1 large shallot, or 2 small, thinly sliced
- 4 Persian cucumbers (mini cucumbers), thinly sliced
- ⅔ cup chopped parsley
- ½ cup chopped dill
- 8 large eggs
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon aleppo pepper or ½ teaspoon each cayenne pepper and ancho chili powder
- Flaky sea salt, optional
- Add goat cheese, yogurt, and garlic to a mini food processor. Blend until smooth and whipped, about 1 minute.
- For the salad, whisk together vinegar, honey, and ½ teaspoon teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl. Add shallot and shimmy/massage until shallots start to soften; set aside.
- For the eggs, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium until shimmering. Carefully crack 4 eggs into skillet. Cook eggs, carefully tilting skillet toward you so oil pools. Use a large spoon to scoop oil up and spoon over egg whites. Continue basting until whites are completely set and yolk is cooked to desired doneness, 2–3 minutes. (If you like a runny yolk, avoid spooning oil over yolks. If you like a firmer yolk, spoon oil over entire eggs.)
- Transfer eggs to a plate and season lightly with salt. Repeat cooking and basting with remaining 4 eggs. Reserve oil in skillet.
- Off heat, add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and aleppo pepper (or cayenne + ancho) to reserved hot oil in skillet. Stir to combine then set aside.
- While oil cools, add cucumbers, parsley and dill to pickled shallots. Toss to combine.
- Divide whipped goat cheese between 4 plates and spread into a thick layer. Pile salad onto one half of plate then nestle two eggs over cheese on other half. Drizzle with spicy oil then sprinkle flaky sea salt over top, if using. Serve with toasted buttered bread and remaining spiced oil on side.