Menemen is just the thing for a hearty breakfast or an easy weeknight dinner. These Turkish scrambled eggs are cooked over low-heat until just set, then smeared over toasted pita chips to make a luscious and richly-spiced meal!
The first time I made Menemen (Turkish-style soft scrambled eggs), it wasn’t really planned. It was the night before a big trip and both my fridge and pantry were looking a little bare. I hate buying groceries before I leave for vacation, so I had to make due with something I could whip up from around the house.
I made spaghetti for dinner the night before and found myself with half a bottle of marinara left sitting in the fridge. I couldn’t think of any clever ways to use it up, so I started flipping through some cookbooks for inspiration.
I had initially thought of making eggs in purgatory, but then I happened across a recipe in my Istanbul cookbook (which I absolutely adore by the way – below is a link to check it out on Amazon) for Menemen. It was one of the many, many pages I had dog-eared to come back to, even though it was the very first recipe in the book!
The author, Rebecca Seal, called for a few ingredients I didn’t have (namely Turkish tomato paste and Turkish red pepper paste), but she does a great job of explaining these ingredients in the index so I was able to make substitutions with what I had on hand.
These Turkish scrambled eggs truly couldn’t be easier. You start by sauteing onion, bell pepper, and a few spices over low heat until softened. Next, garlic and diced tomatoes are simmered while you use a wooden spoon to mash up some of the tomatoes. Lightly beaten eggs and feta cheese are folded into the mixture and gently cooked until just barely set. Garnish with some scallions and a drizzle of high-quality olive oil, then serve with toasted pita chips.
I made it with the marinara sauce that first night and it was a total hit. Since then, I’ve been making it a *bit* more “from scratch” by using canned tomatoes, dried herbs and spices, and sugar to replace the marinara.
I love it either way, so feel free to make swaps to the recipe below to use up what you have in the pantry. I also do something a bit unorthodox, which is to add a tiny pinch of cinnamon to the eggs. I know this sounds crazy, but it gives the whole dish a really exotic flavor; you’d never guess that the rich flavor comes from cinnamon!
Here’s the Recipe!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
- Dash of cinnamon (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2/3 cup canned diced tomatoes
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Sliced scallions for garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a medium non-stick pan set over medium-low heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, and cinnamon. Saute for 5-6 minutes, until soft.
- Add the garlic to the pan and saute for 60 seconds, until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and saute for 3 minutes, mashing the tomatoes to help break them up.
- Add the beaten eggs, feta cheese, and salt to the pan. Gently scramble the eggs until just set. Taste and add more salt if desired.
- Garnish with sliced scallions and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with toasted pita chips.
Nutrition InformationYield 2 Serving Size 1
Amount Per ServingCalories 367 Total Fat 27g Saturated Fat 8g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 18g Cholesterol 389mg Sodium 675mg Carbohydrates 14g Fiber 3g Sugar 7g Protein 17g