Vegan Spicy Turkish Salsa Ezme Salata Salad Recipe

Looking to learn how to make the best spicy Turkish Ezme Salata?

Our quick & easy healthy Ezme Salad recipe is my family’s favourite healthy vegan Middle Eastern salad.

Our vegetarian Ezme Salata recipe features tomatoes, onions, garlic, spicy peppers, parsley, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, sumac and fresh mint.

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Save our Turkish Ezme Salata recipe to Pinterest.
Save our Turkish Ezme Salata recipe to Pinterest.

What Is Turkish Ezme Salata?

Ezme Salad is one of the most commonly served spicy Turkish salads, enjoyed from bustling Istanbul to the quiet coastal towns perched over the Black Sea.

Ezme translates to “mashed”, so you should expect a Mexican salsa-style consistency. The preparation method for Ezme Salad is rather unique. Kebab restaurants in Turkey make Ezme by using a large cleaver, a double handled knife or extra sharp French knife.

While it’s much easier to chop all the vegetables in a food processor, but you’ll definitely notice a difference in flavour. Ezme Salata must be chopped by hand and not in a food processor or blender. Otherwise it gets too wet and loses its flavour.

Ezme is one of the most popular of all Turkish meze, and is found at almost every Turkish meal. It is a spicy and fresh accompaniment bursting with flavour. The salad gets its heat from jalapeno peppers and red pepper flakes.

It is commonly served as a spicy salad on grilled kebabs or as a fresh salsa on pita or Turkish lavash. Ezme is without a doubt Turkey’s favourite spicy homemade vegan condiment!

Ingredients you'll need to make "Ezme Salata" Turkish salad.
Ingredients you’ll need to make “Ezme Salata” Turkish salad.

Travel to Turkey by Making Our Ezme Salad at Home

I love traveling to the Middle East and North Africa.

As a professional food and travel journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy amazing meals in the Middle East, from authentic markets to award winning restaurants.

For over ten years, I’ve been on the hunt for the best Ezme Salad recipe via adventures that had me zig-zagging through Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Dubai.

I ate Ezme Salata with flat bread at a traditional Moroccan riad, Turkish take covered in fresh herbs in Istanbul and Bodrum, memorable late night feast at the luxurious Four Seasons in Amman, tahini drizzled vegetarian lunch in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and a Middle Eastern salad buffet in the Dubai desert while belly dancers twirled under the night sky.

My most romantic memories eating Turkish Ezme were at celebratory barbecue feasts in the cave town of Goreme, beach break in Bodrum, ancient city of Ephesus and a culinary walking tour of Istanbul.

Being preparing Ezme Salata by chopping garlic, tomato, onion, peppers and parsley.
Being preparing Ezme Salata by chopping garlic, tomato, onion, peppers and parsley.

Where To Eat Authentic Ezme Salata

If you live in a large city in Canada or America you’ll likely have access to a local Middle Eastern restaurant that serves an authentic Ezme Salata.

Haven’t traveled to the Middle East before? It may be helpful to first sample Turkish Ezme Salad at a local restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You’ll get an idea for the desired dice of vegetables and intensity of spices fresh herbs and lemon pomegranate dressing. You’ll also find inspiration on what to pair with your Ezme recipe, such as creamy dips, flat bread, grilled seafood and spiced roast meat.

In Toronto, popular Middle Eastern restaurants that may offer healthy vegan Ezme Salad include Parallel, Byblos, Tabule, Fat Pasha, Maha’s, Masrawy Kitchen, Paramount Fine Foods, Anatolia, Barans, Meat Point, Sofra Istanbul and Pizza Pide.

In a mixing bowl toss chopped vegetables with Ezme Salata vinaigrette.
In a mixing bowl toss chopped vegetables with Ezme Salata vinaigrette.

My Family Loves Ezme Salad

When my family moved to Oakville the first restaurant we visited was a local Middle Eastern restaurant called Agabi. Ranked as one of the best restaurants in Oakville, Agabi, became our family’s go-to Middle Eastern take out joint.

We’ve been eating at Agabi for years and have tasted almost every dish on the menu. Each member of my family has discovered a favourite dish, that we always seem to consistently order.

My father loves the Creamy Chicken, muddled with mushrooms and onions. My mother is a fan of the Lamb Shashlik, grilled to perfection with green pepper and mushroom. My sister always orders the Chicken Pineapple, marinated boneless chicken served with crispy bacon and juicy pineapple. I’ve always had a heart for Agabi’s signature Chicken Shawarma Plate, best served alongside the chef’s spicy Ezme Salata recipe, aromatic rice and creamy garlic sauce.

After discovering the perfect Ezme recipe at Agabi, my family would always seek out the next best thing. We’ve traveled to Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey and beyond…always keen to experience a new and fresh take on the healthy vegan Turkish Salsa.

Top Ezme Salata with fresh mint and pomegranate seeds.
Top Ezme Salata with fresh mint and pomegranate seeds.

Ezme Salata Tips

It’s quick & easy to make a fresh and healthy homemade Ezme Salata recipe in your kitchen.

In order to make the best Ezme Salad we suggest finding the freshest, in-season vegetables at your local grocery store or farmers market. There’s nothing better than biting into a ripe and juicy tomato or sweet pomegranate seeds.

We suggest slicing the vegetables uniformly, using a sharp French knife to achieve a small dice. We don’t like big chunky vegetables in our Turkish Ezme Salad. If you can slice small cubes of tomato, onion and pepper, the salad will appear like a finely minced salsa.

You can make your own signature Ezme Salata by tweaking the portions of each ingredient. If you really love parsley and want to enjoy a more herbaceous flavour profile, feel free to add 2 cups of the fresh herb. If you enjoy spicy dishes, double or triple the freshly sliced Jalapeno Peppers for an additional kick.

One of the fun ways we like to kick up our Ezme Salad game is by substituting the fresh sliced peppers for pickled Jalapeno Peppers. They had a nice crunch and pickled tang to the popular Turkish spicy salsa.

If you’re looking to add protein and healthy fat to your Turkish salad, we suggest topping the Ezme with Turkish cheese, olives, boiled egg, tuna, chicken shawarma or beef kebab.

We love to double this recipe so we can enjoy leftovers that linger in the fridge for up to 3 days. Overnight, the diced vegetables marinate in the vinaigrette and sumac spices, offering a perfect spicy cold salad to serve at breakfast or lunch.

Enjoy Ezme Salata as a light lunch or side dish to a Turkish feast.
Enjoy Ezme Salata as a light lunch or side dish to a Turkish feast.

What To Serve With Ezme Salad

Visit a new Middle Eastern restaurant each week and you’ll find each chef serves their own signature Ezme Salad recipe.

At breakfast we love to serve Ezme with poached or fried eggs and grilled flatbread like pita.

Ezme Salata can be served by itself as a cold starter or a meze. It also works extremely well as an accompaniment to grilled meat such as grilled lamb or barbecue seafood. Spicier recipe’s are typically served with flatbread and Ayran, a traditional Anatolian yoghurt beverage, which is a refreshing accompaniment, as is a cool glass of white wine.

If you’re hosting a large dinner party we suggest serving a Turkish Buffet, rather than building an individual plate for each of your guests. We find folks love a DIY culinary challenge and it’s especially fun for families with kids.

Set your kitchen counter up with bowls of pickles, olives, creamy dips, grilled meat, barbecued seafood, freshly baked pide and a large bowl of spicy Ezme. Each guest can create their very own spicy Turkish Ezme Salata bowl from the platter you masterfully create!

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"Ezme Salata" Turkish Salad can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days.
“Ezme Salata” Turkish Salad can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Best Turkish Ezme Salata Recipe

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Spicy Turkish Ezme Salad

Looking for the best authentic Ezme Salad? Our quick & easy healthy vegan Turkish Salad features sumac, mint, pomegranates, tomatoes and parsley.
Prep Time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Middle Eastern, Turkish
Keyword: ezme recipe, Spicy Salad, Spicy Turkish Ezme Salad, Turkish Ezme, Turkish Salad
Servings: 4
Calories: 196kcal


  • Mixing bowls
  • French knife
  • measuring spoons
  • measuring cups
  • whisk


  • 2 Tomatoes peeled
  • 1 Onion minced
  • 2 Garlic cloves minced
  • 2 Jalapeno peppers sliced
  • 1 cup Parsley chopped
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp Pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tsp Cracked Pepper
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Sumac
  • 2 tsp Fresh mint
  • 3 tbsp Pomegranate seeds


  • In a large bowl mix together finely chopped tomatoes, onion, garlic, green peppers and parsley.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together vinaigrette featuring lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add Turkish Ezme dressing to chopped vegetables and toss to coat.
  • Add spices and fresh mint, tossing until the vegetables are fully coated with the spicy dressing.
  • Store salad in the fridge to keep cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with pomegranate seeds.


Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 24.9g | Protein: 1.9g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1.6g | Sodium: 204mg | Potassium: 541mg | Fiber: 2.7g | Sugar: 14.7g | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 2mg

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