It doesn’t get much more delicious than a big bowl of Turkish Eggs for brunch! Here’s why we love it so much:
- Perfect poached eggs! Those runny yolks get us every single time!
- Garlicky yogurt! If you’re a garlic lover like us, there’s just something about yogurt, garlic, and fresh herbs that hits different.
- ‘Nduja! The secret ingredient in our recipe is a stray from tradition with one of our all-time favorite ingredients: ‘nduja!
What Are Turkish Eggs?
Çılbır, or Turkish Eggs, are poached eggs nestled on top of a garlicky yogurt, drizzled with a spiced melted butter, typically made with Aleppo pepper. Think creamy, savory, and heat. In our version, we’re replacing Aleppo pepper with ‘nduja, creating a similarly rich and bold sauce that boasts a unique, spicy flavor that is seriously incredible.
The addition of ricotta cheese with yogurt? Definitely not traditional (and you can certainly omit it), but it’s born out of my love for runny poached eggs served over creamy ricotta cheese. Try it once and I bet you’ll become a believer.
To make Turkish Eggs (Çılbır) at home, you’ll need ingredients for the herbed yogurt sauce, as well as the spicy sauce that gets drizzled on top.
For the herbed yogurt, grab whole milk Greek yogurt (the thicker, the better!), a little olive oil, fresh garlic, fresh dill, and ricotta cheese (though this one is optional). In place of dill, you could use fresh mint or chopped parsley.
To make the spicy sauce, you’ll need ‘nduja (we’ll talk about this more below!), unsalted butter, and Aleppo pepper.
Additionally, you’ll have to get over your fears and poach some eggs. We’ve got step-by-step instructions to help you master the art of poaching eggs below!
What Is ‘Nduja?
‘Nduja is an umami flavor bomb of spreadable spicy prosciutto. You can spread it on anything from pizza, to grilled cheese or burgers, but I think melting it with butter into a sauce is the perfect compliment to Turkish eggs. One bite, and you’ll be hooked.
‘Originating in Italy along the Calabrian coast, Nduja is made up of prosciutto, speck, pork fat, sea salt, and red chili peppers. It can be a little spicy, but it will not burn your mouth off. For this particularly recipe, we love the way it contrasts against the creamy herbed yogurt.
Have leftover ‘nduja? Try our Maitake Mushrooms with ‘Nduja or these easy Stuffed Clams next!
Perfect Poached Eggs
The star of our Turkish Eggs Recipe is not only that beautiful spicy ‘nduja sauce, but also perfectly poached eggs. There is no replacement for that golden creamy yolk and the way it mixes with the sauce and the yogurt!
Here’s how to poach eggs perfectly every single time:
- Simmer a pot of water. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer – not a boil – then add 1 tsp of distilled white vinegar.
- Prepare the eggs. Crack as many eggs as you plan to poach into small individual ramekins, ensuring that the yolks are not broken.
- Create a whirlpool. Carefully use a wooden spoon to swirl the simmering water into a little whirlpool for your eggs.
- Poach eggs. Gently drop one egg into the water, wait until it sets, then repeat with additional eggs, up to 3 or 4 at a time, depending on the sauce of the saucepan or pot. For a runny yolk, cook for 3-4 minutes total.
- Drain, then serve. Remove each egg with a slotted spoon and place on a paper-towel lined plate to dry. When ready, serve eggs immediately or store in a sealed container with cold water and use within 3 days.
Assemble and Serve Turkish Eggs
First, grab a small bowl and make the quick yogurt sauce. Combine Greek yogurt, olive oil, ricotta, dill, and a minced garlic clove, then stir or whisk. Divide this between 4 bowls, then place a couple of poached eggs on top.
Next, melt butter and ‘nduja in a small pan, using a spatula to help break up the ‘nduja as needed. Spoon a little of the sauce on top of each poached egg, then garnish with fresh herbs and a pinch of flaky sea salt.
The mix of creamy garlicky yogurt with the ‘nduja is out of this world good and not one single person would judge you for licking your plate clean! Pita or baguette can help you on your quest for greatness!
Traditional sauce for Turkish eggs is made simply with melted butter and Aleppo pepper. If you can’t find Aleppo pepper, paprika and red chilli flakes work as a quick substitute! Basically, you want creamy eggs + yogurt paired with a spicy butter sauce spooned on top.
Some parts, but not all. The herbed yogurt sauce can be made 1 day in advance (store in an airtight container in the fridge, but note the raw garlic will intensify the longer the yogurt sits). We recommend making the sauce fresh.
Poached eggs can be made up to 3 days in advance. Immediately transfer eggs after poaching to an ice bath. Once cooled, store in a sealed container with cold water for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, heat a pot with very warm water (not boiling!), then lower the eggs and let them heat up for 2 minutes. Remove carefully, dry on a paper towel, then serve immediately.
- Use room temperature Yogurt: This will help to loosen it a bit making it easier to spread.
- Garnish with fresh herbs, not dried. There’s no replacement for the bright, vibrant flavor of fresh mint and dill. Dried will not have the same flavor.
How To Serve
Enjoy our Turkish eggs recipe with pita bread or crusty baguette! Of course you can use any sliced bread or toast you like. For more simple breakfast sides, consider serving Çılbır with:
- Fresh fruit
- A frittata (we love this spinach frittata filled with lots of fresh herbs!)
- Smoked salmon salad or thinly sliced homemade gravlax
- Fried potatoes and onions
If you are looking to up your brunch game, this is how to do it. Truly impressive every single time. If you make this Turkish Eggs recipe (Cilbir), please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
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More brunch recipes to try!Smoked Salmon Breakfast Tacos How To Create an Epic Bagel Board Smashed Eggs On Toast Broccoli Cheddar Quiche Southern Fried Chicken and Waffles
Turkish Eggs Recipe with Herbed Yogurt (Cilbir)
For The Herbed Yogurt
- 1½ cups whole milk Greek yogurt
- ⅓ cup ricotta optional (can omit and use all Greek yogurt if preferred)
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp dill chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
For The Spicy Sauce
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp ‘nduja see notes below for substitutions
- 8 large eggs recommended 2 per person — instructions included below
- 1 tsp distilled white vinegar
- pita or baguette
- maldon sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Make the herbed yogurt. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1½ cups Greek yogurt, ⅓ cup ricotta cheese, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp dill, and 1 finely chopped garlic clove. Whisk well, then set aside.
- Make the spicy sauce. Place 3 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp 'nduja in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often to break down 'nduja until melted and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer sauce to a serving bowl and set aside.
- Poach the eggs. Bring a large pot of water to a gentle simmer (not a rapid boil!). Add 1 tsp distilled white vinegar. When ready, use the back of a wooden spoon to swirl the water into a whirlpool. Add 1 egg, then let settle slightly before adding additional eggs. Do not overcrowd the pot. We recommend 3-4 eggs at a time, maximum.
- Set a timer. Cook eggs for 3-4 minutes. Carefully transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to dry, then serve immediately. See note below to make eggs a few days ahead!
- Assemble, then serve. Divide yogurt evenly between bowls. Top each with two poached eggs, then spoon 'nduja sauce on top. Garnish with additional fresh dill, then sprinkle a pinch of flaky sea salt on top of each egg. Serve immediately with pita or baguette.
- Nutrition facts do not include pita or baguette.
- If you can’t find ‘nduja, substitute with 1 tsp of Aleppo pepper (traditional in Cilbir) or use 1 tsp smoked paprika + 1 tsp red pepper flakes.
- Poached eggs: You can poach eggs up to 3 days in advance. Follow instructions above, then immediately transfer eggs to an ice bath. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator with cold water for up to 3 days. To reheat, bring a large pot of water to a gentle simmer. Place eggs in water and allow to reheat for 2 minutes. Drain with a slotted spoon and serve immediately.
This sounds like a dream, Ari! Yum! And such gorgeous photos, as always. I’ll be on the hunt for some ‘nduja now! – Anita
ari | well seasoned says
Hooray!! Trying to spread as much ‘nduja love and awareness as possible! We had luck finding it at a small local Italian deli here. If you’ve got one in your town, might be a good place to start!
We got a small crowd of picky teenage boys to willingly eat this and they all enjoyed it, so I really feel like that that speaks volumes to the recipe. I’m a big fan of a savory breakfast, and this was perfect. We even brought it to a book club brunch after reading a book by a Turkish author and it was a huge hit!
ari | well seasoned says
I am so majorly impressed by the boys! Not that I blame them, that rich ‘nduja sauce with the creamy eggs and yogurt is heaven! And DANG that’s high praise from the book club! Yay! xo, Ari
This recipe is so simple and delicious. My local grocery store carries chorizo but not ‘nduja so I made that substitution. She is not kidding when she says you need something to soak up all the deliciousness! I ate mine with crusty artisan bread. The herbed yogurt kept it light and fresh whole the eggs and pan fried melty chorizo made it hearty. These were all flavors I already loved that I would never have thought to put together, YUM.
ari | well seasoned says
I love that you substituted chorizo for ‘nduja, what a great option for folks who can’t find it! It’s seriously one of our favorite, most requested breakfast recipes! xo, Ari
I made this twice in as many weeks and it’s the perfect savory breakfast. I was out of ricotta for the second round, subbed in goat cheese, and have no regrets. 🙂
ari | well seasoned says
YES! It is so wonderful when you’re craving a savory breakfast. The substitution of goat cheese sounds FAB, we adore chevre!! xo, Ari