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Turkish Kumpir or baked jacket potatoes with filling is a popular street food in Turkey. You can easily make Turkish stuffed baked potatoes at home and choose whichever fillings you prefer.
With a base of hot baked potato mashed with melted cheese and butter and a drizzle of ketchup and mayo on top, you can’t go wrong. Fill it with Bulgur salad, pickles, olives, corn, and more, for a tasty and satisfying meal.
Why We Love Turkish Baked Potatoes
The flavors are perfectly balanced and all-encompassing. It’s like taking baked potatoes to the next level! The vast possibility of fillings makes this dish versatile and full of amazing flavors.
The texture is the definition of comfort food – creamy, steaming, cheesy, and buttery mashed potatoes with crispy skin and fresh toppings. Kumpir is one of my favorite ways to enjoy baked potatoes.
This Turkish Kumpir recipe is extremely simple to make. It requires minimal prep time and can even be made by kids. It’s a fun meal to prepare together with the entire family. And everyone gets to choose what goes in their hot potato.
You can easily make Kumpir vegetarian (and even vegan). Although fried sausage is usually added, you can omit it or even use vegan sausage. Most of the ingredients in this recipe are naturally vegan or vegetarian.
What Goes Into A Turkish Baked Potato Kumpir Recipe?
The main ingredients are potatoes, butter, and cheese, and the rest are a variety of toppings of choice (but it’s highly recommended to use as many as possible).
- 6 large potatoes (preferably King Edward, Russet, or Desiree, weighing about 1 pound each)
- 1 cup freshly grated kasar cheese, cheddar cheese, or other
- 1 stick of butter (4 oz)
- 1 tsp. kosher salt, or more to taste
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper or more to taste
- 1 cup of canned sweet corn
- 1 bowl of green and black olives, seedless and sliced
- 1 cup of pickles, finely chopped
- 1 cup of homemade Turkish Shepherd’s salad (or Turkish bulgur salad Kisir in Serving Suggestions)
- 1 1/3 cups Russian salad (or similar potato salad)
- 1 cup pickled purple cabbage (or sauerkraut)
- 1 cup chopped sausage, pan-fried or barbecued (optional)
- Ketchup and mayonnaise (preferably from a bottle for drizzling on top)
How To Make Turkish Baked Potatoes
The baked potatoes in Istanbul and the rest of Turkey are usually large, weighing more than a pound each. This way you get a hearty meal from just one Turkish baked potato stuffed with a multitude of fillings.
Step 1: Wash your potatoes
The first step is to prepare the potatoes for baking. Before you begin, preheat the oven to 390°F and place a wire rack in the middle.
Scrub your potatoes well to get any dirt off, then make sure to dry them with kitchen towels or paper towels. This way you’ll get crispy skins that are safe to eat and delicious.
Step 2: Bake the potatoes
Wrap each potato in aluminum foil and bake them on the wire rack for about 1 hour. They shouldn’t be fully cooked yet, but that’s perfect.
Now you need to remove them from the aluminum foil and bake them for an additional 15 minutes, or until their crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
You can check whether they’re done by inserting a skewer, toothpick, or thin knife through the biggest potato.
Step 3: Make the Kumpir
Now that your potatoes are baked, it’s time to add the butter and cheese. Slit the potatoes lengthwise, but not completely through. I like to do one potato at a time so that the rest don’t cool down.
Step 4: Craft the Cheesy Mash
Add a sixth of the stick of butter to each potato, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a sixth of the shredded cheese. Mash it all together with a fork, incorporating the soft flesh of the potato, but without poking the crispy skin (like making mashed potatoes with cheese).
You’ll end up with a creamy, cheesy, buttery, hot mashed potato filling surrounded by crispy potato skin.
Step 5: Stuff the Kumpir
Once you’ve slit the potato, added butter, salt & pepper, and cheese, and mashed it together, it’s time to stuff the Kumpir to the max.
Step 6: Enjoy your Simple Turkish Baked Potatoes
Serving Suggestions & Substitutions
I love the homemade Turkish Shepherd’s salad with this recipe, but Kumpir is most often served with Turkish bulgur salad, called Kisir.
- 1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- 3 spring onions
- 1 small cucumber, diced
- 5 cherry tomatoes, diced
- ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses (or ½ tbsp. of fresh lemon juice and honey)
- Salt and pepper
- ½ tsp. each chili pepper and cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon of chili paste (or less if you don’t want it hot)
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 small onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (for frying the onion and garlic)
How to make Turkish bulgur salad Kisir:
- Wet the bulgur with some hot water, cover it, and let it soak for 5 minutes.
- In a small pan, fry the onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once soft and golden brown, add tomato and chili paste and fry until fragrant (2 minutes).
- Add to the bulgur, together with the spices, pomegranate syrup, and olive oil. Mix well.
- Toss in the chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, and spring onions, and combine. Kisir is ready to serve!
If you’re adding fried sausage, I recommend frying it when the potatoes have baked for 1 hour and you’ve removed the foil. This way they’ll still be hot when you assemble the Kumpir.
The best cheese for Kumpir is either kasar cheese (similar to mozzarella) for a milder flavor or cheddar cheese for a stronger flavor. I like to use cheddar cheese or a mix of both cheddar and kasar or mozzarella.
To make vegan Turkish baked potatoes, replace the butter with vegan butter and the cheese with vegan cheese. We’ve got a list of the best vegan cheese for quesadillas that work great for Kumpir.
Besides the fillings listed in this recipe, you can also try sour cream, fried eggplant, bacon, green onions, garlic (or black garlic), avocado, fire-roasted peppers, and whatever else comes to mind. Let Kumpir Turkish potatoes be a creative process!
- 6 large potatoes
- 1 cup freshly grated kasar cheese cheddar cheese, or other
- 1 stick of butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup of canned sweet corn
- 1 bowl of green and black olives sliced
- 1 cup of pickles finely chopped
- 1 cup of homemade Turkish Shepherd’s salad or Kisir
- 1 ⅓ cups Russian salad
- 1 cup pickled purple cabbage
- 1 cup chopped sausage optional
- Ketchup and mayonnaise to serve
- Preheat oven to 390°F.
- Scrub potatoes clean, dry them and wrap each in aluminum foil. Put the potatoes on a wire rack in the middle.
- Bake for 1 hour, then remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes or until a pick or knife easily goes through.
- Take potatoes from the oven, slit them lengthwise, but not completely through.
- Add a sixth of butter to each potato, a pinch of salt & pepper, and a sixth of the shredded cheese. Mash it all together, incorporating the soft flesh of the potato, but don’t poke the crispy skin (like making mashed potatoes with cheese).
- Place each baked potato on a serving plate and add your favorite toppings. Serve immediately as Kumpir tastes best warm. Enjoy!