Categories: Classic

Lahmajoun (Armenian “Pizza”) Shortcut!

When I attended Chico State College in California back in 1969, I desperately needed to refer to a hard-to-find Armenian cookbook for a Food Preparation project I was doing. Roy Callan, a fellow Armenian student, came to my rescue. His mother loaned me her cherished cookbook so that I could brush-up on how to make Lahmajoun.

It was labor-intensive, preparing the dough from scratch, chopping all of the vegetables by hand, and making enough for a class of 25, plus faculty. The accolades received, however, made it all worthwhile.

In my later years, I learned an invaluable tip from a dear, departed friend who once lived in California. “Why don’t you make lahmajoun using the short-cut method?” she asked.

Short-cut? This I wanted to hear.

She told me that the Armenian ladies she knew out West made it using flour tortillas as the base. Flour Tortillas? BRILLIANT! Just make the topping, spread it on the tortilla, then bake.

OK, it’s not exactly like the commercially prepared version, but it sure is an easy way to make it when the craving strikes!

Print

Lahmajoun (Armenian “Pizza”) Shortcut

An updated take on a classic, labor-intensive recipe using flour tortillas!
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients

Topping

  • 1 lb. ground beef, lamb, or combination of both.
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 medium red pepper finely chopped
  • 1/2 small green pepper finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch parsley washed well, finely chopped
  • 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes well-drained
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato or red pepper paste
  • 1-2 Tbsp. flour
  • tsp. dried mint
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper or to taste

Base

  • 2 10-count pkgs. 8-inch flour tortillas

Instructions

  • To save time, process the onion, peppers, and parsley in a food processor, using the metal “S” blade. Squeeze out any excess liquid – this is VERY important! Be careful not to over-process. Vegetables should still be a bit chunky, not pureed.
  • In a large bowl, combine all of the topping ingredients, mixing well.
  • Preheat oven to 400° – 425°F.
  • Thinly spread about 3 Tbsp. of meat topping on the suface of each tortilla, spreading to the edge.
  • Place 2 to 3 tortillas on each baking tray. They should not overlap each other.
  • Bake on the lower rack for about 5 minutes, then on the upper rack, for another 5 minutes, or until the meat topping has browned, and the edges of the tortilla are golden.
  • Continue this procedure until topping and/or tortillas are all used.

To Serve

  • Place thin slices of sweet onion and chopped parsley in the center of the lahmajoun, fold, and eat! A squeeze of lemon gives it a nice touch, too!

To Freeze

  • After baking and cooling, stack lahmajouns, with plastic wrap in between each one. Place in plastic freezer bags & seal tightly.

To Reheat

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove frozen lahmajoun from the plastic wrap. Stack them in pairs on a baking sheet, meat sides facing each other. Heat for about 5-7 minutes. Turn once during reheating.

View Comments

    • Gosh, that's about as close as I would imagine you could get to reproduce that scrumptious crust a scratch lahmajoun provides. My Armenian friend used to make those darned things and I ate them until I nearly burst. I'm gonna give it a shot now, thanks to Robyn, Doug, and Anthony.

  • I made lahmajoun the other day using pita bread instead of homeade dough - I was going to cut the pitas in half but they were thin enough and fragile enough that I just used them whole - placed the meat mixture on top baked - and they were delicious -

  • Thanks for reminiding me its time to make lahmajoon. :) Mom makes them with pita method, Grandma and I prefer just rolling the dough. Also, to add I usually omit the mint in my version for those of you who arent big mint fans.

  • Absolutely, Mike. Mint is an optional ingredient, but if you like it, mint gives lahmajoun that "something special" taste.

  • Wow, this is spot-on. My family never made lahmajoun (too much work, even for the Aunties who had no problem with labor-intensive paklava), but we'd get it at weddings and some larger family events. I made this recipe for the family xmas get-together last week, and the flavour was *exactly* what we grew up with. *Exactly*. Better than the stuff you can get in MA. Thanks, Robyn

  • I'm so glad this recipe was such a hit! Now you can have lahmajoun any time you want - no muss, no fuss.
    Happy New Year!

    • My Armenian grandmother used the "no fuss, no muss" phrase often. She made her Lahmajouns with Pillsbury biscuits, as do I & my siblings. I am going to give the tortillas a try though.

    • My Armenian grandmother used the "no fuss, no muss" phrase often. She made her Lahmajouns with Pillsbury biscuits, as do I & my siblings. I am going to give the tortillas a try though.

  • I tried pita some time ago and it came out hard. So I gave up. Today I bought a bunch of tortilla and will try them. I am discouraged. I would also like to try the tortilla to make zaatar pies. It's the flexible soft dough I am trying to accomplish. Anyway thanks for the tips.

  • Gary,
    Don't be discouraged! Give the flour tortillas a try. You know they'll taste good! If that doesn't work for you, (and I hope it will) another option is to purchase prepared bread/pizza dough. Many grocery stores or Italian markets sell it. This might provide the softness and flexibility you're after. All you'll need to do is separate the dough into balls, roll out each ball of dough, top each, and bake. In the meantime, I'd love to hear how your tortilla version comes out.

  • Hi Robyn:

    Thanks for the encouragement. I will report on the 'tortilla lahmajoun'. I just stocked up on white flour tortilla. Making the meat topping is a job by itself I suppose. Am I up to it?

    I have been buying, from a bakery, 6 "pizza shells". Didn't know until recently that they were 'partially baked' when I get them. They work real good for pizza. But not 'rollable' like I am after for the lahmajoun. I usually make a huge veggie salad (no lettuce, celery, or other water based)The bakery told me they make this shell for the Greek fast food chain stores we have here (Calgary)called Opa. Apparently they quick pan fry the pizza shell to stuff the souvlaki, pork, chicken,+tzatziki sauce. etc. Soft shell and tasty. I haven't been successful in keeping it soft.

    I use the veggies for pizza topping and to mix with ground beef, chicken or simply as a hearty salad with yogurt+spices like oregano, pepper, sumac, garlic etc.

    I think pita may be even better than totilla. I neglected greasing the cookie sheet when I did the pita long time ago. It came out hard. Another thing to try. Will let you know.

    Still learning folks. Happy New Year to all!

    G

Recent Posts

Easter Menu Planning? Look no further!

  I don’t know about you, but in our family, we’re all about tradition when…

3 weeks ago

St. Sarkis Day and 3 celebratory recipes

It’s that time of year again! St. Sarkis Day, the moveable feast day on the…

3 months ago

A Traditional Recipe for Armenian Christmas Eve – Nevik

Way back in 2010 Ara Kassabian shared his family’s recipe for Nevik with The Armenian…

3 months ago

Thanksgiving Recipes Revisited

With Thanksgiving Day just hours away, I thought I’d share a few of our favorite,…

5 months ago

George Mardikian’s Chicken Tchakhokhbelli recipe, dish favored by Georgian princes.

My family and I had the distinct honor of meeting George Mardikian at his restaurant,…

9 months ago

Antonio Tahhan and his recipe for Kbeibat, Middle Eastern dumplings

My first encounter with Antonio (Tony) Tahhan, the Syrian-American food writer, researcher, and storyteller, spans…

10 months ago

This website uses cookies. find out more.