Whether it’s the first or the 100th time serving borek, we’re always looking for exciting side dishes to go with it.
If that’s what you’re after today, we’re here to help you find what to serve with borek.
Found in Central Asia, the Middle East, and the Balkans, borek is a pastry made of filo or other flaky dough and can contain various fillings, including potatoes, meat, cheese, leafy greens, mushrooms, and eggplant.
Keep reading to learn what this savory pie goes best with.
By the end of the article, you’d have some delicious side dishes handy for the next borek-based meal.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Borek?
Sephardic Jews have this savory pie for their Sabbath breakfast customarily, while Herzegovinians and Bosnians enjoy it as a breakfast item with coffee.
On the other hand, North Macedonians and Serbians eat borek with a yogurt drink.
We have some awesome middle-eastern as well as other regions’ side dish recommendations for you to serve with borek.
Borek is flaky, savory, and delicious.
It needs something more on the side to make a complete meal.
You can opt for fresh green salads or meaty dishes to go with the main course- they are great anyhow.
What To Serve with Borek? 10 BEST Side Dishes
If you’re looking for the perfect accompaniment to your next borek dinner, look no further.
Here are 10 of our favorite side dishes to serve with borek:
1 – Arnavut cigeri (Albanian Liver)
Literally meaning Albanian liver, this side dish originated in Turkey.
It contains veal or lamb liver fried with onion, parsley, and hot pepper.
If you follow the traditional recipe, Arvanaut cigeri is very easy to prepare.
The dish typically uses black pepper, sumac, and paprika for seasoning.
Borek and Albanian liver go well because they have complementing flavors.
If you want your side dish to be meaty yet unique, this one is a winner.
It is a meze dish that’s usually eaten with baked potatoes, so you can include some potato cubes on the side if you want to be extra.
2 – Turkish Stuffed Peppers
Featuring bell peppers stuffed with aromatic pine nuts, rice, onions, herbs, spices, and currents, Turkish stuffed peppers work as an appetizer and a side dish for various main courses.
It is also called Biber dolmasi and comes in many variations.
The other veggies you can use in the stuffing include wine leaves, tomatoes, eggplants, and zucchini.
You can also use meat if you want a non-vegetarian version of this side dish.
Turkish stuffed peppers are best served at room temperature.
However, it tastes great even if you make it a few days ahead and refrigerate it.
3 – Crispy Zucchini Fritters
Ever tried zucchini fritters? They are simply pancakes containing zucchini slices, flour, egg, fresh herbs, and spring onion.
You can serve it as a finger food, appetizer, or side dish for your borek.
The best part about this dish? It is super easy and takes only 30 minutes to cook.
You can add crumbled feta or shredded carrots to the mix or switch the herbs to your liking.
Leftovers remain good in the fridge for up to five days.
Since crispy zucchini fritters go well with a lot of dishes, they make a great addition to your meal when you serve borek.
4 – Bulgur and Lentil Pilaf
If you want to eat something delicious and filling with borek, we suggest making bulgur and lentil pilaf.
This side dish is packed with fiber and nutrition and follows a very simple recipe that anyone can follow.
The ingredients are also basic- bulgur, green lentils, butter, onion, vegetable stock, and olive oil.
Since green lentils take more time to cook than bulgur, it is ideal to precook them first.
Also, if you have leftover lamb or chicken pieces, throw them in the mix to create a delicious dish to enjoy with borek.
5 – Turkish Stuffed Eggplant (Imam Bayildi)
Another classic dish widely enjoyed in the Middle East, Eastern Mediterranean, and the Balkans are Turkish stuffed eggplant or Imam bayildi.
It is typically served as a side dish for fish or meat or with a meze spread.
If you decide to make this dish, you can prepare it in advance and store it in the fridge for up to three days.
You’ll need eggplants, olive oil, onions, parsley, tomato paste, and garlic for this side dish.
Making Turkish stuffed eggplant involves deep frying the eggplant.
If you want to make it healthier, you can brush olive oil generously on the vegetable and toss it in the air fryer instead.
6 – White Bean Tabbouleh Salad
Enjoy a fresh and herby take on your regular tabbouleh salad by using white beans instead of bulgur.
Doing so also make the side dish more substantial and filling.
White bean tabbouleh salad features herby, lemony, and fresh flavors that allow your taste buds to freshen while enjoying borek.
It contains starch, vitamins, and proteins- the macronutrients you need every day for healthy living.
This salad only requires white beans, red onion, mint, parsley, tomatoes, and cucumber.
You can make a simple lemon dressing using one large lemon, Dijon mustard, garlic, olive oil, and salt & pepper.
It adds the perfect amount of zest to your borek-based meal.
7 – Stuffed Grape Leaves
Want to serve authentic Turkish cuisine? We can’t think of anything better than stuffed grape leaves.
It is usually served on a mezze platter or as a side dish for a warm meal.
Yaprak sarma or stuffed grape leaves, is commonly served on special occasions.
So, you can make this dish if you’re hosting an important dinner or having your colleagues come over for lunch.
Did you know? You can store stuffed grape leaves in the freezer for three months.
8 – Mediterranean Green Beans
Also called Taze Fasulye, Mediterranean green beans are one of the most popular vegan/vegetarian side dishes in Turkish cuisine.
It is an effortless and delicious dish that you can make beforehand.
It is best served at room temp or warm.
To make Mediterranean green beans, you only need green beans, onions, ripe tomatoes, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil.
TIP: Young runner green beans works best for this dish.
However, other fresh green beans also work well if you can’t get your hands on them.
Also, use red, plump, and juicy tomatoes to get the best flavor.
9 – Middle-Eastern Chickpea Salad
This Middle-Eastern take on your everyday chickpea salad is unlike anything you’ve ever tasted (unless you’ve tried it before).
Whether you’re a fan of chickpeas or not, we guarantee you’ll love this side dish with your borek.
What makes it special is the addition of a mixture of spices to the peas and frying them before tossing them into the salad.
Use salt, allspice, cumin, and cardamon powder to see the magic.
For the dressing, we recommend using these- sherry vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic clove, caster sugar, and salt & pepper.
10 – Turkish Flatbread (Bazlama)
One of the Turkish cuisine’s oldest bread recipes, bazlama or Turkish flatbread, has gained immense popularity over the past decades.
It is a delectable bread traditionally cooked over a fire on outdoor stoves.
But you can use a high-quality heavy skillet or ban to cook at home.
Bazlama works perfectly as a side dish for breakfast or lunch and goes well with any main Turkish dish.
It is best served warm and fluffy.
You’ll need strong white flour, sugar, plain yogurt, salt, and instant dried yeast.
Also known as bourekas, burek, and byrek, your main course is served in various forms depending on the fillings used.
Therefore, it is ideal to pick side dishes that complement the variety you’re going for.
Hopefully, the options we’ve listed above match your taste requirements and inspire you to create unique and delicious side dishes to serve with borek.
Most of the dishes mentioned here are customizable and versatile, so you can feel free to add your flare.
As long as they match the flavor profile of the main dish, it’s hard to mess up any of these dishes.