Kid-friendly Turkish Pide Personal Pizzas with Whipped Ricotta Clouds Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Turkish Pide Personal Pizzas with Whipped Ricotta Clouds

Recipe: Turkish Pide Personal Pizzas with Whipped Ricotta Clouds

Turkish Pide Personal Pizzas with Whipped Ricotta Clouds

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Dmitriy Gromov/
prep time
30 minutes
cook time
18 minutes
4-8 servings

Fun Food Story

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Turkish Pide Personal Pizzas with Whipped Ricotta Clouds

Ready to shake up pizza Friday? Try giving Turkish pide (PEE-deh), a.k.a. pita, a spin!  

Traditionally, the yeasted flatbread known as pide is stretched into elongated oval shapes and baked in a brick or stone oven. (They look a lot like little kayaks!) Pides can be served plain, but they're more commonly stuffed with eggs, cheese, meat, sauteed vegetables, herbs, spices—whatever you like! Pides are part of Turkish daily life and are consumed in all the country's regions. Pretty much every Turkish city has its version of pide so if you visit Turkey, be sure to sample as many kinds as possible.  

Your kid chefs will enjoy choosing the fillings themselves and deciding how they want their personal pides to look. Will they mix the fillings all together or arrange them in little clusters on top? You can leave it totally up to them—chef's choice! This recipe provides an excellent opportunity for kids to exercise self-determination and develop confidence in their ability to create delicious food!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • bake :

    to cook food with dry heat, as in an oven.

  • blend :

    to stir together two or more ingredients until just combined; blending is a gentler process than mixing.

  • chop :

    to cut something into small, rough pieces using a blade.

  • knead :

    to work dough by pushing, pulling, and folding it by hand or with a stand mixer.

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • mix :

    to thoroughly combine two or more ingredients until uniform in texture.

  • shape :

    to form food into a specific shape by hand or with a cutting tool—examples are cutting cookie dough into shapes with cookie cutters, forming bread dough into a roll or crescent shape, and rolling ground meat into a meatball.

Equipment Checklist

  • Oven
  • 2 large mixing bowls
  • Small bowls
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Wooden spoon
  • Plastic wrap or paper towel
  • Blender (or pitcher + immersion blender)
  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife
  • Sauté or frying pan (optional for sautéing veggie toppings)
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper (optional for lining baking sheet)


Turkish Pide Personal Pizzas with Whipped Ricotta Clouds

  • Pide dough (or pre-made pizza dough, if short on time):
  • 1 pkg or 2 tsp instant dry yeast
  • 1 C warm water
  • 1 tsp white sugar or honey
  • 2 C all-purpose flour + more for kneading **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour)**
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 T olive oil
  • PIZZA TOPPINGS (choose 1 to 3 or as many as you like within your budget):
  • 1 C cherry tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1 large handful baby spinach, ripped
  • 1 small zucchini, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 C feta cheese **(omit for DAIRY ALLERGY)**
  • 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 C mushrooms (any type), roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 small handful cilantro and/or parsley
  • 2 to 3 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 to 3 tsp cumin
  • 2 to 3 tsp sesame seeds **(omit for SESAME ALLERGY)**
  • 1 C ricotta cheese **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub 1 small pkg silken tofu)**
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper

Food Allergen Substitutions

Turkish Pide Personal Pizzas with Whipped Ricotta Clouds

  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour for all-purpose flour in Pizza dough (or gluten-free/nut-free pre-made dough if short on time).
  • Dairy: Omit optional feta cheese topping for Pizzas. Substitute 1 small pkg of silken tofu for 1 C of ricotta cheese in pizza Clouds.
  • Sesame: Omit optional sesame seed topping for Pizzas.


Turkish Pide Personal Pizzas with Whipped Ricotta Clouds


"Merhaba!" ("Hello" in Turkish.) This week’s recipe is sure to be delicious! Think of pide (PEE-deh) like pizza; there will be dough, toppings, and sauce. This Turkish pizza lookalike will surely be a hit!

measure + mix

In a large mixing bowl, measure and mix 1 package instant dry yeast, 1 cup warm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar and allow to sit for 10 minutes. This process will activate the yeast. This means that the yeast will wake up from its nap, eat the sugar, and start releasing carbon dioxide. This gas is essential for making a risen dough.

measure + mix

In a separate bowl, measure and combine 2 cups of flour and 2 teaspoons of salt. Once the yeast has had 10 minutes to activate, dump all the flour and salt into the yeast mixture and mix until a dough starts to form. Measure 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add to the dough, then mix a few more times. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a paper towel and move on to making the Whipped Ricotta Clouds!

measure + blend

Using a blender (or immersion blender + pitcher or large liquid measuring cup), combine and blend 1 cup ricotta cheese, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 pinch of salt, and 1 pinch of black pepper. Blend until the mixture is smooth, creamy, and cloud-like! Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.

choose + chop

Pick out the toppings you wish to use and chop them all up! For a bit of added flavor, sauté your toppings on medium low heat for a few minutes to cook some of the water out of the toppings. The water inside vegetables can often lead to a soggy pide crust. Once the toppings are chosen and prepared, place them into small bowls for assembling your pides a bit later.

preheat + knead + shape

Preheat your oven to 375 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or dust with a pinch of flour. Dust the dough with a handful of flour and knead for a few minutes. Then, separate the dough into as many 2 tablespoon-sized pieces as you can (roughly 12). Flatten the dough and shape into oval shaped discs. Place each disc on the prepared baking sheet, leaving about a half inch between each.

top + fold + pinch

Place 2 teaspoons of the whipped ricotta on each piece of dough. Then, place 1 to 2 teaspoons of your toppings on each piece of dough. After that, fold the edges of the dough over the filling slightly. The toppings should remain mostly exposed. This step creates a little edge to keep ingredients from spilling out of the dough while cooking. The last step is to pinch the ends. Each end will have a dramatic pinched look. It looks sort of like handles on a baking dish.

bake + eat

Bake at 375 F for 15 to 18 minutes. The pide will be cheesy and soft! If you love your foods crispy and crunchy, this dish is wonderful if you cook it an extra 5 minutes to achieve the perfect crunch! Allow the Turkish Pide Personal Pizzas to cool for a few minutes before eating all of your delicious creations. “Eğlence!” (ay-LAHN-jeh), or "Enjoy!" in Turkish.

Surprise Ingredient: Ricotta!

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Photo by MaryLucky/

Hi, I'm Ricotta!

"Ciao! That's "Hello" in Italian, and I'm an Italian cheese! I'm soft and light, and you can use me in entrées (that's a fancy French word for a main dish) and desserts. As a youngster, my flavor is mild, but I get more tangy with age."

  • Ricotta (literally "recooked") is an Italian cheese that uses whey, a low-fat, nutritious liquid by-product of cheese production. It is usually made from cows' milk but may also be produced using the milk of sheep (Ricotta Romana) or Italian water buffalo (Ricotta di Bufala Campana).
  • An ancient method of making ricotta existed in the second millennium BCE using ceramic milk boilers. Metal boilers are used today, but the process is similar. 
  • Most of the milk protein is removed when making cheese, but some protein remains in the whey. The whey is heated to near boiling with a little acid, and the combination of low pH and high temperature denatures the protein, removing its natural qualities and causing it to form a fine curd. Once cooled, the curd is separated by passing through a fine cloth. 
  • This curd, after drainage, is ricotta. Because ricotta is made from whey rather than milk, it is technically considered a whey cheese. Ricotta is a creamy white, fresh cheese (as opposed to ripened or aged) and tastes slightly sweet. Its texture is similar to cottage cheese; however, ricotta has less liquid, more fat, and is creamier. 
  • Like many fresh cheeses, ricotta is highly perishable. However, it can last longer if cheesemakers put ricotta through extra processing, such as baking, salting, smoking, or additional fermentation.
  • Chefs and home cooks use ricotta in desserts like cannoli, cheesecake, and pies. It is also a traditional ingredient in Italian pasta dishes like lasagne, manicotti, and ravioli. 
  • A half cup of whole-milk ricotta contains around 13 grams of fat, 9 grams of protein, and 20 percent of the daily value of calcium.

What is Pide?

Photo by Mehmet Cetin/
  • Turkish pide (PEE-deh) is a yeast-leavened flatbread often used to make a pizza-like dish. You shape the dough into an oval and then top it with any combination of spiced meat, cheese, herbs, tomatoes, spinach, or other veggies. 
  • Before baking, fold the edges of the dough over, and pinch the ends together. Your pide will resemble a kayak!

Let's Learn About Turkey!

Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels (Grand Bazaar in Istanbul)
  • Turkey, officially the Republic of Turkey, is transcontinental, which means it is located on two different continents! In this case, part of Turkey is in Asia, and part is in Europe.
  • Most of Turkey is on the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, and a smaller part is on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeastern Europe.
  • The Anatolian people on the peninsula lived thousands of years ago. The oldest religious structure, a temple, was found in the southeast, dating to 10,000 BCE. The oldest known human settlement, from 7500 to 5700 BCE, was in Catalhoyuk in southern Anatolia.
  • The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, both in Turkey, were two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
  • Turkey began as part of the Ottoman or Turkish Empire in 1299. After a war of independence, Turkey became an independent republic in 1923. 
  • The country's total area is 302,455 square miles. That is slightly larger than the size of the US states of California and Montana put together. Turkey's population is over 80 million, twice the number of people in the two states. 
  • Turkey's government is a unitary presidential constitutional republic with a president, vice-president, and legislature (Grand National Assembly). The official and most widely spoken language is Turkish. 
  • Ankara is the capital city, and Istanbul is the largest city. In addition, Istanbul is the only city in the world that extends across two continents.
  • Turkey's coast has a temperate climate. Some coastal areas have hot, dry summers, while others have warm, wet summers, and both have cool or cold, wet winters. The Anatolian plateau can have severe winters, with temps as low as minus 40 degrees F in northeastern Anatolia. Ankara is located on the northwest of the plateau. 
  • Many mountain peaks in Turkey reach over 9,000 feet. Mount Ararat, a dormant volcano, is the highest point in Turkey at 16,854 feet. 
  • Istanbul has one of the world's oldest and biggest shopping malls. The Grand Bazaar's construction began in 1455 and was completed after 1730. Over the centuries, this covered market has grown into an area of 61 streets with 4,000 shops and 250,000 to 400,000 daily visitors!
  • Turkeys, the birds, got their name after Turkey, the country! Wild turkeys are native to North America, but the British referred to the domesticated bird imported from Western Asia as "turkeys" with the country in mind.   
  • Saint Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus, was born in Patara in what is now modern Turkey.
  • Turkish people are very hospitable, and they would invite you to their house and share a meal with you even if they do not know you.
  • In Turkey, you might find chicken in your dessert! The signature Ottoman treat is "tavuk göğsü," a milk pudding made with shredded chicken breast. It is a delicious blend of boiled chicken, milk, rice flour, and sugar, with a dusting of cinnamon. 
  • A few of Turkey's popular dishes are made with various flatbreads, including "pide" (leavened, stone-baked flatbread, like pizza), "gözleme" (savory stuffed turnover or pancake), and "lahmacun" (topped with minced meat and veggies or wrapped around veggies).  
  • Turkish coffee culture and tradition are on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Turkey?

  • In Turkey, many public school kids attend school in the morning or afternoon. These split sessions allow more students to go to school. One of the core subjects in early elementary school is called "hayat bilgisi" ("life science"), which is a combination of natural and social sciences. 
  • Turkish kids may participate in the sports of football (soccer), basketball, volleyball, and handball. 
  • For vacations, families might go to the beach in summer and mountain ski resorts in winter. Cappadocia is a popular place for its unique geological features. Besides the natural rock formations, kids can see houses carved out of the rock by early inhabitants. The area is also a favorite place to see hot air balloons. 
  • Several fun kid activities can be found in Istanbul, like a Legoland Discovery Center and the Istanbul Toy Museum, with 4,000 toys and miniatures. In addition, kids can walk around Miniatürk, one of the world's largest miniature parks. It has 135 miniatures in 1:25 scale that are models of historic structures found in Turkey and regions of the Ottoman Empire. There are also aquariums and amusement parks in Istanbul. 
  • Baklava, made from phyllo dough, chopped nuts, and honey, is a favorite dessert for kids and adults alike in Turkey. They may also enjoy Turkish Delight or "lokum," a famous jellied candy made of sugar, water, and cornstarch.

THYME for a Laugh

What did the yeast say to the bag of flour? 

Come on, we knead to be serious!

The Yolk's On You

What did Arthur the aardvark order on his pizza?


THYME for a Laugh

Want to hear a joke about pizza? 

Never mind, it's too cheesy!

The Yolk's On You

What weighs more: a pound of milk or a pound of ricotta cheese?

A pound of milk. The ricotta is "whey" lighter.

The Yolk's On You

What did the yeast confess to the bag of flour? 

I loaf you dough much!

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