This Keto Manakish is low carb, relatively easy to make, full of flavour, and is a shockingly decent approximation of the real thing!
It’s been 3 years since we moved to Canada. Home, for me - after living in the USA for over a decade - and as an immigrant, for my husband.
Every day, I find a new reason to be thankful to be home.
I mean, it literally saved my life - my pancreatic cancer would not have been discovered until it was too late, had we stayed. Sobering thought!
Anyway, beyond the life-and-death issues... Unf, the food!
Living in Minnesota... you really had to seek out food with *flavour*. It was a cultural thing, though I don’t buy the “it’s because everyone has Scandinavian heritage...” thing.
They use a LOT of spices out that way - especially things like cardamom, ginger, etc - so I don’t think they’re actually as averse to flavour as you hear about in MN.
While the food has been one of the best things about moving home, it’s one of the WORST things, when low carbing!
We are surrounded with restaurants representing every ethnicity you can possibly think of! Some foods I’ve never even heard of, all in easy reach! AUGH!!
One of the things my husband had never heard of before moving here was manakish. Soon after moving here, I ordered him one from a local restaurant, and it’s been a love ever since.
There are a ton of places across the Greater Toronto Area to get them, too!
Anyway, when I went back on keto... obviously I was going to have to come up with a reasonable substitute!
What is Manakish?
Manakish - AKA Manaqish, Manouche or Manakeesh - is a savoury Middle Eastern bread product. They’re usually smallish rounds of dough that are topped with goodness and then baked... usually as a breakfast food.
There are several popular styles of toppings.
Most popular is a Za’atar topping, made from mixing za’atar seasoning (a mixture of various dried herbs, sesame seeds, sumac, etc) with olive oil, which is then spread on the dough.
Cheese is another popular option, with crumbled akawi cheese being common. This is sometimes combined with the za’atar, as I’ve done here. I’ve also seen feta and mozzarella being used.
Ground meat is another common topping, with lamb being traditional.
A local chain - Cheezaatar - offers a ton of wildly delicious varieties, and... why am I looking at their site right now? AUGH. Drooling.
Anyway, bit of trivia... a single manakish is a man'ousheh.
(Also: I have a recipe for Traditional Manakish on my main blog!)
Gluten-free Keto Manakish
When I came to making my diet friendly manakeesh, I wanted the ease of a fathead dough, but the flavour of a yeasted dough.
I really didn’t trust my usual keto flour subs - almond, coconut, and whey protein - to behave anywhere near how they’d need to, to NOT go with the fathead cheese thing.
So, I made this as kind of a hybrid dough. There is some yeast rising involved, but there’s also the stretch and stability that the melted mozzarella bring.
I love fathead dough in general, but this was really nice. The yeast really adds something, you know? Tastes much more like bread!
It is still definitely more fragile than regular dough, before baking - don’t skimp on the rise times, and be gentle with the risen dough.
When handled properly, you’ll end up with something that may not have the exact texture of the real thing, but DEFINITELY satisfies the craving.
... it’s another keto food that I have to protect from my non-keto husband, who’s LOVING this low carb manakish!
How to Make Keto Manakish
Full recipe follows, here is the pictorial overview:
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Mix the warm - not hot - water, yeast, and pinch of coconut flour. Allow to sit somewhere warm for 10 minutes.
Measure mozzarella into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat - 45-60 seconds at a time - until cheese has melted.
Measure remaining dough ingredients - including yeast mixture - into a food processor, blitz to combine. Add melted cheese, pulse until well combined - you don’t want to see any sections of unmixed cheese, etc.
Cover dough with plastic wrap, allow to sit somewhere warm for 30 minutes.
With wet hands, divide dough into 4 equal pieces.
One at a time, flatten dough out into rounds that are about 6” in diameter, place on parchment lined baking sheets.
Crumble cheese, if using.
Mix together the olive oil and za'atar, divide among prepared dough rounds.
Spread za'atar mixture evenly over each of the manakish, leaving a bit of a border around the edge.
Sprinkle with crumbled cheese, if desired.
Allow to rise in a warm spot for another 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees,
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly golden.
Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly before eating. Best served hot - fresh out of the oven or reheated.
Reheating Low Carb Manakish
This is best served straight out of the oven. That’s when it’s an its absolute finest!
That said, a whole batch is definitely more carbs than I want in a day - I’ll usually split a single man’ousheh with my husband - so reheating is definitely a thing we end up doing.
The thing is, they’re not as great when heated in the microwave. Like... nowhere NEAR as good.
A few minutes in an air fryer. Seriously, 2-3 minutes at 375F ish restores it ALMOST to its original glory!
More International Keto Recipes
Looking to add some international flavour to your menu? Try some of these low-carb versions of my favourites!
Keto Cabbage Rolls
Keto Chicken Biryani
Low Carb Chicken Korma
Keto Doro Wat
Keto Gyoza [Potstickers]
Easy Keto Ramen Recipe
Keto Orange Chicken
Keto Pad Thai
Keto Sauerkraut Buns
Keto Sushi Rice
Low Carb Shanghai Noodles
Low Carb Vietnamese Noodle Salad
Paleo Stuffed Grape Leaves
Sugar Free Furikake Seasoning
Easy Keto Butter Chicken
... also, be sure to check out our International Keto Recipes for even more options!
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- 2 tablespoon Olive oil
- 2 tablespoon Za’atar
- ½ cup finely crumbled Akawi or Feta cheese optional
- Sesame seeds optional
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Mix the warm - not hot - water, yeast, and pinch of coconut flour. Allow to sit somewhere warm for 10 minutes.
- Measure mozzarella into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat - 45-60 seconds at a time - until cheese has melted.
- Measure remaining dough ingredients - including yeast mixture - into a food processor, blitz to combine. Add melted cheese, pulse until well combined - you don’t want to see any sections of unmixed cheese, etc.
- Cover dough with plastic wrap, allow to sit somewhere warm for 30 minutes.
- With wet hands, divide dough into 4 equal pieces.
- One at a time, flatten dough out into rounds that are about 6” in diameter, place on parchment lined baking sheets.
- Mix together the olive oil and zataar, divide among prepared dough rounds. Spread evenly over each, leaving a bit of a border around the edge.
- Sprinkle with crumbled cheese, if desired.
- Allow to rise in a warm spot for another 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees,
- Bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly golden.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly before eating. Best served hot - fresh out of the oven or reheated.