Shanklish Pizza - Monjay Mezza

Shanklish Pizza


Not much needs to be done to enjoy our products, Break open a packet of your favourite crackers or cut a carrot into batons and dip away. Or simply arrange our delicious finger foods on a platter and watch them crowd around. But the potential of our range is so much more, and we want to prove it. So we've created our very own recipe page to show you the versatility of our products. Dips to marinate or bake with, finger food transformed into main meals - the limit is your imagination.

This culinary adventure blends the rich flavours of the Mediterranean with the beloved comfort of pizza. In this recipe, we explore the intriguing world of Shanklish and transform it into a mouth-watering masterpiece that will tantalise your taste buds and transport you to distant lands.

Shanklish, a cheese with deep Middle Eastern roots, brings a distinctive tangy and spicy kick to this pizza, elevating it to new heights. This fusion of flavours is a testament to the magic that happens when culinary traditions from different corners of the world come together on a single plate.

Whether you’re a pizza aficionado looking for a unique twist on a classic favourite or an adventurous food lover eager to explore new horizons, this Shanklish pizza recipe is sure to captivate your senses. Get ready to embark on a culinary journey that marries tradition and innovation, all in the form of a delicious, homemade pizza.

In the following sections, we’ll delve into the history and essence of Shanklish, provide you with a list of ingredients, guide you through the step-by-step preparation, and offer tips and variations to suit your preferences. So, let’s roll up our sleeves, preheat the oven, and create a Shanklish pizza that’s nothing short of extraordinary. Your taste buds are in for a delightful treat!

What is shanklish?

Shanklish (also written as shankleesh or shanklish) is a type of traditional Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cheese. It’s particularly popular in countries like Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and parts of Turkey, although it’s now making its mark all over the world.

Shanklish is made from cow’s milk or a combination of cow’s milk and goat’s milk. The cheese undergoes a fermentation and aging process, which can vary in duration, but it typically takes several weeks to several months. During this time, the cheese is shaped into small balls or patties and rolled in a mixture of spices, such as ground red pepper, thyme, and sometimes black pepper or other herbs. The spices give Shanklish its distinctive flavor and often result in a slightly tangy and spicy taste.

Basic Pizza Dough Recipe

Makes 2 12-inch pizza bases


  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (about 110°F or 43°C)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Activate the yeast: in a small bowl, combine the warm water, sugar and active dry yeast. Stir gently and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy. This means that the yeast is active and ready to use.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients: in a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients: make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the yeast mixture and olive oil. Stir until the dough starts to come together.
  4. Knead the dough: transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead it for about 5-7 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. You can add a little extra flour if the dough is too sticky.
  5. First rise: place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 to 1.5 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
  6. Preheat the oven: preheat your oven to the highest temperature it can reach (usually around 475°F to 500°F or 245°C to 260°C). If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven while it preheats.
  7. Shape the dough: once the dough has risen, punch it down to release any air bubbles. Turn it out onto a floured surface and divide it into two equal portions. If not using both, wrap one in cling film and place in the freezer. Roll out the portion you are using into a round or rectangular shape, depending on your preference.

How to make shanklish pizza


  • 1 pizza base
  • 1 tub of Monjay’s Shanklish Cheese
  • 1 tomato, skinned, deseeded and diced.
  • 2 tablespoons of pickled onions (see Falafel with Pickled Onions recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil


Preheat the oven to its hottest setting. If you have one, place a pizza stone in the oven to heat up. A baking tray will work fine too.

Tear off a piece of baking paper and set the pizza base on it.

Spread the Shanklish over the base of the pizza. No need to be a perfectionist; we’re not icing a cake. Just make sure you’ll get a good amount with each bite. Cheese, or anything fatty, is great to have directly on the pizza base as it provides a barrier and stops the basing absorbing excess liquid and getting soggy.

Now sprinkle over the chopped tomato. Normally we don’t bother deseeding tomatoes but it’s important in this case that we remove as much liquid as possible. It’s a little extra prep time, but well worth it.

Spread the pickled onions over, then the add dried thyme.

When the oven is up to temperature, slide the pizza base with the baking paper onto the stone or baking tray and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the crust is golden and looks cooked.

Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and serve hot.

Monjay Mezza is the home of traditional Middle Eastern Dips, Finger Food and Desserts.

Featured Product


This Middle Eastern cheese has a similar texture to feta. These salted balls have been mixed with herbs to create a delicious cheese that is hard to resist.

Learn more about our ShanklishView our full Cheese range