15 Apulian recipes to try

Region you go, recipes you find! Italy is like this, full of gastronomic culture made of traditional recipes and territoriality. And since summer is approaching and it’s time to book the holidays, here are 15 recipes that are a tasty advance on what to eat in Puglia if you decide to visit it.

The Apulian cuisine is one of the most varied in Italy, here i seafood dishes merge with those of terra not verdure they are often the undisputed protagonists of this truly tasty and interesting gastronomic tradition. The Apulian recipes are many and making a selection is not easy, but we are sure that in these 15 typical Apulian dishesyou will be able to perceive the culinary essence of the heel of Italy.

Typical Apulian dishes: 15 recipes to try

Before moving on to the actual recipes, it is necessary to stop for a second to realize how rich this region is in ingredients. The Apulian dairy art offers fresh and seasoned cheeses, which have made it famous all over the world. Just think of the stracciatella or burrata that drove the Americans crazy who import it fresh every day. The Apulian cuisine is also famous for its fish (there are many kilometers of coast bathed by crystal clear seas) and for its meat, a special mention must be made of the ancient tradition of horse butchery.

Orecchiette with turnip tops

Rigorously prepared by hand with durum wheat flour and water, the orecchiette with turnip tops they are the first symbolic dish of this wonderful region. The typically bitter flavor of this winter vegetable is enriched by a delicious sautéed anchovy, chilli pepper and garlic. The contemporary versions of orecchiette alle turnip greens they are innumerable and all delicious, try for example to make a cream with turnip tops, the recipe will be sinuous and enveloping.

Rustic houses from Lecce

Typical of Salento (area in the extreme south of Puglia), i rustic Lecce they are fully included in the basket of excellences of the street food all’italiana. It is a sort of small savory pies filled with puff pastry bechamel and tomato sauce. Good at room temperature, Lecce rustici are at their best when hot, but be careful because their filling has the same temperature as lava!

Bari-style focaccia bread

Soft and tasty, the Bari-style focaccia bread it is much more than a simple baking leavened product. It’s an experience! The focaccia from Bari is filled with cherry tomatoes and oregano or, in the more rustic version, with roughly crushed peeled tomatoes and pushed into the still raw dough before going into the oven. It is perfect for breakfast, lunch, snack, aperitif, dinner and, why not, also as a night snack.

Altamura bread

More than a recipe, the Altamura bread it is a real institution among the breads of Italy. Durum wheat semolina, a compact and fragrant crumb surrounded by a rustic and well-cooked crust: if this is not a culinary masterpiece! One of the main characteristics of Altamura bread, beyond its flavour, is the fact that it keeps very well for several days. Cut it into slices, toast it and use it to prepare classic bruschetta, naturally with tomato and Apulian extra virgin olive oil.

Mussels arraganate

Mussels arraganate are nothing but stuffed mussels. In Puglia these mussels are very popular, perhaps more than in all other regions of Italy. They can also be eaten raw, of course, but stuffed mussels are fabulous.


In Puglia, i turnovers I’m serious business. Some argue that they are traditionally friedothers baked. Nobody will ever know the truth and above all nobody will ever be able to choose between these two ways of preparation which is the best one. The traditional Apulian panzerotti are not generous in size and are mainly filled with mozzarella and tomato, but there are many variations.


Born together with the need to preserve bread for a long time, the friselle they are delicious donuts with a dry and crunchy texture. They are softened in water and vinegar for a few seconds (or even in tomato water) and then they are stuffed with tomatoes, oil, salt and aromatic herbs. Over time, friselle have become so contemporary that today many gourmet versions are prepared with precious and less simple ingredients than traditional ones. Try them also with stracciatella or burrata, but also with fiery turnip tops or with a more sophisticated Catalan shellfish.

Barese-style raw fish

You can go to visit the wonderful city of Bari or you can go to visit the wonderful city of Bari and enjoy its famous Barese-style raw fish. Many natives even eat it in the morning, this indicates how traditional raw fish is in this area. In addition to all the shells (mussels, clams, cockles, sea truffles), the raw fish alla Bari includes the famous cuttlefish tagliatelle (raw cuttlefish masterfully cut into very thin threads that look just like tagliatelle), octopus, sea urchins, oysters and so on and so forth.

Coffee with ice and almond milk

Let’s go back to the Salento peninsula to have a coffee break. However, this is not a normal espresso coffee, let’s talk about the coffee with ice and almond milk. Usually served in transparent glass cups, this coffee is a truly magical and traditional moment for the people of Salento. Once you try it, your coffee break will never be the same again.

Typical Italian cake with custard cream filling

The Salento cuisine also moves to the pastry shop and it is precisely the Typical Italian cake with custard cream filling. Certainly not low-calorie, the pasticciotto is a small cake of shortcrust pastry that envelops a very thick custard in some cases flavored with lemon. Yes, you can easily define the breakfast of champions!


Simple yes, but inimitable: they are the taralli. Small (more or less depending on the version) crunchy rings and cooked in the oven, taralli are the best hunger-busting snack in all of Puglia. They are prepared with extra virgin olive oil and it is precisely this ingredient that makes them so crumbly. At the aperitif they can never be missing!


It is another symbol of Apulian street food and is a kind of bread-free sandwich that is used to accommodate the most varied and tasty fillings. Want to try making it at home? Here is the recipe for it original Salento puccia.

Sagne ncannulate

The name is from Puglia, but the taste is universal, we are talking about cannulate sagne. This is a fresh pasta that is usually prepared with an iron which gives it a unique, elongated and wrapped shape. They are seasoned with tomato sauce and ricotta, but also with cicerchie or meat sauce.

Bowler hats

Among the most famous second courses of the moment, the Apulian bowler hats they actually have ancient origins. These are small meat rolls stuffed with lard, bacon or ham, cheese and chopped aromatic herbs. The traditional bowls are cooked on the grill, but in the absence of barbecue and space, you can also prepare them in a pan or in the oven.

Beans and chicory

The Lucanian tradition and the Apulian tradition vie for the birthplace of this recipe with great enthusiasm. It doesn’t matter where it comes from, the important thing (for everyone’s palate) is that it exists. In every Apulian trattoria you will certainly find on the menu, among the side dishes, Beans and chicory. Order this dish! An enveloping and sweet broad bean purée welcomes the bitter and spicy wild chicory simply sautéed in a pan. It may seem too simple to you, but its taste is truly extraordinary!

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