Phyllo Dough 101


Frozen phyllo dough makes for a spinach pie with a crispy, crackly crust. Perfect for a meatless dinner or brunch! From Bridget Edwards of Bake at 350.

20 oz. weight Frozen Spinach 1 tbsp. Olive Oil, Plus More For Brushing On Phyllo Sheets 1 Onion, Chopped 2 cloves Garlic, Minced 4 Eggs 8 oz. weight Feta Cheese, Crumbled 4 oz. weight Goat Cheese Crumbled 1 tsp. Kosher Salt 1/2 tsp. Freshly Grated Nutmeg 1 c. Flat-leaf Parsley, Chopped 1/2 package (16 Oz. Size) Phyllo Sheets, ThawedPreheat oven to 325ºF.

Place frozen spinach in a colander and rinse with warm water, tossing, until thawed.


Squeeze out excess water place on a double layer of paper towels. Use the paper towels to squeeze out more water. Repeat until the spinach has been squeezed dry. Set aside.

Heat the 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until softened. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs until combined. Stir in cheeses, salt, and nutmeg. Add spinach, parsley, and cooled onion mixture. Stir until well-mixed.


Unroll phyllo sheets and cover with a lightly damp dish towel. Brush oil onto the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch baking dish. Place one sheet of phyllo on the bottom of the dish. Brush with oil. Repeat for a total of 6 sheets of phyllo.

Add the spinach mixture, spreading evenly. Place 6 more layers of phyllo on top, brushing on oil between each layer. Oil the top layer. Fold any excess onto the top.

Bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden and looks crispy. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.


Phyllo, or filo, dough is puff pastry’s Greek cousin. They’re both known for layers of dough. While puff pastry is created by incorporating butter into the dough, phyllo dough is virtually free of any fat—that gets added in right before baking.

Phyllo dough doesn’t puff when it bakes—it crisps. The thinner-than-paper-thin phyllo layers are crunchy, flaky, and shatter when cut or bitten. Have you ever eaten baklava? Yep. This is the stuff that makes it so flaky and amazing. Well, phyllo and a lot of butter.

Yes, you can make phyllo at home. The basic ingredients are simple: flour, water, vinegar, and a little oil.


I don’t want to discourage you from making anything at home, BUT you’d be hard-pressed to create the thin layers you’ll find in the frozen variety.

Phyllo typically comes in two forms: in sheets and cups. The sheets are normally in two sealed rolls per box. You might only need one roll for a single recipe. Sheets need to be thawed in the refrigerator overnight.

Shells are actually pre-baked, but should be crisped in the oven.


Keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to use them. For unbaked fillings, crisp the shells in the oven for about 5 minutes. Let cool and fill. For baked fillings, don’t pre-crisp. Fill and bake until done.

Phyllo shells make the simplest of mini bites look elegant. I filled these with lemon curd straight from the jar and topped with a raspberry. Simple and exquisite. They make darling mini pies.


Shells aren’t limited to dessert fare though! Fill with chicken salad, or taco meat, or bruschetta topping. Any chopped herb on the top makes these fancy. The possibilities are endless—and delicious.

To use the sheets, carefully unfold and top with a slightly damp dish towel. This will help make the sheets easier to work with and keep from tearing. If they do tear, well, it really doesn’t matter. Save the best sheet for the top of whatever you’re making.


The magic of phyllo sheets comes in the layering. You’ll brush oil or melted butter between each layer of phyllo. I’m using olive oil for this spinach pie. Oil the dish, add a sheet of phyllo, brush with oil, top with another phyllo sheet and repeat.

Add the filling. This combination of spinach, onion, garlic, feta, and goat cheese is a take on the traditional Greek Spanakopita.

Once filled, top with more layers of phyllo brushed with oil.

The phyllo bakes up crunchy and light with the most satisfying crackle when you dive into it.

Looking for more ways to cook with phyllo? We have you covered!






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