Phyllo Stuffed with Lamb, Spinach and Feta

February 19, 2016
3 Ratings
Photo by Wendi Nordeck
  • Makes 60
Author Notes

These savory pastries look a lot like spanakopita, but the addition of ground lamb scented with a kofta-inspired blend of cinnamon, cumin and allspice means they're a far cry from the classic Greek spinach pie. Serve them with salad or mezze dishes for a hearty meal. And be sure to keep some in the freezer for an after-school snack or impromptu party appetizer. —danielle_centoni

What You'll Need
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced (2 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 tablespoon)
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 16 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups crumbled sheep's milk feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 pound phyllo dough (preferably The Fillo Factory brand), thawed overnight in the refrigerator
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until completely soft and beginning to brown. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the lamb and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned. Remove from heat and drain off the excess fat. Stir in the coriander, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, cayenne, salt, pepper and lemon zest. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
  2. Place spinach in a colander squeeze over the sink to wring out all the excess liquid. Add spinach to the lamb mixture, along with the chopped parsley.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until well blended. Stir in the lamb mixture until well combined. Fold in the crumbled feta (and toasted pine nuts, if using) until evenly distributed. Allow filling to cool completely before using. (Filling can be made several days ahead and refrigerated.)
  4. Unroll the thawed phyllo onto a clean, dry surface. Cut the stack of sheets in half so you have two stacks that are 13-by-9 inches (skip this step if you’re using a different brand that has smaller sheets). Cover the stacks of phyllo with a slightly damp tea towel to keep the sheets from drying out. Set a few parchment-lined baking sheets nearby.
  5. Lay one sheet of phyllo in front of you with the short side closest to you. Brush the surface lightly with melted butter. Fold the sheet in half lengthwise, like you’re closing a book, creating a narrow strip. Brush the surface with melted butter. Set a heaping tablespoon of filling near the bottom of the strip. Fold the bottom right corner diagonally up and over to the left, aligning the edges, to create a triangle.
  6. Keep folding, as you would fold a flag, until you reach the end of the strip. Brush the edge with melted butter to seal it and place the triangle on the baking sheet. Brush the top with melted butter. Repeat with the remaining sheets of dough and filling, rewarming the butter as necessary. (If making ahead, freeze the triangles on baking sheets until firm, then pack in ziptop bags.)
  7. To bake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake fresh phyllo triangles for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. To bake from frozen, bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • danielle_centoni
  • Larly
  • Darian

5 Reviews

Larly April 15, 2023
Love this recipe! I folded a small amount of filling after each fold to get a more layering effect. I also added some shredded gruyere because I add gruyere to everything. Served with two dipping bowls, tzatziki and zhug. Peppered riced cauliflower with black olives on the side.
Thank you so much for a fabulous new meal!
Darian February 25, 2020
I made larger phyllo triangles and served 2-3 per person as a meal. The combination of flavors and textures was fantastic. I offered Greek yogurt and harissa on the side as dipping options. This will go on repeat.
Aksana May 4, 2017
Thank yo y for this recipe, it's on regular rotation in my family. Outstanding. Since I did it so many times I found that goat cheese instead of feta works better and I don't even add eggs since feeling stays together anyway. Used fresh spinach, spices spot on!!!
LeBec F. February 20, 2016
danielle, this IS exciting! If I told you that you had me after reading your first 5 ingredients ( 1 onion, diced , 3 cloves garlic, minced , 1 pound ground lamb, 1 tablespoon ground coriander, 1 tablespoon ground cumin ) would you know why? Well, Why is because someone is FINally not afraid of curry flavoring! For 1 lb lamb, you use 1 Tablespoon each of cumin and coriander. HOOrah Danielle! I don't know why the majority of 52 'curry' recipes are so wussy when it comes to curry spices. Time and time again, I read: ~ 1 lb. lamb, w/ 1/2 teaspoon cumin and coriander. Sheesh. Reminds me of Hawkeye demonstrating his use of vermouth in his martini- by pouring a glass of gin and then opening a bottle of vermouth and WAFTing it over the glass! Anyway, hoorah for you; looking forward to trying it soon!
danielle_centoni February 22, 2016
Le Bec Fin you crack me up! And I agree wholeheartedly in going big on flavor!