Spiced Butternut Squash Phylas

February  5, 2020
1 Ratings
Photo by Patricia Niven
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Makes about 20
Author Notes

Phyllo dough is a largely flavorless dough (consisting of just flour and salt), that when brushed with fat, crisps up in a big way. It's a perfect, crispy blank canvas for any fillings you choose—whether sweet or savory (or both!). Here, a spiced squash, onion, and feta mash is bound between ethereally-crisp layers of phyllo. You can coil the dough, or, as Packer and Srulovich demonstrate in an episode of Dear Test Kitchen, "Turkish tuck" the filling into crisp triangles. —Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Spiced Butternut Squash Phylas
  • 1 packet of filo pastry
  • 100 grams (3 1/2 ounces) melted butter
  • For the filling
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 5-cm/2-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 small whole dried chile, or a pinch of chilli flakes
  • 2 long shallots or 1 small red onion, peeled and chopped (about 100g/ 3 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 butternut squash about 600-700g/1 pound 5-9 ounces, peeled and grated yielding about 500 grams/1 pound 2 ounces
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 6 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 60 grams (2 1/2 ounces) feta, crumbled
  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan on a medium heat. Add the cinnamon stick and whole chilli or chilli flakes, followed by the chopped shallots or onion and fry for about 1 minute before adding the grated butternut squash and salt. Stir around and cook until the butternut softens. This will take about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the ground cumin and coriander, then fry for 30 seconds before removing the pan from the heat. Add the chopped sage and honey, and mix well. Allow to cool before removing the cinnamon stick and whole dried chilli (if using), and stirring in the crumbled feta.
  3. Heat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/gas mark 7 and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  4. Open the filo packet on the work surface and lay it so that the pastry is folded in half with the narrow end of the rectangle closest to you. Pull out two sheets at a time and brush the top sheet with melted butter. Spoon pumpkin filling in a thin line along the closest edge of the filo and roll up loosely to form a ‘snake’. Cut away the unused pastry just above the ‘snake’. Roll the ‘snake’ into a ‘snail’, tucking the end underneath, and place on the baking tray. Continue filling and rolling the remaining part of the filo until it is used up, then pull out a new pair of sheets and start again.
  5. Repeat again and again until all the filling is used up. Brush the remaining butter on the tops of the phylas. You can now bake them for 12–14 minutes, or until golden all over. Alternatively, you can keep the ‘snails’ in the fridge for up to 24 hours before baking.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • booglix
  • Jasser Abu-Giemi
    Jasser Abu-Giemi
  • gugs
  • sandra

8 Reviews

booglix January 2, 2023
Really delicious! I made almost as written, but added a little lime juice after the feta; I felt it needed a bit of acid. Next time I'll try it with more lime and no sage, which I think would be delicious as well. It made about 8 triangles for me—to get 20 you'd need to make them super small.
Jasser A. April 4, 2020
If you freeze these to cook later do you have to individually wrap them?
sandra April 4, 2020
You could so they don't stick together or just put some baking parchment between them works too
gugs February 8, 2020
Hi guys, you have missed both the feta and onion in this recipe. Can you please update with the correct quantities?
sandra February 8, 2020
I’ve realized after watching the video, one red onion (medium) and roughly a chunk of feta about half the size of butter block. I made them yesterday with chilli flakes and they are delicious! Made 8 triangles enjoy!
Christie W. February 19, 2020
Did you make the triangles as big as they are in the video? The recipe says it makes 20 but I'm thinking that's if you make them smaller than the ones in the video.
sandra February 19, 2020
Yes I think so... I only cut the pastry in half (lengthwise). I don't think it would make a difference if you made them smaller. Maybe try cutting the pastry into 3 strips instead of 2.
sandra February 5, 2020
The recipe instructions require shallots/onion but they aren't listed in the ingredients. How many are required?