20 Best Ways to Use Phyllo Dough

Tomato Tart with Fillo and Feta Cream

The Spruce Eats / Anita Schecter

Phyllo (also known as filo or fillo) is a type of paper-thin dough that's popularly used to make Greek specialties like spanakopita and baklava. The ultra-thin pastry is typically brushed with melted butter or oil and layered to make a crust. Once baked, the result is a crispy, flaky pastry that's delicious used in sweet and savory applications.

Phyllo dough is sold frozen with the sheets already rolled thin and trimmed for convenience. You can also find phyllo cups, little pre-formed tartlet shells that can be filled and made into party-friendly bites.

How to use phyllo

Before you use frozen dough, thaw it either in the fridge or on the counter. It's important when using phyllo to avoid allowing the delicate dough sheets dry out. Cover them with a barely-damp towel while you work, only removing it to retrieve a new sheet. And even though you don't want the dough to dry out, you also don't want to get it too wet. Make sure your hands are completely dry when handling phyllo dough.

You can also make your own phyllo dough. The process does take some time and finesse; it goes faster if you have a pasta machine handy to roll out the dough. If you're looking to learn a new baking skill, then try your hand at homemade phyllo and use it to make one of these delicious appetizers, main dishes, or desserts.

  • 01 of 20

    Tiropitas: Phyllo Cheese Triangles

    Phyllo cheese triangle tiropitas recipe

    The Spruce Eats

    Tiropitas make a fun appetizer or snack. With a crispy phyllo crust and a creamy, salty cheese filling, they are a crowd-pleaser. There are many variations of this Greek dish, with this version featuring a filling made of feta, cream cheese, parmesan, and blue cheese.

  • 02 of 20

    Baklava With Walnuts and Almonds

    Baklava recipe

     The Spruce Eats

    A classic Greek sweet, baklava is made by layering phyllo sheets with butter and a mixture of ground nuts and sugar. The baked confection is then topped with a spiced sugar syrup that soaks into the pastry. Walnuts are traditional, but you could also use almonds or pistachios.

  • 03 of 20

    Tomato Tart with Phyllo and Feta Cream

    Tomato Tart with Fillo and Feta Cream

    The Spruce Eats / Anita Schecter

    Feta cheese is puréed with cream cheese and spices to make the flavorful filling for this tomato tart. Phyllo provides an easy and attractive crust for the rustic dish. Use the most flavorful tomatoes you can find for the brightest possible taste.

  • 04 of 20

    Apple Phyllo Pie

    Apple Phyllo

    The Spruce Eats

    For a lighter take on apple pie, swap out the butter-laden crust for a crispy phyllo version. A honey syrup is used between the layers instead of the traditional melted butter or oil. Slice your apples thin to make sure they bake perfectly in this open-face apple phyllo pie.

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  • 05 of 20

    Spanakopita: Greek Spinach Pie With Feta Cheese

    Greek Spinach Pie With Feta Cheese (Spanakopita) Recipe

     The Spruce Eats

    Spanakopita is one of the most famous Greek dishes, beloved the world over. A filling of spinach, herbs, and feta cheese is enclosed in layers of golden phyllo pastry, resulting in a vegetarian dish that is ideal for lunch or dinner. Store leftovers in the fridge and reheat in the oven until re-crisped.

  • 06 of 20

    Pita Zeljanica: Serbian Spinach Pie

    Spinach Pie

    Getty Images / William Reavell

    Similar to spanakopita but a bit heartier, this Serbian spinach pie is an impressive vegetarian main dish. It's filling and attractive enough to serve as a veggie alternative to turkey or ham at your holiday meal.

  • 07 of 20

    Christmas Strudel

    Very Christmas strudel recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska

    Filled with all of the classic holiday ingredients like mincemeat, marzipan, apples, nuts, and spices, Christmas strudel is a festive addition to your gathering. Serve topped with custard sauce or even a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

  • 08 of 20

    Strudla s Kupusom: Croatian Savory Cabbage Strudel

    Savory Cabbage Strudel

    Getty Images / Eising

    Savory cabbage strudel is a warming main dish on a cold winter night. Add chopped, cooked bacon for a welcome salty, smoky note. The flaky phyllo is a nice contrast to the buttery cooked cabbage filling.

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  • 09 of 20

    Phyllo-Wrapped Hot Dogs

    Fillo Wrapped Hot Dogs

    The Spruce Eats / Anita Schecter

    Replace the standard squishy bun with phyllo and turn hot dogs into a dish worthy of a party. Simply wrap in pastry and bake for a crisp exterior. Serve with different kinds of mustard for dipping.

  • 10 of 20

    Galaktoboureko: Custard Pie With Phyllo

    Custard pie with phyllo recipe

    ​The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

    Galaktoboureko, with its flaky phyllo crust, creamy custard filling, and citrus-flavored syrup, is a favorite Greek dessert. Because the dish contains custard, it's best to serve it the day it's made. Just leave enough time to allow the syrup to soak in as the pastry after it cools from baking.

  • 11 of 20

    Empanada de Alcachofas en Masa Filo: Artichoke Parmesan Phyllo Tart

    Artichoke Parmesan Phyllo Tart - Empanada de Alcachofas en Masa Filo

    The Spruce Eats / Marian Blazes

    The filling for our version of empanada de alcachofas, a riff on the Peruvian and Chilean snack, is similar to a creamy artichoke dip. It makes a delicious appetizer or vegetarian main dish. The phyllo turns golden brown and buttery when baked and leftovers will crisp back up when reheated in the oven.

  • 12 of 20

    Greek Leek Pie

    Leek pie

     

    Getty Images / vinicef

    Savory cheese, egg, and leek filling make this Greek phyllo pie a delicious partner for a fresh salad. If you can't find kefalograviera cheese, use a mixture of gruyere and parmesan instead. Serve warm for brunch or lunch, or slice and serve at your next gathering or potluck.

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  • 13 of 20

    Cheesecake Baklava

    Cheesecake Baklava

    The Spruce Eats / Anita Schecter

    Did you know that cheesecake originated in ancient Greece before the Romans came, put their own spin on it, and spread it throughout Europe? For a show-stopping dessert that's fit for a dinner party, serve cheesecake baklava. The dish combines a creamy cheesecake filling with crisp phyllo, nuts, and a sweet syrup.

  • 14 of 20

    Spanakopita Bites

    Spanakopita appetizers

    Getty Images / Brian Hagiwara

    Turn spanakopita into a fun and easy-to-eat appetizer with phyllo shells to hold the spinach filling. These spanakopita bites are perfect for a party or snack and take mere minutes to make.

  • 15 of 20

    Kreatopita: Meat Pie with Phyllo Crust

    Greek meat pie

    Getty Images / LauriPatterson

    This Greek meat pie is filled with lamb or beef, rice, and a bouquet of fresh herbs. Plan ahead, since the filling needs to cook on the stove before the pie is assembled and baked. You can also use leftover cooked meat such as pot roast.

  • 16 of 20

    Strudel od Jakuba: Croatian Apple Strudel

    Klara's traditional Croatian apple strudel recipe

    The Spruce Eats

    Croatian apple strudel, or strudel od jakuba, is a delicious use of phyllo pastry. Stuffed with thinly sliced apples, walnuts, and raisins, the baked good makes a lovely fall dessert or Christmastime treat.

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  • 17 of 20

    Sigara Borek: Turkish Fried Feta Rolls

    turkish cigarette pastry

    Getty Images / StockFood

    Also known as "cigar" pastries, sigara borek rolls require only a few simple ingredients. The addictive finger food is a welcome addition to a party, especially when paired with beer or wine. Try experimenting with different Turkish cheeses and fillings like ground beef.

  • 18 of 20

    Crispy Phyllo Sausage Egg Bake

    Filo Bake

    Getty Images / helovi

    This sausage egg bake is a hearty breakfast all wrapped up in phyllo. With eggs, cheese, mushrooms, peppers, spinach, and sausage, it's a complete meal. You can prep and assemble everything the night before and bake it when you wake up for a stress-free hot meal.

  • 19 of 20

    Heirloom Tomato and Ricotta Phyllo Tart

    tomato phyllo tart

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

    For a lunch or appetizer that's as enjoyable to look at as it is to eat, use phyllo dough to make a tomato and ricotta tart. Make this summery dish when heirloom tomatoes are at their peak, and arrange the slices in an ombre or rainbow pattern for a stunning presentation.

  • 20 of 20

    Baklavas Rolo: Rolled Baklava

    rolled baklava
    Getty Images

    Baklava is typically baked in a pan and sliced into squares or diamonds, but it can be made into other fun shapes. These rolled baklavas are a festive cigar shape, making them perfect for sharing at a party or gifting.