Israeli Potato Bourekas (Pareve)

Potato bourekas
Miri Rotkovitz
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
445 Calories
28g Fat
41g Carbs
8g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 445
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 4g 21%
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 207mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 6mg 31%
Calcium 58mg 4%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 417mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Bourekas are parcels of filled flaky dough that are either fried in hot oil or melted butter or baked in the oven. In Israel, bourekas with all sorts of fillings are a bakery mainstay, and the supermarkets sell frozen bourekas as a convenience item. Kosher supermarkets in the U.S. and elsewhere often carry them, too, but they can be hard to find otherwise. Fortunately, they're not hard to make at home.

Traditionally, bourekas are made with a homemade pastry, but store-bought puff pastry or phyllo dough can be substituted for convenience. This easy recipe for Israeli potato bourekas is made with purchased puff pastry and baked for a simpler preparation. Unlike the equally popular cheese boureka, these are pareve, so they can be eaten with a meat or dairy meal.


For the Filling:

For the Pastry:

Steps to Make It

  1. Place the potatoes in a saucepan or stockpot with enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

  2. Cook uncovered until the potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes.

  3. Drain the potatoes and place in a large bowl. Pass through a potato ricer or mash with a potato masher or wire whisk. Set aside to cool.

  4. If adding the onion and garlic, warm the oil (or melt the margarine or butter) in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir the mixture into the potatoes.

  5. If you're not using the onions and garlic, simply add the olive oil, margarine, or butter to the potatoes.

  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  7. In a small bowl, beat one of the eggs. While stirring the cool potato mixture, slowly add the beaten egg. Mix well until the egg is totally integrated into the mashed potatoes.

  8. Heat the oven to 375 F / 190 C. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Fill a small bowl with water. If using puff pastry sheets, cut them into 5-inch squares.

  9. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the center of each square. Dip your fingers in the water and dampen the edges of the squares, then fold in half diagonally or vertically to form triangular or rectangular pastries. Pinch the edges together to seal the filling inside.

  10. Beat the second egg and brush it over the tops of the bourekas. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Place the pastries on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until the bourekas are puffed and golden.

  11. Serve warm and enjoy.

Recipe Variations

  • Bourekas can be filled with either ground beef, cheese, or vegetables ranging from spinach to eggplant or potatoes.
  • For a vegan version, skip the eggs; you will not miss them in the filling. To help the sesame seeds adhere to the pastry, lightly brush with water or soy milk before sprinkling on the seeds.

Can potato borekas be made ahead?

You can prepare the bourekas ahead of time and place them in the freezer to bake at a later date. Assemble the pastries, but do not brush on the egg or sprinkle over the sesame seeds. Place the bourekas in layers, separated by parchment paper, in an airtight container. When ready to bake, put the frozen pastries on a parchment-lined baking sheet, brush with the egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until puffed and golden.