Spinach Fatayer

Spinach Fatayer on a plate

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
148 Calories
9g Fat
15g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 148
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 289mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 11mg 53%
Calcium 37mg 3%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 211mg 4%
*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.)

Fatayers are Middle Eastern savory pies. Although they're typically filled with meat, the spinach version is quite common but they can also be found filled with cheese and za'atar. Usually small and triangular in shape, the little pies are perfect finger food or appetizers. They also store well in the refrigerator which makes them easy to make ahead and ideal for packing on a picnic or road trip.

Depending on the country or region of the Middle East where the fatayers are served, the name might have a variation. Fatayer bil-sabanegh is how Lebanese spinach versions are often known and fatayer jebneh is the name given to the cheese versions.

Spinach fatayer is somewhat reminiscent of the Greek spanakopita but with a few key differences. The Greek version includes feta cheese and is usually wrapped in phyllo dough. Those two ingredients are actually common in Middle Eastern cuisine but the fatayer is most often made with olive oil-based pastry dough.

Still, the Middle East is famous for lots of regional and family spins on classic recipes. So it's not uncommon to find different vegetables, herbs, and spices used in the filling. Likewise, some people do make them with phyllo or even a yeast dough. However you choose to make them, they're delicious.


For the Dough:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, or canola oil

  • 1/4 cup water

For the Spinach Filling:

  • 1/2 pound fresh spinach, finely chopped

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, or canola oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground sumac

Steps to Make It

Make the Dough:

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Dough ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt.

    flour and salt in a glass bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Add the oil and begin to knead the dough.

    dough in a glass bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Once the oil is absorbed, add the warm water.

    Dough in a glass bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Continue kneading into an elastic dough.

    Dough ball in a glass bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. Shape the dough into 2-inch diameter balls and place on a baking sheet.

    Dough balls on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  7. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside. Preheat the oven to 425 F.

    Dough balls on a baking sheet covered with plastic wrap

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Make the Filling:

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Filling ingredients on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Combine the washed and chopped spinach, chopped onion, lemon juice, vegetable or canola oil, salt, black pepper, chopped walnuts, and ground sumac in a medium bowl. Set aside.

    Filling ingredients in a large glass bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi


  1. Using a rolling pin, roll each ball of dough into a small circle.

    A piece of dough on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Place approximately two teaspoons of the filling into the center of each one.

    Dough with filling on top

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Cover the filling with the dough by lifting up the ends of the circle to the center and forming into a triangular shape.

    wrap the dough around the filling on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Pinch the ends closed with your fingertips.

    dough wrapped around the filling

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes on a greased baking sheet or one lined with parchment paper, until golden brown.

    spinach fatayer on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. Allow to cool about five minutes before serving.

    Spinach Fatayer on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi