Phyllo Dough meat rolls served on a plate

I have so been looking forward to sharing this recipe for my phyllo meat rolls! For a while, I debated between calling them phyllo dough meat rolls or meat cigars. I landed on rolls, but don't you think they kinda look like cigars? 🙂

Before you get intimidated, I am NOT asking you to make phyllo dough from scratch:-) Heck, that would intimidate me too! Although, it would make for a good challenge some day. Still, store-bought phyllo can be so tricky to work with, you say. I hear you! But it is really easier than you think; I have a few tips for you in a minute!

Meat rolls, one cut in half to show filling

I got over my "fear of phyllo" working on my mom's recipe for Egyptian Goulash, which is basically a phyllo meat pie. Then I tried a crazy thing of my own; I made pizza using phyllo dough! Who needs to kneed when you can have a quick and flaky pizza dough? Both recipes were a hit with my family and friends; so I decided, why stop there! Why not make something fun for a party appetizer? These phyllo pastry meat rolls/cigars are just the thing!

Before we get into the recipe,  here are my three helpful tips for working with phyllo:

1) Keep phyllo sheets on a large tray and cover them with a lightly damp clean kitchen towel.  This will keep them moist enough so that they don't rip or break as you work with them. Make sure, however, that your towel is not too wet or phyllo sheets will stick together.

2) Phyllo sheets need TLC. Work with them carefully (but don't stress out, they can tell:-). Be generous and brush each layer of phyllo with a good amount of butter or oil. This keeps them moist and gives them that lovely taste while helping their flaky texture when they bake.

3) While phyllo dough is not considered a bargain ingredient, it is not too expensive. I think a package of phyllo dough costs something between $2.99 and $4.99. This recipe only uses 16 phyllo sheets; and I believe the package I bought contained something like 24 phyllo sheets. So really, you'll have plenty to work with. If one sheet rips too badly, toss it out and move on.

These phyllo meat and feta rolls would make the perfect appetizer at your next holiday party. Filled with a mixture of spiced ground beef, cheese and dill, this flaky finger food is a big crowd-pleaser! People will think you toiled over them; just go ahead and take the praise 🙂 A humble nod followed by the words "a labor of love," always works 😉

PIN NOW. MAKE SOON! 

Ready? Here is how it goes:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan. Add onions and saute briefly on medium-high. Add ground beef and spices. Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, until ground beef is fully cooked and browned (about 8 minutes). Set aside to cool slightly.

Beef being browned in a pan

When ground beef has cooled, combine it with the additional filling ingredients of feta cheese, mozzarella cheese, egg, dill weed, and olive oil.

Preparation of the filling for the rolls

Take 16 phyllo pastry sheets, more if needed, and lay them carefully in a large tray. Cover with a slightly damp kitchen towel (remember, this will keep phyllo pastry from cracking and breaking).

You will work with two sheets of phyllo pastry at-a-time. Lay your first two sheets on a large cutting board. Brush generously with olive oil. With a good knife, cut right down the middle forming two long strips

Brushing phyllo dough with olive oil

Take one strip and begin to make your first phyllo dough meat roll. Scoop a spoonful of the meat-cheese mixture and place on the short end of phyllo strip (the end closest to you). Roll two times away from you. Fold in the phyllo sides all the way, and continue to roll toward the other end.

Step-wise photos showing how to add filling and wrap phyllo dough

Brush with a little more olive oil and egg wash. Place your first phyllo roll on a large and lightly oiled baking sheet. Repeat with the other phyllo strip forming your second phyllo roll.

Brushing meat rolls with egg wash

Repeat the process with the remaining phyllo sheets, using two sheets at-a-time. You should end up with 16 rolls lined up nicely in your baking sheet.

Brushed meat rolls lined on a baking pan

Place the phyllo rolls in the 400 degree F oven. Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven. Serve warm. You can add your favorite yogurt dip or sauce next to these phyllo meat rolls for dipping. Enjoy!

Baked meat rolls with a golden brown crustBaked meat rolls with one cut open showing filling

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Phyllo Dough Recipes

Phyllo Dough Meat Rolls Recipe


Description

I have so been looking forward to sharing this recipe for my phyllo meat rolls! For a while, I debated between calling them phyllo dough meat rolls or meat cigars. I landed on rolls, but don't you think they kinda look like cigars? 🙂


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 cup for later

Additional filling ingredients

  • 5 oz creamy feta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp dill weed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Other

  • 16-20 Phyllo sheets
  • 1 egg, mixed with little water (egg wash)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan. Add onions and saute briefly on medium-high.
  3. Add ground beef and spices. Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, until ground beef is fully cooked and browned (about 8 minutes). Set aside to cool slightly.
  4. When ground beef has cooled, combine it with the additional filling ingredients.
  5. Take 16 phyllo pastry sheets, more if needed, and lay them carefully in a large tray. Cover with a slightly damp kitchen towel (this will keep phyllo pastry from cracking or breaking).
  6. Take two sheets of phyllo and lay them on a large cutting board. Brush phyllo generously with olive oil. With a good knife, cut right down the middle forming two long phyllo strips (see picture)
  7. Take one phyllo strip and begin to make your first roll. Take a spoonful of the meat-cheese mixture and place on the short end of phyllo strip (the end closest to you). Roll away from you two times.
  8. Fold in the phyllo strip sides all the way, and then continue to roll phyllo toward the other end (see picture).
  9. Brush with a little more olive oil and egg wash. Place your first phyllo roll on a large and lightly oiled baking sheet. Repeat with the other phyllo strip.
  10. Repeat with the process with remaining phyllo, working with two phyllo sheets at-a-time. You should end up with 16 phyllo dough meat rolls lined up nicely in your large baking sheet.
  11. Place the phyllo rolls in the 400 degree F oven. Bake for 15 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven. Serve warm.
  13. You can add your favorite yogurt dip or sauce next to these phyllo meat rolls for dipping.

Notes

  • Recommended for this Recipe: Our Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives!)
  • Visit our store to browse our spices, olive oils and bundles!
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 23 mins
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Meat Rolls, Phyllo Dough, Phyllo Meat Rolls,

Try these delicious recipes:

Phyllo Meat Pie - Egyptian Goulash

Spanakopita Greek Spinach Pie

Antipasto Skewers

Greek Baked Meatballs

Homemade Pita Bread

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. These were delicious. We added spinach, no egg. I was thinking about making this again with bell pepper or mushrooms too!.
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. Doesn't work with frozen phyllo dough... I wasted a lot of ingredients because I couldn't separate the dough... Waste of time, energy, money, and most of all expectations. I did everything according to the recipe, but nope... The dough broke, every single time and I was able to make only 2 rolls... Disappointing and saddening....

  3. I made these but I switched out half the beef for pork. I have to say they won’t last long. Great recipe. I’ll be saving this recipe for future.

  4. I recently found this recipe, meat and feta rolls, and I would like to know if I can freeze leftovers. There will be leftovers because it's only mu husband and I. Not sure if I can freeze feta cheese. Thanks.

  5. Haven't made them yet, but would like to know about how much is "a spoonful" of the filling? Also, do I need to drain the ground beef after browning, or maybe before? When completed, are they very "greasy"? In other words, do I need to drain them on paper towels or anything? Thanks in advance for your reply.

    1. Hi Karol, about 1 tbsp or so (you'll want enough filling in there, but you want to be able to fully roll and secure it in). Sure, drain the ground beef.

    1. Hi Dee. Yes, I believe you can freeze these and bake them when needed. You can work through the recipe up to step #10 where you have finished rolling the phyllo rolls but before baking. Instead, you will want to arrange the rolls on a large baking sheet and freeze them for 2 to 3 hours, once they're pretty much frozen, you can transfer them from the baking sheet to a tight lid container or freezer bags to save room. You can bake them from frozen, do no thaw. I'd say you can freeze them for a couple weeks no problem.

      1. Thanks! That's what we thought. We got store-bought tzatziki (due to time issues) and I cooked them in the air fryer at 370 for 12 mins. My husband ranted and raved. Thanks!