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. For now, I'll stick with making simple doughs, like the flaky olive oil dough in these Spanish Beef Empanadillas, at home. Phyllo dough is a store bought situation for me, and the good news is it still gets crisp, golden brown, and delicious!

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 or even the egg-stuffed Tunisian Brik Au Thon! 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


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4.6 from 9 reviews

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

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. Leon says:

    Explained Wonderfully well ! Tried both recipes - Worked right the first time !
    Thank you,
    Leon Cliyne

    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      Wonderful, Leon! So glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Mazi says:

    Hey! This looks like something I'd like to make at a dinner party! Do you think I can roll these up the night before my party put them in the fridge and just toss them in the oven the night of?

    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      Yes, absolutely! You can prepare the rolls the night before and place them on a large tray so they're not touching. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place them in room temp for a few minutes before you bake. Enjoy!

  3. Kay Rizzo says:

    This sounds like a something I ate at a friend's home as a child (1950s) They called the rolls (phonetic spelling) "sfaya". My friends were from Saudi Arabia, but I think the recipe came from Lebanon. Do you know what I am talking about? And how to spell it?
    A few years ago I looked for a recipe. Not finding one, I made one up, relying on a 50 years old memory. Very similar to this but I didn't use any cheese and for spices I used parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme and oregano. Heavy on the parsley and thyme. Had no idea how to bake them; ended up at 350 for 20 minutes. Served at a Christmas night buffet for two dozen people. They were the hit of the night.






    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      Hi Kay!Thank you so much for stopping in. I like your version of these phyllo dough rolls. I say you can really do a lot with phyllo, right? There are lots of little pie type appetizers in the Middle East, some are called Sifeha, maybe that's what you mean? Those ones, we actually make the dough from scratch. I'll be posting a recipe soon that I learned from my mom in law.

  4. Christina says:

    can these be Frozen? Have a party coming Up.

    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      Christina, I believe you can freeze these rolls, although I have not personally tried that. If you want to try them, I would stop before baking them and then freeze in tight containers. On the day you need them, thaw the rolls completely and then bake for 15 minutes as instructed.
      Alternatively,you can cook prepare the rolls the night before, Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. A few minutes before your guests arrive, you can bake them. They only take 15 minutes or so in the oven.

  5. Stephen says:

    Yes please!

  6. renee lalane says:

    Seeing this great recipe gave me an inspiration, I am going to try these rolls using Picadillo filling I usually use on my Puerto Rican empanadas. I will post it on my Blog and link it back to your recipe. Thank you so much for all your wonderful inspirations.






    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      Great, Renee! Have fun. let me know how it turns out.

  7. trang says:

    Love this! It reminds me of Vietnamese fried spring rolls/egg rolls 🙂 I definitely have a fear of phyllo dough... I've never made it and it looks so fragile! But this recipe looks awesome, I will have to try one day!

    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      Trang,you are so right! These do resemble Vietnamese rolls some! Phyllo is really not that bad. I used to worry I would mess up working with phyllo, but now, I just don't care 🙂 Let me know if you ever try these.

  8. Jenny.U says:

    These look great! Pinning and tweeting shortly!

  9. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef says:

    I've had these before at a party and I fell in love. I can't wait to try your recipe!






    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      Hi Maureen! These are pretty good; it was my first time trying them, and they really were not that hard to make. I couldn't remember exactly how my mom made them, but I think mine is a better recipe 🙂 Shhh, don't tell her. Thanks for the love, friend!

  10. Elizabeth Althoff Williams says:

    Thank you so much! These look wonderful!

  11. Norma says:

    Oh, these are my favorite way to eat phyllo dough. They are the best! My mom used to make these on special occasions.

    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      Aren't they special? Norma, I love seeing you here 🙂

  12. The Mediterranean Dish says:

    Go for it you guys; these aren't too hard to make 🙂

  13. Jennifer Flaa says:

    I really want to make these!

  14. Katie Anderson Olthoff says:

    Do you cater? Can you just make them for me? Now I'm starving@

    1. The Mediterranean Dish says:

      You are sweet. Yes, catering is an option:-)

    2. Katie Anderson Olthoff says:

      Okay, Suzy. I have ground turkey and phyllo dough but no feta or onion. But, I have frozen turkey feta spinach burgers that I made and froze. What do you think would happen if I heated those up, crumbled them, and used them for the filling?

      1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

        Hi Katie! I'm excited that you will try these. The beauty of a recipe like this is that you can make the filling your own. And I am all for using up what you already have. Two things: 1) once you cook and break up the turkey burgers, add one or two eggs and a table spoon of olive oil to the burger mix 2) if you have cream cheese or shredded mozarella, I'd add some to the mix. I don't know how much feta is in your turkey burgers, but you would just want to make sure you have enough in the mix so you don't end up with dry phyllo rolls. Makes sense? Let me know how it goes. Hugs.

      2. Katie @ On the Banks of Squaw Creek says:

        They were great with just the burgers crumbled up! (But I did dip them in blue cheese dressing.)

        I made them again tonight - they're in the oven right now. Half have shredded turkey breast, spinach and cream cheese and the other half have shredded turkey breast, salsa and cream cheese. I thought I'd try a couple more filling options! I will blog about them if they turn out well, and of course will link to your blog for the "original" recipe.

        Also - a tip, if you're impatient like me. If you start to unroll your phyllo and it's still partially frozen, it's totally safe to cover it with plastic and blast it with your hair dryer for a few seconds to finish thawing it. 🙂

      3. Suzy Karadsheh says:

        That is awesome, Katie! I love your creative ideas with these phyllo rolls. And great tip with the blow dryer. Appreciate the love, girl! Keep in touch.

    3. The Mediterranean Dish says:

      Katie Anderson Olthoff, did you get my response, i see it posted underneath Beth Ann's. Sorry. Hope it worked out!

  15. Beth Ann Brown Chiles says:

    I have the dough already!!! Totally making these!!

    1. The Mediterranean Dish says:

      Awesome, Beth!

    2. The Mediterranean Dish says:

      Hi Katie! I’m excited that you will try these. The beauty of a recipe like this is that you can make the filling your own. And I am all for using up what you already have. Two things: 1) once you cook and break up the turkey burgers, add one or two eggs and a table spoon of olive oil to the burger mix 2) if you have cream cheese or shredded mozarella, I’d add some to the mix. I don’t know how much feta is in your turkey burgers, but you would just want to make sure you have enough in the mix so you don’t end up with dry phyllo rolls. Makes sense? Let me know how it goes. Hugs

  16. Amy Hild says:

    Oh my! These look AMAZING! I'm going to have to go pick up some groceries to make this!

    1. The Mediterranean Dish says:

      Yay! Let me know how it turns out!