Today's recipe is straight from my mother’s kitchen: phyllo meat pie recipe (aka Egyptian goulash). Layers of flaky phyllo with a tantalizing meat mixture nestled in between. If you've been looking for things to make with phyllo dough, this easy recipe is a great one to try!

Egyptian goulash on a blue plate with fresh herbs sprinkled on top.

Phyllo

If you've had baklava, you've had phyllo! A popular ingredient in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking, phyllo is made of unleavened paper-thin pastry dough and is used in both sweet and savory recipes. You can find phyllo dough in most grocery stores in the freezer section near things like puff pastry and pie crust. I use phyllo to make all sorts of delicious dishes, like tarts and savory pies -- and I've even used it as a crispy pizza crust!

It can be intimidating to work with phyllo, but it's easier to use than most people think (I have some tips for you below).

One of my favorite phyllo recipes is my mother's Egyptian goulash. This is not the goulash you may know as macaroni noodles with a beef sauce; Egyptian goulash is something entirely different and so worth a try!

slice of phyllo meat pie.

Savory Meat Pie (Egyptian Goulash)

This Egyptian-style meat pie replaces your typical pie crust with phyllo dough! It is basically made of layers of flaky phyllo dough with a ground beef mixture, seasoned with baharat and onions, nestled in between. This pie is known as Egyptian goulash, and it's my favorite meat pie of all time!

The recipe is fairly simple to put together, and if you've ever made lasagna or assembled a casserole dish with several layers, making this savory phyllo meat pie is not much different. You'll spread several phyllo sheets and brush them with a mixture of olive oil and butter (or olive oil only, as I do most of the time). You'll add a layer of cooked ground beef, and then finish with a few more phyllo sheets. That's really all there is to it!

Tips for working with Phyllo Dough

When working with phyllo, first, be sure to thaw it properly overnight in the fridge. You'll also want to take it out of the fridge and set it at room temperature for about 1 hour.

But the biggest secret to working with phyllo dough, as you will see in the step-by-step, is to lay the phyllo sheets between two very lightly damp towels. This will keep them moist and prevent them from breaking as you work to assemble the pie. Also, don't skimp on brushing the phyllo layers with olive oil, this is what helps cook the phyllo to crisp perfection!

slices of Egyptian goulash on a blue plate with fresh herbs sprinkled on top.

Ingredients you need for this savory phyllo meat pie

This phyllo recipe comes together with just a few ingredients. Here's what you'll need to make it:

  • Phyllo dough - You'll need 1 16-ounce package of frozen phyllo dough, thawed overnight in the fridge in its packaging.
  • Egg - Whisk 1 egg into 1 cup of milk.
  • Extra virgin olive oil - To generously brush the phyllo dough to keep it from breaking. You can also use ½ cup olive oil combined with ½ cup melted butter.
  • Spiced meat filling - Chopped onions, lean ground beef, baharat, and garlic powder.

How to make meat pie with phyllo

While working with filo dough can seem intimidating, it is actually quite simple if you follow my simple tips! Here's how to make Egyptian goulash (print-friendly recipe below):

  • Prepare the phyllo dough. To keep the phyllo pastry moist and pliable, lay the thawed phyllo sheets between two clean, lightly damp kitchen towels.

    phyllo dough with a blue dish towel next to it to cover it.
  • Make the meat filling. Heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a large nonstick pan. On medium-high heat, saute 1 cup chopped onions briefly. Add 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef. Cook until fully browned, tossing regularly. Remove the pan from the heat briefly and drain any fat, then return back to the stove. Add in the spices (1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 ½ teaspoons baharat, kosher salt, and black pepper), and stir to fully combine. Remove from the heat.

    seasoned ground beef for Egyptian goulash.
  • Assemble the Egyptian goulash. lay three to four sheets of phyllo dough on the bottom of a lightly greased 9 ½ x 13 x 2 ¼ inch baking pan. Fold any excess dough in. Brush the top phyllo sheet very generously with extra virgin olive oil. Repeat this step as you lay three to four sheets of phyllo at a time in the baking pan until you have used up ½ of the phyllo sheets.

    brushed filo dough.

    Now, as you have a nice base for your pie, spread the meat filling evenly on top of the last phyllo sheet.

    ground beef spread onto phyllo dough.

    Layer the remaining sheets on top of the meat repeating the same process as before (again, three or four sheets at a time, fold excess phyllo and butter the top sheet) until the phyllo sheets are used up.

    phyllo dough layered onto ground beef for Egyptian goulash.

    Brush the top sheet very generously with EVOO. With a sharp knife, cut the phyllo pie into 12 squares. Season the prepared milk and egg mixture with kosher salt and black pepper and pour evenly over the pie.

    milk poured onto phyllo meat pie.
  • Bake the phyllo meat pie. Place the phyllo meat pie on the middle rack of a 350 degrees F heated-oven for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until cooked through. It should turn a nice golden brown. Be watchful so that the pie does not over bake or burn. Remove from the oven, and serve warm.

    Egyptian goulash after baking.

Serve it with

Egyptian goulash is a filling meal by itself, but I like to add a big fresh salad alongside for some crunch.

Make ahead tips

To work ahead, prepare the recipe as written until the step where you cut up the phyllo meat pie. After cutting the pie into 12 squares, cover it tightly and refrigerate. When you are ready to bake the pie, pour the egg and milk mixture over. Do not prepare this pie more than one night in advance.

Leftovers and storage

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F until warmed through. Or you can freeze leftover Egyptian goulash in a freezer-safe container, and reheat from frozen.

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4.93 from 105 votes

Phyllo Meat Pie (Egyptian Goulash)

The Mediterranean Dish
Egyptian goulash on a blue plate with fresh herbs sprinkled on top.
Today, it’s a treat straight from my mother’s kitchen: phyllo meat pie recipe (aka Egyptian goulash). It is the one savory pastry I can not stop eating! When working with phyllo, first, be sure to thaw it overnight in the fridge. Before putting together this phyllo recipe, be sure to let the filo dough sit at room temp for about an hour.
Prep – 25 minutes
Cook – 45 minutes
Cuisine:
Mediterranean/Egyptian
Serves – 12 pieces
Course:
Entree

Ingredients
  

  • 16 ounce package of frozen phyllo dough, thawed in its package
  • 1 egg, whisked in 1 cup of milk
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, (OR ½ cup olive oil combined with ½ cup melted butter)

For the meat filling

  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baharat
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Carefully lay the thawed phyllo dough sheets between two lightly damp kitchen towels.
  • Begin with preparing the meat filling. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick pan. On medium-high heat, saute the chopped onions briefly. Add the ground beef. Cook until fully browned, tossing regularly. Remove the pan from the heat briefly to drain any fat, then return back to the stove. Add in the spices and stir to fully combine. Remove from the heat.
  • Now, to assemble the phyllo pie, lay three to four sheets of phyllo dough on the bottom of a lightly greased 9 ½ x 13 x 2 ¼ inch baking pan. Fold any excess dough in. Brush the top phyllo sheet generously with olive oil (or oil and butter mixture). Repeat this step as you lay three to four sheets of phyllo at a time in the baking pan until you have used up ½ of the phyllo sheets.
  • Now, as you have a nice base for your pie, spread the meat filling evenly on top of the last phyllo sheet.
  • Layer the remaining sheets on top of the meat repeating the same process as before (again, three or four sheets at a time, fold excess phyllo and brush with the olive oil) until all phyllo is used up.
  • Brush the top sheet with olive oil (or oil and butter mixture). With a sharp knife, cut the phyllo pie into 12 squares.
  • Season the prepared milk and egg mixture with salt and pepper and pour evenly over the pie.
  • Place the phyllo meat pie on the middle rack of the 350 degrees F heated-oven for about 30 to 45, or until cooked through. The phyllo should be crispy and it should turn a nice golden brown. Be watchful so that pie does not over bake or burn.
  • Serve warm with a side salad! Enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • Phyllo tips: Be sure to thaw the phyllo overnight in the fridge. Do not skimp on brushing the phyllo layers as indicated above. Make sure you drizzle or brush a generous amount of olive oil so that each layer is well coated.
  • Prepare-ahead option: To work ahead, prepare the recipe as written until the step where you cut up the phyllo meat pie. After cutting the pie into 12 squares, cover it tightly and refrigerate. When you are ready to bake the pie, pour the egg and milk mixture over. Do not prepare this pie more than one night in advance.
  • Leftovers and storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F until warmed through. Or you can freeze leftover Egyptian goulash in a freezer-safe container, and reheat from frozen. 
  • Visit our shop to browse our spices, olive oils, and more!

Nutrition

Calories: 384.9kcalCarbohydrates: 21.5gProtein: 14.7gFat: 26.4gSaturated Fat: 5.6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 16.9gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 50.5mgSodium: 226.2mgPotassium: 237.7mgFiber: 1.1gSugar: 0.7gVitamin A: 20.1IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 16.5mgIron: 2.7mg
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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. Sombra Fernandez says:

    What spices can I use if I don’t have baharat?

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Sombra! Baharat has warm and sweet undertones, and is usually a combination of spices like cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, paprika, black pepper.

  2. Ellen Wangler says:

    5 stars
    Very good. Overcame my fear phyllo dough and made it.Very easy.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Awesome to hear! Now that you've conquered phyllo, you have to try our spanakopita and baklava recipes!!

  3. Jacquelyn says:

    5 stars
    This is a wonderful, straightforward recipe-- so delicious! I have made spanakopita many times, but never made a meat pie. I did cut back on oil/butter mixture to about 1/2 cup instead of 1 cup and also added a bit of crumbled feta cheese to my slightly edited version! It was a hit! Thanks for your wonderful website, recipes, and I plan to buy your recipe book soon!

    1. TMD Team says:

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and review, Jacquelyn!

  4. KB says:

    Can I use phyllo cups instead? Would I still need to oil the phyllo cup?

  5. Robin Contento says:

    5 stars
    How much olive oil mixture is really needed between layers? I’m getting to much olive oil flavor? Can I substitute for a different milder tasting oil. Live the recipe. Love the meat flavor. Easy to make.

    1. Devin Fuller says:

      Hi Robin, Devin here from The Mediterranean Dish team. I'm so happy to hear you're loving this recipe! I'd suggest a really mild, smooth extra virgin variety. Our buttery Italian Nocellara or Arbequina from California would both give you a very mild flavor. You just don't want anything with a strong bitterness since that can be so overpowering. A high quality neutral oil would also work here if you prefer. Happy cooking!

  6. Reir says:

    I haven't yet made it, BUT I wanted to say that it looks so good! We make a French Canadian tourtière at Christmas, and I googled looking for a phyllo dough option instead of a pie crust, and stumbled upon this. I will be making this for New Year's Eve, and will let you know how it goes. I do want to say, I love the container/dish in which you have eggs...where is it from please?
    Thanks!

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Reir! Suzy has actually had that egg holder for quite awhile and doesn't remember exactly where she got it. Here is one that is similar, though. Hope you love the meat pie!!

      1. Reir says:

        5 stars
        Hi, thanks so much for your response. I actually made this and it was a huge hit with the family! I then quickly proceeded to order Suzy’s cookbook and Amazon did its magic and delivered right before Christmas. Can’t wait to try more recipes, thanks !

  7. Cara says:

    5 stars
    Made this tonight for my family - enjoyed by all. I paired it with lemon greek potatoes and your zaalouk recipe (which was also very tasty).

    I love to travel the world at dinner time so thanks for sharing and inspiring me to try a new cuisine. I’ll definitely be making these again 🙂

  8. Sisi says:

    Why do you put egg and milk over the top? Is there a sub for the egg if allergic?

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Sisi. The milk and egg mixture helps to hold the pie together and it also adds a bit of flavor. If you can't eat eggs, you can just omit it here and use only milk.

  9. Shannon says:

    This is currently baking in the oven so I haven’t had the chance to try it yet. But the meat tasted delicious! I didn’t have any Baharat seasoning so I went and bought some cardamom and made my own mix because I had everything else. So, thank you for two recipes. I doubled the spice blend recipe so I could split it with my mom. This is also my first time working with Filo dough, and it wasn’t nearly as intimidating as I expected it to be. I think this was a good recipe to start with. Can’t wait to taste it all, & this is likely something I’ll make again & play with various versions! Thanks a bunch! 💜

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hope you loved the final result, Shannon!

  10. Suzzette Katzman says:

    5 stars
    My husband and I very much enjoyed this meal. Thank you!
    Looking forward to more of your delicious recipes! 🤸

  11. Lisa says:

    5 stars
    Just made this it's absolutely delicious. I can see why it's a favorite of your's.

  12. Valerie says:

    Looking through your delishish recipes and wondering if this meat pie can be made with ground or shredded chicken?

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Valerie. Interesting! Not something we've tried before, but I don't see why it wouldn't work.

      1. Valerie says:

        Thank you, making tonight with ground chicken and will let you know....excited!

  13. NinaT says:

    5 stars
    I really enjoyed this! After making it, I understand that I need a better dish than the one I used as it just didn't fit the phyllo correctly. I wouldn't change a thing about this! I love the little zest from the Bahrat seasoning!

  14. Carol says:

    5 stars
    Friend shared their dish with us. Reheated it was awesome! The re-frozen leftovers were still great a week later!

  15. Judy says:

    5 stars
    Suzy, we made this tonight and it was wonderful! I agree with your comment - it was hard to stop eating. Thanks for another great recipe!!!