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. Ivy says:

    5 stars
    beautiful recipe. I followed it exactly and the people I shared it with all gave great feedback . Thanks so much Suzy!

    1. Suzy says:

      Awesome! Thanks so much, Ivy

  2. Sara says:

    This was a big hit! I have had these types of burek pies but never with the egg/milk mixture poured over. Love it!

    1. Suzy says:

      So glad you liked it, Sara! Thank you!

  3. Ceicei says:

    Hi there. Will it work if I brush the phyllo pastries with egg instead of oil? Thanks

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi Ceicei. I would use oil to brush the phyllo pastry

  4. Tara Tignor says:

    I cannot seem to find how much milk and eggs to mix to pour over the pie?

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Tara! It's one egg whisked into 1 cup of milk. Hope that helps!

  5. kc says:

    I would love to try this, but I am "sheltering in place", and have no eggs. do you think it could be made without?

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi Kc. If at all possible, I would still use 1 egg. But it might work okay without it.

  6. Dana says:

    I have this in the oven as I’m writing this. It smells delicious! My phyllo package had 11-12 sheets so that was all I used, and one cup of oil/butter was WAY too much! I brushed the top sheets very generously, too. I only used a few tablespoons. Perhaps I didn’t use enough but 1cup?! Have I done something wrong? Please advise for next time!

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Dana! That is typically the amount I use, but you can certainly adjust if you feel that's too much for you.

      1. Lorri Bleier says:

        The recipe was a good concept, but I would never use allspice again. It turned out well except for the Indian flavor.?

      2. Suzy says:

        Thank you for sharing, Lorri!

  7. Marie says:

    5 stars
    I just made this yesterday. It is one of my go to favorite foods. I have shared this dish with several people and they all loved it. I have even made it with various vegetable and meat. Even use a dash of cajun seasoning. It is a wonderful easy dish to make.

    1. Suzy says:

      Awesome! Thanks for sharing your variations, Marie!

  8. MaryJane Kubacki says:

    5 stars
    Hello - I have made this recipe in the past and thoroughly enjoyed it. My children are now adults and moved on and continue to use this particular recipe of yours. Now that there is just the two of us, I have made two smaller portions in 8 X 8 pans. Bake one and freeze the other (uncooked) As this is the first time I will attempt to bake from frozen - what are your suggestions? Should it thaw out first - or can I place in the oven for a longer period right from frozen?

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi MaryJane! You can bake this pie from frozen if you have a freezer-to-oven safe dish. Enjoy!

  9. Farida says:

    5 stars
    Made these today and it was very tasty thank you

    1. Suzy says:

      My pleasure, Farida!

  10. Billy Dipanni says:

    5 stars
    This was delicious, It tastes like a Jamaican Patty or a Haitian pate pie. I think it is because of the allspice. It was really easy to make. I never used phyllo dough before and had been kind of scared to use it but it seemed pretty easy as long as I worked quickly. Will make this again everybody loved it.! ...Thank you

    1. Suzy says:

      So glad you enjoyed it! Now that you're a phyllo dough expert, you need to try my Baklava and Baklava rolls :).

  11. Anna says:

    5 stars
    Yet another AMAZING dish! I can’t begin to tell you how finding your site has changed me. I’ve never been one who enjoys cooking until now. Your recipes are fun to make and simple to follow and my knife skills are getting better with each new recipe! Cooking IS fun! And to add to it all, my family and I have been eating healthier and enjoying making meals together! I hope people try this dish because it is so good! Thank you again! 🙂

    1. Suzy says:

      Thank you for the kind words, Anna! This really made my day! I'm so glad you've found some cooking inspiration here.

  12. Ann22 says:

    Question, does adding the milk make the bottom soggy or will it cook up crispy all the way through? Thanks.

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi Anna, you do need the milk to help cook this meat pie. It is absorbed during cooking. it should look as you see here.

  13. Maggie says:

    Hi, I'm focusing on cooking some freezer meals. Can I freeze this recipe? If yes, before or after I bake?
    I did read not to add the milk egg mixture until baking. Thanks

    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      Hi Maggie, you can definitely freeze leftovers. Thaw overnight in the fridge and warm up in a medium-heated oven.

  14. Lynda says:

    Hi Suzy, I have an allergy to beef and was wondering if ground turkey or pulled chicken pieces would work in this recipe.
    Thanks

    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      Hi Lynda! yes, you can replace the beef here with another ground meat, turkey, chicken, or even lamb. Enjoy

  15. Riekie Visser says:

    5 stars
    This is a five star recipe and fit for special occasions. On top of the minced meat, I added a layer of butternut and sweet potato, pan fried in a paste of my favourite spices , 1 garlic clove, a few cumin seeds, a dash of fennel and dill, one or two black pepper corns, dried chilli flakes, salt and olive oil ground with a pestle and mortar. Served with mixed salad and peas.

    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      Thank you, Riekie! And thanks for sharing your variation!

  16. Sabi says:

    Egyptian goulash is exactly Haitian paté! Love my heritage.

    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      Not quite, but so close! I love that food influences travel across cultures. Thank you for sharing, Sabi.