These cheesy hand pies are made with homemade phyllo dough stuffed with feta and Pecorino cheese. You can use frozen storebought phyllo sheets if you’re in a hurry, but you’ll be surprised how simple it is to make phyllo from scratch.
I’ve always been a fan of food that I can eat with my hands. And if that food involves crisp, buttery phyllo dough wrapped around a cheesy filling? Sign. Me. Up. I’m all about biting into that kind of crunchy goodness. Especially if I can walk around my house all carefree while I do it.
These handheld Greek pies can be made using my homemade phyllo dough recipe, or with storebought phyllo sheets. They’re actually perfect for any meal of the day: drizzle them with a bit of honey at breakfast, serve them with tzatziki dip as an appetizer, or pile them high on your plate and serve them with a meaty main for dinner. I recommend following these up with Melomakarona cookies for dessert!
What is Tiropita?
Any time you see pita at the end of Greek food titles, you are getting some type of sweet or savory pie. Spanakopita is made with a blend of spinach, herbs, and feta, while tiropita uses eggs and cheese in the filling. Feta is the most popular cheese for this recipe, and the one I use here, but you can certainly experiment with other kinds of cheese!
If you ever get the chance to wander the streets of Greece, you’ll find Tiropita at nearly every food stand because people love it no matter the time of day. I have to agree, they’re a handy bite to have around!
Why Make Phyllo From Scratch?
Don’t be put off by the idea of making phyllo dough. Making it from scratch is incredibly satisfying and easier than you might think. The keys to making the perfect phyllo are patience, careful water measurement, and good rolling techniques. Why take the extra time? Well, bragging rights for one! But honestly, fresh simply tastes better.
Can I Use Frozen Phyllo?
Absolutely. My day doesn’t always allow for extra cooking processes, and I’m sure yours doesn’t either. Frozen phyllo is already made into perfectly sized sheets. If you’re going this route I have several bits of advice for success:
- Let the dough defrost in the refrigerator for about 24 hours. Don’t try and hurry this step. If you do, the dough can become gummy. (In other words, don’t try to put the phyllo in the microwave or oven to speed things up!)
- Don’t try to separate the sheets until they are completely thawed. You’ll end up with shards.
- If you start separating them and see shards, just wait a little longer for the phyllo sheets to defrost more.
- Be ready to work fast. You don’t want it drying out.
- Have a clean, lightly damp towel for covering the phyllo between layers.
What You Will Need
Take a peek through your pantry for the items on this list before starting your Tiropita. Here’s what you’ll need:
For the Phyllo Dough
- All Purpose Flour
- Olive Oil – I prefer Extra Virgin, cold-pressed if you’re looking for the best quality.
- White vinegar
- Kosher Salt
- Water – Lukewarm.
For the Filling
- Feta Cheese
- Pecorino Cheese
- Greek Yogurt – You could also use plain yogurt.
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper – Freshly ground is awesome.
What is the Difference Between Feta and Goat Cheese?
One Word: Milk. Feta comes from sheep’s milk while Goat Cheese (wait for it…) comes from goats! Both kinds of cheese are creamy, but feta has a nuttier aroma where Goat Cheese smells earthy. Flavor-wise, Goat cheese is “in your face” bold. Feta is salt-forward and somewhat acidic.
How to Make Tiropita Greek Cheese Pies
Make the Phyllo Dough
Skip this step if you are using frozen storebought phyllo dough.
- Make the dough. In a large bowl, add flour, water, olive oil, white vinegar, and salt and stir to combine.
- Knead. Move it to a clean working surface and start kneading with your hands until the dough is nice and elastic (about 5 minutes).
- Let rise. Transfer it to a bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen towel for about 1 hour.
Make the Cheese Filling
- Mix it up. In a large bowl, mix together all filling ingredients until combined. (How’s that for easy?)
Assemble and Bake
- Prep your tools. Preheat oven to 350F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll out the phyllo dough. On a lightly floured surface, gently start rolling the dough in a rectangular shape until paper-thin thickness. Stretch the dough using your hands as you go, trying not to make any holes in it. (Skip this step if using frozen phyllo.)
- Cut the dough. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough every 2-2.5 inches and divide it into 6-7 strips.
- Shape the tiropita triangles. Place one teaspoon of cheese mixture at the end of each strip and fold over the corner to make a triangle. Continue folding from side to side until you get to the end of the strip. Place the triangles on the previously prepared baking sheets.
- Bake. Brush the triangles with the beaten egg yolk. Put in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Tips for Success
- Be patient with your dough as it rises. No peeking every 10 minutes!
- Keep the unused dough tightly wrapped. Phyllo dough dries out quickly, so after rolling it out I recommend keeping it covered with a damp cloth while you assemble your hand pies.
- Experiment with other cheese. You can use ricotta instead of the feta and Mozzarella instead of the Pecorino if you want to experiment with different flavors.
Tiropita can be eaten by itself, but I sometimes like to add a drizzle of honey to complement the slight saltiness of the cheesy feta filling. For a savory accompaniment, Tzatziki dip is usually my top pick.
I also enjoy serving tiropita with main dishes like sfougato (zucchini quiche), chicken chasseur, or even creamy homemade tomato soup. If what you’re eating would go well with a crispy, cheesy side dish, then tiropita might be just the thing!
How to Store and Reheat Extras
Allow your tiropita triangles to cool completely, then transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat them, warm your oven to 350 degrees and bake the triangles for 5-10 minutes. I don’t recommend microwaving these as the phyllo will become soggy.
Can I Freeze These?
Absolutely! Once the triangles have cooled completely, wrap each one in saran wrap to prevent freezer burn and place them in an airtight, freezer-safe container. They will keep for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to enjoy the Tiropita cheese pies, thaw them overnight in your refrigerator. Heat your oven to 350, and warm them for 5-10 minutes.Print
Tiropita Cheese Pies with Homemade Phyllo
These cheesy hand pies are made with homemade phyllo dough stuffed with feta and Pecorino cheese.
- Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
- Yield: 30-35 Triangles
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Greek
For the cheese filling:
- 3 cups feta cheese, crumbled
- 2/3 cup pecorino cheese, grated
- 3 tablespoon Greek yogurt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the phyllo dough:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 2/3 cup lukewarm water
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 egg yolk for brushing
Make the Phyllo Dough
Make the dough. In a large bowl, add flour, water, olive oil, white vinegar, and salt and stir to mix.
Knead. Move the dough to a clean working surface and start kneading with your hands until the dough is nice and elastic (about 5 minutes).
Allow to rise. Transfer the dough to a bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen towel for about 1 hour.
Make the Cheese Filling
Mix it up. In a large bowl, mix together all filling ingredients until combined. (How’s that for easy?)
Assemble and Bake
Prep your tools. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roll out the dough. On a lightly floured surface, gently start rolling the dough in a rectangular shape until paper-thin thickness. Stretch the dough using your hands as you go, trying not to make any holes in the dough.
Shape the dough. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough every 2-2.5 inches and divide it into 6-7 strips.
Assemble the tiropita triangles. Place one teaspoon of cheese mixture at the end of each strip and fold over the corner to make a triangle. Continue folding from side to side until you get to the end of the strip. Place the triangles on the previously prepared baking sheets.
Bake. Brush the triangles with the beaten egg yolk. Put them in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
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Keywords: tiropita, homemade phyllo dough, phyllo dough recipes
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