Tyropites (Greek Cheese Pies)

November 15, 2010 · 22 comments

in appetizers and snacks,greek,vegetarian

This week, you will undoubtedly be seeing Thanksgiving recipe upon Thanksgiving recipe posted on food blogs.  Well, here’s mine.

This may not be your traditional Thanksgiving fare, but it certainly is mine.  Tyropites, or cheese pies, are a staple at my family’s Thanksgiving (and, truly, every other big dinner).  There are plates upon plates of them for appetizers–which gets a little dangerous considering I always overeat (and I usually don’t let my overeating affect what I consume for dinner, sadly).  Tyropites are very similar to spanakopites (spinach pies) but they lack the spinach component.  Feta is the predominant cheese, and some only use feta while others use a combination of cheeses.  Dill is often added and sometimes parsley too (at least in my version).

Tyropites can be made with butter or olive oil.  Butter is quite tasty, but olive oil is a healthier option.   I love me some all-butter tyropites but I acquiesce and do a half-and-half combo, which is a great compromise.  I also use a teeny bit less fat than the standard 1 cup.

If you can’t find myzithra, there are plenty of things you can do.  One would be to just up the amount of feta a bit and forget the  myzithra altogether.  The other would be to use something like pecorino romano.  You could also use a softer cheese, like cream cheese or ricotta (or a combo of ricotta and romano for probably the closest in terms of both taste and texture).  Also, considering cheese is obviously the star of these beauties, you want to use a good cheese.  I would definitely recommend going to a local ethnic store to get good quality feta, over that not-so-good package of feta they sell with the other cheeses in the grocery store.

These freeze great, both baked & unbaked.

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

tcmaryf November 15, 2010 at 3:49 pm

One of my very fav things, love it. Thnx for sharing


Peter November 15, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Elly, these area always big crowd pleasers, be it Greek or not. I have a tray in the freezer…bake in case of an emergency.


My Little Expat Kitchen November 15, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Well, what can one say about tyropitakia. I have eaten so many in my life together with spanakopitakia and loukanikopitakia. I always make them with feta and dill.


Maria November 15, 2010 at 5:52 pm

These are definitely great to assemble and freeze in order to have on hand any time you wish. I do love my tyropitakia!!


Banana Wonder November 15, 2010 at 8:11 pm

I’ve never put myzthira in my tyropites and I have no idea why. I should. Spanakopites are a Thanksgiving tradition at my house – my American mom makes them better than any Greek granny, no doubt! I agree with you on the butter – I do the oil-butter combo a lot too. Rar high five.


bellini November 15, 2010 at 9:08 pm

I do love these little pies Elly. I wish it was my family tradition to have them all all special occasions.


Cherine November 16, 2010 at 2:44 am

I love this treat! Looks yummy!


Rosemary@Sprigs of Rosemary November 16, 2010 at 6:52 am

I think I should have been born into a Greek family! I would love holiday dinners or any family celebration that had these pies all the time!


brannyboilsover November 16, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Great pics, Elly!
I’m serving spanakopita appetizers at my Tday dinner :-p


zarpandit November 16, 2010 at 1:07 pm

it’s Turkish muska borek..not Greek..


elly November 16, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Many ethnicities have a dish similar to this. There is no definitive or sole culture with it. This version is, indeed, Greek.


vanillasugar November 16, 2010 at 7:44 pm

man those sound good. never had those before. and i won’t be having traditional thanksgiving recipes on my blog either. kind of boring UNLESS we stuff it all in a sammich and then deep fry it! lol


Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul November 17, 2010 at 4:51 pm

These little classics are always a sure fire winner when entertaining. I’m sure many will be consumed during Thanksgiving celebrations.


Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen November 19, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Be still my heart!


clare November 21, 2010 at 1:56 am

we just got back from greece and i will definitely be making these soon to remind us of our wonderful trip!


planetbyn November 24, 2010 at 9:56 pm

hi elly! i made some spanakopita tonight with phyllo and i used olive oil instead of butter because i read about it in this post…it had never occured to me to do this before! a great alternative.


Mark November 30, 2010 at 7:41 am

Nice recipe, I just wanted to say that typically the tyropitakia are fried small cheese pies while tyropites are baked. Tyropitakia tend to be heavier in calories, and so I use paper towels to dry them from excessive oil at the end.

You could reduce the butter/oil quantities as long you have a good brush tool it can do the job.


Tatum December 6, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Can you PLEASE recommend a kreatopita/kreatopitakia recipe??!! I found one a few years ago that I made a few times that year (mostly because friends kept requesting them along with halloumi tyropites) but lost the recipe and haven’t quite been able to imitate it since. THANK YOU!


elly December 7, 2012 at 10:46 am

tatum, this is something on my to-make list, but I haven’t officially developed a recipe for it yet. Hopefully soon. I’m pretty sure Ivy at Kopiaste has one posted, though, so check her blog out!


Brandi February 19, 2013 at 5:55 pm

These were delicious; just like I remembered them from Heraklion.

I cut the phyllo sheets into 4 strips and only layered two before cutting. I then used a single T of filling on each before rolling. It was perfectly the right amount of filling. Amazing and delicious.


elly February 19, 2013 at 7:58 pm

So glad you liked them, Brandi!


Louisa November 20, 2013 at 5:50 pm

These are my favorite! I love that there are so many ways to adjust the filling. We always make them with butter, and mix the feta with cottage cheese and cream cheese. I should try adding some herbs…


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