Tyropites (Greek Cheese Pies)

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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.

Tyropites (Greek Cheese Pies)

  • 20 minutes
  • 30 minutes
  • 25-30 pies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb.  crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 lb. myzithra cheese
  • 3-4 Tbsp. chopped dill
  • 1-2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • salt (if necessary) and pepper
  • 1 package (1 lb.) phyllo dough (thawed, if frozen)
  • 1/3 cup  unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (you can replace this with more butter if you prefer)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the cheeses, herbs, eggs, salt (if necessary - taste  your cheese first), and pepper.
  3. Melt the butter and olive oil in a saucepan and keep warm.  Brush a layer of the mixture onto your baking sheet(s).
  4. Lay one sheet of phyllo on your work surface, brush with the butter/oil mixture, and then lay another sheet of phyllo on top.  Continue to do this until you have layered 4 sheets.
  5. Cut the phyllo in 3 long strips (adjust this if you've purchased the larger sheets of phyllo dough, if you want bigger triangles, etc.).  Place about a tablespoon of the filling at the bottom of each strip.  Fold the portion with the filling to the left (or right) so you form a triangle.  Then fold the piece upward, and then fold in the opposite direction of  your first fold (right or left).  Continue to do this until  you've used up the entire strip of phyllo.  Place on your greased baking sheet and brush the top with a little of the butter/oil mixture.  Do this for the remaining pies.
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden and crispy.
Elly Says Opa

  • tcmaryf

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

  • 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.

  • 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.
    Magda

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

  • 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.

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

  • I love this treat! Looks yummy!

  • 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

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

  • it’s Turkish muska borek..not Greek..

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

  • 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

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

  • Be still my heart!

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

  • 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.

  • 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

    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

      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

    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

      So glad you liked them, Brandi!

  • 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…