Tiropita Greek Cheese Feta Pie
This Tiropita Greek Cheese Feta Pie is a childhood favorite! It’s made of a blend of creamy cheeses and wrapped in crispy layers of golden filo pastry!
This recipe holds a special place in my heart, because as a child, my Yiayia would make this a lot. It’s super tasty, surprisingly easy to make and looks awesome! The cheese filling is salty and creamy and unlike my Yiayia who made her own phyllo pastry, I used store bought which is super thin, buttery and crispy. Look, we don’t all have time to make our own pastry, so at a pinch store-bought works! But if you want to learn how to make your own, check out my Spanakopita recipe which is just as delicious and packed full of yummy spinach.
Apart from this Tiropita being a cheese lovers dream, it’s actually really fun to make and looks impressive too. It’s perfect for family get togethers, easy to make ahead of time, freeze and reheat which makes it a great work lunch option too!
Let’s talk cheese!
The best thing about this Greek cheese pie is the cheesy filling and that crispy, buttery pastry! Like most Greek recipes, every Greek will make there’s a little different. Some will layer it like this spanakopita, some make it in a snail style like this recipe! When it comes to the filling, the same cheeses are generally used.
- Feta: this is where all the saltiness comes from! I would recommend using Greek feta. Australian feta is way too salty and Danish feta is too soft. Because this cheese is so salty, the filling needs to added salt to it.
- Graviera: is a slightly sweet Greek cheese, different to kefalograviera which is salty. If you can’t find graviera, use more feta.
- Ricotta: is what gives the cheese filling a delicious creaminess. Make sure the ricotta you use is fresh and already strained. Ricotta that still has it’s liquid in it will not work for this recipe.
What pastry to use with Tiropita
This classic Greek cheese pie is typically made using phyllo pastry. You can either make your own, like I did in this spanakopita recipe, or use store bought phyllo pastry which is very thin. What’s the difference though?
Home-made: is surprisingly easy to make, it just isn’t as quick and convenient as using store bought. You still get nice layers of phyllo, but the pastry is thicker than store bought. The pastry is also made with olive oil rather than butter.
Store bought phyllo: this can either be found in the fridge or freezer section of your supermarket. It can also be found in specialty Greek and European delis/supermarkets. This pastry is very very thin and when brushed with butter becomes crispy in the oven which contrasts nicely with the soft cheese filling. Phyllo pastry needs to be thawed completely if you bought it frozen. Thaw completely in the fridge overnight.
Ingredients You Need To Make Tiropita
Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.
- Butter – I used salted butter to sauté the leek instead of seasoning it.
- Leek – this is kind of like an onion in flavor. You only want to slice up the white part of the leek. The green part is very tough and woody.
- Filo Pastry / Phyllo Pastry – this is a paper-thin pastry which when baked with some butter brushed in between comes out perfectly golden and crispy. The true secret to keeping it crispy in a syrup-based dessert like this is to pour on cold syrup onto a hot dessert. Filo pastry can be found in the fridge section of your supermarket, but it can also be sold in the freezer section. If buying frozen pastry, let it thaw in the fridge overnight. Don’t thaw in a warm spot to speed things up otherwise it will make the pastry brittle and dry. Be delicate when handling it as it can rip easily.
- Clarified butter – this is butter that has been melted with the water and milk solids cooked out. It’s very easy to make and I have an entire blog post dedicated to it!
- Feta cheese – this is where all the saltiness in the pie comes from! I used Greek feta. Danish will not work.
- Ricotta – you want to use strained ricotta cheese for this recipe, meaning ricotta that has most of its water content strained out. You can buy it ready strained from most supermarkets, it’s sold in plastic baskets, I would recommend buying from a reputable cheese shop for the best flavor results. It’s often cheaper and fresher than what supermarkets will try to sell as fresh to their customers.
- Graviera Cheese – is a Greek cheese which is very salty. If you can’t find it, replace it with more feta, or for a less salty filling, replace it with ricotta.
- Eggs – I used large eggs.
- Mint – this helps add a little bit of flavor that breaks through the salty cheeses.
- Sesame seeds – I used white and black sesame seeds for this pie. I love the flavor and visual flair they give it!
How to make Tiropita!
- Use only the white part of the leek
- Slice up thinly
- Sauté with butter (do not brown!)
- Add to a bowl with remaining filling ingredients
- Mix until well combined.
- Brush 23cm round tin or square (doesn’t really matter)
- Brush half of each sheet of pastry (work with one sheet at a time) with clarified butter.
- Fill with a log of filling
- Roll up
- Begin spiraling your logs from the outside
- Working inward until it’s all filled.
- Brush with more clarified butter
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds
- Bake until golden!
Tips and Tricks For Recipe Success!
- Phyllo pastry dries quickly! When you’re rolling up your pastry, work with one sheet at a time, and cover the rest with a clean tea towel as you’re rolling.
- If you bought frozen pastry, let it thaw completely in the fridge before using.
- Brush your Tiropita with clarified butter to avoid burn marks from regular melted butter which has milk solids in it that burn in the oven.
- Be generous when brushing the top of the Tiropita.
- Allow your Tiropita to cool for 10 minutes before slicing up.
- Make sure you use strained ricotta. The fresh ricotta that is still in liquid will not work for this recipe. To strain your own ricotta, place a piece of paper towel in a sieve and then pour in the cheese. Allow to strain in a bowl overnight, in the fridge.
Frequently Asked Questions about Tiropita
What does it taste like?
Tiropita is salty, buttery and crispy! It’s cheesy, has a slight hint of mint and it’s delightfully creamy.
How do I store this?
Store your Tiropita by wrapping tightly in plastic wrap and either chilling in the fridge for 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. To reheat, place in the oven on 180C/355F until heated through.
What can I serve with Tiropita?
Tiropita makes a great on the go lunch or snack so it’s great on its own. But if you want to make a meal of it, salad goes really well with it. You can even just slice up a bit of fresh cucumber and capsicum on the side, drizzled with some vinaigrette.
More delicious pie and greek recipes!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @thescranline on Facebook and Instagram!
Tiropita Greek Cheese Feta Pie
- 1 tbsp salted butter
- 1 leek white part only, finely chopped
- 300 g (300 g) filo pastry see notes
- 1 cup (250 ml) clarified butter (ghee)
- 300 g (300 g) feta cheese crumbled (see notes)
- 500 g (500) ricotta strained well (see notes)
- 100 g (100 g) graviera cheese grated
- 3 eggs
- 3 tbsp fresh mint finely chopped)
- Cracked pepper
- Sesame seeds to garnish
- Nigella seeds to garnish
- In a large skillet, add butter and melt. Add the leek and sauté on medium heat (do not let it brown) until softened, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Preheat a fan-forced oven to 170C/ 340F (180/355F for no fan). Brush a 32cm round baking tin or oven safe frypan with melted ghee until well coated. Set aside.
- To a large mixing bowl add the leek, feta, ricotta, graviera, eggs, mint and pepper and mix until well combined. Add the filling to a piping bag (optional)
- Lay out one sheet of phyllo/filo pastry on your workbench with the longest side facing you. Pipe or lay out a log of filling along the longest side, then lightly brush the rest of the pastry with butter and roll into a log.
- Add it to your prepare baking tin, starting around the outside first. Continue rolling your filo until you’ve formed a snail and filled your baking tin.
- Brush the top with ghee and sprinkle with sesame seeds and nigella seeds. Bake in the middle rack of your oven for 75 minutes, or until it reaches a deep golden color. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing into wedges and serving.