The Southern Sympathy Cookbook

I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Greek Feta Parcels

Okay, I’ll admit.  I have fear of phyllo.  I love Greek food and pastries, but I am too afraid, or okay, too lazy to work with phyllo myself.  Clearing all that counterspace, brushing every layer with butter, covering with damp towels.  My few forays have been madly unsuccessful.  And messy.

Every year in Memphis there is a wonderful Greek food festival.  People line up for blocks to sample the mousakka, flaming cheese, pastitsio and of course the magnificent array of pastries made by the women of the church that puts on the fair.  They sell lovely frozen tiropita, delicate filo parcels filled with cheese, already frozen and ready to take home.  These are so popular that there is a limit on how may trays you can buy, and it is never enough.  I love those tiropitas, but my phyllophobia has prevented me from attempting to recreate them.  But I’ve come pretty close in this simple puff pastry parcel, with the feta cheese jazzed up to compensate for the lack of delicate phyllo.  So it’s a cheat’s method, but still pretty darn good.

These feta parcels are great alongside a bowl of soup, or you could make them in smaller sizes and serve as a nibble with drinks. 

Greek Feta Parcels

These parcels can be made hours ahead, covered with plastic wrap and kept in the fridge.  Brush on the egg wash only before baking.

1 box frozen puff pastry, thawed

2 (6-ounce) containers crumbled feta cheese

2 ½ Tablespoons chopped fresh dill

½ Tablespoon grated lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon ground sumac (optional)

Few grinds black pepper

2 eggs

Lightly flour a work surface and lay out your thawed pastry sheets.  Cut each sheet into 9 equal squares.

In a medium bowl, combine the feta, dill, lemon zest, sumac and pepper and toss to combine.  Add one egg and mash the filling together with a fork until you have a cohesive mixture.

Spoon the filling equally onto the squares of pastry.  I like to do this assembly line style, with all the pastry squares laid out so I can use all the filling, adding more to any skimpy ones.  Fold the pastry squares in half diagonally to make little triangles, then press the edges together with a fork to completely seal.  Poke the top of each pastry a few times with the tines of the fork.  Carefully transfer the parcels to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Mix the remaining egg and a teaspoon of water together and brush this egg wash lightly over the parcels.  Bake in the oven until brown and puffed, about 20 minutes.  Serve immediately.

 Makes 9

11 comments to Greek Feta Parcels

  • I had a fear or phyllo too … until this year. About 6 months ago I decided to give it a try and now I can’t stop! I just got done shooting the mini quiches in phyllo I made this morning because I had 1/2 a package leftover from my most recent Spanakopita frenzy. It’s not as difficult as I thought, although yes, it takes time and makes a giant mess. But the end result is too good to stop me from rolling up my sleeves now that I’ve had numerous successes. Phyllo is the new staple in my freezer.

    One day, when you’re bored and need a project, I’d highly recommend giving it a try. Uncooked phyllo treats reheat so beautifully too, so you can stock up on the deliciousness.

  • This sounds delicious. It’s a little difficult to work with but I might try this with filo dough!

  • flour power

    I remember a dreadful day trying to use filo to make spanikopita. Would the puff pastry work with that filling too?

  • admin

    I hope someday my spirit of adventure returns and I give phyllo another go!

  • admin

    Go for it! If you are not afraid of phyllo, this makes an excellent filling.

  • admin

    Sure, you could use puff pastry with spanakopita filling. Just roll it out a bit thinner, like in this recipe.

  • Simple but stunning. I love this. Its definitely going in my bookmarks.
    I love your blog by the way.
    *kisses* HH

  • I actually have the same fear lol! These look delightful I love spanakopita, but i’ve never tried to make it at home! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • […] Read the whole thing and get the recipe! […]

  • Dot

    Hi! this is a great idea! I linked to it in the spotlight on


  • Paul

    I used to live in Memphis for 14 plus years, I attended 10 Greek Festivals. it was alway a great time with dancing and fabulous food.

    The culture is nice and the food is fabulous! I miss Memphis for that.

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