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Spinach Fatayer Recipe

This Spinach Fatayer Recipe is one that I grew up eating. If you eat Lebanese food often you might also know it was Lebanese Spinach Turnovers. A spinach, feta and lemon juice mixture is baked inside dough to create a delicious vegetarian meal. These freeze great too! 

Spinach Fatayer Recipe in bowl.

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SPINACH FATAYER RECIPE

Today’s Lebanese Spinach Pie Recipe, or Fatayer Bi Sabanekh, is one I love making for many reasons.

First of all, it reminds me of childhood.

I grew up eating both this Spinach Fatayer Recipe and these Lebanese Meat Pies.

Spinach Fatayer is part of a traditional Lebanese meal in my family.

We usually paired them with hummus and pita, an easy Lebanese saladstuffed grape leaves and yogurt.

Spinach Fatayer are a nice vegetarian meal option that freezes well and works nicely for a large crowd.

When I make these I like to make a big batch, freeze half for later and use the other half throughout the week for lunch or dinner.

My kids go crazy for them too!

Spinach Fatayer Recipe in a bowl

WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN A SPINACH PIE RECIPE?

DOUGH: You can use a homemade dough or buy a store-bought dough to use in this recipe.

For super quick preparation I buy the Rhodes Roll Dough that is frozen and already portioned out into small rounds.

When you are ready to make your fatayer you will remove the dough and let it thaw and rise for 3 to 4 hours before making the spinach pies. 

SPINACH: You can use frozen or fresh spinach in this recipe.

If you use fresh spinach you will want to wash it and then sprinkle salt on the spinach and set aside for 15 minutes to let the spinach  macerate.

Then you squeeze as much water out of the spinach as possible before using. If you use frozen spinach you will squeeze as much water out of the spinach as possible before using. 

LEMON JUICE: I like to add lemon juice to the spinach mixture to give it a nice sweet, zesty flavor. 

FETA CHEESE: Feta is an addition I like in my spinach pies.

You can easily make them without the feta cheese if you want or try goat cheese. 

SPICES: Feel free to get creative with spices that go into the spinach mixture.

I like to add a small amount of salt and pepper and then sumac or za’atar. Feel free to get creative and experiment with your favorite spices. 

Spinach Fatayer Recipe with a napkin.

HOW DO YOU MAKE SPINACH FATAYER

PREPARE DOUGH: Place frozen dough in your refrigerator 6 to 12 hours before using. Dough will not rise, but will be thawed and ready to use. 

Spray two baking trays with non-stick spray. Lay out the dough on the tray if not using the frozen rolls and cover with a kitchen towl to rise for about 1 hour. When the dough has doubled in size form the dough into 2 inch round balls and make about 24 of them. Cover with kitchen towel for another 30 min to rise again.

If using the frozen roll dough place 24 of the frozen dough rolls on two of the baking sheets. Spray the top of the dough with non-stick spray and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough thaw and rise, which takes about 2 to 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

SAUTE GARLIC & ONION: In a medium skillet heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and saute for 2 to 3 minutes or until soft. Set aside. 

PREPARE THE SPINACH MIXTURE: if you are using fresh spinach, chop the spinach and put it in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. Set aside for 15 minutes to macerate the spinach. Use your hands to squeeze the spinach dry. If you are using frozen spinach you will also want to squeese the liquid out. Place in a large mixing bowl. Add the garlic and onion mixture, the sumac, salt and pepper and lemon juice, Mix well. 

PREPARE SPINACH PIES: Set out of a large cutting board or another work surface that has space to roll out the dough. Flour the surface your working on. Use a rolling pin to roll each dough round out so there are three sides.

FILL THE DOUGH: Fill each dough round with enough spinach mixture to fill the dough but leave room around the edges to close the spinach pie. Sprinkle a few pieces of feta cheese on top of the spinach mixture. 

Bring the three sides of the dough together to a point in the middle. Use your fingers to pinch the dough together and make sure they are closed completely. 

Spray the each spinach pie with a bit of olive oil or use a brush to brush them with olive oil

BAKE FATAYER: Bake for about 20 minutes, or until just golden brown. To get a nice golden brown on the edges you can turn the heat up to 450 the last 2 minutes of baking. 

Remove from oven and let cool for a couple of minutes. Serve warm or freeze for later.

Spinach Fatayer Recipe in a bowl.

WAYS TO MODIFY THIS SPINACH FATAYER RECIPE

SPICES: Change up the spices that are used. If you have a blend of spices you like try using that. Another idea is to use a shawarma seasoning or add za’atar. 

NUTS: You can add in sliced almonds in place of the pine nuts or walnuts. You also can just leave the nuts out if you don’t want to use them.

CHEESE: I really like the feta cheese but goat cheese can also work.

TOMATOES: Add some drained, diced tomatoes to the spinach mixture or tomato paste for a savory flavor.

HEAT: Spice up the ground beef mixture by adding additional cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper. You could also add chopped jalapeños into the beef mixture when you cook it.

POMEGRANATE MOLASSES: I love using pomegranate molasses in Mediterranean recipes. I use it in this Easy Arabic Salad and it adds a nice sweetness. It would be great in these meat pies. I suggest adding it in after cooking the ground beef.

Spinach Fatayer Recipe with tomatoes.

WHAT IS FATAYER?

Fatayer, Petaeer (Arabic: فطاير‎)is a meat pie that can alternatively be stuffed with spinach (Arabic: سبانخ‎), or cheese (Arabic: جبنه‎) such as Feta or Akkawi.

IS FATAYER HEALTHY?

Because of the Spinach Pie contains very high amounts of vitamin A and a considerable amount of vitamin C. Spinach also has iron and the feta cheese has calcium which makes it a nice healthy choice. 

HOW TO FREEZE FATAYER

These are great to freeze for later. I make a double batch so I have some for later.

Make sure you completely cool the spinach fatayer . Once cooled, wrap each individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This helps to prevent freezer burn but isn’t necessary if you don’t want to do this.

Place them in a freezer bag or freezer safe container.

These will last in the freezer for up to 3 months.

THAWING AND REHEATING:

When yo are ready to eat spinach fatayer you can thaw them in the fridge overnight. You then can slowly reheat them in the oven at 200 degrees until heated through, air fry them or microwave them.

Spinach Pie in a bowl

WHAT SHOULD I SERVE WITH LEBANESE SPINACH PIES?

I am all about simple salads to pair with spinach pies.

Here are a few I like along with some side dish options:

Fattoush : A healthy Middle Eastern Salad with a light, lemony vinaigrette dressing. This Fattoush Salad mixes crisp romaine, fresh vegetables, pita chips and a light lemony sumac dressing and is great with fresh farmers market vegetables.

Tabbouleh: Tabbouleh is a fresh, light salad mixing tomatoes, parsley, mint, green onions, bulgur wheat along with a light lemon olive oil dressing. A great side to any meal or a main dish for lunch!

Persian Cucumber Salad: Persian Tomato Cucumber Salad is a fresh, light salad mixing tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, jalapeño, fresh mint and parsley and topped with an olive oil lemon dressing.

Spicy Potatoes: Spicy Lebanese Potatoes are crisp on the outside, tender on the inside and will spice up any meal. The sauce on these potatoes is the star featuring coriander, paprika, cayenne pepper mixed with olive oil and lemon juice.

OTHER VEGETARIAN RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE:

MEDITERRANEAN BEAN SALAD

ROASTED VEGETABLE GOAT CHEESE FLATBREAD

GREEK PIZZA

SWEET POTATO BOWL

TABBOULEH STUFFED PEPPERS

FALAFEL WAFFLES

Spinach Fatayer Recipe in bowl.

Spinach Fatayer

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

This Spinach Fatayer is one that I grew up eating. If you eat Lebanese food often you might also know it was Spinach Fatayer. A spinach, feta and lemon juice mixture is baked inside dough to create a delicious vegetarian meal. These freeze great too! 

Ingredients

  • 1 package of dough or 1 package of Rhodes 36 count frozen dinner rolls
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sweet onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic coves, minced
  • 8 cups fresh spinach {or you can use 2 pounds of frozen, chopped spinach, drained}
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper {optional}
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 6 ounces of crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts, toasted {optional}

Instructions

  1. Place frozen dough in your refrigerator 6 to 12 hours before using. Dough will not rise, but will be thawed and ready to use.
  2. Spray two baking trays with non-stick spray. Lay out the dough on the tray if not using the frozen rolls and cover with a kitchen towel to rise for about 1 hour. When the dough has doubled in size form the dough into 2 inch round balls and make about 24 of them. Cover with kitchen towel for another 30 min to rise again.
  3. If using the frozen roll dough place 24 of the frozen dough rolls on two of the baking sheets. Spray the top of the dough with non-stick spray and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough thaw and rise, which takes about 2 to 3 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  5. In a medium skillet heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until soft. Set aside.
  6. To prepare the spinach mixture: if you are using fresh spinach, chop the spinach and put it in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. Set aside for 15 minutes to macerate the spinach. Use your hands to squeeze the spinach dry. If you are using frozen spinach you will also want to squeeze the liquid out. Place in a large mixing bowl. Add the garlic and onion mixture, the sumac, salt and pepper and lemon juice, Mix well.
  7. To prepare the spinach pies: Set out of a large cutting board or another work surface that has space to roll out the dough. Flour the surface your working on. Use a rolling pin to roll each dough round out so there are three sides.
  8. Fill each dough round with enough spinach mixture to fill the dough but leave room around the edges to close the spinach pie. Sprinkle a few pieces of feta cheese on top of the spinach along with the pine nuts or walnuts.
  9. Bring the three sides of the dough together to a point in the middle. Use your fingers to pinch the dough together and make sure they are closed completely.
  10. Spray the each spinach pie with a bit of olive oil or use a brush to brush them with olive oil.
  11. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until just golden brown. To get a nice golden brown on the edges you can turn the heat up to 450 the last 2 minutes of baking.
  12. Remove from oven and let cool for a couple of minutes. Serve warm or freeze for later.

Notes

HOW TO FREEZE FATAYER:

These are great to freeze for later. I make a double batch so I have some for later.

Make sure you completely cool the spinach fatayer . Once cooled, wrap each individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This helps to prevent freezer burn but isn't necessary if you don't want to do this.

Place them in a freezer bag or freezer safe container.

These will last in the freezer for up to 3 months.

THAWING AND REHEATING:

When yo are ready to eat spinach fatayer you can thaw them in the fridge overnight. You then can slowly reheat them in the oven at 200 degrees until heated through, air fry them or microwave them.

CommentLuv badge

Claudia Hobbs

Tuesday 5th of April 2022

Can pie crust dough or biscuits (rolled thinly) be used?

Julia

Tuesday 5th of April 2022

I haven't tried that but I bet using biscuits could work..

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