First produced in what is now Turkey, the term ‘borek’ refers to any filo-based pastry and has a seemingly inexhaustible number of variations across regions formerly part of the Ottoman Empire. So simple and quick to make are borek that it is easy to see why they have become popular across a large area. This recipe for Feta and Spinach Borek is, in particular, very speedy, with the flavour of the ingredients being allowed to speak for themselves. Of course, more intricate combinations may be attempted, but it seems a shame to over-complicate such an effortless treat.
Though these borek are baked, it is also acceptable and perhaps more common to deep fry them. My personal preference is for filo to be as light, airy and healthy as possible so I tend to eschew using too much oil. However, the first borek I ever had at Bestival, a music festival on the Isle of Wight, were certainly fried and turned out absolutely divine. So, if you’re confident in your filo wrapping technique – fry away!
My main point of difficulty when deciding to develop a recipe for spinach and feta borek was whether to make my own filo or speed proceedings up and buy some from the shop. Usually, I’m a staunch advocate of making everything at home, but when even professional chefs in high-quality restaurants buy filo – it just eats up so much time – my faith wavers. So after consultation with followers, I decided to purchase pre-made filo. I apologise if you feel that this isn’t particularly frugal, but pre-rolled pastry is often on sale for £1 per pack*.
*Don’t you dare buy pre-made shortcrust pastry.
Feta and Spinach Borek
8 20cm squares of filo pastry
250g feta cheese
100g fresh spinach
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp olive oil
Quickly blanch the spinach by adding it to boiling water in a large bowl for 1 minute. Squeeze any excess liquid from the leaves and roughly chop.
Place the prepared spinach, feta and beaten eggs in a large mixing bowl and whisk until relatively smooth.
For each borek you’ll need two squares of filo pastry. Place one on top of the other – misaligned – so each corner is pointing in a different direction. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C(fan).
Spoon ¼ of the feta mixture into the centre of each unformed parcel. Fold in the corners of the first filo sheet, followed by the second. Repeat this process for each parcel and brush gently with olive oil.
Transfer the uncooked borek to a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Serve immediately or refrigerate and consume within 1-2 days.
Cost: Despite buying filo from the shop, these borek are so simple they can only be inexpensive. Indeed, feta and spinach are both cost-effective ingredients, particularly as they have fantastic flavour that needn’t be supported. As such, this recipe will set you back no more than around £3.50.
46 replies on “Feta and Spinach Borek”
Looks good! But I’m afraid for me, it needs a little spring onion and dill, à la spanakopitta.
Well, that’s entirely your decision – add whatever you wish. Thanks!
I won’t judge you for buying the dough! These look fantastic 🙂
Phew, and thank you!
Wow! They look easy! I will have to try it!
Very easy! Please do, Arthur.
These look delicious!
Thank you, Cheri!
I could eat an entire plate of these – spinach and feta is one of my favourite combinations!
Mine too – always so delicious, especially with a nice tangy feta.
Yum! Making fried cigar shaped borek is on my to do list – these pics have made me think I should do it sooner rather than later. Nice work! And of course no one makes their own filo…do they?!
Yes, sooner! I’ll be trying the cigar shaped ones at some point. I think some righteous people do 😀
Looks delicious! I can never think of borek though, without remembering Steve ruining a brand new shirt eating one at a market in Southern France. Clearly it was a deep fried one. 🙂
Clearly! Bet it was a delicious though…
I agree about always making your own shortcrust pastry. I’d like to try making my own filo just once as an experiment but so far I’ve always just bought it. I think it would be very difficult to get it just as light and thin as the shop-bought stuff.
I will make it myself at some point, but I agree – much simpler this way.
Really, my most favorite things on earth, ever. Similar to spinakopita and some similar middle eastern spinach + cheese pie. Drooling. Love.
Thanks – they’re swiftly becoming my favourite too.
These sound great, and really easy. Do you think frozen spinach would work?
Thank you – frozen spinach would be perfect I reckon!
Great — I hope to try it soon.
Let me know when you do 🙂
Very, very, nice Nick. Lovely light in pretty all your posts. I am driven demented with the mix of natural light at prep time and artificial at serving time. How do you do it?
Thank you, Conor! I guess I’m just lucky and I shoot right by a window. Oh also, magic editing. Plus, I never shoot in the evening – always in the day. At least in winter…
My problem is I start out in the day and end up in the evening. Perhaps I need to start feeding them lunch instead of dinner?
It’s the only answer…
The first time I had Borek was on a holiday in Croatia. I still remember the moment my teeth bit through that flaky pastry and the combination of salty cheese and delicate spinach hit me. Yum! Fabulous recipe!
Fantastic – great memories. I have similar ones of my first experience. So glad you like the recipe!
I love your blog so I have nominated your blog for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. Congratulations!
I used to make courgette boreks a long time ago, but it was a real faff. This sounds a lot simpler.
Regarding the whole shortcrust pastry thing: am I allowed to make my own and use that instead of filo pastry?
Hmm – how do courgette boreks work? I’m intrigued and interested… You could try – I’ve never tried shortcrust borek. IF you do, let me know!
Grate the courgettes then drain them (which is the fiddly bit) otherwise you get very soggy boreks! I remember making the flour with yoghurt, but it’s been years since I last made them so I could be wrong!
I’m going to try something similar soon – I’ll just squeeze the courgettes in a towel until reasonably dry… Thank, Brian.
Let me know how you get on!
I think you’ll see :D.
we do it in Albania too, a very delicious one actually;)
What fillings do you use?
we use different ones, spinach is one of the most loved ones.some do it spinach-onions, some do it with spinach-cheese /cottage cheese.but i like the first combination best.other fillings can be a tomato onion (also chopped meat we use while making meatballs can be included), potato filling, cheese filling, leek filling , cabbage filling , navy beans dish filling and so on..it may vary the way you want.
did you know that in Turkey Albanian pie is very popular it`s called `Arnavut boregi` 😉 also the Bosnian one is very popular there:) Turkish people like these versions better than theirs 😉
Looks so delicious 🙂
Thank you, they really were!
Those look delicious – and like something I could actually make.
Oh these are very simple – I’m sure you could make far more complicated food…
These look ridiculously good!
I ate FAR too many of them whilst in Cyprus!
I would, given half the chance…