Spinach Fatayer (Lebanese spinach pie)

4.98 from 47 votes
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A delicious and easy recipe for apinach fatayer – this is a delicious Lebanese spinach pastry filled with a spinach and sumac filling.

Opened Spinach Fatayer

Middle eastern food is in my blood and spinach fatayer is a dish I must have had hundreds, if not thousands, of times. Fatayer is a popular flaky pastry pie in the Middle East and can be filled in various ways: cheese, meat, and my personal favorite – spinach.

This Lebanese spinach pie is filled with a mixture of spinach, combined with onion, pine nuts, pomegranate molasses, and seasonings including salt, sumac (the magical ingredient), lemon juice, and optional cayenne (for a bit of heat). They can be made in a variety of sizes but are perfect as a snack or appetizer/side dish.

What’s even better is that this spinach pastry is a wonderful way to boost your spinach intake, which is excellent for boosting your immune system and for a variety of health benefits. If you want to read more about the various health benefits that spinach provides then you can check out my simple garlic sauteed spinach, where I talk about this further.

Baked Spinach Fatayer

I love to have these spinach pastries as a snack or a side along with some of my other favorite Lebanese food. I’ve even been known to dip them into some homemade labneh.

Tips to wonderful Fatayer Every Time

  • Although there are traditional fillings, feel free to experiment with these a bit. For example, with this spinach fatayer, you could add some crumbly feta cheese if wanted or something similar.
  • In terms of spices, the absolute “must-have” for the traditional flavor is the tangy, almost citrus-tasting sumac. Apart from that, a lot is left up to personal taste. I like to keep mine relatively simple. However, you could dress these up with some paprika, or even cayenne pepper (for heat).
  • When making the dough, the key is to roll it out as thin as you can. It may puff up slightly in the oven, so it’s good to compensate for this.
  • For this spinach pastry filling, in particular, it’s critical to get rid of as much of the moisture from the spinach before adding it to the pastry. The extra liquid can ruin the bake, and cause a ‘soggy bottom’ to the pies.
  • Make sure you add warm water to the dough mixture, which will help to feed the yeast.
Fresh spinach leaves

Additional Notes

  • Yes, these can be frozen once baked. I usually place them in an airtight container, with baking paper to separate the layers (so they don’t stick together). I’ve never tested the amount of time they can stay frozen as they’re usually all used within a month – but I would think 2-3 months would be fine. To reheat, just place in the oven at 350ºF/180ºC for 20-30 minutes (depending on the size of the pastry).
  • If you want a super quick ‘cheat’ for these, then you can use store-bought dough. It won’t be the same but can save valuable time if you’re in a hurry. I’ve tried this with shortcrust before, and pizza dough, with okay results – puff pastry or phyllo dough will have a very different final result (more like spinach puffs or greek spinach and cheese pastries).

The Ingredients

Ingredients for dough for Spinach Fatayer

For the Dough

  • Plain flour and dry yeast
  • Brown sugar and salt
  • Olive oil
  • Luke-warm water
Ingredients for Spinach Fatayer

For the Filling

  • Spinach
  • Sumac and salt
  • Pine nuts and olive oil
  • Red onion and lemon
  • Pomegranate molasses

Yields: 24 small pies or 12 medium ones 

How to Make Spinach Fatayer

Start by making the dough.

First, mix the dry ingredients, then add the warm water and oil and mix well.

Spinach Fatayer steps to making the dough

A slightly sticky, pliable dough will form. Knead this for 5-10 minutes, till soft and elastic.

Set aside in an oiled bowl and cover it with a tea towel or muslin cloth. Leave it to rest for 30 minutes in a warm location so that it can rise.

While the dough is resting, prepare the spinach mix.

Start by chopping the spinach finely.

Cutting spinach for Spinach Fatayer

Then move it to a bowl and sprinkle the salt on top. Set aside for 8-10 minutes to macerate – this will help the spinach to release its liquid content.

Chopped spinach and salt for Spinach Fatayer

Squeeze the spinach with clean hands, to remove as much of the liquid as possible.

Note: As you rub the spinach and squeeze it, it will wilt naturally. 

Meanwhile, finely chop the onions.

Then mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. At this point you can also add in any additional seasonings you may like, such as paprika or cayenne pepper.

Mixing the ingredients for Spinach Fatayer

Mix well.

Mixed ingredients for Spinach Fatayer

When the dough has doubled in size, it’s ready. It should be very fluffy and airy.

Risen dough for Spinach Fatayer

Now it’s time to roll out the dough as thin as you can. Between 2-4mm is best for this recipe.

Rolling dough for Spinach Fatayer

When you have a thin sheet of dough, you can cut it into circles.

To make smaller pies, just use a cup or a glass as a shape cutter (if you don’t have circular cutters).

Cutting circles from dough

Then add some of the spinach mix to each circle and fold in a triangular shape. Pinch it together carefully, so it doesn’t come loose in the oven.

If you want to make bigger pies, you can use a bowl or a plate to make the circles. Then add the spinach mixture and fold in a triangular shape.

Spinach Fatayer steps to making the pies

Brush each pie with some olive oil. Then arrange as a single layer on baking sheets and bake at 350ºF/175ºC (fan-assisted) for 30 minutes.

Spinach Fatayer in a baking tray

The spinach fatayers are ready when they turn golden brown and are heated through. You can enjoy them right away or at room temperature.

Baked Spinach Fatayer in a tray

Any leftover spinach fatayer can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for around a week (I have to admit mine have never lasted longer than three days before I’ve eaten them all, so I don’t know the exact amount of time). They can also be frozen for 2-3 months.

Other Middle Eastern Recipes You May Like

Even as a proud Lebanese food blogger, I haven’t posted a massive amount of traditional food to my blog. However, if you are wanting some more middle eastern inspired recipes then I definitely have some you may like. From these Veggie stuffed carrots, to these Lebanese Spicy Potatoes Batata Harra, or this modern twist on a classic Easy Rainbow Vegan Falafels (perfect for a Falafel wrap).

I also have recipes for some of my other favorite smaller side dishes and salads including Vegan “Moutabal” Aubergine DipTraditional Tabbouleh Salad (Tabouli Salad)Lebanese Hindbeh (Sauteed Dandelion Greens/Spinach) and Caramelized Onions, Simple Spinach Yogurt Dip (Borani), or Simple Traditional Lebanese Fattoush Salad. And more recently I’ve made Simple Lebanese Lentil Soup (Vegan Lentil Soup), Middle Eastern Vegan Chickpea Salad (Balela Salad), Green Bean Stew (Braised Green Beans), and Simple Maqluba (Upside-Down Layered Rice).

As always, if you try this recipe then, let me know. I’d love a rating or comment. You can also tag me in your recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie.

Spinach Fatayer (Lebanese spinach pie)

4.98 from 47 votes
By: Samira
A delicious and easy recipe for Spinach Fatayer – a delicious Lebanese spinach pastry filled with a spinach and sumac filling.
Perfect as a snack, side dish or appetizer and can be served hot or cold
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 
 

For the dough:

  • 4 cups white flour
  • 1.5 tsp dry yeast
  • 1.5 tsp brown sugar optional
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tBsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups water lukewarm

For the filling:

  • 14 ounces spinach
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tBsp pine nuts
  • 1 tBsp sumac
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tBsp Pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tBsp olive oil
  • 1 Large lemon

Instructions 

  • First, prepare the dough by mixing the dry ingredients and then adding the oil and water. 
  • Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until it becomes soft and elastic. 
  • Set aside in an oiled bowl and cover it with a tea towel or muslin cloth. Let it rest for 30 minutes, in a warm location (so it can rise).
  • While the dough is resting, chop the spinach.
  • Place it to a bowl and sprinkle salt on top then set aside for 8-10 minutes to macerate – this will help the spinach to release its liquid content.
  • Stir and squeeze the spinach with clean hands, to remove as much of the liquid as possible.
  • Chop the onions and mix with the remaining filling ingredients into the bowl of spinach.**
  • Roll the risen dough into a thin sheet (between 2-4mm is best). Then cut it in circles- using either a circle cutter or a glass/cup. 
  • Add some of the spinach mix to each circle (not too much as you need to be able to pinch the pastry closed) and fold in a triangular shape by pinch two sides together ad bringing the third bit up to the centre to pinch closed. (see images and video)
  • Brush each pie with some olive oil . Then arrange as a single layer on baking sheets and bake at 175ºC (Fan assisted) for 30 minutes. 
  • The spinach fatayers are ready when they turn golden brown and are heated through. You can enjoy them right away or at room temperature. 
                                     
    Any leftover spinach fatayer can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for around a week (I have to admit mine have never lasted longer than 3 days before I’ve eaten them all so I don’t know the exact amount of time) or be frozen for 2-3 months.

Video

Notes

* As you rub the spinach and squeeze it, it will wilt naturally. 
** At this point you can also add in any additional seasonings you may like, such as paprika or cayenne pepper. 

Tips to wonderful Fatayer Every Time:

  • Although there are traditional fillings, feel free to experiment with these a bit. For example, with this spinach fatayer, you could add some crumbly feta cheese if wanted or something similar. 
  • In terms of spices, the absolute ‘must-have’ for the traditional flavour is the tangy, almost citrus-tasting sumac. Apart from that, a lot is left up to personal flavour. I like to keep mine fairly simple. However, you could dress these up with some paprika, or even cayenne pepper ( for heat). 
  • When making the dough, the key is to roll it out as thin as you can. It may puff up slightly in the oven, so it’s good to compensate for this. 
  • For this spinach pastry filling, in particular, it’s critical to get rid of as much of the moisture from the spinach before adding it to the pastry. the extra liquid can ruin the bake, and cause a ‘soggy bottom’ to the pies. 

Additional Notes:

  • Yes, these can be frozen once baked. I usually place them in an airtight container, with baking paper to separate the layers ( so they don’t stick together). I’ve never tested the amount of time they can stay frozen as they’re usually all used within a month – but I would think 2-3 months would be fine. To reheat, just place in the oven at 180C (350F) for 20-30 minutes ( depending on the size of the pastry).
  • If you want a super quick ‘cheat’ for these, then you can use store-bought dough. It won’t be exactly the same but can save valuable time if you’re in a hurry. I’ve tried this with shortcrust before and pizza dough. Puff pastry or phyllo dough will have a very different final result ( more like spinach puffs or greek spinach and cheese pastries). 
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Lebanese

Nutrition

Serving: 4pies, Calories: 414kcal, Carbohydrates: 71g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 834mg, Potassium: 505mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 6203IU, Vitamin C: 20mg, Calcium: 82mg, Iron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating




40 Comments

      1. Hi there,
        No you can just mix all the dry ingredients for the dough together and then add the warm water and oil and mix well. Make sure to follow the correct steps from here on. I hope this helps 🙂

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve been craving tangy spinach fatayer for a while, so decided to try making my own and they were delicious! I’ve never made my own dough or cooked with dry yeast before, but this recipe was so simple and easy to follow. Thanks for posting! I’m definitely making this recipe again.

  2. 5 stars
    My boyfriend and me just tried this Fatayer recipe for dinner and are absolutely amazed with the results, Samira! We will definitely do them again very soon, Thank you so much for sharing!