24 May

Spinach Fatayer

Spinach Fatayer

Last night I decided it would be a good idea to make spinach fatayer. Fatayer is a Lebanese turnover that is usually stuffed with meat or spinach and sometimes cheese. The spinach are by far my favourite.

I don’t make these very often because:

1) They take a hell of a lot of time. – I started at 8:00 and the fatayer were done and the kitchen was clean at 10:30. The last batch was extremely sloppy and I was practically falling asleep while I worked on it.

2) My aunt’s fatayer are always better. – Always.

Spinach Fatayer


But, I had a craving and my cravings hardly go unacknowledged so it was well worth the time and effort. And, this time around they turned out pretty damn good, I must say. Matt and I are chomping through half the batch (the ugly half) and the rest I tossed in the freezer to be defrosted for a potluck party we’re hosting this weekend. They make kickass appetizers or snacks.

Spinach Fatayer

I used a recipe from Joumana at Taste of Beirut and took her advice to roll out the dough very thin. I’m used to eating fatayer that are doughy but I really liked how thin the dough in this version; it really made the tart spinach filling stand out (although, with my long nails, it was a bitch to work with).

I don’t think I got my dough quite as thin as Joumana’s, but I still liked the result.

Spinach Fatayer

Spinach Fatayer

From Taste of Beirut; Makes ~50



5 cups All Purpose Flour
1 T dry yeast
1 T sugar
1 T salt
3/4 cup oil (canola, or olive oil)
1 1/2 cups water


2 lb of frozen chopped spinach
1 large white onion
1/4 cup sumac
1 t paprika
pinch of cayenne
1 T salt
1/2 t black pepper

1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 T pomegranate molasses


Combine the yeast with 3/4 cup of the warm water and the 1 T sugar to proof. Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix the oil and remaining water with the flour.  When the yeast has bubbled, add it to the flour mixture. Knead the dough on a floured surface until it is as smooth and soft (about 5-6 minutes by hand). Let it proof until it has doubled in size, while you mix the stuffing.

  1. Defrost and thaw out the spinach. Place them in a colander and squeeze them out very thoroughly. You want the spinach very dry.
  2. Finely chop the onions and place them in a bowl with the spinach. Add the spices.
  3. In a separate small bowl combine the olive oil, lemon juices and pomegranate molasses. Pour this dressing onto the spinach mixture a little at a time until the spinach is just moistened (too much and the turnovers will open when baking).
  4. Now back to the dough. Working with half of the dough at a time, roll the dough very thin on a greased counter 1/16” thick (no more than 1/8” thick). Using a 4” cookie cutter, cut the rolled out dough into rounds. Place about one tablespoon of stuffing on each fatayer.
  5. Lift the fatayer and pinch 2 ends first and then the third to form a pyramid.
  6. Place them on cookie sheets and bake them for 18 minutes in a preheated oven at 350F until the top and bottoms are golden.
  7. Cool and eat at room temperature or slightly warm. (I like to put them in the toaster oven if I eat them the next day) These freeze really well.

Spinach Fatayer

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8 thoughts on “Spinach Fatayer

  1. These look so good! And I bet an easy version would be to use some dough like Pillsbury Crescent rolls instead of making your own. Of course that is probably blasphamy, but it could make a quick and easy weeknight meal!

    • That could be really good! It would taste completely different because the crescent rolls are more buttery and flaky than the dough used here, but I bet that would taste awesome! Good idea

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  3. Made these all the time in high school ’74 with my dear friend and her mother. We did use crescent roll dough to make them quick and easy and they were delightful. My friend’s mother was lebanese and we were always enjoying the food and culture in her home and with her family. Recently saw these in a picture and realized these were a traditional food. I love to make hummus, baba ganoush, shish taouk, toum, fatuosh, tomato and onion salad and more for a lebanese feast and now will add these to my menu. I forgot how much I loved these. Just remember not being able to stop eating them once we started!

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