Dessert

Spinach Fatayer (Lebanese Spinach Pies)

Savoury, tangy, & perfectly handheld, these Spinach Fatayers are the perfect snack! Chopped spinach & caramelized onions are tossed with pomegranate molasses, lemon, & walnuts. Then layered in between silky dough & baked into golden-browned goodness. Best served warmed & they’re perfect for feeding a crowd!

lebanese spinach pie on a decorative blue platter with a garnishes of parsley

These delicious Spinach Fatayers are one the most beloved pies of the Levant region. They’re the most delicious parcels jam-packed with feel-good ingredients. Each pie is filled with a mixture of spinach, caramelized onion, walnuts, tart pomegranate molasses, sumac (the magical ingredient!), lemon juice, and a dash of Aleppo pepper or cayenne for a bit of heat.

They can be made in various sizes, and they’re perfect as a light meal or side dish⏤it’s a complete meal in your hand.

Fatayers and Manakish are typically served at breakfast, or as part of a meze spread. They’re a delicious snack for kids or light with dinner. I usually make a big batch of fatayers and freeze them, so they’re always on hand⏤ just pull out whenever they’re needed.

Why you’ll love this Fatayer recipe!

There are no shortages for spinach fatayer recipes on the internet; however, I’m going to be BOLD and say my spinach fatayer recipe is the best tasting one on the internet!

  • EASY TO MAKE. You make them using simple pantry ingredients (most of which is may already be in your pantry!), and they’re effortless to make once you get the hang of shaping the parcels.
  • SERIOUSLY FLAVORFUL. These fatayers have the perfect balance of flavour. They get their signature Arab flavour from the classic combination of pomegranate molasses & sumac, but the addition of a good ol’ walnut adds irresistible crunch while a generous amount of caramelized adds a sweet creaminess. They are so good.
  • A TOTAL CROWD-PLEASER! These Baked hand-sized parcels are perfect for feeding a crowd of 4-6, thus making them the best side dishes for gatherings!

How to make the best fatayer dough

The secret to the best fatayer dough is adding oil to the flour first! This trick will result in the perfect dough for any fayater recipe; it’s ideal for holding its shape and giving them just the right amount of pillowy yet flaky must-have texture.

However, this dough isn’t good for pizza unless you’re making mini pizza, so only use this method for fatayers.

How you make the dough

  1. Add the oil to the flour and mix well. You’ll know the oil is well incorporated when the flour holds its shape after pressing it.
  2. Add the yeast, sugar, salt and warm water and knead until soft. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and set aside for 30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes, weigh a 50gr piece of dough on a scale, roll into balls set on an oiled baking sheet, and cover until ready to use.

How to make the filling for spinach fatayers

  1. Start with a kilo of fresh spinach, sprinkle on some salt and give it a message. I know it looks like it’s a lot of spinach but as you can see from the picture it will break down into a small amount.
  2. Saute your onions until golden, then add the garlic and remove from heat. Let them cool off before adding to the spinach, so they don’t cook the spinach.
  3. Then add all of the other ingredients and mix well!

how to seal the fatayers?

Don’t be imitated by the folding technique used for making these Fatayers, it’s very simple to do with a little bit of practice.

  1. Weight the dough to 50g, then roll the dough until the round and even
  2. Place 2 heaping tablespoon of filling on the dough.
  3. Bring up two sides of the circle to meet at the top, slightly off centre, then press down the edges to make a seam.
  4. Then bring up the other side to form a triangle.
  5. Pinch all sides really well to ensure it is secure and tightly sealed

Tips for the best fatayer

  • Make sure the spinach is really dry before adding the rest of the filling ingredients.
  • Avoid the filling from touching the edges of the dough before sealing the fatayers.
  • If your fayaters are always breaking open during cooking, then preheat the oven by heating the boiler and place the uncooked fatayer in on a rack close to the source of heat. Bake for 5 minutes then reduce the heat to 400ºF and move the fayaters to a lower rack. continue cooking until the bottoms are golden.
close up of lebanese spinach pies (spinach fatayer)

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lebanese spinach pie on a decorative blue platter with a garnishes of parsley

Spinach Fatayer (Lebanese spinach pies)

These delicious parcels are jam-packed with feel-good ingredients like spinach, onions, lemon, and walnuts⏤it’s a complete meal in your hand. With one bite you’ll agree this is the best spinach fatayer recipe on the internet.

Prep Time 30 mins

Cook Time 15 mins

Dough Resting Time 30 mins

Ingredients  

  • 1 LB fresh chopped spinach (500g)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (60 ml)
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses (optional)
  • 2 tbsp sumac
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup walnuts chopped (optional)

Fatyer dough

  • 3 cups All-purpose flour
  • tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup Olive oil
  • 1 cup warm water

Instructions 

Fatayer Dough

  • Place the flour in a large bowl, then pour the olive oil onto the flour. Mix the oil and flour together until the flour holds a shape. When you press the flour in your palm, it’ll stay the same shape.

  • Add the yeast, sugar and salt then mix. Once mixed add the water and knead until the dough is soft and silky. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes.

Spinach Filling

  • Add the chopped spinach to a large bowl, and add the salt. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, start the onions.

  • Heat a large frying pan on medium-high. Add the olive oil, onions, and 1 tsp of salt⏤saute until golden and soft. Remove from heat, add the garlic, stir, and then set aside until cool.

  • Meanwhile, go back to the spinach: Message the spinach until all the water comes out. Then drain the water. (It’s essential to get the spinach as dry as possible or the parcels will burst open well cooking.)

  • Once the spinach as been drained add the cooked onions, sumac, pomergranate molasses, lemon and salt. Mix well, set aside

Assembling the pies

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF and place the oven rack in the middle. Prepare baking sheets with a light coating of oil.

  • There are a few different ways to make the dough shell. However, I prefer to weigh the dough with a scale, and this is my recommended method for prefect looking pies.

  • Break off a piece of the dough and weigh it on the scale to 50g. Once the dough is 50g roll it into balls, then set the dough balls onto your oiled baking sheet, and cover. Continue this step until all the dough is weighed and rolled into balls.

  • Roll out the dough ball to a 5-inch circle. Place about 2 tablespoons of filling in the middle. Bring two sides together and pinch the edges to seal. Bring the third side up (it will look like a triangle) and pinch the sides to seal the dough. Place the pie onto one of your prepared baking sheets and cover. Continue this step with each pie.
  • Once all of the fatayers are ready for baking; Use a pastry brush, and brush all the fatayers with a bit of oil right before putting them into the oven. 

  • Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or a room temperature.

Notes

Pomegranate molasses and Sumac are traditional flavour profiles in this recipe; I don’t recommend leaving them out. However, if you don’t have access to these ingredients, still feel free to try the recipe.  
Storage: 
Leftover spinach fatayer can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about 1 week (I have to admit mine have never lasted longer than three days before I’ve eaten them all or I’ve given them to friends).
You can freeze the cooked pies for up to 3 months. Let the fatayers completely cool before freezing. 
 

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