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5 Fabulous phyllo appetizer recipes

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Tasty, flaky, phyllo bites

If you're intimidated by those paper thin sheets of phyllo dough, we've got five appetizer recipes that will give you finger food confidence for your next cocktail party or multicourse dinner party. Using phyllo dough is easy and here are five appetizer recipes to prove it.

Fresh fig and goat cheese phyllo appetizer

Fresh fig and goat cheese phyllo triangles recipe

Figs and goat cheese are made for each other, especially when they are tucked in between light, flaky sheets of phyllo. Be sure to keep phyllo sheets covered with a damp towel until you're ready to use them; this will make them easier to handle and keep them from drying out.

Yields 30

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces goat cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 20 sheets phyllo dough
  • 15 fresh small figs, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Use your fingers to crumble goat cheese into a medium bowl. Add pecans and honey and mix well.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine goat cheese and walnuts, mixing well.
  4. Stack four sheets of phyllo on a cutting board, lightly brushing each sheet with oil. Use a sharp knife to cut stack into six squares. (Keep remaining sheets of phyllo covered with a damp towel.)
  5. Place one tablespoon or so of chopped figs on the center of each square. Top with two to three teaspoons goat cheese mixture. Drizzle with a little vinegar.
  6. Brush the edges of phyllo squares with water and bring opposite corners together to form a triangle, pressing the edges together to seal. Place on a large baking sheet and brush each triangle with olive oil.
  7. Repeat four more times to use remaining phyllo sheets and filling ingredients. You will have 30 triangles.
  8. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until phyllo is golden brown. Serve warm.

Avocado shrimp bites recipe

If working with sheets of phyllo freak you out, take advantage of ready-to-bake phyllo cups. Athens Foods offers 15-count packages of mini phyllo shells that require nothing more than filling and baking. In this easy appetizer recipe, you don't even need to turn on the oven.

Yields 15

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, mashed
  • 6 ounces salad shrimp, chopped
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons minced green onions
  • 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise made with olive oil
  • Pinch of cayenne or more to taste
  • 15 Athens Mini Fillo Shells (1 box)

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine avocado, shrimp, lime zest and juice, green onions, mayonnaise and cayenne.
  2. Fill each shell with avocado mixture and garnish with a sprinkling of cilantro. Serve immediately.

Phyllo-wrapped baked Brie recipe with orange marmalade and walnuts

Baked Brie is an elegant yet simple appetizer that you can pull together in minutes. Bake time is 20 minutes and you need 10 minutes to cool, so time your prep accordingly.

Serves 12

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (toasted, if desired)
  • 1 (8 ounce) round Brie cheese
  • 20 sheets phyllo dough (thawed, if frozen)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together marmalade, cinnamon, red pepper flakes and walnuts.
  3. Remove rind from the top of the Brie and top with marmalade mixture.
  4. Using one sheet of phyllo at a time, stack two sheets, brushing each with coconut oil. Lay two sheets of phyllo on top of stack at a 90 degree angle, making a cross, brushing each with oil. Repeat the cross pattern with remaining phyllo sheets and oil.
  5. Place Brie in the center of the cross and bring phyllo up around the cheese, folding the sheets over to enclose the Brie.
  6. In a small bowl, beat egg and water to make egg wash. Brush egg wash over phyllo round.
  7. Place round on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Mediterranean phyllo rolls recipe

Yields 18

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 6 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 12 sheets phyllo pastry, thawed if frozen
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor, combine egg and cheeses. Process until smooth.
  3. Add tomatoes, olives, basil, parsley and black pepper. Pulse to combine.
  4. Stack four sheets of phyllo on a clean surface, brushing each sheet with olive oil. Using a sharp knife, cut stack crosswise into six strips. (Keep remaining phyllo sheets covered with a damp towel.) 
  5. Spread a thin layer of filling onto each stack, keeping a 1/2-inch border along the long sides and the ends. Starting at a narrow end, start to roll the phyllo over the filling, continuing all the way to the other end. Seal ends by brushing lightly with water and gently pressing together.
  6. Transfer rolls to a large baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Repeat two more times, using the remaining sheets and filling (you may have some filling leftover).
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.

Chocolate cheesecake phyllo nibbles recipe

Yields 15

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Rodelle's Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 15 Athens Mini Fillo Shells (1 box)
  • Finely shaved dark chocolate
  • 15 fresh mint leaves

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a mini food processor, blend cream cheese, sugar and cocoa powder until smooth.
  3. Add egg, vanilla and orange zest and continue to blend until smooth.
  4. Spoon cream cheese mixture into shells. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. Let cool for 10 minutes. Garnish with dark chocolate and a mint leaf.

More fabulous phyllo recipes

Phyllo dough basics
Tips for making the best baklava
Lemon berry napoleon

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