Tepsi Boregi Vegetarian Turkish Filo Cheese Pie Recipe

Tepsi Boregi is a traditional Turkish Pie featuring layers of crispy filo dough and a creamy cheese and herb filling.

Also known as Tepsi Böreği, the popular savoury Turkish Pie is part of the börek pastry family in Turkish cuisine.

Our Turkish Filo Cheese Pie is rich and buttery, featuring feta and kasseri cheese with fragrant fresh dill. The crunchy and crispy phyllo dough is sprinkled with sesame seeds and baked until golden brown.

This homemade vegetarian Tepsi Boregi recipe is prepared in a large casserole dish and serves at least 8 people. It’s the perfect entree or main course to serve at a large Turkish themed dinner party as each guest can scoop out their own portion.

We like to serve it for dinner with a fresh salad. Enjoy the leftovers for brunch the following morning with scrambled eggs, Turkish olives and thick Greek-style yogurt.

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Save our Tepsi Boregi Turkish Filo Cheese Pie recipe to Pinterest!
Save our Tepsi Boregi Turkish Filo Cheese Pie recipe to Pinterest!

What Is Tepsi Boregi?

Tepsi means “tray” and “börek” means pastry in Turkish. So Tepsi Boregi, also known as Tepsi Böreği, is a traditional “tray pastry,” in Turkey.

The dish is often served in a large casserole or baking tray. It’s a popular main dish or entree to serve when company is coming as slices can be easily scooped out. The recipe serves at least 8 people.

Authentic savoury Turkish Pie is made of yufka, fresh hand rolled sheets of dough. Outside of Turkey you can also substitute yufka with store bought filo / phyllo pastry sheets, which are layered with alternations of homemade filling, melted butter and a warm egg milk mixture.

The most popular vegetarian Tepsi Boregi filling features crumbled feta and kasseri cheese with fresh herbs like dill. Some Turkish Cheese Pie recipes also include spinach. Tepsi Boregi can also be filled with a mixture of minced meat (beef or lamb) that is stirred together with sauteed vegetables and Middle Eastern spices.

What Is Filo or Phyllo Made Of?

Filo or phyllo is a very thin unleavened dough used for making pastries such as baklava and börek in Turkish, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. Filo-based pastries are made by layering many sheets of filo brushed with oil or butter; the pastry is then baked and has a distinct crunchy and crispy texture.

The origin of the practice of stretching raw dough into paper-thin sheets is unclear, with many cultures claiming credit. Some claim it derived from the Greeks; Homer’s Odyssey written in 800 B.C. mentions thin breads sweetened with walnuts and honey.

Others claim it originates with the Turks; in the 11th century author Mahmud Kashgari records the meaning of yurgha, an archaic term for yufka, as “pleated or folded bread”. Filo is also documented in the Topkapı Palace during the Ottoman period.

Filo is made from flour, water and a small amount of oil. A very big table is used, preferably with a marble top. If the dough is stretched by hand, a long, thin rolling pin is used, with a dusting of flour continually added between layers to prevent the sheets from sticking to one another.

If you want to see how traditional filo / phyllo pastry is made in Greece and Turkey watch this video. Thankfully factory-made filo pastry can be purchased at local grocery stores in the freezer section to save you lots of time in the kitchen!

Is Phyllo and Puff Pastry the Same?

Phyllo and puff pastry are not the same.

The main differences between puff pastry and phyllo dough are their fat content and preparation. Puff pastry is a laminated dough that gets its signature airy puff from layers of butter, while phyllo dough is comparatively low-fat.

Phyllo dough includes only flour, water, and a little oil. The fine sheets of pastry result in a crispy effect when layered and baked. When you brush phyllo dough with butter and stack it, the layers form a flaky crust essential for desserts like baklava or savoury Turkish Pie.

Traditional Tepsi Boregi Turkish Pie recipe ingredients.
Traditional Tepsi Boregi Turkish Pie recipe ingredients.

Travel to the Turkey By Making Tepsi Böreği at Home

I love traveling to the Middle East.

As a professional food and travel journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy amazing meals in the Middle East, from authentic markets to award winning restaurants.

For over ten years, I’ve been on the hunt for the best Tepsi Böreği recipe via adventures that had me zig-zagging through MoroccoTurkeyEgyptJordanIsrael and Dubai.

I spent 2 weeks traveling in Turkey, tasting my way through Goreme, BodrumEphesus and Istanbul.

My fondest memories from Turkey always take place in the morning when the call to prayer whispers from a nearby mosque. I’d relax over brunch while sipping a tiny cup of Turkish coffee and forking through a breakfast plate piled high with Tepsi Boregi.

I even paid to visit some of Istanbul’s most famous restaurants to taste authentic Turkish Pie during a culinary walking tour of Istanbul.

Once back home from a Turkish holiday you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the flavours of Istanbul and can impress friends and family by making our easy Tepsi Boregi recipe!

Tepsi Boregi is a Turkish Pie made of filo pastry, cheese, eggs and fresh herbs.
Tepsi Boregi is a Turkish Pie made of filo pastry, cheese, eggs and fresh herbs.

Where To Eat Turkish Filo Cheese Pie

If you live in a large city in Canada or America you’ll likely have access to a local Middle Eastern or Turkish restaurant that serves their own Tepsi Böreği recipe.

Haven’t traveled to Turkey before? It may be helpful to first taste vegetarian cheese-stuffed Turkish Pie at a local restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You’ll get an idea for the ideal number of filo layers to prepare, types of fresh herbs and cheese to use in the filling and side dishes to serve guests with each slice.

In Toronto, popular Middle Eastern restaurants that may serve traditional Filo Turkish Pie include ParallelByblosTabuleFat PashaMaha’sMasrawy KitchenParamount Fine FoodsAnatoliaBaransMeat PointSofra Istanbul and Pizza Pide.

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Sprinkle Tepsi Boregi with sesame seeds and cheese then bake until bubbling and browned.
Sprinkle Tepsi Boregi with sesame seeds and cheese then bake until bubbling and browned.

My Family Loves Tepsi Boregi Turkish Pie

I love cooking Turkish food for my family.

After traveling from Istanbul to Bodrum as a professional food and travel writer I was excited to recreate my favourite savoury Turkish Pie at home.

I first made this Tepsi Boregi recipe on a warm summer evening at our family cottage in Muskoka. We had plenty of fresh dill to pluck in our backyard herb garden, which I stirred into the crumbled cheese mixture.

I knew my family would love this vegetarian Turkish Cheese Pie because they enjoy recipes loaded with cheese, pies and pastries, easy homemade casseroles and flavourful fresh herbs.

This homemade Tepsi Boregi is prepared in a large casserole dish and serves at least 8 people. It’s the perfect main course to serve at a large Turkish-themed dinner party as each guest can scoop out their own portion.

We like to serve it for dinner with fresh salads and dips. Enjoy the leftovers for brunch the following morning with fried eggs, Turkish olives and creamy Greek-style yogurt.

Bake Tepsi Boregi in a large casserole dish for an easy Turkish vegetarian meal for cheese lovers.
Bake Tepsi Boregi in a large casserole dish for an easy Turkish vegetarian meal for cheese lovers.

Health Benefits

Our authentic Tepsi Boregi recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!

Consuming dairy products (such as milk and cheese) provides health benefits — especially improved bone health. Dairy foods provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. These nutrients include calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein.

Dill is packed with micronutrients such as Vitamin A and C, responsible for healthy vision, skin and immune function.

Eggs contain two vital nutrients that are not present in many foods: iodine and vitamin D. Eggs are also rich in tissue-building protein and vitamin B12, which helps your body manufacture blood cells.

A useful source of copper, calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, sesame seeds help support circulatory, digestive and skeletal health.

Tepsi Boregi is a Turkish Pie prepared with layers of filo pastry and creamy cheese and herbs.
Tepsi Boregi is a Turkish Pie prepared with layers of filo pastry and creamy cheese and herbs.

Tepsi Boregi Recipe Cooking Tips

This delicious Tepsi Böreği recipe is quick and easy to make at home. We’ve included a few tips for novice cooks.

  • We suggest serving Turkish Cheese Pie out of a large glass casserole dish so guests can see the bubbling cheese and layers of filo.
  • We’ve used fresh dill in this recipe but you could get creative by using a mixture of other herbs like mint, parsley, basil and chives.
  • Tepsi Boregi is traditionally made with a mixture of feta and kasseri cheese. You can substitute kasseri for gruyere or aged cheddar as it can sometimes be hard to find. You’re best bet is to visit a local Middle Eastern grocery store or Greek supermarket.
  • Buy pressed dry cottage cheese, used in Europe and Middle Eastern kitchens rather than the runny North American variety sold in tubs.
  • We like to use whole milk in this recipe to give the filling a creamy texture but you can substitute for 2%, 1% or nonfat milk if you prefer.
  • We’ve used white sesame seeds but you can substitute for black sesame seeds to give the surface of the Turkish Pie a more dramatic effect.
Tepsi Boregi Turkish Pie Recipe Photo Image.
Tepsi Boregi Turkish Pie Recipe Photo Image.

What To Serve With Tepsi Böreği

There’s nothing more comforting than cozying to a plate of hot out of the oven Turkish Pie!

The dish is very versatile. A slice can be enjoyed all on its own or at lunch or dinner with a fresh salad or soup.

We love to make Tepsi Boregi for dinner and intentionally make extra so we can reheat leftovers for brunch the following morning. The cheesy pastry pairs well with a hot mug of coffee, scrambled eggs, olives and creamy Greek-style yogurt.

If you’re hosting a Turkish-themed dinner party you might also like to serve Savoury Turkish Cheese Pie with:

We love serving a slice of Tepsi Boregi Turkish Pie with a fresh salad or soup.
We love serving a slice of Tepsi Boregi Turkish Pie with a fresh salad or soup.

You May Also Enjoy These Cheese Recipes…

Now you're an expert on how to make the best Tepsi Boregi Turkish Cheese Pie recipe!
Now you’re an expert on how to make the best Tepsi Boregi Turkish Cheese Pie recipe!

How To Make Tepsi Boregi Turkish Filo Cheese Pie

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Tepsi Boregi Turkish Filo Cheese Pie

How to make traditional Tepsi Boregi. Our easy Turkish Cheese Pie recipe features layers of crispy filo pastry & creamy cheese herb filling.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Turkish
Keyword: Tepsi Boregi, Turkish Pie
Servings: 8
Calories: 371kcal

Equipment

  • Casserole dish
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • French knife
  • Mixing bowls
  • Ladle
  • Grater

Ingredients

  • 7 oz Feta
  • 7 oz Cottage Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Dill chopped
  • 1/2 cup Melted Butter
  • 2 1/4 cups Warm Milk
  • 4 Eggs beaten
  • 6 sheets Fillo Pastry
  • 7 oz Turkish Kasseri Cheese or Aged Cheddar shredded
  • 1/4 cup Sesame Seeds

Instructions

  • For the filling, blend the feta cheese with the cottage cheese and dill in a medium mixing bowl.
  • Mix the melted butter, milk and eggs in a small bowl.
  • Using a rectangular baking dish or pan smaller than the sheets of fillo. Open the sheets only when you are ready to use them and keep them in a pile so they do not dry out.
  • Lay a sheet in the greased baking dish or pan, fitting it into the corners and letting the edges come up the sides and overhang. With a ladle, pour a little of the milk and egg mixture all over the sheet and sprinkle with the grated Kasseri or Cheddar. Tear the second sheet into strips and lay them on top. Pour a little of the milk and egg mixture over the strips and sprinkle with more grated Kasseri or Cheddar.
  • Lay the third sheet on top – as it is, without tearing it – and spread the crumbled feta and dill filling evenly on top. The fourth and fifth sheets must be torn into strips, and each layer sprinkled with the milk and egg mixture and the grated Kasseri or Cheddar. Fold the overhanging bits of fillo over the pie and lay the last sheet on top. Tuck it down into the sides and ladle the remaining milk and egg mixture over it. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • Bake at 350 F for 30-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Serve hot, cut into squares.

Nutrition

Calories: 371kcal | Carbohydrates: 16.8g | Protein: 20.5g | Fat: 25.3g | Saturated Fat: 14.2g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 736mg | Potassium: 248mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 4.5g | Calcium: 436mg | Iron: 3mg

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