Savoury, tangy, & perfectly handheld, these Lebanese Spinach Pies 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!
These delicious Lebanese Spinach pies, also known as Fatayer bi sabanekh 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 these pies, freeze them, so they're always on hand⏤ pull them out, and reheat them whenever needed.
Why you'll love this Fatayer recipe!
There are no shortages of Lebanese spinach pie recipes on the internet; however, I'm going to be BOLD and say my Lebanese spinach pie recipe is one of the best-tasting ones 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
- 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.
- 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.
- After 30 minutes, weigh a 50gr piece of dough on a scale, roll it into balls set on an oiled baking sheet, and cover until ready to use.
How to make the filling for spinach fatayers
- Start with a kilo of fresh spinach, sprinkle on some salt and give it a message. I know it looks like a lot of spinach, but as you can see from the picture, it will break down into a small amount.
- Saute your onions until golden; add the garlic and remove from heat. Let the mixture cool off before adding it to the spinach, so you don't cook the spinach.
- 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.
- Weight the dough to 50g, then roll the dough until it the round and even
- Place 2 heaping tablespoons of filling on the dough.
- Bring up two sides of the circle to meet at the top, slightly off-centre, then press down the edges to make a seam.
- Then bring up the other side to form a triangle.
- Pinch all sides well to ensure it is secure and tightly sealed.
Tips for the best Spinach Pies
- 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 pies always break open during cooking, preheat the oven by heating the boiler and place the uncooked pies on a rack close to the heat source. Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to 400ºF and move the pies to a lower rack. continue cooking until the bottoms are golden.
More recipes to try
Lebanese spinach pies
- 1 LB fresh chopped spinach (500g)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅛ cup olive oil
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup lemon juice (60 ml)
- 2 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (optional)
- 2 tablespoon sumac
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ cup walnuts chopped (optional)
- 3 cups All-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- ⅓ cup Olive oil
- 1 cup warm water
- 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.
- 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 teaspoon 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 pies are ready for baking; Use a pastry brush, and brush all the pies 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.