Phyllo Meat Pie (Egyptian Goulash)

It is the one savory pastry I can not stop eating! When working with phyllo, first, be sure to thaw it overnight in the fridge. Before putting together this phyllo recipe, be sure to let the filo dough sit at room temp for about an hour.

▢16 ounce package of frozen phyllo dough, thawed in its package
▢1 egg, whisked in 1 cup of milk
▢1 cup extra virgin olive oil, (OR ½ cup olive oil combined with ½ cup melted butter)
For The Meat Filling
▢1 cup chopped onions
▢1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
▢1 ½ teaspoon baharat
▢1 teaspoon garlic powder
▢Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Carefully lay the thawed phyllo dough sheets between two lightly damp kitchen towels.
Begin with preparing the meat filling. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick pan. On medium-high heat, saute the chopped onions briefly. Add the ground beef. Cook until fully browned, tossing regularly. Remove the pan from the heat briefly to drain any fat, then return back to the stove. Add in the spices and stir to fully combine. Remove from the heat.
Now, to assemble the phyllo pie, lay three to four sheets of phyllo dough on the bottom of a lightly greased 9 ½ x 13 x 2 ¼ inch baking pan. Fold any excess dough in. Brush the top phyllo sheet generously with olive oil (or oil and butter mixture). Repeat this step as you lay three to four sheets of phyllo at a time in the baking pan until you have used up ½ of the phyllo sheets.
Now, as you have a nice base for your pie, spread the meat filling evenly on top of the last phyllo sheet.
Layer the remaining sheets on top of the meat repeating the same process as before (again, three or four sheets at a time, fold excess phyllo and brush with the olive oil) until all phyllo is used up.
Brush the top sheet with olive oil (or oil and butter mixture). With a sharp knife, cut the phyllo pie into 12 squares.
Season the prepared milk and egg mixture with salt and pepper and pour evenly over the pie.
Place the phyllo meat pie on the middle rack of the 350 degrees F heated-oven for about 30 to 45, or until cooked through. The phyllo should be crispy and it should turn a nice golden brown. Be watchful so that pie does not over bake or burn.
Serve warm with a side salad! Enjoy!

Phyllo tips: Be sure to thaw the phyllo overnight in the fridge. Do not skimp on brushing the phyllo layers as indicated above. Make sure you drizzle or brush a generous amount of olive oil so that each layer is well coated.
Prepare-ahead option: To work ahead, prepare the recipe as written until the step where you cut up the phyllo meat pie. After cutting the pie into 12 squares, cover it tightly and refrigerate. When you are ready to bake the pie, pour the egg and milk mixture over. Do not prepare this pie more than one night in advance.
Leftovers and storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F until warmed through. Or you can freeze leftover Egyptian goulash in a freezer-safe container, and reheat from frozen.

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