Simply Lebanese

Cheese Fatayer

Cheese Fatayer
  • Prep Time
    2 hours
  • Cook Time
    12 mins
  • Serving
    6
  • Ready In
    2 hrs 12 mins
These Cheese Fatayer are so cheesy, warm, and delicious! They make a delicious mezze for dinner, or savory addition for breakfast/brunch.
Cheese Fatayer

What are Fatayer?

Fatayer are a staple of Middle-eastern and particularly Levantine cuisine. Cheese Fatayer are small savory cheese pies, typically found in bakeries.

The variety of fillings are endless. While the most popular ones you will find at local bakeries in Lebanon are sabenekh (Spinach) and lahme (Meat), these savory cheese ones are also so irresistible.

Cheese Fatayer

How to make Fatayer dough

The savory dough recipe is the same for all the different fillings. I start with active dry yeast, add sugar and warm water until the yeast has proofed. Once the yeast has proofed, you add salt, oil and flour. You can make it using a stand mixer, hand mixer, or even by hand. It is a very versatile recipe.

Homemade dough may seem very intimidating for some people, I swear to you it is a lot easier than you might think. However, if you just don’t have the time or want an easier way to make these spinach pies/fatayer, feel free to use premade dough. Pizza dough from the supermarket works well, my favorite pre-made dough is the Rhodes dinner rolls.

Cheese Fatayer

Type of cheese to use

The traditional way to make the filling for these cheese fatayer is to use feta cheese, along with mozzarella. Feta gives it a distinct flavor, while the mozzarella helps with the cheesy factor.

However, if you are not a fan of feta, feel free to substitute with your favorite cheeses! Queso Blanco, akawi, even a cheddar would work.

This is such a great recipe because you can make it days in advance and store it in the fridge and warm it up whenever you need! You can even freeze the baked fatayer and store them for months. Just rewarm them in an oven or air-fryer on 325F for 10-15 minutes.

STEP 1

Warm the water until it is warm but not too hot to touch. In a large bowl, add the active dry yeast, sugar, and warm water.

Wait about five minutes for yeast to double in size.

Cheese Fatayer

STEP 2

Once the yeast has foamed and doubled in size, add the salt, flour, and oil.

Turn the mixer on low speed until combined. Higher the speed and let knead until the dough comes together.

Cheese Fatayer

STEP 3

Remove the dough from the mixer and form a ball using excess flour. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Place in a warm area for about 1 hour to rise.
Cheese Fatayer

STEP 4

Once the dough has doubled in size, form into dough balls using excess flour.

Cheese Fatayer

You should get about one dozen large dough balls or, 2 dozen smaller ones.

Cover with kitchen towel for another 30 minutes to rise again.
Cheese Fatayer

STEP 5

While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Shred the block of mozzarella, and feta cheese. Combine 3 cups of mozzarella with 1 ½ cups of feta.

Finely chop some parsley and add it in along with black pepper.

Cheese Fatayer

Mix well to combine and set aside.

Cheese Fatayer

STEP 6

Preheat the oven to 425F and place oven rack in the middle. Prepare baking tray with parchment paper.

STEP 7

Roll out the dough to a 6-inch oval.

Place about 3-4 tablespoons of filling in the middle.

Cheese Fatayer
Bring 2 sides together on each end and pinch to close.

STEP 8

Whisk 1 egg well. Using a pastry brush, brush all the fatayer on the sheet right before putting in the oven.

Cheese Fatayer

Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden brown and cheese is melted.

Cheese Fatayer
Cheese Fatayer
Cheese Fatayer

Cheese Fatayer

These Cheese Fatayer are so cheesy, warm, and delicious! They make a delicious mezze for dinner, or savory addition for breakfast/brunch.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Lunch
Cuisine: Lebanese
Keyword: Cheese Fatayer, fatayer, Homemade Dough
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 12 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 631kcal
Author: Iman

Ingredients

Dough

Cheese Mixture

  • 3 cups mozzarella cheese (freshly grated)
  • cups feta cheese grated (or crumbles)
  • 1 cup parsley (chopped)
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)

Instructions

  • Warm the water until it is warm but not too hot to touch. In a large bowl, add the active dry yeast, sugar, and warm water. Wait about five minutes for yeast to double in size.
  • Once the yeast has foamed and doubled in size, add the salt, flour, and oil. Turn the mixer on low speed until combined. Higher the speed and let knead until the dough comes together.
  • Remove the dough from the mixer and form a ball using excess flour. Place the dough back in the ball and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Place in a warm area for about 1 hour to rise.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, form into dough balls using excess flour. You should get about one dozen large dough balls or, 2 dozen smaller ones.
    Cover with kitchen towel for another 30 min to rise again.
  • While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Shred the block of mozzarella, and feta cheese. Combine 3 cups of mozzarella with 1 ½ cups of feta.
    Finely chop some parsley and add it in along with black pepper. Mix well to combine and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 425F and place oven rack in the middle. Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Roll out the dough to a 6-inch oval. Place about 3-4 tablespoons of filling in the middle. Bring 2 sides together on each end and pinch to close.
  • Whisk 1 egg well. Using a pastry brush, brush all the fatayer on the sheet right before putting in the oven.
    Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden brown and cheese is melted.

Nutrition

Calories: 631kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 1117mg | Potassium: 216mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1421IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 499mg | Iron: 4mg
    Iman

    Owner

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    • Avatar

      Sofia

      Hi Iman!

      I’ve bought the ingredients and will be making this tomorrow. As you know, I make lahm bi ajeen all the time (your recipe) and am very happy with the dough. Can I use that dough recipe for this cheese fatayer too?

      Also, may I suggest to have the US/Metric conversion for your recipes, please? This would be ideal as I always use grams/weighing scale instead of cups.

      Thank you.

    5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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