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Yield: 48 rolls

Flaky cigar-shaped phyllo rolls filled with meat seasoned with the warm spices of cumin, cinnamon, allspice, and cayenne are delightful when served with refreshing tzatziki or your favorite marinara sauce on the side.


For the filling

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • 12 oz. ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • Pinch ground allspice
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the rolls

  • 9 sheets phyllo dough (13×18 inches), thawed if frozen
  • 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted; more as needed
  • 1 large egg
  • Flaky sea salt

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 35
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 20
  • Fat (g): 2.5
  • Saturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Cholesterol (mg): 10
  • Sodium (mg): 40
  • Carbohydrates (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 2


Make the filling

  • Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up any chunks, until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add the cumin, cinnamon, paprika, allspice, cayenne, and 1 Tbs. water and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 2 minutes. Season with 3/4  tsp. salt and 1/4  tsp. pepper. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. (The filling may be stored, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 day.)

Assemble the rolls

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
  • Lay out a damp kitchen towel and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Unroll the phyllo on a large cutting board and cut in half crosswise so that there are 18 sheets (9×13 inches). Place the phyllo on top of the plastic, and immediately cover with a second sheet of plastic wrap and another damp kitchen towel.
  • Remove 2 sheets of phyllo and place them on a large cutting board. Lightly brush the top sheet with melted butter. Cover with a third sheet of phyllo and brush with melted butter.
  • Using a pizza cutter or pastry wheel, cut the layered phyllo in half lengthwise and then cut crosswise into fourths, creating eight equal-size rectangles. Working quickly, spread a heaping tablespoon of filling along the top of one of the long sides of each of the phyllo rectangles. Roll up the phyllo and gently press each end to seal. Transfer seam side down to the baking sheet. Lightly beat the egg with 1 Tbs. of water to make an egg wash. Brush the egg wash on top of each roll and then sprinkle with the flaky salt. Repeat with the remaining sheets of phyllo and filling.
  • Bake until golden brown, about 14 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then cut each roll in half on a bias. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Rate or Review

Reviews (3 reviews)

  • GardenSuz | 12/15/2018

    To dancing fish....you have doubled the recipe by dividing the pastry batch into 16 sections, not 8.
    It takes 3 sheets per batch of rolls.
    There are 3 batches if using 9 sheets.
    You have stacked all the sheets and cut them lengthwise in one direction which gives you 18 layers.
    18 layers divided by 3 = 6 batches ....*8 sections is 48.
    However by stacking, your batch is now half the size of the recipe and you should have cut it into 4ths not 8ths You should have 6 batches * 4 sections for a total 24. Cut in half for serving give you 48 rolls.

    More simply:
    Eight rolls per batch x 3 batches gives 24 rolls.
    24 rolls cut in half is 48 rolls.

    So...you just have smaller rolls. Halving them again makes 96. Either way it doesn’t change the recipe itself, enjoy!

  • dancingfish | 11/19/2017

    9 sheets cut in half yield 18 half sheets. You make the rolls from 3 of these half sheets at a time, which are buttered and layered, and then cut into 8. 18 / 3 * 8 = 48, which after baking are cut in half, so you end up with 96 half roll pieces (which they didn't mention).

  • User avater
    JosephCampbell | 11/16/2017

    Still trying to figure out how 9 phyllo sheets figures into 48 servings.
    If you quarter them you come out with 36, if you halve those you get 72. The math just doesn't seem to be there!

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