Greek’s call this savory pie with saucy minced meat and buttery phyllo, Kreatopita!
Watch the Video:
Kreatopita is a Greek pie made with layers of buttery phyllo and a ground beef stew filling. It’s so simple to make with easy ingredients you may already have at home. I use my beef stew filling in a lot of my recipes, so I always make a double batch and freeze the extra. That way, I already have it on hand for more Kreatopita later or one of my other recipes like Pastitsio, Moussaka, or just over rice. The beef filling pairs so well with the crispy, buttery phyllo in this pie that it’s always a hit at my house!
Why this will be a hit
- Crispy, buttery phyllo
- Tomato herb beef stew filling
- You can make it your own with more veggies
- Easy to make, and you can make it ahead of time!
Savory pie ingredients
- #4 phyllo –thawed and at room temperature or any phyllo you have on hand
- Unsalted butter –melted
- Roasted red peppers –diced
- Feta cheese –always crumbled from a block to avoid tasteless pre-crumbled feta
- Shredded mozzarella or gouda cheese –as much as you want
- Panko breadcrumbs
For the Meat Sauce:
- Ground beef
- Onion –finely chopped
- Olive oil
- Garlic cloves, grated
- Crushed tomatoes
- Freshly ground black pepper or to taste
- Sweet paprika
- Crushed red pepper flakes –optional for a bit of heat
- Crushed dried oregano or thyme
Make it your own
I have perfected my minced meat beef stew to the way my family likes it, but try a few things to make it your own. You could puree fresh tomatoes instead of using canned or use a combination of ground meats. If you prefer a thicker sauce, add double the crushed tomatoes. A friend of mine likes to add diced zucchini with the onions to sauté or thawed frozen spinach with the tomatoes. Olives, jalapenos, or even leftover roasted veggies would be delicious.
As for the cheese, any melting, gooey cheese would work. Try gouda, gruyere, muenster, or whatever cheese is your favorite. I buy cheese in bulk at Costco, freeze it, and then pull it out to thaw when I need it.
I absolutely love the crispy phyllo topping, so I make sure to have enough for the top of my pie. However, if you prefer a thicker phyllo bottom, use a few more sheets on the bottom than the top. Your kitchen, your rules!
How to make Greek minced meat and phyllo pie
Make the Meat Sauce:
- Preheat the oven to 400 °F, 200 °C. In a large pot over medium heat, add the onion with olive oil and a pinch of salt.
- Cook the onions until soft and golden, then add the garlic and warm through.
- Add the ground meat, the seasonings (except for the thyme/oregano), and tomatoes.
- Stir together and cook over medium-high heat for about 25 minutes or until thickened.
- Remove from heat and add the oregano.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Assemble the Pie:
- Add the breadcrumbs in an even layer to a large baking pan (a half-sheet pan will work or a roasting pan).
- Divide the phyllo into two equal stacks. Layer the first stack in the pan while drizzling butter in between each layer (see video).
- Crumble some feta cheese into the center of the phyllo, and then add the meat sauce on top.
- Spread the diced roasted peppers over the meat sauce, and top with shredded cheese.
- Fold the phyllo hanging outside the pan over the filling while drizzling butter between each layer.
- Gather each of the remaining sheets of phyllo and create an accordion.
- Place them on top of the pie for a decorative, crunchy top layer. Brush and pour the remaining butter over the phyllo.
- Bake on the center rack for about 45 minutes or until golden.
- Allow the pie to rest for 25-30 minutes and serve.
Make-Ahead Freezer Instructions
The entire pie can be assembled and frozen before baking. Once assembled, cover it with plastic wrap and then with foil and freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to bake, either thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake it the following day as per the instructions or remove the plastic and bake covered in a preheated 400 °F oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden.
This savory beef and phyllo pie is filling almost on its own. So, all you really need is a little tzatziki and a salad on the side. I cut my pie into twelve pieces, but feel free to make them the size you like. If you’re serving for a holiday party with lots of other food, try cutting them smaller. However, don’t be surprised if your guests come back for seconds. Kali Orexi!
My Favorite Savory Phyllo Pies:
- Turkey & Cheese Phyllo Pie
- Pastourmadopita: Greek Phyllo Pie with Pasturma & Cheese
- Zucchini & Feta Pie (Kolokithopita) to Feed a Crowd
Kreatopita: Greek Minced Meat & Phyllo Pie
- 1 pound (500g) #4 phyllo, thawed and at room temperature
- 3/4 lb (340g) unsalted butter, melted
- 3-4 roasted red peppers, diced
- feta cheese: as much as you want
- shredded mozzarella or gouda cheese: as much as you want
- 1/2 cup or more Panko breadcrumbs
For the Meat Sauce:
- 1 and 1/2 - 2 lbs (about 500g) ground beef
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 5-6 garlic cloves, grated
- 16 oz (450g) crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt or more
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 teaspoon crushed dried oregano or thyme
Preheat the oven to 400 °F, 200 °C.
Make the Meat Sauce: Ina. large pot over medium heat, add the onion with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Cook the onons until soft and golden. Add the garlic and warm through. Add the ground meat, the seasonings (except for the thyme/oregano) and tomatoes. Mix together and cook over medium-high heat for about 25 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and add the oregano. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Add double the crushed tomatoes if you prefer a thicker sauce.
Assemble the Pie:
In a large baking pan (half-sheet pan will work or a roasting pan) add the breadcrumbs in an even layer.
Divide the phyllo into 2 equal stacks. Layer the first stack in the pan and drizzle butter in between the phyllo layers (see video).
Crumble some feta cheese into the center of the phyllo . Add the meat sauce on top. Spread the diced roasted peppers over the meat sauce. Top with shredded cheese. Fold the phyllo that is hanging outside of the pan over the filling. Drizzle butter between those layers as well.
Gather each of the remeaining sheets of phyllo and create an accordion. Place them on top of the pie for a decorative, crunchy top layer. Brush and pour the remaining butter over the phyllo.
Bake on the center rack for about 45 minutes or until golden.
Allow the pie to rest for 25-30 minutes and serve. Kali Orexi!
Make Ahead Freezer Instructions: The entire pie can be assembled and frozen prior to baking. Once it is assembled, cover it with plastic wrap and then with foil and freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to bake either thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then bake it the following day as per the instructions or, remove the plastic and bake covered in a preheated 400 °F oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden.
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