These beef turnovers are made with flaky phyllo, a juicy ground beef filling, cheese, and baked to golden perfection. They keep fresh in the freezer for months and are perfect as a snack or a main course alongside tzatziki and a salad.
Watch the video tutorial here:
I love recipes that freeze well! They’re perfect for those busy days when all you want is something delicious for the family and don’t have any time to prep! make a double batch so that you always have something delicious in the freezer.
Here are some tips about working with phyllo:
Phyllo is sold in the freezer section of the supermarket. Thaw it out (in its packaging) overnight in the refrigerator. If you know that you will work with it in the coming days then store it in the refrigerator for a few days. It stays fresh!
Then, leave it at room temperature for at least an hour before you will work with it. Take it out of its packaging right before you need it. Exposing it to air will cause it to dry out and crumble. If you keep 2 towels handy: a dry towel and a damp towel (place the dry on top of the phyllo and the damp one on top of the dry) this will keep the phyllo from drying out.
As long as you follow those instructions, phyllo will be a breeze to work with.
These turnovers keep fresh up to 3 months! You can’t beat that.
Assemble them and before baking, place them on a baking tray that is lined with parchment paper. Freeze them until they are solid and then wrap them with plastic wrap. When you’re ready to bake them, preheat the oven to 350 °F, unwrap the tray and loosely cover it with some foil. Bake for 30 minutes then, remove the foil and continue to bake them until they are golden and crisp.
What to serve with the turnovers:
These taste delicious with a salad, soup, or with lots of tzatziki on the side.
These can be made with ground chicken, ground lamb, and even with a vegetarian bolognese sauce.
Also, feel free to use your favorite cheese: mozzarella, feta, gouda, parmesan. use what you love and what you already have!
And, if you do not have phyllo but, have a pack of frozen puff pastry, that works too!
I hope that you enjoy these and that you let me know what you think in the comments section, below 🙂
Make these beef turnovers for your loved ones, gather, and create beautiful memories! xxDimitra
For the Meat Sauce:
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 (16 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, cilantro or basil
- 1 cup of water
- 1 and 1/2 pounds phyllo, thawed and at room temperature
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted
- mozzarella cheese cut into chunks
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F, 180 °C.
- Make the Filling:
- Begin by combining the chopped onion, garlic cloves and olive oil in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes or until soft and golden. At this point, the garlic cloves will be very soft. Smash them with a wooden spoon or a spatula. They will melt into the sauce. (No need to chop them)
- Add the ground beef and mix well over high heat.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Mix to combine.
- Pour the cup of water over everything and mix one more time.
- Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium. Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
- Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and set aside to cool completely.
- Cut the phyllo in half while it is still in the package.
- Keep a lightly damp towel with a dry kitchen towel handy to keep the phyllo covered so that it does not dry out and crumble. Cover the phyllo first with the dry towel and then with the damp towel.
- Layer four strips of phyllo drizzling each layer with some melted butter.
- Place a heaping tablespoon of the meat sauce on the bottom and top with a few chunks of mozzarella. Fold flag style and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Continue to do this until all of the meat sauce and phyllo is finished. This batch makes about 12 large turnovers. You can also make these small appetizer-sized like my Tiropita/Cheese Pie recipe.
- Brush the top of each turnover with the melted butter.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and crisp.
- These freeze beautifully and are great to have ready to bake. To freeze, do not bake them. Place them onto a baking sheet and wrap them with plastic wrap.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 °F, 180 °C. Place as many turnovers as you want to serve onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover with foil. bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes or until golden and crisp.
- Serve these with a nice soup or salad or as is with a side of Tzatziki Sauce.