An easy make-ahead appetizer your guests will devour!
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Hand’s down, the creamiest cheese pie is this Greek feta béchamel tiropita. It has lots of feta cheese, a dreamy béchamel sauce, and buttery, flaky phyllo. It makes the perfect easy holiday appetizer with tons of flavor. You can easily double the recipe for a crowd, and it’s best when served at room temperature. So, you can bake it the morning of your party and just set it out before your guests arrive. You can even assemble the whole thing weeks before, freeze it, and bake it frozen. The ultimate make-ahead!
Why this will be your go-to cheese pie
Crispy, buttery phyllo
Creamy soft filling
Rich, tangy feta
The creamiest cheese pie that’s easy to make and filled with Greek flavor!
Here’s what you’ll need
- #4 phyllo –room temperature
- Butter –melted
- Sesame seeds for garnish
For the Filling:
- Butter –unsalted to control the salt
- All-purpose flour
- Milk –cold milk is fine
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Feta cheese –crumble from a block to avoid overly salty pre-crumbles
I love this pie’s simplicity and full feta flavor, but you could add a few things. Gruyere or mozzarella would add some stringy cheese texture to the pie, and herbs would add a bit of freshness. Try dried thyme, oregano, mint, or your favorite herb.
How to make the creamiest Greek feta cheese pie, aka Béchamel tiropita
Make the filling:
- Melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan.
- Whisk in the flour and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until toasted.
- Add the milk, salt, and pepper and whisk together.
- Cook until it comes to a boil and thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
- Remove from the heat.
- Place the egg into a bowl and whisk to scramble.
- Add a bit of the hot cream mixture to the egg while constantly whisking to temper.
- Then, add the egg mixture to the pan and crumble the feta cheese into the sauce.
- Whisk together and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Assemble the pie:
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F, 180 °C.
- Grease the inside of a 9-inch round pie pan.
- Unwrap the phyllo sheets and unroll them.
- Take half of the phyllo sheets, roll them back up, wrap them in plastic wrap, and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days for another recipe.
- Reserve 4 of the phyllo sheets for the top of the pie and layer the remaining sheets into the prepared pie, making sure to drizzle each sheet with the melted butter.
- Pour the cheese filling into the center and top with the remaining four phyllo sheets, drizzling butter between the layers.
- Gather all of the phyllo extended outside the pan and tuck it into the sides.
- Score the top layers into eight equal portions.
- Drizzle the remaining butter over the top and sides of the phyllo.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for about 45-55 minutes or until golden brown.
- Allow the pie to set and cool to room temperature –about an hour or longer.
The cheese pie can be assembled, wrapped tightly with plastic wrap, and then wrapped with foil, so it doesn’t absorb any freezer odors. It will keep fresh in the freezer for two months.
When you’re ready to eat your cheese pie, bake it frozen and covered with foil in a preheated 350 °F oven for 40 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake until golden brown.
The hardest part about making this pie is waiting for it to cool. It smells fantastic, looks delicious, and the crispy phyllo is hard to resist. However, the longer you let it set, the easier it will be to serve. Scoring the pie into pieces before you bake allows you to keep that crispy phyllo intact. Simply cut through the bottom layers of the pie, and each piece will have an impressively crisp phyllo topping. I serve it with olives, but you could drizzle it with honey and serve it sweet. The sweet and salty go so well together! Kali Orexi!
More Savory Phyllo Pies:
- Greek Phyllo Pies with Beef & Herbs
- Turkey & Cheese Pie
- Butternut Squash Phyllo Pie
- Pasturma & Cheese Pie
- The Best Spinach Piepi
- 1/2 pound (#4) phyllo, at room temperature
- 4 oz (112g) butter, melted
- sesame seeds for garnish
For the Filling:
- 4 tablespoons (50g) butter
- 4 tablespoons (50g) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (500ml) milk
- salt, to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 12 oz (350g) feta cheese
- 1 egg
Preheat the oven to 350 °F, 180 °C. Grease the inside of a 9-inch round pie pan
Make the filling:
Add the butter to a saucepan and melt over medium-heat. Add the flour, whisk together and and cook over medium- heat for 1-2 minutes until toasted.
Add the milk, salt, and pepper, and whisk together. Cook until it comes to a boil and thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Remove from the heat.
Place the egg into a bowl and whisk to break it up. Add some of the hot cream mixture to the egg and whisk together. Add the egg mixture back to the pan and crumble the feta cheese into the sauce. Mix together and taste the cream. Adjust the seasoning if needed.
Assemble the pie:
Unwrap the phyllo sheets and unroll them. Take half of the phyllo sheets and roll them back up, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator up to 4 days for another recipe.
Reserve 4 of the phyllo sheets for the top of the pie and layer the remaining sheets into the prepared pie making sure to drizzle each sheet with the melted butter.
Pour the cheese fillinf into the center and top with the remaining 4 phyllo sheets. Drizzle butter between the layers.
Gather all of the phyllo that is extended outside of the pan and tuck it into the sides. Score the top layers into 8 equal portions. Drizzle the remaining butter over the top and sides of the phyllo.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for about 45-55 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow the pie to set and cool to room temperature. About an hour or longer. Serve with olives. Kali Orexi!
Freezer Instructions: The cheese pie can be assembled and wrapped tightly with foil and then with plastic wrap as to not absorb any freezer odors. It will keep fresh in the freezer for 2 months.
Bake it frozen and covered with foil in a preheated 350 °F oven for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until golden brown.
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