Chicken Phyllo Pies With Parsley Sauce on a table in a Studio
(Scott Suchman for The Washington Post/food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)
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Chicken Phyllo Pies With Parsley Sauce

These savory pies have a feathery-light, shatteringly crisp crust made with olive-oil-slathered phyllo dough. They're stuffed with a mixture of ground chicken and finely chopped almonds, and seasoned with a Middle Eastern-inspired blend of aromatic spices. Served with a punchy green sauce made simply by blending parsley with oil, vinegar, red onion, salt and pepper, they're a healthful, special treat to enjoy as a party food, an appetizer, or as a meal with two or three pies on a plate alongside a salad.

To refrigerate and heat: The pies can be refrigerated before or after baking. Wrap unbaked pies in foil and refrigerate for up to 1 day, then bake, uncovered, according to the recipe instructions, adding about 10 minutes to the cooking time. Once baked, let cool for 30 minutes, then wrap tightly and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Reheat in a 350 degree oven, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes or until warmed through.

To freeze and heat: The pies can be frozen before or after baking. Wrap chilled baked or unbaked pies in foil, then place in zip-top bags and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, remove from the freezer, uncover and place in a cold oven (no need to defrost). Turn the oven on and heat to 375 degrees for the unbaked pies, or 350 for the baked. Once the oven reaches temperature, bake for about 30 minutes, or until warmed through and the crust is flaky and golden brown.

See Storage.

From cookbook author and registered dietitian nutritionist Ellie Krieger.


measuring cup
Servings: 12 (makes 12 small pies)

For the pies

  • 1/3 cup whole raw almonds
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound ground 90-94 percent lean chicken or turkey
  • 1 medium red onion (8 ounces), finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Nine (13-by-18-inch) sheets phyllo dough, defrosted overnight in the refrigerator (see NOTE)

For the sauce

  • 1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Time Icon Active: 1 hour | Total: 1 hour 30 mins
  1. Step 1

    Make the pies: In a dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast the almonds, stirring frequently, until fragrant and a shade darker, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl, let cool, then finely chop.

  2. Step 2

    In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add the chicken and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with a spoon, until the meat is in very small pieces and no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken, along with any juices, to a plate.

  3. Step 3

    Add 1 more tablespoon of the oil to the same skillet and reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until aromatic, 30 seconds more. Add the cinnamon, salt, cumin, coriander, black pepper and cayenne and cook, stirring, for another 30 seconds. Return the chicken to the pan, with any accumulated juices. Add the honey and stir to incorporate. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Taste, and season with more cayenne, if desired. Stir in the almonds, parsley and egg until combined; you should have about 3 1/2 cups filling.

  4. Step 4

    Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

  5. Step 5

    Place the stack of phyllo on a clean surface and keep it covered with a clean, damp kitchen towel so it doesn’t dry out. Lay one sheet of phyllo on a large cutting board, longer side facing you, and use a pastry brush to dab it with the olive oil. Top with another sheet of phyllo, dab it with the oil, and repeat once more, so you wind up with a stack of three layers. (Don’t worry if the phyllo sheets don’t line up perfectly; just try to get them close enough. If the sheets tear slightly, that’s okay.)

  6. Step 6

    Cover the remaining stack of phyllo with a damp towel so it doesn’t dry out as you make the pies. With the longer side still facing you, cut the layered phyllo, top to bottom, into 4 strips, each 4 1/2 inches wide. Put 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture about 2 inches from the bottom of one strip and fold the phyllo over the mixture into a triangle-shaped pocket. Continue to fold the strip up to maintain the triangle shape, much as you would fold a flag, forming a triangular turnover. Repeat with the other three strips. Repeat this process two more times so you wind up with 12 pies total. (If you have a little filling left over, eat it as a snack or save for another use.)

  7. Step 7

    Place the pies onto 2 large, rimmed baking sheets. Make a couple of small slits in the top of each with a sharp paring knife, then bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.

  8. Step 8

    Make the sauce: While the pies are baking, in a blender, combine the parsley, oil, onion, water, vinegar, salt and pepper and process until smooth; you should have about 1/2 cup sauce.

  9. Step 9

    Serve the pies warm, with the sauce alongside.

  10. Step 10

    NOTE: Depending on the brand, phyllo sheets range in size, including 9-by-14 inches and 13-by-18 inches. Use your best judgment when cutting the strips, and adjust the amount of filling accordingly.

Nutritional Facts

Per serving (1 pie and 2 teaspoons sauce)

  • Calories


  • Carbohydrates

    13 g

  • Cholesterol

    48 mg

  • Fat

    20 g

  • Fiber

    1 g

  • Protein

    9 g

  • Saturated Fat

    3 g

  • Sodium

    298 mg

  • Sugar

    3 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

From cookbook author and registered dietitian nutritionist Ellie Krieger.

Tested by Olga Massov