Spinach Pies

4.99 from 285 votes

This authentic Lebanese Spinach Pies recipe (called fatayer) is made with a simple homemade dough recipe and the best zingy spinach filling!

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Lebanese spinach pies, which are also called fatayer, are basically the Spanakopita of the Middle East. They’re made with a simple homemade dough recipe, stuffed with a spinach, herb and lemon filling and baked in the oven until golden and puffed. Your house will smell like the best Middle Eastern bakery!

Large platter of spinach pies with small bowl of yogurt for dipping

There are many variations of this recipe with the fatayer stuffed with hashweh (a spiced ground beef and onion mixture), or cheese. This version is vegan made with just a few simple ingredients for the stuffing. Feel free to use any store bought dough to make it faster but the dough recipe is absolutely perfect with this filling.

How to make Lebanese spinach pies

Make the dough

The dough recipe is a simple recipe similar to pizza dough, but with a little more oil. So it will be oily when mixed and this creates the better golden crust on the fatayer. See below for the dough recipe.

Prepare filling

  • Place the spinach, parsley, chopped onions, olive oil, lemon juice, sumac and salt in a large bowl.
  • Mix all the ingredients together until well combined. It helps to use your hands to mix everything well. Store in the fridge until you’re ready for it. Side note, if you have extra it’s delicious on its own!

Assemble and bake

  • Flatten each dough ball into a round shape with your hands.
  • Add the spinach filling in the middle.
  • Hold two ends of the dough and seal them together to cover the filling. Pinch the dough together to help bind.
  • Fold the last side up to meet the first two sides. Again, be sure to pinch the dough together with the first two sides to bind.
4 image collage to show how to stuff and fold the spinach pie

It’s much easier to stuff and seal the mixture in the pan that you’ll be baking the fatayer in. One standard cookie sheet can accommodate half the dough (about 15 balls). Divide the mixture into the dough and fold them right in the baking sheet for the fastest method.

4 image collage to show how to assemble the dough

Tips for making the best fatayer

  1. Remove as much liquid as possible from the spinach. Traditionally you’ll use frozen spinach for the recipe. But when thawed, it has a lot of water. Make sure to use your hands to squeeze out as much liquid as possible so the pies don’t get soggy in the oven.
  2. Allow the mixture to set. Try making the spinach filling up to one day in advance but you can even make it up to 2 days in advance. That long waiting time in the fridge really helps to soften the spinach and incorporate all the flavors well. If you’re in a bind, 30 minutes will do!
  3. Don’t roll out the dough with a rolling pin. Use your hands instead. So often, rolling out the dough changes the circular shape of the fatayer and can make them thinner than necessary. Use your hands to lightly press down on them but they shouldn’t be too thin.
  4. Spread the filling and make the spinach pie in the baking dish. Transfering the dough from surface to surface loosens it and can cause its shape to change. It’s much easier to press the dough, fill it and shape it right on the baking sheet.
  5. Make it faster using store-bought pizza dough. I will cheat sometimes and buy dough from my favorite local Lebanese bakeries and make this at home in a fraction of the time. If you can get your hands on good pizza dough, the results will still be amazing.
Large tray of spinach fatayer pies served with laban yogurt

Frequently asked questions

How long do they last?

Since the recipe is entirely plant-based, these will last for up to seven days in the fridge. Store in an airtight container and you can enjoy them all week!

Can you freeze the spinach pies?

Yes, these freeze beautifully before or after baking. Before baking, place them on a baking sheet in the freezer. When frozen, transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag and keep for up to 3 months. If you’ve already baked them, you can simply allow them to cool completely and then transfer to a freezer safe container or bag.

What can I use instead of sumac?

Sumac has a lemon flavor that is very unique and difficult to replicate it. It really adds the best flavor here. Try adding lemon pepper seasoning and some lemon zest to the recipe if you can’t find sumac.

close up of spinach pies on a plate

This fatayer recipe is such a popular one in Lebanon and all over the middle east and can be customized with many different ingredients. It’s a great appetizer for a crowd, perfect for lunchboxes and makes a delicious snack.

More Lebanese recipes:

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Lebanese Spinach Pies recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! It helps others who are thinking of making the recipe. We would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots, share it on Instagram so we can repost on Stories!

Lebanese Spinach Pies

This authentic Lebanese Spinach Pies recipe (called fatayer) is made with a simple homemade dough recipe and the best zingy spinach filling!
5 from 285 votes
Servings 15 servings
Course Appetizer
Calories 158
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes



Spinach Filling

  • 1 16- ounce package frozen spinach thawed/drained
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Make the Dough

  • Combine the warm water, sugar and yeast in a bowl. Add the flour and salt and mix together until well combined. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead the mixture until sticky, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the olive oil and continue kneading until the dough becomes soft and smooth and lightly sticky without leaving any dough on your fingers. The dough will be oily.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly greased and allow it to proof until doubled, about 90 minutes.
  • Remove the dough and divide into 30 pieces and reshape into round balls. Let sit in an oiled tray covered until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Make the stuffing

  • In a large bowl, place the thawed spinach, parsley, onions, olive oil, lemon juice, sumac and and salt. Stir to combine until very well mixed. Set aside in the fridge until ready to use.

Assemble & Bake

  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Divide the dough into the two trays with 15 balls each separated into 3 rows of 5. Use your hands to press down on the dough to flatten them while keeping a circular shape.
  • Place 2 tablespoons of the mixture inside each circle.
  • Hold two ends of the dough and seal them together over the filling, pinching the dough together to help bind. Fold the last side up to meet the first two sides, pinching the dough together with the first two sides to bind.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden brown.
  • Serve warm on their own or with plain whole milk yogurt as a dip.


Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 5-7 days in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave or oven until warmed through or enjoy cold.
Make Ahead Tips: You can prepare the stuffing up to 5 days in advance because the mixture benefits from softening as is sets.
Freezing Instructions: You can freeze the spinach pies before cooking by placing them on a baking sheet in the freezer. When frozen, transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag and keep for 3 months. You can also freeze the baked spinach pies after they’ve cooled completely.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.
  • Instead of frozen spinach, you can use 16 ounces fresh spinach. Add it to a skillet with a teaspoon of olive oil and allow the spinach to wilt completely and cook off any moisture released before removing from the heat. Cool completely and add the remaining ingredients
  • Instead of parsley, you can use more cilantro, but parsley is more traditional.
  • Instead of lemon juice, you can use 2 teaspoons citric acid
  • Instead of sumac, you can substitute lemon pepper seasoning.


Calories: 158kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 485mg, Potassium: 141mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 2744IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 38mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Course: Appetizer

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  1. Many fatayer dough recipes use a combo of water and milk (mostly milk). Is there a reason you only use water? Would it still work if I used 3/4 cup milk and 1/2 cup water?

    1. I like to keep the dough dairy-free since the recipe is naturally vegan. I know that the milk makes the dough more softer and sweeter, so you are definitely ok to to switch some of the water to milk. Enjoy!

    1. The dough recipe is in the recipe card above the comments along with the filling ingredients and instructions.

  2. Your recipe looks great! What’s your advice if needs to be done in advance? Could I make the shapes and keep them in the fridge for a day or 2 and then fill them immediately before baking? Or could they be filled and kept in the fridge for 1-2 days?

    1. Hi Mandy, the filling is great (and even tastes better) when allowed to set in the fridge for a day or two. I would wait for the dough until you’re ready to bake though.

  3. These are absolutely delicious! Mine didn’t turn out as pretty as yours but maybe next time. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. You’re so welcome! It does take a little practice, but once you get it down, you’ll be wowing friends and family with them.

  4. Hi Yumna,

    I want to try this recipe, I live in France and we do not use cup. Does 1 cup equal to 120 grams for flour ?


  5. have been looking for real authentic spinach fatayers in raleigh for months. yours look good. are they forsale any where in raleigh? or would you consider selling some? waiting to hear from you, thanks george

  6. These do smell and taste just like a restaurant! And all the directions turned out perfectly, including resting time for the filling and the shaping. The only trouble I had was the water/flour ratio in the dough. Mine was quite liquid, and I added almost a cup more flour, and the dough was still very soft but I used olive oil for shaping and a light touch, and the dough was easy to shape into the triangles. The amounts were perfect on filling versus dough (1 packed tablespoon per triangle worked for me), so I would not decrease the water next time I make them, just increase the flour to touch. I also let the dough rest in the fridge overnight. Flavor was right on.

    1. Oh, that’s strange because I use this dough recipe very often. In fact, it’s almost the same as my Manakeesh dough that I just made today, and the dough is so soft and pliable. I’m glad it ended up working out for you and that you enjoyed the flavor!! Thank you for sharing!

      1. Ok so I’ve made the recipe 2 more times since the first time…one for meat pies, and a triple batch of spinach pies I just made. The meat pies I didn’t add more flour, and the pies were good but the dough just a tad runny once they were formed. This last time with the spinach pies, it was perfect and I didn’t have to add any extra flour. So the third time was the charm I guess as I worked out my technique…btw a really helpful thing the last time I made the triple batch was to weight the dough and use kitchen scissors to cut off pieces of dough about 22-25 grams each. Made separating the dough into balls fast and accurate.

        1. Oh, I’m so glad it worked for you! I think when it comes to making dough, weighing will give you the most accurate results for sure. I’m so happy you’ve made it three times now, and it worked out well for you. Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. I am curious if these can be made successfully with pre-made frozen dough? I am trying to cut some prep time. Would love your advice.

    1. Hi Zizi, great question! You can use pre-made dough. I recommend using a pizza-like dough for this recipe. Puff pastry dough would also work here, though you might have to adjust the cooking time and brush with an egg wash. Hope you enjoy!

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