Growing up in a Lebanese family, we loved eating sambousek, which is a popular cheese-stuffed pastry that’s fried and fabulous. When we moved to the U.S., my mom started embracing alternatives to traditionally-fried foods, and we pretty much never did any deep frying in my house since then. It was something we enjoyed when we were out at restaurants but not so much at home.
I remember when my mom first bought egg rolls wrappers from the store and made Chinese inspired spring rolls. Then another time she was missing a couple ingredients and made some substitutes, and again more substitutes until we started calling them surprise rolls!
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And one day, zaatar spring rolls were the best surprise ever!!
Till this very day, we all love when my mom makes surprise spring rolls. And I started making them in my house as well because I could use leftover chicken, cheese, vegetables or whatever, roll them up, pop them in the oven and produce the best appetizers ever!
For this sambousek reipe, I use halloumi cheese because it’s dubbed “the non-melting cheese”. Halloumi cheese is my fave! It literally doesn’t melt so you can fry it, bake it, sautee it and it will retain its shape! I also add mint leaves on the inside.
Then I roll it up, spray it with olive oil and sprinkle the zaatar.
I bake in the oven, but you can also fry it if you prefer.
And this is what they look like fresh from the oven:
These zaatar spring rolls sambousek that were inspired by my mom, are:
golden crispy on the outside
soft and salty on the inside
and utterly addicting all over!
Dip them in labneh (Arabic yogurt cheese) for a perfect bite!
I hope you love this healthy-ish feelgood Zaatar Spring Rolls (Sambousek) recipe. If you make it, please leave me a comment telling me how you like it, or use hashtag #feelgoodfoodie on Instagram so I can see your recreations.
The post was updated on May 30, 2018 to include a video recipe and new photos.
This zaatar spring rolls recipe is a Lebanese inspired oven-baked appetizer that's savory, crunchy & incredibly easy to make with wonton/egg wrappers
Keyword: cheese stuffed rolls, Spring rolls
Author: Yumna Jawad
16ozhalloumi cheese or Syrian cheesesoft white cheese like Ackawi
16square7-inch egg roll wrappers (I use Nasoya)
1small bunch mint leavesroughly chopped
Small bowl of waterfor sealing edges
Olive oil or cooking sprayfor coating
Labneh yogurt cheesefor serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the halloumi or other white cheese block into slices about the size of your thumb.
Arrange the egg roll wrappers on a dry cutting board or other working surface, and position them at an angle so that the corner of each wrapper is closest to you.
Place a slice of the cheese at an angle in the lower third of each spring roll wrapper, and sprinkle with the fresh mint. Dab your fingers in the bowl of water and rub it around the edges.
Beginning at the bottom angle closest to you, roll the wrapper up and fold the edges inward along the way. Roll the wrapper shut, adding a dab of extra water if needed. Press lightly to seal the edges together.
Place the stuffed eggs rolls seam side down on the prepared baking dish, and repeat with the remaining wrappers until complete.
Brush the egg rolls lightly with olive oil or coat them with cooking spray, then sprinkle the zaatar spice.
Bake in the preheated oven until they are golden brown and crisped on the outside, about 15 minutes.
Serve with labneh yogurt cheese, if desired.
If you can’t find halloumi cheese or Syrian cheese, you can use any other table white cheese of your choice (like mozzarella). However, since these other cheeses will melt, I would advise you to freeze the egg wrappers before baking in the oven to keep the cheese intact in the middle. Or you can use a smaller size cheese portion in the wrapper.
For best results, I would recommend that you thaw wraps at room temperature before using so they don’t easily break while handling them.
If you prefer to fry these, you can heat the oil to 350°F and place rolls flaps down a few at a time in a large skillet, and fry until golden.
If you have any leftovers, which is highly unlikely, you can store them in an airtight container for up to 7 days. You can reheat them in a toaster oven to get them crunchy again.
Zaatar Spring Rolls
Amount Per Serving (2 g)
Calories 119Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Total Carbohydrates 5g2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
I'm Yumna. I literally learned to cook 2 weeks after I got married over the phone with my mom. When I was brave enough to fly solo, I started treading on trendy foodie territory and built an Instagram page with over 2 MILLION followers. Now I have hundreds of real good food recipes that will make you and your family feel oh-so good!