Binnur's Turkish Cookbook - Delicious, healthy and easy-to-make Ottoman & Turkish recipes

Friday, April 01, 2005


Click to enlarge
7 sheets Phyllo Pastry
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 pinch salt
2L pyrex casserole dish

For this recipe, choose one of the following fillings:

Spinach Filling (pictured above):
1 pkg (300 gr) frozen chopped spinach, squeeze it with your hands to get rid of excess water.
1/3 cup crumbled feta
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Black pepper

Beef Filling:
250 gr medium ground beef
1 onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 small cubanelle pepper, chopped
Black pepper

For Spinach Filling: Put the salt, pepper, olive oil and onion in a pan. Cook on medium heat for two minutes. Add the spinach and continue cookingfor about 1-2 minutes. Put aside and add the feta cheese, stir.

For Beef Filling: Put the salt, black pepper, ground beef and onion in a pan. Cook on medium heat until the beef is done. Add the tomatoes and the pepper. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Put aside.

Now we can move on to the main ingredients. In a bowl, mix the eggs, olive oil and milk with a whisk. This liquid mix will go between every two layers of the pastry, and will complement your choice of filling. The spinach or beef filling will go in the middle only.

Grease the casserole dish. Place two sheets of the pastry in the bottom and over the sides of the dish. Spread 2-3 tablespoons of the liquid mix on top (picture). Take another two sheets of pastry, fold in half, and stack in the dish. (picture). Then, spread all of your main filling onto the stack (picture). Resume layering the pastry and the liquid mix until the pastry is finished. Then, fold the sides of the bottom layer over. Make sure you pour the remaining mix on top to prevent burning in the oven (picture).

Leave the casserole dish in the fridge for 2-3 hours, this way it will be more crispy and tasty. Pre-heat the oven to 175 C (350 F). Bake until golden brown (picture).

This recipe goes well with cherries on the side or Ayran. You can have it as a main dish (4 servings) or with afternoon tea as a snack.


At 12:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello, whoever is out there and did this website thanks. i'm currently doing food technology and it realyyyyyy helped me

thank you so much
my email is:

At 3:32 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

I am glad I helped you out :)

At 11:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so excellent!!! I am so happy to find a good borek recipe!! I lived in Turkey as a kid and this was one of my FAVORITE foods. It's so great to be able to make it! I made it for my friends the other night and they loved it too. Thank you so much to the person who made this site! I have bookmarked it!

At 9:02 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

You are very welcome:)
It is so true that kids love any kind of borek, including my children:)
I am so glad to know that Turkish food has left good memories in your childhood.
If you have other favorite dishes, let me know. I would love to post them for you:)

At 8:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband grew up in turkey and loved this as a child as well, I'm so happy i am able to look and make all the wonderful turkish food for him and our daughter.So now she no's her background cuisine. I love making turkish food every recipe is a new challange,if you have anymore great recipes i'd love to have them.

At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Clare said...

Thank you for this recipe which is exactly like the borek my aunt Taynur in Instanbul makes. I'm going to make it for a buffet party....I know my geusts will love it like I do!Thanks for putting out this authentic recipe.

At 8:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I lived in Turkey as a kid too, in the early '60s. I have been making my own version of borek for years, but this looks just as good. I make mine with real feta that has been soaked to get out some of the saltiness, and lots of parsley. So good to have that "old country" taste. If anyone has a recipe for the good old authentic Turkish sourdough bread, please share it!

At 6:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I Was Just Wondering Whether Or Not Anyone Has Any Recipes For Lamb Borek (Kiymali Börek)?

At 12:13 AM, Anonymous Aydin Odyakmaz said...


My mom gave me a tip which works and that is using yogurt instead of milk and water. Still stays moist and tastes great.

Too bad we can't get fresh pastry ( and no I'm not about to pull out the oklava to make it).


At 11:22 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Thank you sharing you mum's knowledge, I will absolutely try it next
time:) Sometimes I can find yufka at Turkish grocery stores but they
are not fresh:( I don't have oklava here but I should buy one during
my next trip to Turkey...

At 4:07 AM, Anonymous Kyreniafan said...

Thanks I have just returned from Kyrenia where i loved the cheese borek (Im veggie) Looking through found this site and am going to try the meat version for family at the wekend. Will let you know how it goes Thanks again!

At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Binnur,
I was trying to refresh my memory about whether to include an egg with the cheese as well as the sauce so I checked your recipe. This looks great. The way I make the sauce was taught to me by one of my friends mom's many years ago and it is to use a small 6 oz cup of plain, non-fat yogurt and about 1 1/4cups of low fat milk and I use melted butter instead of olive oil along with one egg. The dry yufka that I find online is less than ideal compared to what they have in Turkey but as you suggest if you let it sit in the fridge for a while before baking, that seems to help the liquids soak into the yufka. I'm going to make this today for my son who is making his first trip home from college and I know he loves borek.

Do you have a good recipe for bulgur pilavi? I've had varying success with the recipes I've found.


At 7:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I buy borek in a food take-away in Brisbane, and I adore it. I prefer the cheese one, but I also like lamb, too. If the pastry in this recipe tastes like the one I buy, I'll love you forever! I will bookmark this site, and return to look at other great recipes. Thank you so much.

At 4:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cant believe i have finally found a brilliant receipe for Borek. ;)

My husband is turkish and we have been living in England for 2years and borek is his favourite turkish food. I tried to make my own Borek about 18months ago but it was a disaster as i had no receipe to follow!

I cant wait to make him some as a suprise. ;)


At 3:20 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Suzan,
I also use yogurt for the sauce, it gives very good taste when I use
Turkish yufka to make any kind of borek. But I prefer milk instead of
yogurt if I use phyllo pastry. I will post vegetable borek soon for
which I always use yogurt+milk mixture. Originally we used butter
instead of olive oil in borek. I very often bake borek for my family
that's why I prefer olive oil:)

I love to eat leftover borek while still cold. It is very crunchy, it
may be another reason to bake it with olive oil for me:)

My son is also a freshman and he will come home this weekend too...:)
I posted the Bulgur Pilav recipe, I hope you will try it:)

At 3:33 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

My instincts say you will love me forever:) I recently posted Water
Borek. I don't know if you tried it or not, it is very yummy... I will

post another style of borek with ground beef soon...

At 9:20 AM, Anonymous Carol Storey said...

Merhaba. Having just returned from a fantastic visit to Istanbul, I am so happy to find a borek recipe so I can share this culinary delight with my family. There are no borek salons near my home, but now I can have one in my own kitchen. Tessekular.

At 3:22 AM, Blogger Edita said...

Hi Binnur,
I'm from Kosovo, currently living in USA, and as you may know there we use a lot of turkish dishes. I do love burek so much, and I haven't had any in two years. (well, at least a good one) I've tried to make some (from other recipies) with phyllo pastry, but it doesn't turn out as good. I would prefer to make the dough myself, but I don't have a recipe. Do you have any suggestions, or should I just use salt and flour? Please let me know.
Thank you for this wonderful website.

At 2:03 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Edita,
I love Borek too, it is so delicious:) But I use Turkish yufka or phyllo pastry, they work very well for me:) If you want to make your own yufka, that's great!
1 kg flour + 1/3 cup sunflower oil + salt + warm water. Knead them to
make a smooth dough. Cover it with a damp towel for 10-15 minutes.
Then divide them into 4 or 5 balls. Use a roller pin to make nice thin
yufka. Then it'll be ready to make Borek, Afiyet olsun!

At 3:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello binnur!
i was so excited when i saw your recipe for spinach borek! i have made it 2 times since finding your recipe and it turned out great. i made a few changes like soaking the feta in milk to get the extra salt out and using butter and margarine instead of the olive oil haha naughty me! it just tastes soo good! my uncle is bulgarian and he used to make that for family gatherings and i loved it! and this recipe tastes pretty much like his! yum! thanks for sharing the recipe!
love molly

At 4:43 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Molly,
Thank you:) Sure, it's fun to change some ingredients, yogurt instead of milk or butter instead of olive oil (most of my family members still use butter!) both ways it is still very tasty:) If the feta cheese contains too much salt, soak it in the plain water, it'll be cheaper this way:)
Best wishes to you:)

At 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi binnur,
I have been looking for a borek recipe for a while now, so Im thrilled that I found one! Thanks!
I lived with a Turkish family in Germany and I tried a sweet borek once. I loved it. Do you know any recipes for this? I remember it had eggs, milk and sugar, but I can't remember the rest. Thank you! Maggie

At 9:58 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Maggie,
Thank you:) I need to know the main ingredient of sweet borek. Is it made with yufka or dough? Could you give me more information please:) Then I should be able to help you out..

At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply. It was made with phyllo dough. (and honestly Im not even sure that it's borek Im thinking of), I just looked until a found the picture with this recipe and I know that it looks very similar to this one. It's sweet and the middle is like a creamy custard. (The lady who made this for me said that it is a specialty from her home town/area of NE Turkey by the Black Sea)
Thank you so much! Maggie

At 3:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I am 13 and love turkish food. I just wanted to know if you could post me some good turkish recipes. I love borek. So if you can just post me so of the best turkish recipes you have...that would be great.
Thanks, Sam

At 10:57 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Maggie,
Thank you for the explanation, now I know what you are asking. It is
called "Laz Boregi" which belongs to the Black Sea Region:) It is made
with phyllo dough (yufka) and Muhallebi (Pudding) in the middle. I'll post it in the future for you.
Take care,

At 10:58 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Sam,
I just started to post Turkish recipes:) There is so many more...but I will continue posting them once or twice a week. I'll post more borek
recipes (see the pastries section for several I already put up) and
the other wonderful and best Turkish dishes for you:)
Take care,

At 9:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merhaba Binnur Hanim,

I tried the borek recipie with spinach filling yesterday. It was my first experience with pastry baking and I was very nervous about the outcome. Fortunately, it turned out to be a great success, which both myself and my husband enjoyed very much. Since I am also living in Canada, I was lucky enough to find the ingredients (pastry, frozen spinach) with the exact dimensions, weights you described :) Thanks and have a great day!
Ayse Sule

At 8:08 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Merhaba Ayse,
I am glad you and your husband enjoyed Borek:) All the ingredients I
give in all my recipes are very easy to find at local supermarkets in
North America. If you have any questions about anything please don't
hesitate to ask,
Take care:)

At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Binnur, I was just wondering can you use the same dough as you used in your gozleme recipe instead of buying ready made phyllo pastry?

At 11:17 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Sure, you can, it is the same dough:) Adjust the measurement if you like...

At 9:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Binnur,
I tried the spinach borek recipe and it is outstanding! I just love the texture so much. I had it in Istanbul, but haven't had it in years because there are no restaurants anywhere near me that serve borek (I live in Iowa). so I'm very thankful that you've taken the time to put these Turkish recipes on the internet! Tessekur ederim! Alison

At 8:37 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Alison,
I am glad that you love Borek:) I also posted some different kind of borek recipes and I will post more...I hope you will enjoy them all too:)

At 9:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If using the yufka instead of the Phyllo, is it layered the same way or differently??


At 9:17 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

The layering is the same for both:) But you should use only three Turkish yufka. Use first yufka for the first layer, leave it hanging over the rim of the Pyrex. Divide the other yufkas each in two and layer. Spread the sauce between the layers. Don't forget to put the filling in the middle:) Then fold over the sides of the bottom layer. Pour the rest of the sauce over the surface.

At 2:49 PM, Anonymous Joan said...

Beautiful photos, recipes and food looks wonderful.

Many years ago while visiting Istanbul, I had a borek , more doughy not overly flaky, not phyllo -filled with a soft white cheese, maybe in a roll or sqaure. Would love such a recipe!


At 6:10 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Joan,
Thank you:) I think what you are asking is Su Boregi (Water Borek). I've already posted, here is the address; Joan,

At 8:01 PM, Anonymous DeliKiz said...

Merhaba Binnur,
Tarifler icin tesekkurler. I am wondering if you have a good recipe for bazlama and the meat (kiymali) filling. My husband and I love this dish and would like to make it at home sometime, but we can't get the meat flavored correctly. Thanks!

At 5:57 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Merhaba Delikiz,
We all love pastry recipes don't we:) I mostly bake plain bazlama but for you I am going to post it with the filling in the future.

At 7:10 PM, Anonymous DeliKiz said...

Tesekkurler...Bekliyorum. :)

At 9:49 PM, Anonymous marty said...

I made the spinach borek and it was not flaky and was soggy in the middle, almost like a custard. Followed directions exactly. What was I doing wrong?

At 10:24 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Marty,
With this sauce that between the sheets, Borek is not supposed to be is not dry or fried. Just the top side should be crunchy. If the spinach has too much water, it can be soggy. Also less amount of Phyllo Pastry sheets and too much sauce can make Borek soggy.

At 6:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hiya, after 3yrs of tryin to make borek right i finally made a leek,egg and feta cheese one, two days ago and it was perfect. after finding your recipes i can now make my favourite meat one. thanks

At 6:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in Turkey recently and i fell in love with borek! I even bought the borek pastry and brought it home with me! But now that i ran out of it, i'm not sure how to make borek... because the typical pastry it's not phillo pastry. Do you think using phillo pastry won't affect the dish?

At 11:07 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Sometimes it is difficult to find Turkish Yufka so I use phillo pastry to make Borek. If the taste would be bad I wouldn't post the recipe with phillo pastry, it is absolutely delicious, give it a try:)

At 6:23 AM, Blogger Leyla said...

This website is amazing!! Thank you Binnur. The pictures were really useful and the borek was amasing !! many thanks x x

At 11:08 PM, Anonymous Dona said...

May God bless you and your loved ones. I moved to US from Turkey 3 years ago. I finally tasted food that made me feel back home.
I can not thank you enough. Allah senden binbir kere razi olsun.

At 10:47 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Dona, I am so touched...thank you, god bless you too.You made me very happy:)
Take care, sevgilerimle,

At 3:37 PM, Anonymous Sidse said...

Wow, wow, wow... I made the spinach börek for my Turkish husband this evening. After the meal he gave me a big kiss on the forehead, and told me that I am an even better Turkish cook than any of his sisters. This made me really happy as they are excellent cooks (living in Turkey) and I am Danish.

Thanks for providing this wonderful recipe.

Senden çok şeyler ögreniyorum.



At 9:36 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Sevgili Sidse,
Thank you:D I am so happy for are an excellent cook:) I think your husband also liked Kuru Fasulye:)
En icten sevgilerimi yolluyorum:)

At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love thıs websıte and Im so pleased I came across ıt. Im Englısh and am fortunate enough to lıve ın Turkey. I can cook a few turkısh dıshes but have been lımıted as we dıdnt have an oven tıll recently. I made börek for the fırst tıme last nıght and ıt was dıvıne! Thank you so much. My hubby now has a lıst as long as hıs arm that he wants me to cook

At 11:57 AM, Blogger susan said...

merhaba binnur'cum - i am going to make ispanakli borek, but i'd like to use fresh spinach instead of frozen. how should i prepare it, and how much should i use for your recipe?

At 4:38 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Merhaba Suzancigim,
A bunch of fresh spinach would be enough. Cut of the roots, wash and chopped. The rest is the same:)

At 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just made this and it is delicious!!! thanks for the recepie and lovely website

At 10:20 PM, Anonymous Sara said...

Just wanted to let you know, I made this tonight and it was SOOO delicious!! It came out just right and I can't wait to try your other recipes!!

At 12:26 PM, Blogger tricia33jp said...

It's not easy to find Phyllo sheets here, instead of using Phyllo sheets, can i use wonton wraps or spring roll pastry??? its much easier to find them in the market. but im wondering will it taste similar??? thanks...

At 7:31 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Tricia,
You can make Water Borek (Su Boregi) using Egg roll Wraps :) Here is the address;

At 8:00 AM, Anonymous Sidse Ünal said...

Hi Binnur

I usually mix 1 tbsp Red pepper paste in the spinach filling (and sometimes a little garlic too). This is a wonderful variety :-)


Sidse Ünal

At 9:02 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Sidse,
Thank you for the tip. I am going to try it:)

At 5:09 PM, Anonymous Khadija said...

Hi Binnur,

My name is Khadija (Hatice) and i am of south asian descent. Just last month i was hired as a teacher at a Turkish private school and since then have fallen in love with the Turkish food served at the school cafeteria. I get the names of the food served and search for the recipes online and luckily i found your website. Borek is one of my favourites, and Russian Salad and another salad made with beets. I love your website and your recipes.Thank you for sharing!


At 3:27 PM, Blogger KHX said...

I've just finished my first Borek, your instructions were easy to follow, I hope it turns out okay. It's in the fridge now - I cannot wait to get it in the oven!!! Thanks for your site, I can't wait to try some other recipes. Thank you!

At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

cok tatli! tesekkurlar!

i've just tried your recipe, with fresh spinach, creamy feta and a mistake in some of the proportions, but it turned out great!

thank you so much for this excellent recipe.

ps: for people shopping in supermarkets in poland, like me, phyllo pastry is called "ciasto filo" or "francuskie ciasto".

At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello ,

I was making borek today and it tasted nice but my problem was that the top was dry and crunchy. I am used to Borek being soft and also the ingredients kept falling out....any suggestions on what went wrong ? Could it be yufka ? I am living in Europe and all I could find was packed non fresh filo pastry thing.
Thanks, Jana

ps: I ate it all anyways, I think turkish food is simply wonderful.

At 6:04 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Jana,
If the top is too dry the sauce may not be enough or it was over baked or the oven gives too much heat. The top can be a little bit crunchy when Borek first come out of the oven. In the mean time it will get softer. I don't know what kind of yufka you used. Because the ingredients shouldn't be falling out:) Would you consider to make Borek with more layers next time as it may fix the problem?

At 3:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi ,

thank you for the response, it may be the amount of sauce as well as layering. I will definitely be making it again so I can perfect it :)

Again thanks for your comments it helps me out. Making lemon cake this afternoon :)

Best regards, Jana

At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Sidse said...

Hi Binnur

Do you have a good recipe for a potato filling for this börek.

Best regards,


At 4:36 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Sidse:)
We mostly use the same potato filling that I made it for Potato Cigarette Borek which is under the Pastries section. Here is the address;
You may need to adjust all the ingredients:)
Take care,

At 4:58 PM, Anonymous Sidse said...

Hi Binnur

Before reading your comment, I actually made a filling, which you may try. I used 4 big potatoes, 1 big onion, 1 tbsp biber salcasi and 1/2 tsp ground red pepper.

I diced the onion and fried in the butter. Then I added the boiled mashed potatoes and spices.

This filling was really nice as well :-)

At 7:57 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Sidse,
I am going to add red pepper salca in the potato filling next time, good choice:) Thank you for sharing:)

At 6:48 AM, Blogger M said...


I have been to Turkey many times and am also pleased to find this site.

My Turkish friends made me a borek with potatoe and cheese - would that just be mashed potatoe with feta?

many thanks


At 10:31 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Michele,
I've already posted Potato Cigarette Borek which is under the Pastries section. Here is the address;
You can use the same filling:)

At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, i am currently doing food technology at school and i was wondering how long it would take to make this borek wth the spiach filling? Thanks in advance

At 6:11 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Preparation time for Borek with the spinach filling is for about 10 minutes.
Good luck:)

At 10:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you for the recipe...i would like to know is it necessary to leave it in the fridge for 2-3 hours before baking the borek?

At 10:19 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

No, you don't have to. But if you keep it for about 2-3 hours in fridge all the pastry will soak the sauce, then you will have a delicious borek:)

At 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Binnur
I LOVE this dish! I cook it every time and it is so delicious. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
Sofia- Argentina

At 2:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Binnur,

Do you have the recipe for Laken Börek? Thanks in advance.

At 9:52 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

I haven't heard of laken borek, I am not sure if "laken" is the correct word. Do you know the meaning of "laken"?

At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Binnur,

I love your site. I am tryin out quit some recipes. My Naepolitan husband, loves the Turkish kitchen a lot and it becomes a bit of a challenge to make nicer meals than the Italian ones. But often I succeed.
Thanks for all the nice recipes, I gave the link to many of my friends and they also like it.
Leyla Nazligül

At 1:01 AM, Blogger Sara said...

Hello dear Binnur,

Could I use this recipe using store-bought Bourek Dough?

Thank you,


At 3:55 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Sara,
I don't know what store-bought Borek Dough is.


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