Filo pastry (also known as phyllo pastry) is a crispy, flaky pastry that can be used to make a whole host of sweet and savoury appetisers, mains and desserts.
Making your own filo pastry at home can be fun, albeit a fairly tricky and time-consuming. However, the good news is that most store-bought filo pastry is accidentally vegan.
Shop-bought filo comes in ready-rolled sheets, and sometimes even in shells or cups. If you can’t get hold of the shells or cups, it’s easy to fashion a sheet of filo into a cup shape.
Do you like filo pastry but you’re not sure what to do with it? Then read on for eight of the best filo pastry recipes to inspire you in the kitchen…
1. Tofu breakfast baskets
Scrambled tofu is a great vegan alternative to scrambled egg. If you’d like to make your tofu ahead of time and bring it with you to a picnic or a pot luck, then these filo breakfast baskets are a great way to transport your tofu scramble.
Inside this healthy tofu breakfast basket, you’ll also find greens like spinach or kale, mushrooms and a whole load of tasty herbs and spices.
2. Vegan crab bites
The perfect party appetiser, these vegan crab bites only take 20 minutes to prepare and can be served hot or cold. The vegan ‘crab’ is made with shredded hearts of palm, Old Bay seasoning, mayonnaise, mustard, vegan Worcestershire sauce, kelp, parsley, garlic, onion, salt and pepper.
This recipe uses ready-made phyllo shells. If you live in the US, you should be able to find these in Walmart in the frozen section.
For those of us who live in the UK or elsewhere, filo shells can be hard to come by, but it’s easy to make your own shells or cups by putting filo sheets in a muffin pan.
3. Vegan baked samosas
Samosas are usually deep-fried, but these bakes samosas are healthier and easier to make at home. These tasty vegan samosas filled with potatoes, carrot, peas, onion, chilli, garlic, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry powder and turmeric.
Folding filo pastry into a triangle shape can take a bit of practice, but it’s really easy once you know the technique.
4. Vegan spanakopita
Spanakopita is a spinach and feta pie. This vegan version of the Greek classic uses homemade vegan feta cheese which you can buy from the supermarket or make yourself with tofu, refined coconut oil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, dried dill and salt.
To make this vegan spanakopita recipe, you simply sautee the vegan feta cheese with spinach, top with filo sheets and bake in the oven.
5. Mini vegan spinach pies
What do you get if you cross a baked samosa with a vegan spanakopita? One of these mini vegan feta and spinach pies!
Made with tofu feta and frozen spinach, these triangular pies are an easy vegan appetiser to make with sheets of ready-rolled filo pastry.
6. Vegan ricotta and kale filo scrolls
Crispy and wholesome, these filo scrolls are packed full of healthy vegan ricotta cheese and kale.
To make the vegan ricotta cheese filling, you blend tofu, kale, milk, tahini, nutritional yeast and seasonings in a food processor. Then wrap it up in filo pastry until you have a sausage shape. Curl the filo tubes into these beautiful scrolls and bake in the oven to create a hearty vegan main dish.
See more vegan food processor recipes here.
7. Christmas pudding strudel
A great way to use up leftover Christmas pudding, this rich and fruity strudel is easy to make with sheets of filo pastry. If you have some Christmas pudding that doesn’t seem appetising amongst all the other festive snacks on offer, you can easily make it into a whole new dessert.
All you need to do is crumble the Christmas pudding, wrap it up, brush with a little vegan butter and bake it in the oven.
8. Pear filo tart
This healthy pear tart dessert has layers of flaky filo pastry, caramelised pears and homemade pear jam. It’s perfect served with vegan custard or ice cream.
Pear jam is easy to make by boiling pears in water and blending. However, you can use any shop-bought jam for a short cut.
Filo pastry can be spelled as filo, fillo or phyllo, but however you spell it, one thing’s for sure, it’s a super-versatile pastry that you can use to make all kinds of sweet and savoury recipes.
Filo pastry is one of the more tricky pastries to make from scratch, but there’s really no need do it yourself as most shop-bought ready-rolled filo pastry is vegan.
It’s normal for filo to break when arranging it, so if this happens, don’t worry! You can always patch it up and brush the filo pieces with a little oil to get them to stick together. Most of the time, you won’t be able to tell once your dish is baked.
You can read more about what filo pastry is made from, see where to buy it and how to make your own here: Is filo pastry vegan?