Bite into one of these cheesy soft creamy rich fatayer. These Middle Eastern Cheese Fatayer is the perfect blend of cheese that is baked to golden perfection. They are creamy, soft, and super cheesy that you will find yourself falling in love with every bite.
These beautiful cheesy boats will fill your senses with warmth and satisfaction. They will evoke the warmth of traditional Middle Eastern hospitality, and the best part is that you can fill them with any type of cheese you prefer. Check out my secret cheesy filling combo, and allow yourself and your family to relish some delicious cheese pies!
You Will Love These Middle Eastern Cheese Pies
You can enjoy cheese fatayer anytime and anywhere. They are ideal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You can even place them in a zip lock bag for a breakfast date at work, school, or as an on-the-go snack.
How about baking these savory cheesy pastries for a heartwarming Sunday breakfast? Gather your family, relatives, or friends over a perfect Middle Eastern breakfast.
Make sure you serve these homemade cheese fatayer with hot tea next to zaatar manakish, mini pizza, and spinach fatayer; all made with my special ten-minute authentic fatayer dough.
A Middle Eastern breakfast is never complete without a large plate of labneh and a bowl of green and black olives. If you like yours with a twist, try my Authentic Labneh Balls. This brings back so many childhood memories. It is a must-have on any table.
How to Perfectly Form the Boat-Shaped Fatayer
You might think it is a daunting task to make a fancy boat-shaped cheese fatayer. Well, you are mistaken! Here’s how to easily turn each ball into an elegant cheesy boat.
First, divide the dough into medium balls for a medium pie. You can adjust the size to your liking. Then, use the rolling pin to make an oval-shaped dough. Make sure it’s neither too thin nor thick.
Add the cheese filling in the middle and spread it to the edge of the dough. Then, fold all the sides to cover the edge of the cheese. Finally, press the two ends together to get a boat-shaped dough.
Savoring Authentic Middle Eastern Flavors
Helpful Tips You Should Know About These Popular Cheese Fatayer
You can make an opened or closed fatayer. They could be totally open or wrapped in the shape of a boat or an almond or completely closed like a semi-circle shape. The main difference is that the cheese would be a bit dryer in open fatayer.
If you spread the cheese all the way to the edge and keep it open, you don’t have to brush it with egg wash. But if you make them into boat shapes or closed semi-circles, you can brush the top with egg and milk to get a beautiful golden color.
If you choose to have different cheese fillings for fatayer, you can make different shapes; one for each filling.
You can fry cheese fatayer if you close them. They are called cheese sambousek. Make sure that the oil is very hot.
You can reheat fatayer in the microwave for a few seconds, in the oven for a few minutes, or in the air fryer for some crispiness.
For a beautiful, contrasting color with a slightly nutty taste, spread some nigella seeds on the edge of the dough after filling it.
These Middle Eastern cheese fatayer are kids’ favorites as well as adults’. You will not have any leftovers. But if you do, place them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you prefer, you can freeze some fatayer for later. They will come in handy if you have sudden guests and you want to serve something special.
Frequently Asked Questions
Well, it depends on the size of the dough balls you make. If you have a large crowd, you can double or even triple the ingredients of the dough and the filling. You can prepare different fillings for different types of fatayer to enrich your table and please everyone.
Yes of course. You can prepare it the night before and keep it in the fridge. Make sure it comes to room temperature before you use it. Try to make the ten-minute dough recipe. It comes together quickly so you wouldn’t need to prepare it ahead of time.
Well, it is not recommended since cilantro or coriander have an intense flavor that will overpower the cheese. It is usually used with meat or chicken fillings.
Absolutely! While the traditional cheese blend is delightful, you can experiment with different cheeses to personalize the flavor to your liking.
Middle Eastern Cheese Fatayer
These Middle Eastern finger foods are so delicious and the cheese mixture doesn’t dry out once cooled with no eggs in the filling! I made these using my really quick 10-minute dough. Save the recipe because you will definitely try it.
What You Need
For the Cheese Filling
Shredded mozzarella: It is the perfect choice for a fluffy, stretchy cheese texture.
Cream cheese: Choose the one you prefer. It has to be softened.
Panela cheese: You can also use Ackawi cheese or Nabulsi cheese. If you’re using the cheese in the water brine, make sure you soak it for a few hours to remove the excess salt.
Bulgarian feta: Choose high-quality Bulgarian feta cheese. Make sure it’s not too salty.
Melted unsalted butter: It adds some extra flavor to the filling.
Chopped parsley: You can replace it with chopped mint, chives, or spinach. Make sure to adjust the quantities to your taste. You do not want herbs to overpower the cheese flavors.
For the dough
Warm milk or water
Steps to Prep
To form the 10-minute dough
First, start by mixing 2 cups of all-purpose flour, active dry yeast, sugar, baking powder, powdered milk, and salt. Then, add warm water or warm milk to a large bowl.
Then, mix them all together. Cover it, and let it sit in a warm place for 10-15 minutes.
Next, after 10 minutes, add 3 cups of all-purpose flour and the oil to the dough. Mix them well.
Finally, knead it for about 5-10 minutes. It will come together really quickly. For more details, check the Ten Minute Multi-Use Dough recipe.
Form your Fatayer
First, mix shredded mozzarella, cream cheese, panela cheese, Bulgarian feta, melted butter, and chopped parsley. Set them aside.
Next, roll out the desired amount of dough add the cheese mixture to the middle, and spread it.
Now, fold the edges to create a boat and place the pies on a parchment-lined tray.
Finally, brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash and bake in a preheated oven at 450 for 10-12 minutes- or until the edges turn golden.
Middle Eastern Cheese Fatayer
- Stand mixer for the dough
For the dough
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups warm milk or warm water
For the filling
- 2½ cups mozzarella
- 1 cup cream cheese softened
- 1¼ cups panela cheese akawi or nabulsi cheese
- 1 cup Bulgarian feta not too salty
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- ⅓ cup chopped parsley
To form the 10 minute dough
- Start by mixing 2 cups of all-purpose flour, active dry yeast, sugar, baking powder, powdered milk, and salt. Then, add warm water or warm milk to a large bowl.
- Mix them all together. Cover it, and let it sit in a warm place for 10-15 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, add 3 cups of all-purpose flour and the oil to the dough. Mix them well.
- Knead it for about 5-10 minutes. It will come together really quickly. For more details, check the Ten Minute Multi-Use Dough recipe.
To form your Fatayer
- Mix shredded mozzarella, cream cheese, panela cheese, Bulgarian feta, melted butter, and chopped parsley. Set them aside.
- Roll out your desired amount of dough and add the cheese mixture to the middle, and spread it.
- Fold the edges to create a boat and place the pies on a parchment-lined tray.
- Brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash and bake in a preheated oven at 450 for 10-12minutes- or until the edges get golden.
- You can make opened or closed fatayer. They could be totally opened or wrapped in the shape of a boat or an almond. It can be completely closed like a semi-circle shape. The main difference is that the cheese would be a bit dryer in open fatayer.
- If you spread the cheese all the way to the edge and keep it open, you don’t have to brush it with egg wash. But, if you make them into boat-shaped or closed semi-circles, you can brush the top with egg and milk to get a beautiful golden color.
- If you choose to have different cheese fillings, you can make different shapes, one for each filling.