Bread and Pastry, Breakfast and Brunch, Middle Eastern Recipes

Middle Eastern Cheese Fatayer (Cheese Pies)

Middle Eastern fatayer made with ten minute dough and s special cheese filling served with zaatar pies and a glass of tea

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!


Cheese Fatayers made of a mixture of cheese for filling and the ten minute dough for the pies.
Don’t you want to have a bite into these Mediterranean cheese pastries?


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

Middle Eastern fatayer made with ten minute dough and s special cheese filling served with zaatar pies and a glass of tea
The best way to kickstart your day!

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.


Fatayer made in the shape of circles or boats and filled with cheese
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Frequently Asked Questions

How many pieces does this recipe yield?

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.

Can I prepare the soft dough for fatayer ahead of time?

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.

Can I use cilantro instead of parsley with the cheese?

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.

Can I customize the cheese filling in Cheese Fatayer?

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

Flour

Oil

Sugar

Yeast

Salt

Baking powder

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.


Must-Try Recipes:

Zaatar and Cheese Breakfast Bake

Authentic Labneh Balls

Middle Eastern Mint Tea (Shai Bi Na’Na)

Strawberry Mascarpone Crème Croissants

Bakery Style Almond Croissants

Ten Minute Multi-Use Dough

Tender Zaatar Cheese Buns

Palestinian Cauliflower Fritters (Emshat)

Date-Filled Brioche Buns

Date Energy Balls


If you’ve tried this recipe, don’t forget to rate it and leave a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.


Middle Eastern fatayer made with ten minute dough and s special cheese filling served with zaatar pies and a glass of tea

Middle Eastern Cheese Fatayer

Fatimah
These Middle Eastern Cheese Fatayer are soft, good, and super cheesy. You can make them with the 10-minute dough. Your go to food for any time of the day.
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 12
Calories 700 kcal

Equipment

  • Stand mixer for the dough

Ingredients
  

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

  • cups mozzarella
  • 1 cup cream cheese softened
  • cups panela cheese akawi or nabulsi cheese
  • 1 cup Bulgarian feta not too salty
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • cup chopped parsley

Instructions
 

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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 700kcalCarbohydrates: 70gProtein: 30gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 18gSodium: 1000mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4g
Keyword cheese fatayer, cheese hand pies, fatayer with cheese, middle eastern fatayer
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

20 thoughts on “Middle Eastern Cheese Fatayer (Cheese Pies)

  1. Asmaa says:

    5 stars
    the cheese combination on there is utter PERFECTION!!!!

  2. Maria says:

    5 stars
    I made these the other day. Absolutely delicious! My friends and family loved them.

  3. Asha says:

    5 stars
    Super recipe… I tired and it was perfect.. thank you

  4. Candice says:

    Perfect cheese combo !!! Family loved this recipe so much & will continue to use this. soo yummmy !

  5. Lana Salih says:

    How much powdered milk should I add?

  6. Mariam says:

    5 stars
    The best tasting cheese fatayer ever, and i had them with the 10 minute dough recipe. Amazing

  7. Christina says:

    Oh this recipe is so delicious!! I used the 10 minute dough recipe which will now be my go to for everything. This rich and creamy cheese filling is so good. I’m not a big Feta fan and used a high quality Greek one since I couldn’t find the one needed. Everything turned out so well and is a hit and was asked to make it again some time. Thank you for sharing it us!

  8. Sally says:

    5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this cheese combination. It was inhaled in 2 seconds, and i used the 10 minute dough recipe of youres. Thanks for the wonderful recipes

  9. Maram says:

    5 stars
    Made these with the 10 min dough recipe, loved them!!!

  10. sam K says:

    5 stars
    Hi
    you mentioned powdered milk in the method but not in the ingredients.
    How much do you add?

    Also how many portions does the recipe yield?

    Thanks

    1. Fatimah says:

      Hi, if you want to add powdered milk, add 3 tbsp. I divide my pieces a little small and make about 20 pieces

      1. sam k says:

        5 stars
        Hi made these yesterday, were absolutely delicious. I made 25 pieces (50g each) and used around 30g of filling for each pie.
        I reheated for 30 seconds this morning, the bread was lovely and soft .

  11. Nora darwish says:

    5 stars
    I made these the other day with your 10 min dough recipe and they came out so delicious! Thank you so much!

  12. Alicia says:

    5 stars
    My mother in law is a caterer for middle eastern food so I was a little skeptical about making these for her but she absolutely loved them! Plus the 10 minute dough was the only recipe I could get to come together! So happy I follow your page, I cannot wait to try more!

  13. Zarina Khan says:

    5 stars
    Tried many dough recipes but this is the best by far! Used it to make zaatar rolls and pizza bases. Never fails to impress.

  14. Zarina Khan says:

    5 stars
    These turned out so good! Tried many dough recipes but this is the best by far! Used it to make zaatar rolls and pizza bases. Never fails to impress.

  15. Sumra says:

    5 stars
    Assalamu alaykum! Just made these for the first time with my son. He loved rolling out the dough. We used your 10 minute dough recipe; it’s so easy to work with and incredibly soft and delicious. The cheese filling was flavorful! Loved this recipe. Thank you for sharing this!

  16. Rehma M says:

    5 stars
    I use the dough recipe ALL the time! And I love how simple you’ve made fatayer! Definitely used to be intimidated to make it but love this!

  17. Suad says:

    Can we use ol8ve oil instead of vegetable

    1. Fatimah says:

      Definitely!

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