Greek Recipes

Greek and Cypriot recipes

Sarikopita: “Turban” Cheese Pie

In Greek: σαρικόπιτα, pronounced sah-ree-KOH-pee-tah

Shaped like little turbans, these sharp-tasting cheese pies are a specialty on the island of Crete. They are best made with homemade phyllo dough rolled out to the thickness of 2-3 pieces of copier paper (or setting number 6 on a pasta machine), but in a pinch, can be made with prepared puff pastry. Leave off the sugar dusting on top for those with diabetes – there’s no sugar in the pita ingredients.

Sarikopita: "turban" cheese pie

Sarikopita: “turban” cheese pie

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 pound of homemade phyllo
  • 1 1/2 cups of aged (“sour”) myzithra cheese, finely crumbled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh mint, finely chopped
  • olive oil for frying
  • confectioner’s sugar for dusting (optional)


In a small bowl, combine the cheese, egg, and mint with a fork, mixing until well blended. It will be fairly dry mixture.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the phyllo using a pasta machine (setting 6) or a rolling pin to the thickness of 2-3 sheets of copier paper. Sprinkle the dough with flour to keep it dry.

Cut dough into strips 5 inches wide by 12 inches long.

Place several teaspoons of the cheese mixture down the center of the dough lengthwise, stopping about 3/4 inch from the ends. Fold the dough over the cheese, one side at a time, and gently form the strip into a circle while keeping it flat on the work surface. Dab a little water on the top of one end and the underside of the other end and press together gently to join.

Fry over medium heat in about 1/4 inch of preheated oil, until lightly browned on both sides. Drain on absorbent paper toweling and serve (optionally) dusted with confectioner’s sugar. The Cheese: Hard aged myzithra cheese is available in many markets, and if shopping at a Greek market, the cheese will probably be called xynomyzithra (“sour” myzithra, to differentiate from the soft “sweet” version).


       The recipe may not use all the phyllo. Store unused phyllo in the refrigerator in airtight wrapping. It stores well for about a week.

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