Getting flaky with phyllo [Balsamic Butternut & Kale Pastry for one]

Waste not, want not – that’s actually how my current obsession with phyllo dough pastries started. In an effort to use up the leftover sheets of dough from making the Kale Surprise Pastry Pie for our family dinner.  While the pie was really delicious I wasn’t fond of preparing the same dish already again and having to eat it for several days in a row. Fingers crossed I got experimenting once more despite not feeling the creative juices flowing that day – and was positively surprised.*

*That’s not to say I expected an awful result but I just wasn’t ‘feeling’ the phyllo that particular day. Okay, that and the fact I came up with some unsatisfying lunches in previous years.


Unlike recipes puff pastry which – who would I kid here – is fantastic in all its buttery, rich glory this dish will leave you satisfied not stuffed. Phyllo dough steps in as a beautiful replacement delivering the flaky, crispy and, well, doughy element while not sitting heavy on your stomach afterwards. There’s a time and place for that, too [think Christmas dinner]. But if I plan on doing anything just slightly more active than turning over book pages while lying on the sofa within the next hours after a meal puff pastry might not the best choice.


Phyllo is where it’s at then. The best part of this kind of dish is its versatility: sub the butternut for another kind of squash or carrots, the kale for spinach, kidney beans for chickpeas … you name it. Or go for a completely different filling using whichever leftovers you have. Let your imagination go wild 🙂 – and then come back and tell me which amazing variations you’ve created.

dished up

Treating ourselves is an important part of self-care and while I’m all about finding ways beside food it’s nice to have this easy everyday route, too. The pastry is simple and quick enough to prepare on a weekday but feels almost like eating at a fancy bistro. It’s a way to make an ordinary day feel just that smidgen more special.

 Balsamic Butternut & Kale Pastry [serves one]

  • 1 sheet phyllo dough [see note below]
  • 1 small red onion, diced finely
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
  • 4-5 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup of kale, sliced into thin strips
  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp of soy cream [I used Alpro Soya brand]
  • ¼ cup kidney beans
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Sauté the onion in a small pot until translucent. Add the garlic and stir-fry until fragrant.
  2. Add the butternut squash and a few tablespoons of water. Cover the pot and reduce heat to medium. Let the squash simmer until tender.
  3. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, thyme and cayenne pepper. Mix in the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Add the kale, letting it wilt.
  5. Stir in the 1/4 cup of soy cream, kidney beans and season with salt and pepper to taste. Readjust spices to taste, too.
  6. When the filling is assemble your phyllo dough like shown in the second picture, add the vegetable mixture and cover with the overlapping edges of the dough. Brush the top with the remaining tablespoon of non-dairy cream.
  7. Bake the pastry in the preheated oven [350 °F] for about 20 minutes.

Phyllo pastry


Keep the phyllo dough in the freezer until ready to move. I’ve found it dries out quickly when exposed to air so wait until your filling’s done to assemble it in the casserole dish.

I’m linking up with Recipe Friday and Strange but good so get even more inspiration over there.

Not a math pro at all I hope I counted out your votes on Wednesday correctly by posting the pastry recipe first. Even if you didn’t vote for it I know you will like it. Because I say you do ;).

Happiness inducing today: Leaving work tired but content after a busy day.

Tell me your favourite pastry fillings or – if you didn’t have pastries before: what would you fill them with?

Have you worked with phyllo dough before?

Random Friday question: What are your plans for the weekend?

24 thoughts on “Getting flaky with phyllo [Balsamic Butternut & Kale Pastry for one]

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      You’re a darling, Davs! Knowing you’re a master chef I hope you’ll jump on the phyllo bandwagon soon and inspire [or tempt?!] me with even more awesome recipes. And thanks, yes, work was great and went by quickly today.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Thanks for the compliment, Shashi! I learned my phyllo dough lesson the hard way after getting it out of the fridge too early the first time – crumbles and no way to wrap it around the filling anymore.

  1. Maisa Leibovitz says:

    yeah, I also have a hard time with phyllo, its not an intuitive dough. I’ve had issues of it drying out and also Im never entirely sure how many sheets to use! Theyre so thin I end up using like 20! Haha, any tips?

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Skip the phyllo? But it’s what makes the dish all that amazing! That being said the filling is delicious but I promise it’s extra good with the added flaky, buttery crust 🙂 .

  2. katalysthealth says:

    Phyllo dough scares the crap out of me, but only because people have said its tough to work with! This sounds super delish though. Ive been meaning to try out a phyllo dish…I cant be afraid of it forever!

  3. Emily says:

    Ahhhh YES! This looks phenomenal. I bought phyllo dough yesterday and can’t wait to experiment with it! And single-serve recipes are perfect since I’m [almost] always just cooking for myself. So excited. (:

  4. ohwhatachristy says:

    You make such a good poi.t
    You made such a good point about using puff pastry, though it’s impossible for anything to come out bad with it, it does leave you feeling “food baby” kind of stuffed! This dish looks fantastic! Can’t wait to cook with phyllo for the first time.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Puff pastry is basically fool-proof when it comes to impressing guests but I’d rather do without the food baby on regular days, too. I hope you’ll have as much fun with phyllo as I did – and still do.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Can we pretend I totally had you in mind when [randomly] adding ingredients here 😉 ? Hot pockets will have to run for their [pocket] money once you get creative with phyllo dough.

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