An rectangular dessert wrapped in thin stands of pastry, topped with crushed pistachios on a glass plate

Kataifi Pastry and Cheese Rolls

4.67 / 3 votes
For this Greek specialty, kataifi, spaghetti-like strands of pastry similar to phyllo dough, are wrapped around a savory cheese filling (sometimes ham or bacon) and baked until golden. Kataifi can also be made into a sweet dessert.
David Leite
Servings20 Makes 20 to 25 rolls
Calories196 kcal
Prep Time1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time2 hours


  • 4 tablespoons butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 4 eggs
  • Pepper
  • 7 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated kaseri or Gruyere cheese
  • 11 ounces kataifi pastry
  • 4 tablespoons corn oil
  • 2/3 cup (1/4 pint) milk
  • 2/3 cup (1/4 pint) heavy cream


  • Grease an ovenproof dish with butter and set aside.
  • Lightly beat two of the eggs in a bowl, season with pepper, and stir in the cheeses.
  • Tease out the kataifi pastry and divide into 20 to 25 long sections. Keep the sections covered with a damp cloth to keep them moist.
  • Take one section of kataifi and pat it gently between your palms. Place 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture on it and fold it over the filling, shaping a ball. Continue until all the sections of kataifi are filled. Place them in the prepared dish, close together. Heat the 4 tablespoons butter and corn oil together and pour a teaspoon over each roll.
  • At this point you can wrap and freeze the rolls or store them in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  • One hour before baking, lightly beat together the milk, cream, and remaining eggs. Pour the mixture over the rolls and let them stand for 1 hour, until they have absorbed the liquid. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Bake the rolls for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately.


: G. Pav


You can substitute 1 cup (6 ounces) finely chopped cured ham or bacon for 1 cup (4 ounces) of the cheese mixture.
Vefa's Kitchen by Vefa Alexiadou

Adapted From

Vefa’s Kitchen

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 196 kcalCarbohydrates: 9 gProtein: 7 gFat: 15 gSaturated Fat: 7 gMonounsaturated Fat: 5 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 66 mgSodium: 267 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 1 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2009 Vefa Alexiadou. Photo © 2009 Edward Park. All rights reserved.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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