Phyllo Cigars

Lamb and Olive Stuffed Phyllo Dough

Phyllo, or filo dough, can be harder to make from scratch than to pronounce. Luckily, all you need to do for this recipe is go to the grocery freezer section and ask for it by name: “Where is your phyllo (FEE-lo) dough, please?”–Anne Bramley

LC Pyllo Phun, Uh, Fun Note

Sure, you can buy frozen phyllo dough, although even that can be tricky to work with. (There. We admitted it. Just saying what’s on everybody’s mind. No sense in sugarcoating it.) But at least the thin, delicate sheets of pastry come in packages of like a gazillion. So if you mess up, no big whoop. Just start over again. Practice makes perfect.

Lamb and Olive Stuffed Phyllo Dough Cigars

  • Quick Glance
  • 1 H
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Makes 24 to 32 phyllo cigars
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  • For the lamb-mint filling
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 pound ground lamb
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mint
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • For the feta-olive filling
  • 8 ounces feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup (about 1/2 pound) finely chopped mixed green and black Greek olives
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 to 8 sheets phyllo dough, thawed according to manufacturer’s directions
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  • Make the lamb-mint filling
  • 1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
  • 2. Add the lamb and cook until browned, about 8 minutes, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Stir in the rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Remove from the heat and let cool. Put the mixture in a food processor and pulse until you get an evenly fine texture, being careful not to grind it to a paste.
  • Make the feta-olive filling
  • 3. Place the feta in a bowl and crumble with a fork. Add the olives, egg, oregano, and pepper. Mix to combine.
  • Make the cigars
  • 4. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • 5. Place 1 sheet of phyllo dough on a work surface with the long side toward you. Brush lightly with the melted butter. Lay another sheet of phyllo on top. Keep the remaining sheets covered with a damp towel. Brush the second layer with butter.
  • 6. Cut the phyllo dough sheets in half lengthwise so that you have 2 half-sheets, one above the other. Cut each half into fourths so you have 8 equal-size wrappers.
  • 7. With the short side facing you lay 1 scant tablespoon of filling at the bottom of the wrapper. Roll up the filling in the phyllo dough partway. Fold in the sides and continue to roll into a cigar shape. Place, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining filling and sheets of dough.
  • 8. Brush the cigars with butter and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until crisp and golden brown.

Recipe Testers Reviews

These were meals! Plus they held up very well when refrigerated and reheated in an oven/toaster oven — great for making ahead of time. The spices in the lamb were spot on, and the feta-olive mix was wonderful; a bit salty, but the phyllo evened it out. I’ll certainly be making this again for company.

I loved these cigars. Sometimes I feel like phyllo is done to death (especially with cheeses), but these were different. They were beautifully savory and a refreshing change. My dinner guests gave them an A+.


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