beef florentine phyllo pie

beef florentine phyllo pie

I’ve had this recipe on the back burner to do for ages. The one you get excited about when you first see it, put it away in storage and keep dreaming about making, but never get around to. That one.

What a relief that I have finally created my version of this delectable dish.

A friend from Twitter raved about a beef florentine recipe that her mom made. I was taken with ever aspect of the sound of it. Saucey beef covered in a layer of cheesey spinach and finished off with a crunchy phyllo pastry top, what is not to love.

Thanks @Bubbalubs, its a winner.

Now the beauty about this recipe is you can really adapt it to your taste anyway you like. I added a few bits and pieces to the original one and changed the proportions. I like a lot of spinach. This is a firmish dish which I think works really well as a pie, and you can get stuck in and take out a good solid slice out of it. You could add more sauce if you like it like that, or simply top your favourite bolognese with spinach and phyllo and bake.

You could also turn it vegetarian by roasting cubes of butternut in olive oil. Perhaps adding a few sprigs of thyme and a sprinkle of dried chilli and then top it as per the recipe. I think lamb would work wonderfully too.

* A few notes on the recipe. Use any cheese you like with your cream cheese. I used a mature Cheddar and Parmesan combo, but choose whatever you prefer. I think a stronger cheese works well and adds depth of flavour to this dish. I used a liquid stock concentrate and added a bit extra as I wanted the meatiness (hence my description of ‘concentrated’ beef stock). If you use a cube, crumble in a bit extra. If you want your spinach layer to be more saucey, add 1/4 cup of cream or milk.

Recipe | serves 4 | 45 mins

For the beef layer:

  •  1 T oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 500g minced beef
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 can of tomatoes (400g)
  • 1/2 cup fairly concentrated beef stock
  • 1 t sugar
  • pinch of dried chilli flakes (optional)

For the spinach layer:

  • 300g – 400g spinach (removed fom stalks)
  • 100g mature Cheddar (Gruyere)
  • 30g Parmesan (grated)
  • 100g cream cheese (I used low fat)
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • butter to coat the phyllo layers (aprox 80g)

For the phyllo layer:

  • 6 – 8 sheets of phyllo depending on the sizer of your dish

To make the meat layer heat the oil in a wide non stick frying pan and fry the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the beef and cook  (breaking up any clumps) until the liquid has cooked off and the meat starts to caramlise (go brown). Add the garlic and fry for another minute. Add the tin of peeled tomatoes, sugar, chilli and stock and allow this to cook over a medium heat until most of liquid has cooked off and the sauce has thickened.

To make the spinach layer: While you meat is cooking away, heat a pot filled with water and bring it to the boil. Add the spinach and allow this to cook until it has wiled (about 5 minutes). Drain, rinse under cold water and set aside. When its cool enough to handle, squeeze the spinach with your hands, making sure you get most of the water out.

In a separate bowl, add all the cheeses to the beaten egg. Roughly chop the drained and wrung out spinach and stir this through the cheese / egg  mixture.

In an appropriately sized baking dish spread the meat over the bottom layer and then cover with the spinach mixture.

To make the phyllo topping. Melt the butter in the microwave. Cut 3 pieces of phyllo to roughly the size of the dish. Bush each sheet lightly with butter (covering the surface area) and place over the pie filling buttered side up. Repeat until you have 3 flat layers on the pie. Now using about 6 – 8 pieces (the same size as before), brush with butter and then fold these (buttered side down now) – scrunching it up as you go to create a ruffled effect. Carry on on until you have covered the surface area of your pie with phyllo. Lightly brush over bits of the top phyllo, its not important to brush it all.

Bake in a pre heated over of 200C for 20 – 25 minutes until the phyllo has turned golden.

PS. you will see in the last picture that I have folded the phyllo a different way like a concertina, you can choose whatever you prefer.

*This post has been sponsored by Mediterranean Delicacies, the manufacturers of the phyllo pastry.

A few of my other phyllo recipes can be found here:

apple phyllo pie with pecans and maple

zesty spinach and feta pies

mushroom and parmesan phyllo pies

roasted vegetable strudel

christmas pudding strudel with chocolate

beef florentine phyllo pie

beef florentine phyllo pie

beef florentine phyllo pie

I look forward to connecting with you again

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I can also be found enthusiastically pinning beautiful food images on Pinterest. 



  1. This really looks gorgeous! I am retiring at the end of May this year and looking at all the delicious recipes to make – we are planning to make lunch the big meal and in the evenings just a small one. Thanks for your excellent recipes!

  2. Margot C

    Are you saying Cheddar OR Gruyere – because that’s two very different things; not both right? “Florentine’ usually means Spinach + Hollandaise sauce so I’m not sure which would be best.

  3. Sam

    Hi Margot, you can use either or both. It really doesn’t matter. The original recipe uses a combination of Cheddar and Gruyere (or Emmental). I used Cheddar and Parmesan as I did not have Gruyere. Florentine means ‘to cook with spinach’ it does not need to have Hollandaise sauce.

  4. Oeee, just looks gorgeous – you really are a connoisseur when it comes to phyllo pastry. Looks really amazing and great recipe Sam!

  5. Sam

    Thanks Anina, I have been working with it quite a bit lately and its so easy.

  6. How many packs of phyllo did you unearth at the back of your freezer Sam? ;). I remember when you mentioned the phyllo recipes you were developing on the day of the braaimaster wrap party but I had no idea how many recipes would come of it. Lovely post and the recipe isn’t helping my hunger one bit xx

  7. Sam

    Hi Tami, no these are new recipes and new phyllo 🙂

  8. Sounds tasty, looks beautiful, photos gorgeous … all GOOD! Hope you’re feeling chipper again.

  9. Not only a flavoursome dish with that beautiful phyllo top, but beautiful photos to boot!

  10. Sam

    Thanks Joan, all chipper again this morning 🙂

  11. OOOhhh yum this looks and sounds amazing, Will make the beef one for the man, and just do Mine with spinach, and all the yummy gooey cheese, maybe add some mushrooms just to bulk it up, Thanks Mills… MMmmmmmm 😮

  12. Sam

    Flee – you can make it in to all manner of vegetarian awesomeness x

  13. Thanks Sam, Will be experimenting with this for Def. Have an awesome day

  14. The phyllo crust is so pretty. Its the beautiful ruffled brown phyllo that elevates this from casserole to company worthy.

  15. OMW! I made this dish last night and it absolutely rocked the party!! Thanks… now to try something else off this amazing site 😀

  16. Sam

    Excellent Nel-Marie 🙂 – thanks so much

  17. This looks amazing and i’m hoping to make for some friends at the weekend. Would i be able to make it in the morning and leave in the fridge, then put in the oven to cook while we eat our starters or would that ruin it?
    Also what would you serve with it. salad, veg etc.?

  18. Sam

    HI Kate, I have never done that with phyllo before but feel sure you could. At the least you could make the filling, put it into the dish and then just add the phyllo topping just before baking. Salad would go really well with it or veg. I love to do steamed green beans and / or zucchini, perhaps butternut too.

  19. Absolutely loved this dish. Will definitely be doing it again. Served with roasted baby courgette and carrots .All empty plates.Thanks

  20. Sam

    Im so glad Liz, thanks for letting me know.

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