Classic South African bobotie phyllo pies

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A tray of baked bobotie phyllo pies, a delicious appetizer

These South African bobotie phyllo pies make a delicious appetizer snack to serve at a party. Use up any leftover bobotie or make a new batch just for these pies. It will be so worth it.

South African bobotie phyllo pies recipe

Phyllo pastry is ready-made therefore minimal effort is involved with this recipe. Phyllo is quite forgiving and easy to work with. You can wrap just about anything in these flaky layers and instantly give it the WOW factor. Who doesn’t want easy and impressive?

South African bobotie phyllo pies recipe

I had a big Bobotie left over after making it for another project, so decided to whip up these pies. Bobotie – for the benefit of any international readers who are not sure what it is, is a local South African dish of savoury mince with fruit chutney and an egg custard on the top.

A traditional South African bobotie recipe with fragrant yellow rice

It’s extremely moist, has a mild curry flavour and would normally be served with yellow rice and sambals. It may sound a little strange but it’s very delicious. It is of Malay origin and has been around these parts since the 17th Century.

A plate of baked South African bobotie phyllo pies

How to make bobotie phyllo pies:

To make these bobotie phyllo pies, mix the custard layer with the mince into the cooled bobotie and then simply fill these pies and roll them up into triangles.

I used the same method as I did with my sweetcon & cheese phyllo pies, zesty spinach and feta phyllo pies and my leek, mushroom, and Parmesan phyllo pies.

Brush the finished pies with melted butter and scatter over sesame seeds (option) before placing them on a baking tray and baking in a 180C/350F oven for about 25 minutes until golden brown.

The bobotie phyllo ies can also be mad in an Air Fryer as I did with my easy air fryer zucchini and cheese phyllo pies.

Serve with your favourite fruit chutney to dip into.

Cut open South African bobotie phyllo pies recipe with spicy mince filling

Freezing & storing bobotie phyllo pies

These phyllo pies can be frozen before they are baked. Wrap them in plastic wrap and when you are ready to bake them, simply thaw them, brush them with melted butter and bake as per the instructions.

If you freeze them after being baked, simply thaw and reheat them in the oven at 180C/350F for 8 minutes or in an air fryer for about 4 – 5 minutes at 180C/350F.

This recipe for bobotie is adapted from Karolie de Koster and can be found here.

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South African bobotie phyllo pies

Crunch phyllo triangles made with South African bobotie as a filling
Print Recipe
A tray of baked bobotie phyllo pies, a delicious appetizer
Prep Time:30 minutes
Cook Time:1 hour 10 minutes


Bobotie pies:

  • 8 sheets phyllo pastry 2 sheets make 4 x pies
  • 200 g Kerrygold salted butter melted
  • Chutney to serve


  • 500 g lean beef or lamb mince
  • 1 large onion peeled and coarsely grated or chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 4 tsp 20ml medium curry powder
  • 1 tsp 5ml hot or additional medium curry powder or garam masala
  • ½ tsp 2.5ml turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp 1ml ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp 1ml ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp 1ml mixed dried herbs
  • pinch cayenne pepper or chilli powder
  • ½ red or green pepper finely diced
  • 1 large Granny Smith unpeeled green apple finely diced or coarsely grated
  • 2 slices white or brown bread crusts removed
  • ½ cup 125ml milk
  • 1 tsp 5ml salt
  • 1 tsp 5ml baking powder
  • 2 – 3 tbsp 30ml apricot jam or fruit chutney (I used Mrs Balls)
  • 1 tbsp 15ml white vinegar
  • 1 tsp 2.5ml beef stock powder (or one sachet of stock concentrate)
  • 1/3 cup 80ml raisins or sultanas, soaked in hot water to plump up


  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup 125ml milk
  • ¼ tsp 1ml salt
  • 6 – 8 coarsely chopped cashew nuts optional
  • lemon or bay leaves optional


  • To make the bobotie, place the meat, onion, garlic and spices in a larger non-stock frying and stir-fry over moderate heat for about 5 minutes or until the meat is loose and crumbly.
  • Add the red pepper and apple and cook 5 minutes more until the meat is lightly browned.
  • Pour the milk over the bread to moisten, and add this to the meat together with all remaining ingredients. Mix to combine, adjust seasoning to taste and spoon into an ovenproof dish of a suitable size. Press the mince down quite firmly and smooth the top.
  • Beat together the ingredients for the topping and pour this over the meat. Scatter the nuts over the top and stick a few lemon or bay leaves decoratively into the meat.
  • Bake at 170ºC for about 30 until the topping has set and turned light golden brown.
  • When you are ready to bake the pies, gently remove two sheets of phyllo pastry from the packaging – cover the remaining pastry with a clean, damp tea towel to prevent it from drying out.
  • Separate the pastry sheets and lightly brush one with melted butter, then place the unbrushed sheet on top.
  • Cut the pastry sheets vertically/lengthways into four equal strips or, if you want to make smaller pies, five pieces.
  • Brush the strips with butter leaving the bottom bit where the filling goes in unbrushed.
  • Place a spoonful of bobotie (about a dessert spoon full) at the bottom end of each piece of pastry and fold over to form a triangle.
  • Continue to fold the parcel over as you work your way up the strip of pastry, maintaining the triangle shape. Repeat with the other sheets of pastry.
  • Lightly brush all sides of the triangle pies with melted butter.

To bake in an oven:

  • Bake in an oven preheated to 180C/350F and place the pies on a large lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown
  • To bake in an air fryer:
  • Preheat the air fryer to 180C/350F and depending on the size of your basket cook these in 3 – 4 batches for 12 minutes until golden.
  • Serve with chutney on the side or to dip the pies into.


The bobotie can be made in advance (even a day or two before and stored in the fridge.
These phyllo pies can be frozen before they are baked. Wrap in a plastic wrap and when ready to bake simply thaw, brush with melted butter and bake as per the instructions.
If you freeze them after being baked, simply thaw and reheat them in the oven at 18-C for 8 minutes or in an air fryer for about 4 – 5 minutes at 180C/350F.


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  1. New follower and fellow South African here! I had to tell you your photos are an inspiration for me – absolutely beautiful! Also, recipes like this make me nostalgic for SA. Lovely work =)

  2. Hi Adrian, welcome! and many thanks for the kind words. Hope to see you around here soon. Sam

  3. Looking forward to trying this recipe…. but how does one stop the filling from leaking out the corners of the triangles? Any tips?

  4. Hi Fran, if you don’t overfill the pies and roll them neatly over themselves the filling should not leak out. If it does a little it doesn’t matter but not overfilling is key. Enjoy!

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