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Crispy Turkish Börek

The perfect Easter dish – this Turkish Börek is salty, crispy, savoury and oh-so-satisfying.

easy crispy borek recipe

Welcome to the Lockdown Chow Down.

Join me (almost) daily as we reconnect with one of life’s most simple pleasures, food!

This recipe can be viewed as a cook along on the Culinary Cartel Instagram, by clicking here, or by viewing the “Vegan Börek”  highlight on Instagram stories.

This deliciously crispy spiral of pastry is the vegan main alternative to slow roast lamb in my Easter Feast menu, but don’t let that pigeonhole you as it’s delicious any time of the year and beloved by vegans and die hard carnivores alike. You can serve it with the accompaniments outlined in the feasting menu, or it can be delicious on its own with a simple side salad. 

Filled with slow cooked butternut, gooey onions, pulses, nuts, herbs and spices, this little number is always a massive crowd pleaser. We use a smidge of good olive oil to layer our pastry together over the copious amounts of melted butter usually called for when working with phyllo and fill our börek with different textures of veggies in place of loads of cheese. Give it a try and you will see why hands down, this is one of my favourite meals to cook for a group of friends

Börek freezes really well, so double the recipe and pop one uncooked in the freezer. Your future hungry self will thank you for being so organised!

If you try this recipe, let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your photo #theculinarycartel and #lockdownchowdown on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. Happy cooking!

easy crispy borek recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add cheese to this?

For the non-vegans (and vegans) out there, feel free to chuck in some dairy, or non-dairy, cheese and experiment with your flavours. Make sure to tag us on Instagram!

Can I use any other vegetables?

You can replace the butternut with carrot, pumpkin or orange sweet potato. 

Can I swap out the dates?

Dates work really well here, but in a pinch dried apricots can be used, 

What can I do with the remaining chickpeas?

Toss your remaining half tin of chickpeas in pil, salt and pepper and bake them alongside your borek until crisp for a crunchy snack.


easy crispy borek recipe
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easy crispy borek recipe

Crispy Turkish Börek

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  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Yield: 2-4 Servings
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Serves 2 on its own or 4 with the sides in the Easter Feast Menu


  • 300g butternut, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 1/2 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 40g (1/4 cup) roasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 80g (1/3 cup) chopped pitted dates, or dried apricots
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2g or 1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2g or 1 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander


  • 4 sheets phyllo pastry
  • olive oil as needed
  • salt and pepper to taste

To garnish: optional 

  • pomegranate seeds
  • more parsley, chopped for garnish (optional)
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds


  1. Turn the oven to 180C.
  2. Add the butternut to a baking dish, toss with a little olive oil and salt. Cover the butternut with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes or until soft.
  3. Place a pot on medium heat, add a little olive oil, and then the onions. Cover the pot and cook the onions gently for 20 minutes until soft, jammy and lightly caramelised.
  4. Once the butternut and onions are cooked, prepare your filling. Add the butternut, onions and remaining filling ingredients to a bowl, stir everything together, and add salt to taste. Set the filling aside until needed.
  5. Next, we need to build our spiral pie or börek! To do this we need a long thin sheet of phyllo pastry, which we will then roll into a long tube stuffed with filling, and curl into a snail shape.
  6. Place a sheet of phyllo in front of you, and cover the rest of the phyllo sheets with a slightly damp towel to prevent it from drying out. Open your sheet of phyllo up lengthways in front of you, like a book. Brush the whole sheet of phyllo very lightly in olive oil, using a pastry brush.
  7. Now we need to join two sheets of phyllo together to make a longer sheet. Take a new sheet of phyllo from the pile and open it up. Place it to the right of the first sheet, open like a book, before gently overlapping the two sheets by 2 cm along the shorter edge to form one long sheet, with an overlapping seam in the middle anchoring them together.
  8. Brush the new sheet with olive oil. The oil will act as both a glue and an agent to help the pastry get crispy. Should you have trouble sticking your sheets together, simply add a little more oil.
  9. Now take a third sheet, and place it directly on top of sheet 1. Brush sheet number three lightly with oil, before taking a final fourth sheet and placing this over sheet two (it will overlap slightly over sheet three as well). Phyllo can be rather delicate, hence the need to double up the layers and stop the filling from spilling out.
  10. To make understanding the above instructions easier, you can find the step-by-step video HERE
  11. Spoon the filling in a long, thin, sausage along the long edge of your pastry sheet. The sausage should be about 3cm in diameter. If you run out of filling before the end of the pastry, simply trim off the excess.
  12. Start rolling the pastry away from you around the filling, until you are left with a nice long cylinder of pastry, stuffed with veggie filling. Brush your pastry cylinder lightly in olive oil.
  13. Roll your pastry into a snail shape, and transfer it to baking dish. You can use any dish shape, but I find circular dishes will help the börek keep its shape.
  14. Before popping your börek in the oven sprinkle over a few sesame seeds, if you have them.
  15. Bake your börek at 180C for 30-40 minutes until golden. Remove the börek from the oven, scatter over the chopped parsley and a few pomegranate seeds, and serve alongside my Green Hummus, Iranian Cucumber and Yogurt Sauce and Marinated Aubergines (which can be found on our Easter Feast post here) as part of a truly special Middle Eastern-inspired feast.

Happy cooking x

  • Category: Mains
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Middle-Eastern


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 631.79kcal
  • Sugar: 38.84g
  • Sodium: 817.63mg
  • Fat: 23.76g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.78g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 19.09g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 99.71g
  • Fiber: 15.72g
  • Protein: 16.4g
  • Cholesterol: 0g
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