What's the Difference Between Phyllo and Puff Pastry?
It's true, puff pastry and phyllo dough might seem very similar to the plain eye. Phyllo dough and puff pastry dough are usually located in the freezer section of your supermarket. And, if your in the grocery store shopping for pre-made phyllo or puff pastry dough, you'll likely find them close to one another.
Phyllo dough, or sometimes referred to as "filo", are thin sheets of dough that are stacked together and separated with some type of fat, like oil or butter. Phyllo dough is made with flour, water, oil, and sometimes egg yolk. The dough is rolled and stretched into large sheets.
The most common use for Phyllo dough is for a pastry called baklava. If you don't know Baklava is a pastry that is made by layering phyllo dough, honey and nuts and comes into different shapes and sizes.
Puff pastry puffs up as it bakes. It's flaky and similar to pie dough. Puff pastry is made with flour and a lot of butter that is kneaded and folded over and over again. Every time you fold the dough you add more butter until you have several layers of dough and butter. Puff pastry will expand while it is baking often to 3 or 4 times it's size. Puff pastry is often used to make tender, flaky pastries like tartes, turnovers, or sfoglia also known as mille feuille or napoleon.
Phyllo dough and puff pastry, while are slightly similar are not interchangeable for the most part. However, in some cases you can swap one for the other. For example, you can mold puff pastry to take the shape of a tarte and then fill it. Likewise, you can shape phyllo dough into the shape of a tarte and do the same. However, you would have a hard time making turnovers out of phyllo pastry. And, you wouldn't be able to make Baklava out of puff pastry. Or it wouldn't be called Baklava at the very least.
Whether you are looking for something sweet or savory, the following list of appetizers, entrees and desserts will have you covered for any party or family gathering.
Appetizer Recipes made with Puff Pasty or Phyllo Dough
1. Phyllo Pastry Bites
Link to recipe: https://girlwithaspatula.com/phyllo-pastry-bites/
These little phyllo pastry bites are filled with spinach, cheese and prosciutto (the other bacon) and are very easy to make. You can change-up the filling to virtually any combination that you would like. These make a great appetizer using ready to use phyllo pastry dough from your freezer. Just thaw out your dough overnight, fill them with your favorite filling and bake for 45 minutes.
2. Puff Pastry Twists
Blog: Sweet and Savory
Link to recipe: https://www.sweetandsavorybyshinee.com/puff-pastry-twists
Irresistibly addicting puff pastry twists filled with apricot jam and prosciutto. Perfect little bites of sweet and savory.
Regardless of your snacking habits, you’ve got to try these super easy puff pastry twists. Not only are they pretty to present on your antipasto platter, but they’re also incredibly addicting.
3. Creamy Mushroom Cups
By: Heather Lynne
Blog: Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
Link to Recipe: https://www.hezzi-dsbooksandcooks.com/creamy-mushroom-cups/
Creamy Mushroom Cups are an easy to make appetizer or snack made with a crust of crisp puff pastry filled with mushrooms, onions, garlic, and cream cheese. They take just minutes to make but have always been a favorite at holiday parties or just for snacking on. The crisp outer shell combined with the warm and gooey filling is perfection.
4. Puff Pastry Garlic n' Herb Pinwheels
By: Aleka Shunk
Blog: Bite Sized Kitchen
These Puff Pastry Garlic n’ Herb Pinwheels are a quick appetizer perfect for a crowd. They are made with store-bought puff pastry dough so they are super easy and also kid friendly. If you are a garlic lover, you will devour these! The steps are so simple. All you need to do is open up a puff pastry sheet, brush on your garlic oil, sprinkle it with freshly chopped herbs, roll it up, cut and bake.
My favorite part about making these pinwheels is having my boys help me. They love helping me out in the kitchen but things can get dangerous or messy. But with this recipe, it is easy and fun to brush and roll up, even for a toddler!
Best of all, these pinwheels do not need to be warm to taste good! So you can bake them an hour or two ahead of time and serve them at room temperature or whenever your friends or family arrive!
5. Deconstructed Samosas
Blog: Savory Spin
Link to Recipe: https://savoryspin.com/spiced-potato-puff-pastry-baskets-2
If you feel challenged when it comes to samosa folding like I do, then why not try making these Spiced Potato Puff Pastry Baskets or deconstructed samosas? Puff pastry baskets can be made easily buy cutting and stacking layers of puff pastry on top of each other, or ready-made puff pastry baskets can be purchased at the store and filled with a spiced and tasty potato filing - reminiscent of a veggie samosa filling.
6. Asparagus and Parmesan Filo Rolls
Blog: It’s Not Complicated Recipes
Asparagus and Parmesan Filo Rolls are a delicious appetiser, worthy of a special celebration, but simple enough to prepare for a casual evening at home, or when you feel like a tasty snack.
Just five ingredients are all that is required to make this appetizer.
Tender asparagus are seasoned with pepper and wrapped inside a cheesy Parmesan, crispy filo shell. They can be prepared up to a day in advance and baked prior to serving.
The recipe is so simple to the point that you do not even have to cook the asparagus prior to wrapping in the filo pastry.
Easily able to be made vegan by using the appropriate cheese substitute, so you can cater for more dietary preferences.
Serve with a delicious balsamic glaze dipping sauce or enjoy on their own.
Entree Recipes made with Puff Pastry and Phyllo Dough
1. Easy Pizza Bread
Blog: Girl With a Spatula
Link to Recipe: https://girlwithaspatula.com/pizza-bread/
This easy pizza bread can be made with ingredients on hand. Made with pre-made puff pastry, and ingredients that are in your refrigerator right now. You can make this easy pizza bread ahead of time. Make it as an appetizer or as an entree. Delightfully light, crispy and a savory idea if you have puff pastry ready to be used or stored in your freezer right now.
2. Chicken Curry Puffs
By: Abbe Odenwalder
Blog: This is How I Cook
Link to recipe: https://thisishowicook.com/chicken-curry-puffs-dim-sum-favorite/
Chicken Curry Puffs are crisp, flaky, golden pastries made with a ground chicken filling, flavored with a touch of curry. A simple recipe cooked in a skillet; this chicken filling is cooled before being placed upon a prepared square of puff pastry that has been thawed. These tasty puff pastries are perfect for a snack, appetizer or even as a meal.
Commonly served as dim sum in a Chinese restaurant, these hand held savory bites of goodness disappear at parties and straight from the fridge. They are easily frozen for future use, but I wouldn't count on them making it there!
3. Puff Pastry Pizza
By: Emily Leary
Blog: A Mummy Too
This pizza style puff pastry slice is a super easy to make recipe with a simple homemade sauce that can be on the table in under half an hour. It's the perfect recipe for a quick, satisfying meal and makes a lovely change from the traditional bread base. The real beauty of this simple meal is that you can put different combinations on each of the four corners, so everyone gets exactly the puff pastry pizza they fancy.
4. Healthy Vegetarian Pot Pie
Blog: Happy Kitchen.Rocks
Recipe Link: https://happykitchen.rocks/vegetarian-pot-pie/
This broccoli vegetarian pot pie is a healthy variation of chicken pot pie, without the meat of course… Broccoli and almonds replace the chicken in this easy vegetarian recipe. This pot pie is filled with colourful veggies, smooth béchamel with a nutty flair, enveloped in a flaky filo crust. Comfort food at its best!
5. Beef Pasties
Blog: Cook It Real Good
Link to recipe: https://www.cookitrealgood.com/beef-pasties/
Delicious beef pasties made with savoury mince and light, golden puff pastry are a dinner the whole family will love. These pasties are bursting with flavour, packed with vegetables and are quick and easy to prepare. They freeze well, so you can make a big batch and reheat on busy nights. The best beef pastie you’ll try!
6. Spinach and Leek Filo Pie
Blog: Dani’s Cookings
Link to Recipe: https://daniscookings.com/2015/02/17/spinach-and-leeks-filo-pie/
This Spinach and Leeks Filo Pie is the perfect light dinner or nice starter. It is a pie with filo (or phyllo) dough crust, filled with lots of green vegetables, cheese and eggs.
This pie is really easy to make: the filo sheets are arranged at the bottom of the cake pan and greased. Then the filling is added on top. The last step is to close the sheets over the filling, before baking the pie. As a result the filo dough will become very crispy, which creates a nice contrast with the fresh filling.
If you like greens like spinach and leeks, this is the perfect recipe for you! It is also quite versatile. You can use frozen or fresh spinach, depending on the season. You can also use different kinds of cheese for the filling, as per your preferences.
This is a pie that is totally worth trying as it is healthy and delicious!
Dessert Recipes made with Puff Pastry and Phyllo Dough
1. Easy Portuguese Pastries
Blog: Girl With a Spatula
Link to Recipe: https://girlwithaspatula.com/easy-portuguese-pastries/
These little heavenly tarts filled with vanilla custard can be made right in the comfort of your own home. And if you use instant custard, these Portugese pastries would be made with only two ingredients! That's a win-win in my books.
2. Milhojas With Dulce de Leche
By: Maria Campos
Blog: The Cookware Geek
Milhojas with dulce de leche is one of the most famous desserts in Latin American cuisine. This is an extremely easy version with just three ingredients and it takes less than 30 minutes. For this recipe, you don't even have to make the dough from scratch. You just need a store-bought puff pastry. Also, you will learn how to make dulce de leche with a can of sweetened condensed milk. It works like a charm!
3. Strawberry Sfoglia Cake
Blog: Girl With a Spatula
Link to Recipe: https://girlwithaspatula.com/homemade-strawberry-sfoglia-cake/
You wouldn't have ever thought that you could make sfoglia cake at home, but you can and it's incredibly easy. This strawberry sfoglia cake is the perfect cake to make for a special occasion. Don't worry it's not a lot of work either. Especially if you use pre-made puff pastry from the freezer section of your local supermarket.
4. Easy Cherry Cream Cheese Strudel
Blog: Girl With a Spatula
Link to Recipe: https://girlwithaspatula.com/quick-cherry-cream-cheese-strudel/
This strudel is made with less than 5 ingredients and will be ready in less than 60 minutes. So easy to make and a family favorite. The best part - if you don't like cherry, no problem! Just use any other flavor of pie filling you do like.
5. Cinnamon Cream Cheese Puff Pastry Bites
Blog: Girl With a Spatula
Link to Recipe: https://girlwithaspatula.com/cinnamon-cream-cheese-puff-pastry/
Who doesn't like the combination of sugar and cinnamon in a light and crispy dough? Thought so. And better, a little bit of cream cheese to makes these little bites of heaven creamier.
Originally made to use up some puff pasty in the freezer, turned into a family favorite. Whip these up in minutes and have one with a cup of coffee to compliment breakfast, lunch or dinner. Click the link above to get the full recipe details.
6. Honey Walnut Baklava
By: Christina Conte
Blog: Christina's Cucina
Link to Recipe: https://www.christinascucina.com/honey-walnut-baklava/
Baklava is a sweet treat hailing from the Middle East and Greece.
Layers of phyllo dough and butter are hidden within buttery sweet cinnamon walnuts for a phenomenal crunch and burst of flavor! Don't be afraid, with my step by step instructions, they're easy to make, too!
And there you have it! 18 delicious Phyllo (Filo) Dough and Puff Pastry recipes that will wine and dine your family, friends and guests on any occasion. Happy tummies and smiles are sure to come whether you prepare these appetizers, entrees or desserts for a formal occasion or backyard barbecue.
P.S. A big thank you to the recipe bloggers that contributed to this post, you know who you are!
Drop me a comment below if you do try one of these delicious Phyllo (Filo) Dough and Puff Pastry recipes and let me know what you think.
Try them now or PIN it for later.