Spinach Rolled Up Borek

This coming Saturday (October 27th), we will have our 3rd Annual Turkish Festival of Charlotte! It is exciting to see the residents of Charlotte pouring in to eat Turkish food, watch the folkloric dances and learn about our culture. I will be doing some cooking demonstrations for half an hour or so. I thought for a while what could be shown and described in half an hour and decided on borek.So I spent pretty much the whole weekend practicing and I can safely say that we have enough borek around the house to eat for lunch and dinner for the next four days!

I have not used this method in making borek for a long time. It is a little bit more work than simply layering all the phyllo dough. The literal translation of this type is “arm borek” because when you roll up the phyllo, it was thought to resemble an arm. Once you roll it up, you can line it straight in a big baking pan, side by side with the other rolls. I used a pie plate and made it round. The store bought phyllo dough is very thin and can be hard to work with sometimes. If you use Turkish phyllo dough (yufka), you would need probably only one big round of yufka layer to fill that regular pie plate. You can cut the circle in half and roll up each half into a log, starting from the longer end towards to curved end.

If you are around the Charlotte area, please stop by at the Turkish Festival and say Hi! (See the website for the Festival details).

Spinach Rolled Up Borek (Ispanakli Kol Boregi)

  • 1 roll of phyllo dough (about 20 sheets)  (1 package has two rolls)
  • 16 ounce of frozen spinach, thawed, extra water squeezed
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 4 tablespoons of yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • For top glaze:
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup of butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 tablespoons of yogurt
  • Nigella seeds (optional)

1. Mix spinach, egg whites, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a bowl. Whisk milk, yogurt and vegetable oil in another bowl.

2. Take one layer of phyllo and put it on the clean counter, horizontally (long edge on the bottom). Brush some milk mixture on it lightly. Put another layer, keep brushing the milk mixture. Repeat until you have 5 layers on top of each other. Spread 1/5th of the spinach filling, leaving 1/2 inch border around all four edges.

3. Bring the empty long edge over the filling and start rolling it up from the bottom to the top, making a tight roll. Place it in the well-greased pie plate (or whatever you are using).

4. Make another roll until you use all layers. You should have 5 rolls. You might have to use 6 layers in one or two rolls if you have 22 pieces in one bag. Place the next one where the previous one ended, tucking the end of one roll under the other.

5. Combine the remaining milk mixture, yolks, yogurt and melted butter. Spread over the borek. Sprinkle with nigella seeds if you want. Bake at 350 for 40 min or until golden brown.



  1. by Angie@Angie's Recipes
    2:13 pm
    Oct 23, 2012

    This might even trick my husband to eat some spinach! Looks delish!

  2. by kitchenriffs
    1:00 pm
    Oct 24, 2012

    Gosh, I haven’t eaten borek in years, and I’ve never made it. This looks like a pretty easy way to make it! And spinach is classic in borek. I really should try this – thanks for the inspiration!

  3. by rebecca
    8:46 pm
    Oct 24, 2012

    looks great and sorry I can’t make it i would love to learn cooking from you

  4. by Susan
    9:44 pm
    Oct 24, 2012

    One of my favorite dishes! I’ve only had it in ethnic restaurants but have never tried making it myself. I’m going to try it this recipe!

  5. by Parsley Sage
    11:33 am
    Oct 27, 2012

    Woo hoo! I wish I was at your house to help you get through those pounds of extra borek ;)

    And how awesome that you’re doing the festival! I hope someone is getting some video of you. Make sure to share that in your next post!

  6. by Ilke
    9:13 pm
    Oct 28, 2012

    Nobody took the video , it is good and bad because I was completely red due to nervousness and trying to raise my voice over the noise going around us. We need a better set up next time.

  7. by Christin@fortmillscliving
    6:04 pm
    Oct 29, 2012

    That looks amazing! I’ve never had anything like it before! Hope there was a good turnout at the Festival!

  8. by thyme (Sarah)
    10:24 pm
    Oct 31, 2012

    That festival sounds like so much fun. We thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Turkish mosque here in Houston and having a Turkish lunch to sample. Good luck with it and have a great time!

  9. by lisaiscooking
    10:45 am
    Nov 1, 2012

    The rolled phyllo and spinach filling look great! I have a new book about Turkish food to read and can’t wait to get cooking from it.

  10. by Ilke
    11:03 am
    Nov 1, 2012

    Would love to hear which cookbook you got and what you will be cooking :)) Let me know!

  11. by Mrs Ergül
    5:32 am
    Nov 8, 2012

    The festival must have been fun!!! I wish we have something like that here! Beautiful spiral borek there!

  12. by Cali
    10:40 pm
    Dec 29, 2013

    Hi Ilke,

    Did you use store bought filo or yufka? If so, what brand of yufka do you use?

  13. by Ilke
    9:19 am
    Dec 30, 2013

    Hi Cali,
    For this borek I used store bought phyllo dough. Whatever brand my grocery store carries, it is either Athens or something else, I can not remember right now.
    For yufka, I purchase it from Middle Eastern store and again I use whatever brand they bring. They have been bringing yufka brand Merve. You can also check tulumba.com or bestturkishfood.com for yufka options. Hope this helps.

  14. by Cali
    10:42 am
    Dec 30, 2013

    Thanks Ilke!


  1. Mexican Style Borek (Food Fusion)
*: required fields

Leave a Comment

Read the fine print

By submitting a comment you grant Ilke's Kitchen a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate and irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin’s discretion. Your email is used for verification purposes only, it will never be shared.