Spinach Turnovers "Fatayer Sabanikh"

Spinach turnovers are very popular in the Middle East, they are more like savory pastries that are served as a side dish or a snack with lunch or dinner.


  • 3 C AP FLOUR
  • 2 C Cake flour
  • 11/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 C olive oil
  • 1/4 C plain yogurt
  • about 11/4 C water (room temp)


  • 2 Ibs fresh spinach 
  • 1 L onion chopped 
  • 11/2 T sea salt (or more according to taste)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 T Chilli Pepper Paste
  • juice of 1 lemon (around 1/4 C)
  • 1/4 C virgin olive oil
  • 1 T sumac
  • 1/4 C pine nuts




    Mix flours, sugar and salt in a stand mixer fitted with hook attachment or you can mix by hand. Mix on low speed for few seconds. Add the oil and mix till oil is fully incorporated. Add the yogurt and mix on low speed as well till fully incorporated. Add the water while still mixing on low speed until the dough come together and pull away from the bowl edges. 

     Knead for a few minutes until you have a “baby skin” feel to the dough, (you might need more or less water). Bring the dough into a shape of a tight ball and place in a large greased bowl and cover with a damp warm kitchen towel and set aside to rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour. If you are pressed for time, skip the yeast in the dough ingredient.    




    Place spinach and onions in a wide-bottomed pot on medium heat and stir it occasionally until the whole spinach is just wilted.  Transfer spinach and onions mixture to a colander. Once the mixture is cool enough to handle, squeeze out as much water as possible. 

    Then place spinach mixture in a medium-sized bowl and add the salt, black pepper & sumac and mix. (If too much water accumulates in the bowl, then transfer mixture to colander and squeeze some more.) 

    When the water is adequately squeezed out of the spinach mixture, add the olive oil, lemon juice, chili paste and pine nuts. Mix well and set aside.

    Once dough has rested, you can test it by pinching it with your finger and if the impression stays in the dough and doesn’t pull back, then it’s ready. 

    Divide dough in half, grab one piece at a time and roll as thin as possible (about at least 1/8 inch) ensuring the dough is not too thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out 5-inch circles, as tightly together as you can manage. 



    Place 2 t. of filling in the middle of each dough circle and spread around so that there is only 1/2 inch gap between the edge and the stuffing. Pinch sides of circle together so that you have 3 sides sealed so as to form a triangle shape. If the ends are not pinched tightly enough together, then dip your fingers in flour and pinch again so that the triangle shape is securely sealed shut. 

    Place Fatayer turnovers on greased cookie sheets and brush with vegetable oil then place in preheated oven at 500F (260C). Bake for 8 minutes or until top and bottom is golden.    

    You can modify the recipe to make cheese turnovers by substituting a 2 cup mixture of cheeses like (I mix mozzarella, feta and halloumi and 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley) for the spinach.


MealsRola Jordan