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Savory Spiced Baklava

Slofoodgroup Team April 21, 2021

The Best Savory Baklava Layered with Beef, Pork, and Feta

Baklava is an exquisite dish comprised of many layers of paper-thin phyllo dough. It is classically a sweet dessert filled with nuts and doused in some sort of sweetener—quite frequently, honey. It is largely popular in the Middle East, Greece, and Turkey. While the dessert variety is a phenomenal treat, it can also make an exceptionally indulgent meal with just a few substitutions. Switch the chopped nuts with ground meat, such as beef and pork; trade the sugars and other sweeteners for an array of spices; and incorporate a few extras like tomatoes and feta.  We can't get enough of this savory baklava! It makes a great dinner and stores well for a nice leftover lunch the following day. 

Spiced Savory Beef and Pork Baklava with Feta and Pecans

Serves: 6

Prep Time: 30‘

Cooking Time: 30’

Additional Time: 0’ 


  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 finely pecan nuts, chopped
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 8 ounces feta cheese
  • 1 pack phyllo pastry
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • pinch flake sea salt
  • pinch of freshly cracked black pepper 
  • sprinkle of nigella seeds


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil; once oil is hot add the fennel seeds and cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant and poppy; add ground meat and sauté, breaking up with a wooden spoon; add cherry tomatoes, tomato paste, minced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons water, nutmeg, cloves and season with salt and pepper; continue to sauté until tomato paste and spices have been evenly incorporate and the meat has just browned; once done, remove the meat from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Brush butter onto parchment and layer 5 sheets of phyllo dough into the baking pan, brushing butter between each layer.
  4. Sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped nuts over the fifth layer of phyllo and top with another five layers of brushed phyllo pastry; layer the meat and top with another another five layers of brushed phyllo pastry; add the crumbled feta and top with the final five layers of brushed phyllo pastry;
  5. Cut 1 inch strips into baklava, in a diagonal pattern each way, creating diamond shaped pieces. Sprinkle flake sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper and nigella seeds over the top and bake at 375°F (190°C) for about 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.