| Recipes |

Crispy Baked Phyllo Cheese Cigars

Crispy, cheesy, salty, and absolutely addictive. Living in Yerushalayim comes with many, many perks. Easy access to the Kotel, mitzvos accrued with every step, and, of course, kosher cafes located in Shaare Zedek hospital so that new moms can stay extra happy munching on this kind of goodness, which conveniently happens to be a food you can eat one-handed while cradling your newborn in the other. They also make a perfect on-the-go car snack (although they do make crumbs, so beware), and my absolute favorite way to eat and serve them…an ideal “crouton.” Make a giant salad with lettuce and tons of chopped veggies, add a simple lemon vinaigrette, drape a cigar over the top — and you have restaurant-quality salad in aesthetics and deliciousness.

Plus, they’re easy to make.


  • 1 box phyllo dough sheets (you will only need 8–9 sheets, but they’re delicate and rip easily, so it’s okay to buy a box with a few extra!)
  • ¾ cup ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz (225 g) Mehadrin Feta Cheese, mashed slightly
    with a fork
  • 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup avocado (or canola) oil, for brushing

Preheat oven 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place all three cheeses in a bowl and mix well to combine. It’s best to use a fork to work the feta crumbles into the mixture. (It doesn’t need to be smooth; you just want to avoid large clumps.)

Remove 1 sheet of phyllo dough from the box. Lightly brush half the sheet with oil and then fold the sheet in half so that the oil is in between the two layers. You should now have a large rectangle; cut the rectangle in half widthwise to create two squares (it’s okay if they’re not a perfect square!). My squares were about 7x7 inches (18x18 cm).

Remove a heaping tablespoon of the cheese mixture and place along one side of the square to form a long log of cheese. Brush the remaining sides with a little bit of oil.

Roll the cigar, beginning from the cheese side. Place rolled cigar on the baking sheet, seam side down. Press the end with your fingers to seal.

Repeat this process, making as many cigars as you can until you’ve finished your cheese mixture. Lightly brush the tops of the cigars with the remaining oil.

Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes until they’re crispy and lightly golden. Don’t worry if some of the cheese spills out — it just means they were stuffed with extra goodness! Serve hot or room temperature and enjoy!

To store and reheat: Once the cigars are completely cooled, they can be transferred to a dish, sealed tightly, and refrigerated for up to four days. To reheat, remove from the refrigerator and immediately place on a baking dish in a single layer. Reheat until heated through. They won’t be as crispy as right out of the oven, but they are just as delicious and satisfying.


Phyllo dough dries out quickly. To prevent the sheets from cracking, lightly moisten a kitchen towel and place over the pile of sheets after you open the package. Remove one at a time and fill.


(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 842)

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