Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Jeffrey Larsen
Hands-on Time
2 Hours
Thaw Time
5 Hours
Serves 8

Layers of creamy cheese and roasted vegetables in a pastry make this pie a home run. For a vegetarian version, see the tip after step 6.

Picnic tips: To keep the filo crisp, wait until it's completely cool before covering it with foil and packing in your cooler. Be sure to pack a sharp knife and a pie server.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 450°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss peppers, red onion (separating pieces), and 3 tbsp. oil to coat. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp. zaatar. Roast vegetables, stirring once, until tender and blackened at edges, 30 minutes. Set aside. Reduce oven to 375° and set a rack on bottom rung.

Step 2

Meanwhile, cook lamb and 1 tbsp. zaatar with remaining 1 tbsp. oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, breaking into pieces, until brown, 5 to 6 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a bowl. Sauté yellow onion and 1 tsp. zaatar in pan 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook until onion is golden, 8 to 10 minutes more. Stir in lamb.

Step 3

Unroll filo on a work surface and trim to 13 in. square; save scraps for other uses. Move filo stack to the side and drape with a damp towel. Lay 1 sheet flat in center of work surface and lightly brush with butter, being sure to get corners. Lay a second sheet on top, offsetting corners like you're moving a hand 2 hours forward on a clock; brush with butter. Repeat, rotating each sheet to use all of filo and all but 1 tbsp. butter. Gently ease stack into a 10-in. pie pan (preferably glass), snugly fitting bottom into corners and letting edges overhang. Drape with damp towel.

Step 4

Beat cream cheese in a bowl with a mixer until very smooth. Stir in feta. Drop spoonfuls into pie pan and gently spread to cover bottom of filo. Evenly arrange lamb, then pepper mixture on top.

Step 5

Gently fold edges of filo over filling flush with rim of pan, loosely pleating, to partially cover peppers. Re-melt remaining 1 tbsp. butter if necessary, brush over filo rim, and sprinkle with remaining 3/4 tsp. zaatar.

Step 6

Bake on bottom rack until filo is crisp and deep golden, about 40 minutes (in a glass dish, underside should look golden). Let cool at least 15 minutes. Eat warm or at room temperature, topped with cilantro sprigs, cut into wedges, and served with green sauce.

Step 7

Vegetarian version: Omit lamb. In step 1, use 6 peppers (plus red onion), 1/4 cup oil, and 2 tbsp. zaatar. In step 2, cook yellow onion and zaatar in 1 tbsp. oil.

Step 8

Make ahead: Let cool completely, then chill, covered, up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature (about 2 hours) before serving.

Ratings & Reviews

Ingredient proportions are off

June 14, 2016
Taste wise, this is great. Would absolutely make again.Lets talk about the proportions of this recipe:4 bell peppers? Maybe more like 1.5.1/4 of red onion would be fine.1/2 lb of lamb? Then you only need half of a yellow onion.I also used 1/2 of the required cream cheese and felt like I used a lot. Used the full amount of feta though.I wouldn't use filo dough again. It tasted fine, but was not worth the effort, I would switch to something else less time heavy.I used double the amount of butter.I try to follow the instructions the first time I make a recipe and adjust it to my tastes the next time I make it. The taste wasn't the issue here, but the ingredient quantity was. I am surprised by this, since I generally consider Sunset recipe's to be well tested and edited.

So delicious

May 20, 2016
This is one of my family's new favorites. Make sure to make the green sauce to go with it and add some chopped cucumber because it's pretty rich.