These delicious cheese triangles - tiropitakia have a filling of feta and gruyère cheese, and pieces of bacon. They are the perfect appetizer or a quick snack. It is guaranteed they will disappear from your table in minutes!
Cheese Triangles - Tiropitakia are the mini version of the classic Greek cheese pie - tiropita. They are usually served as an appetizer or a snack. There are many variations of these mini cheese pies. They are made with phyllo sheets, but puff pastry or a pie crust called courou can be used as well.
What is the filling for tiropitakia?
There are many types of cheese fillings for tiropitakia. The most common cheese used is feta cheese. When Greek cooks make cheese pie or cheese triangles, they usually use whatever cheese combination they have available in their fridge. Feta is a staple in the greek pantry, so using it is a given. Grated kasseri cheese, graviera (the Greek version of gruyere), gouda can also be used.
The filling of these cheese triangles is a mix of feta cheese, gruyere, and cream cheese. Small pieces of bacon and eggs are added in as well.
How to prepare the phyllo sheets
I cut my phyllo sheets into 2.5-inch strips and use 2 buttered strips for each triangle. A full teaspoon of the mixture gets folded into a triangle.
How to fold the triangle
- Unroll the cut strips. Take two and lay one on top of the other, lightly brushing each one with the butter-oil mixture. Put one full teaspoon of cheese filling in one corner.
- Fold the other corner over it to form a triangle.
- Then fold the cheese triangle over and over to itself.
- Fold to the end of the strip. You will probably fold 8 times in total.
Cheese triangles get baked for 15-20 minutes in a 400°F oven until they are a crunchy golden brown.
You can substitute the gruyère with any cheese you have handy.
- A great substitute for gruyère is Comte'. You can also use parmesan, gouda, swiss, white cheddar, etc.
- I recommend to buy a block of good quality cheese and grate it yourself. The grated versions of cheese we find in the supermarket have additives like anti-caking agents and mold inhibitors. They use cellulose powder to prevent cheese from sticking together. It is always best to buy the best quality cheese available to you and your budget. Good cheese does not mean expensive necessarily. There are blocks of cheddar cheese and parmesan available from local vendors that don't break the bank.
Never buy the crumbled feta cheese you find in the supermarket.
- Also, a big NO is any low fat, no-fat or fake french feta. What you are looking for are containers with blocks of feta cheese in brine. In Greece, there are many variations of feta cheese; some are saltier than others. The best feta for these cheese triangles is one with not much salt. I like the Vikos and Dodoni brands. They are mild and can be found in most supermarkets.
- If you need to substitute feta with another cheese use Queso Fresco. It is a great substitute due to its crumbly texture and mild flavor.
- Another option for feta is a mix of equal ratios of ricotta and goat cheese. Ricotta is sweet, and goat cheese is tangy, so a mix of the two is a great substitute for feta cheese.
If you don't have any bacon, you can use ham or prosciutto.
Because bacon releases extra oil while it bakes, add 2 tablespoons of heavy cream or half and a half to the cheese mixture to make up for the lost liquid.
Phyllo sheets need to remain moist until folding. Just use what you need for one triangle at a time and keep the rest under a damp towel to prevent them from drying.
Yes, of course. Because bacon releases extra oil while it bakes, if you choose to leave it out, add 2 tablespoons of heavy cream or half and a half to the mixture to make up for the lost liquid.
The cheese used was likely salty. Feta cheese can be guilty of that. My suggestion is to soak the feta cheese in a bowl full of water for a couple of hours to remove saltiness. Be aware of how salty are the other cheeses used; for example, if you substitute pecorino romano for the gruyere, your mixture will be extra salty. Also, the bacon used can be a cause of the extra salt. Look for a label that reads "uncured bacon, no nitrates or nitrites added, and is low sodium.
You may also like:
- I make this fantastic tomato & feta galette when I crave just bread and cheese for dinner.
- These peinirli-Greek pizza boats are an excellent appetizer or a quick snack.
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Greek Cheese Triangles - Tiropitakia
- 1 lb organic phyllo sheets
- 1 lb Greek feta cheese I like Vikos and Dodoni.
- 12 oz gruyere cheese grated
- 3.5 oz Philadelphia cheese About half of the classic package
- 3 eggs 2 whole eggs and 1 yolk
- 4 bacon slices cut in small pieces
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 5 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds optional
For the egg wash
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 teaspoon water
You also need
- freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C)
- Mix the 2 eggs, the egg yolk, all cheese, and bacon pieces in a bowl.
- Combine the butter with the oil in a small bowl.
- Lay the phyllo roll on a cutting board and cut off a piece, 2.5 inches wide (6 cm)Keep the remaining phyllo under a damp towel to prevent it from drying.
- Unroll the cut strips. Take two and lay one on top of the other, lightly brushing each one with the butter-oil mixture.
- Put one full teaspoon of cheese filling in one corner and fold the other corner over it to form a triangle.Then fold the triangle over and over to itself to the end of the strip.
- Repeat the same process with the rest of the phyllo.Keep the cheese pies under a damp towel to prevent them from drying.
- Brush a baking sheet with olive oil. Arrange the triangles on the baking sheet.Whisk one egg and a teaspoon of water to make the egg wash. Brush cheese triangles with the egg wash and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese pies are golden brown.
- While you are working, keep the remaining phyllo and folded cheese pies under a damp towel to prevent them from drying.