Spinach And Cheese Borek

Spinach And Cheese Borek | giverecipe.com

I woke up earlier this morning to prepare something different for breakfast. Well, it’s not normally my type during weekdays, but I had a strong craving for bukme last night, that is what we call it in Turkish. Bukme is still another type of borek kind of food (See other borek recipes here). It looks like gozleme too, but not oily like it. It is not something common around the country, so I didn’t know it before marrying. It is a local pastry in Yusuf’s hometown, Usak, a city in the West of Turkey. Every woman knows it there and mom II(Yusuf’s mom) makes it for us whenever she visits us. We become mesmerized with the smell coming from the kitchen when we wake up. This is actually a pastry made by village people, they cook it over wood fire on a very thin iron plate, which is called sac in Turkish. No, we don’t have that kind of fire in the kitchen! She makes it in a non stick pan on stove. The smell is enough though to take us to that local area. Maybe it’s because of the smell of the cheese she brings from there. It is a full-fat cheese with a strong taste, which can be crumbled easily. She is such a lovely person that she wakes up earlier than us and makes it for breakfast. What a happy morning with these feelings!

So I don’t really know what brought it to my mind, but I couldn’t stop thinking of it last night. Oh wait! I guess it was the baby spinach we bought from the organic farmers bazaar. Right, I remember now, the fresh spinach evoked in me a similar feeling of the mornings when mom II makes this pastry.

Mom II is not here now, but I watched her many times making these, so I told myself “You can do it, trust yourself!” To make things easier and quicker I made the dough overnight and keep it in refrigerator till morning. You can make it on the same day, it doesn’t need to wait as there is no yeast in it. I just wanted to save some time.

You can serve these at breakfast or at tea time in the afternoon or just have it as a snack!

Spinach And Cheese Borek
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • Dough:
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tbsp yogurt water, optional
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Filling:
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 300g spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup your favorite cheese, crumbled
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  1. Put flour, salt and yogurt water in a large bowl.
  2. Add water little by little and mix. Knead it until it is not sticky.
  3. Add extra flour or water to get this result.
  4. Divide them into balls as small as mandarine and cover them with a wet clean piece of cloth.
  5. Dust the counter with a little flour. Roll one of the balls out until thin.
  6. Put some filling on one side of it and fold.
  7. Seal it with your fingers to stick the edges and cut the excessive part.
  8. See step by step pictures here.
  9. Repeat until dough balls finish.
  10. Heat a non stick pan and cook bukmes in it, one side for 30 seconds. Flip it over and cook the other side about 30 seconds. Flip it over two more times. Wait shorter this time. It’s done!
  11. Repeat this for each bukme.
  12. Don’t wait it in the pan very long, otherwise it gets too crunchy.


  1. Touria says

    Hi, Thanks for sharing this recipe I love the turkish cuisine and your borek seems yummy!!! I’ll do it soon. kises

  2. Sabiha says

    Salam Zerrin,

    I have a question, do you leave the filling ingredients raw? I thought it would be nice to saute them at least slightly, cool, and then stuff in the dough…

    Also, do you and any oil to the pan when you are cooking them?

    Thank you so much, can’t wait to try these!


    • says

      Hi Sabiha, I use the filling raw and we like it that way. You know spinach is so fragile and I think it’s enough to cook them inside borek. I learnt it from my husband’s mom, she never cooks the filling beforehand. She says that the flavors stand out better this way. My own mom cooks the filling though and she doesn’t add cheese. It is nice too. So it’s up to you, you can try both versions.
      I don’t add any oil into the pan when cooking boreks. Make sure it’s a non stick pan, no need for oil then.
      Would love to hear the result when you try it. Cheers!

      • Sabiha says

        Thanks for clarifying! Will let you know when I’ve tried it, inA! =)

  3. Aldina says

    Great recipe Zerrin! I just tried it out, only I used rye/wheat combination flour (I’m trying to stay away from wheat) and couldn’t get them to be so thin like yours. But still tasty nevertheless :)

  4. Ri says

    Thanks for sharing. What is yogurt water? Is it a mixture of yogurt and water?

    • says

      Yogurt water is the water inside yogurt. You know, when you take some spoons of yogurt from its cup, you see some yellowish water underneath. You may not see it in yogurt bought from supermarket, but there is that water in homemade yogurt. It makes the dough softer. If you don’t have it, you can use yogurt itself too.

  5. Grace says

    Hi Ms. Zerrin,

    how long you cover the dough with wet cloth?

    how long the dough last, if I didnt yet use it and put in ref?

    It is possible if I put sweet filling for kids?

    thank you so much and more power!

    • says

      You don’t need to wait the dough covered with wet cloth. We cover it to help keep it from drying. If you don’t cover the small dough balls, they will dry while you are working with one of them. You can keep it covered for 4-5 days. I’d add a little sugar in the dough for a sweet filling.

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