A simple yufka dough and leftover turkey strudel served with a simple tomato sauce. And information on working with yufka and filo pastry.
A nice and crispy vegetable strudel with leftover turkey or chicken, this makes a wonderful dish for serving any guests; you can be sure they will love it and will be impressed by its look and texture.
I love cooking with Turkish pastry leaves or filo pastry lately. I avoided it for a long time after a bad experience at the beginning of my “cooking career” many years ago and discovered it again only recently. And especially during the last year or so, I really have been baking with it quite a lot.
Sweet or savory, it doesn't matter; everything I used it for turned out great. Have a look at this wonderful Spinach Feta Pie with Yogurt, this Savory Cheese Pie with Quark, Feta and Yogurt, or this Skinny Pumpkin Cinnamon Pie.
What is the difference between yufka dough and filo?
Well, they are both used in Mediterranean cooking; judging by the name, I suppose that filo is more Greek, while yufka is definitely the Turkish version.
Filo pastry sheets are also thinner than the yufka pastry sheets, which can make them a tad more tricky to work with. Well, it is actually really not hard to work with it; you just have to layer a bit more sheets of it to get a sturdier baked good and keep the sheets covered with a damp towel while you work to prevent them from drying out too fast. When working with filo, I usually use about three pastry sheets for one layer.
Filo pastry sheets are usually to be found frozen and are used for making walnut and syrup pie - Baklava or Greek spinach feta pie – Spanakopita, for instance.
Yufka pastry sheets, on the other hand, are a bit sturdier/rougher, that making it a bit easier to work it. I have never really had to cover them with a damp towel, I am quite quick when brushing them with oil or melted butter and layering the sheets, and I have never had an issue with dry pastry sheets.
They come either in very large sheets folded into packets or precut into triangles for making cigarillo börek, for instance. I prefer to buy large sheets so that I can use them not only for rolled börek but also for regular börek or any other kind of pie. You can normally find them fresh in the refrigerator section of the supermarket.
Unlike filo pastry, yufka pastry sheets can be used as single sheets when baking, but I still prefer to layer at least two sheets when making something.
How to use yufka or filo pastry?
- If the filo pastry is frozen, defrost it in the refrigerator, preferably overnight. Yufka is usually sold fresh, so there will be no need to defrost it.
- Prepare the filling before even opening the packet of filo or yufka pastry. If you keep it open, the sheets of pastry will dry out.
- Unroll only one sheet of pastry at a time and keep the other ones covered with a damp (but not wet) kitchen towel. Some of the sheets might break, especially there where they have been folded. It doesn't matter; just place them together when brushing them with fat, and you will not notice it at all in the end.
- Work very quickly when brushing the sheets with oil or melted butter. I use a silicon pastry brush.
- Roll or fold the pastry according to the recipe, and don't forget to brush the upper layer with melted butter or oil as well.
- Bake according to the recipe you are following or until the baked goods are golden and crispy.
Ingredients for the strudel
- I normally use yufka pastry sheets when making this vegetable strudel recipe or any savory or sweet pies. We have a large Turkish community living in Germany and, luckily, quite a few Turkish shops in our area as well. So yufka is very easily available.
- The only trouble with yufka is that it normally comes in very large packets, and trust me, 400 g/ 14 oz of yufka pastry sheets can be quite a lot if you only need a few sheets (which are very large) for a recipe. And the last time I bought it, I didn't really have a proper look and actually bought an 800 g/ 28 oz packet.
- We had so many pies and rolled them in a very short period of time. 🙂 I was a bit worried that the sheets would dry out or go bad, so I took special care to repack the packet very carefully every time I used some of the sheets, and it was OK; I think I needed about 2 weeks to finish the packet, and the pastry was still perfectly OK.
- I made these rolls using leftover turkey from the Roasted Turkey Drumsticks, so this would be a great way of using some of that leftover turkey from your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
- However, if you don't have any turkey leftovers, feel free to buy some fresh turkey cutlets, slice them, and fry them in a bit of olive oil before giving them to the filling.
- And if the turkey is not available, you can make a perfectly delicious vegetable strudel using cooked chicken breast or thigh meat.
- I didn't use only oil to brush the layers of pastry, but a mixture of oil, egg, and yogurt. If using yufka pastry, brush each layer of dough with this mixture.
- If using filo pastry, layer two sheets of filo, brush with the mixture, top with two more sheets of filo, brush again and repeat one more time. Place a last single layer of filo on top and spread the filling on it. Roll the pastry.
How to serve?
- The recipe makes two large rolls, about 30-35 cm/ 12-14 inches long.
- The vegetable strudel with turkey or chicken can be served hot or warm with tomato sauce or even cold as a snack.
- As a side dish, you can have a nice salad with yogurt dressing or vinaigrette.
Vegetable Strudel with Leftover Turkey
- 10 filo sheets OR 6 large yufka sheets about 50 cm/ 20 inch long
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon plain yogurt
- nigella seeds to sprinkle on top
- For the brushing mixture:
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon plain yogurt
- For the filling:
- 12.5 oz cooked turkey pieces OR chicken 350 g, Note 1
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 7 oz zucchini 200 g
- 1 red bell pepper
- ½ teaspoon dry oregano
- 3 garlic cloves
- 4.5 oz mushrooms 125 g
- 4.5 oz cooked, vacuum-packed chestnuts 125 g
- 4 spring onions
- 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled 100 g, Note 2
- 1 tablespoon plain yogurt
- 3 large sage leaves
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- fine sea salt and pepper
- For the sauce:
- 1 small onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¾ teaspoon red chili flakes more or less to taste
- 1 ½ cup passata di pomodoro/ tomato puree (not tomato paste), 350 g
- ¾ cup water 175 ml
- 1 pinch sugar
- fine sea salt and pepper
- If using frozen filo pastry defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Yufka pastry is sold fresh or vacuum-packed, so there will be no need for defrosting.
- Make the brushing mixture by mixing the egg, olive oil, and yogurt in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Meat: If using leftover turkey or chicken, chop it into small pieces. If using fresh turkey or chicken, slice the meat, sprinkle it with salt, pepper, some sweet paprika, and fry in 1 teaspoon olive oil. Take out of the pan and leave to cool while preparing the vegetables.
- Chop the zucchini and the red bell pepper into small cubes. Set aside together. Chop the mushrooms, chestnuts, spring onions into small cubes/rings, but keep them apart from the zucchini and pepper. Grate the garlic.
- Saute vegetables: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan. Add the zucchini and the bell pepper cubes and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, chestnuts, spring onions, garlic, and dry oregano and continue cooking for 3 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and let it cool slightly.
- Combine: In the meantime, finely chop the fresh herbs. Add the fresh herbs to the vegetables, crumble the feta cheese into the filling and add the yogurt. Mix well and generously adjust the taste with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Brush pastry: If using yufka pastry, place one pastry sheet on the working surface. Using a kitchen brush (silicon), lightly brush the pastry with the brushing mixture. Next, place the second sheet of pastry on top and brush again. Finally, place the third sheet of pastry on top.
- Fill: Place ½ of the filling at the narrow bottom side of the pastry, leaving some free place at the bottom and on the margins.
- Fold the margins of the pastry over the filling. Then fold the lower part of the pastry over the folded margins and the filling. Roll the pastry to form a thick “sausage.” Place it on the baking tray.
- Repeat with the other three yufka pastry sheets to make a second roll.
- If using filo pastry, place two pastry sheets on top of each other on the working surface. Brush with some of the brushing mixture using a silicone kitchen brush. Place the following two filo pastry sheets on top and brush again. Next, place a single filo sheet on top of that. Add the filling, roll the “sausage” as described above, and make a second roll using the remaining pastry sheets.
- Brush both rolls with some remaining brushing mixture and sprinkle the rolls with nigella seeds.
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until deeply golden and crisp.
- Cook onion: Chop the onion and the garlic very finely. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and cook the onions and the garlic until translucent.
- Add the tomato paste and the spices and stir well for about 1 minute.
- Add passata di pomodoro or tomato puree and water. Stir well and let cook gently for about 20 minutes. Adjust the taste with a pinch of sugar, salt, and pepper.
- Slice the vegetable strudel and serve with tomato sauce and green salad.
- If you don't have leftover turkey or chicken, you can cook the same amount of fresh turkey or chicken breast.
- Feta from a block of cheese, not the already crumbled kind.
Angie@Angie's Recipes says
I LOVE filo pastries! These rolls would make a perfect weekend lunch for us.
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says
These are just perfect for Thanksgiving leftovers!!! I absolutely LOVE filo dough - it's so flaky and delicious! These are calling my name! Cheers!
Kate @ Framed Cooks says
I always learn something when I visit your wonderful site, Adina! Filo pastry is one of my favorites - I'm DEFINITELY giving these a try!
Kathy@Beyond the Chicken Coop says
There's nothing better than using up leftovers in a whole different way. I love all the layers in this dough. This looks absolutely delicious!
Thank you, Kathy, I am a fan of recipes using leftovers. 🙂 I don't like wasting food.
Oh my thats one long list of ingredients :). I have stayed clear from filo pastry too it looks too delicate and I am afraid I might break it LOL. by the way my sis is heading to germany this year want to send something over to you 🙂
Long but it's worth it! All delicious things. 🙂 Nice that your sister is travelling to Germany, I hope she will have a good time, it is a beautiful country with lots of things to see. 🙂
Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kitchen says
Using leftovers in a different way is always great. These filo rolls with chestnut and turkey look so delish and intriguing, Adina. I am sure they taste divine too.
It was a really delicious meal, Anu.