Bulgarian Banitsa

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Bulgarian banitsa in a spiral. Topped with a Flax, Sesame, and Sunflower seeds as well as a sprinkling of Trader Joe's Everything but the bagel seasoning.

This Bulgarian banitsa recipe was adapted from one by Valesto, a Ukrainian manufacturer of phyllo products. Ever since I went to Greece, and Bosnia, and well, the rest of the Balkans, I’ve always wanted to make a phyllo pie. Bulgaria is very underrepresented when it comes to food, and I think that is a huge oversight by the culinary community.

Now, a Bulgarian banitsa can technically be filled with a huge variety of things. It can be savory or sweet, and it can be laid out in strips, or in a spiral like I did. It is a slightly messy, very fun thing to make. Plus you can get extremely creative.

bulgarian banitsa about to go into the oven
I wrinkled the dough quite a bit as I was rolling it. Try not to do that – keep it as smooth as possible.

This banitsa is filled with bryndza cheese, because it was my first time making it and I wanted to keep things simple. This cheese is not native to Bulgaria, but rather Romania, Poland, Ukraine, and Slovakia. Since I live in Ukraine I liked use something from here (also because it was in the original recipe). So maybe this is a Bulgarian banitsa fusion.

All you have to do is to lay out your phyllo dough end to end in a long strip. Then you just spoon the cheese mixture along the length and roll it into a tube. Next I just turned it into a spiral shape, pressed in the seeds, and then moved it to a parchment paper disk. The original recipe asked for a sour cream wash, but as bryndza can already be quite tangy I opted for a simple water diluted egg wash instead. Then bake for 30 minutes or until lightly golden, and your Bulgarian banitsa is ready to serve.

bulgarian banitsa spiral with seeds

Bulgarian Banitsa With Bryndza

This banitsa recipe is almost authentic, except I use bryndza cheese instead of the traditional бяло сирене, or Bulgarian White Cheese.

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Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Main Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Balkan, Bulgarian
Keyword: Banitsa, Bulgarian banitsa
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 1 Banitsa
Cost: $5


  • Baking Tray


  • 8 sheets Phyllo Pastry 30×40 cm
  • 50 grams Butter melted
  • 200 grams Bryndza Cheese
  • 100 grams Cottage Cheese
  • 100 ml Buttermilk
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper optional
  • 1 Egg
  • 50 ml Water
  • 1 tsp Sesame Seeds
  • 1 tsp Flax Seeds
  • 1 tsp Sunflower Seeds
  • 1 tsp Trader Joe's Everything But The Bagel Seasoning optional
  • Salt to taste


  • Lay down your phyllo dough sheets on a lightly floured surface lengthwise end to end.
  • In a bowl whisk together the two cheeses along with the buttermilk and black pepper. The cheese is salty enough on its own usually you don't need to add salt here.
  • Spoon the cheese onto the dough in a lengthwise strip, then roll the phyllo dough into a tube.
  • Twist the dough into a spiral and press in the seeds and seasoning. Beat together the 1 egg with the water and brush it over the banitsa. Sprinkle with salt to taste.
  • Place in an oven preheated to 175 Celsius or 350 Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until lightly golden.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes and serve.


You can freeze this before or after baking and it will be good for up to 3 months.
Did you make this?Mention @CookingToEntertain or tag #cookingtoentertain and let me know how it was!

Bulgarian Banitsa

Bulgarian Banitsa in a swirl pattern with a variety of seeds
Also, make sure to roll it a little tighter than I did, or it can split in the oven.

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