Definition of phyllo in US English:


(also filo)


  • A kind of dough that can be stretched into thin sheets, used in layers to make pastries, especially in eastern Mediterranean cooking.

    as modifier ‘phyllo pastry’
    • ‘Place three or four layers of filo pastry in an oven proof tray, brush them with unsalted butter (can be done with polyunsaturated oil if desired).’
    • ‘While the phyllo pastry was nice and crisp, the dish itself was just a little bland.’
    • ‘A favorite kind of sweet is layers of a thin pastry called filo, filled with nuts or creams, similar to baklava.’
    • ‘In other words, exactly what you expect of filo pastry parcels.’
    • ‘Place 3-4 layers of phyllo dough on the bottom of the pan.’
    • ‘Lay a first sheet of filo dough on a large cutting board or clean work surface, covering the stack of remaining sheets with a piece of saran wrap topped with a damp dish towel.’
    • ‘Filo dough can be made by hand, but unless you are very accomplished you can never make it as thin as it is produced by machine.’
    • ‘These light and crisp bite-sized parcels of mozzarella and pesto can be made with Chinese spring-roll pastry (wonton wrappers) or filo.’
    • ‘This was followed by bay scallops wrapped in phyllo with Camembert, which were fabulously rich, and presented on a small rectangular plate.’
    • ‘I've also come up with sweet phyllo dough; nut milks and nut butter are crucial to what I do.’
    • ‘Spread a mushroom-onion filling or a spinach-cannellini bean combo on butter-brushed phyllo.’
    • ‘We also tried the rookaak - two shatteringly crisp phyllo cigars filled with sensuously melting cheese.’
    • ‘Make sure that your work surface is perfectly dry or else the filo will stick and turn into mush.’
    • ‘With no time to stuff and wrap the phyllo, I added a little more sour cream and a lot more cheese, spread the mixture in a pan and baked it.’
    • ‘Your gaze will hover a bit over this orgy of butter and oil and phyllo and kadayif dough and walnuts and almond paste, and pick the one you like best, shiny and golden, or matte and colorful.’
    • ‘The most outlandish dessert was a mass of honeyed phyllo, piled like feathers over diced pears and a blob of melted Pecorino cheese.’
    • ‘Lay 3 sheets of filo pastry flat on a tea towel, brushing between each sheet with melted butter.’
    • ‘The crispy phyllo pastry that housed the veggie pie provided perfect textural contrast to the pasty sweet potato, which was oh-so-sweetly lubricated by a juicy tomato-apple relish.’
    • ‘Fried cheese, octopus salad, spicy grilled meats, and dishes made with phyllo reflect different cultural influences.’
    • ‘A rich stew of chicken, raisins and slivered almonds is flavoured with nutmeg and cinnamon, wrapped in a phyllo shell and dusted with powdered sugar.’
    • ‘But their Basteeya, a baked phyllo pie with a filling of saffron braised chicken & spiced almonds, draped in powder sugar & cinnamon was superb.’
    • ‘Lay out sheets of filo pastry and brush lightly with some melted butter.’
    • ‘The hit of the meal was the phyllo basket filled with a ragout of duck and caramelised apple and once again a white wine, the Zevenwacht Sauvignon Blanc bursting with tropical fruit and gooseberry flavours, accompanied the dish.’
    • ‘Line a tart tin with 3-4 sheets of filo pastry, well brushed with melted butter.’
    • ‘The künefe dessert, of shredded phyllo and string cheese, also has been missing in action.’
    • ‘Best of all, though, is the warm hazelnut chocolate cake, presented in a bouquet of phyllo with a spoonful of mascarpone ice cream.’
    • ‘To serve as filo parcels, cut a sheet of filo in half lengthways and brush one half with butter.’
    • ‘Before food processors and dough machines, bakers in Mediterranean palaces would shape and stretch phyllo by hand.’
    • ‘The traditional Arab dessert is baklava, which is an exquisite pastry with layers of phyllo dough covered with nuts and honey.’
    • ‘A peppery, spinach-and-feta-stuffed turnover of brittle phyllo pastry is a kick.’
    • ‘You'll need phyllo pastry, available in the freezer section of most supermarkets, whipped cream, grated white chocolate, fresh or frozen berries of your choice, icing sugar, a lemon and decorative gold dust.’
    • ‘All three pastas are clogged by overthick, underseasoned sauces, and the poor li'l rainbow trout can hardly find its way clear of its phyllo crust and vegetable ragout.’
    • ‘Some are made with extremely thin layers of filo pastry and have different shapes.’
    • ‘It is very easy to make, using Greek filo pastry from the supermarket and whatever apples you can find.’
    • ‘Lightly brush the sheet of filo dough with olive oil, then sprinkle with roughly a tablespoon of breadcrumbs.’
    • ‘Baklava, that sweet, messy pastry made of filo dough, nuts and honey is a treat in both countries.’
    • ‘The signature dish consists of filo pastry stuffed with haggis sitting on a sweet plum sauce.’
    • ‘There are little pockets of caramel wrapped in phyllo, and a decent bowl of summer cherries flavored with a scoop of ice cream tasting faintly of tea.’
    • ‘A chocolate, almond and crème anglaise wrapped in phyllo will be served as dessert.’
    • ‘Then there was the obligatory gooey, melting chocolate dish, imaginatively packaged here in little purses of phyllo and dusted with powdered sugar.’


1950s: from modern Greek phullo ‘leaf’.