Persian-inspired Lamb in Filo

Freezer-friendly, this Persian appetizer has spice and crunch with an aroma that's to die for

Credit: Flickr/Alpha

Persian-Inspired Lamb in Filo

These freezer-friendly foli rolls with Persian lamb will make entertaining that much easier

Full of crunch and flavour, this Persian lamb baked in filo pastry is a true crowd-pleaser

The intense spices and flavours of the Middle East are the inspiration for this appetizer. Filo provides the crunch and lightness, the spiced lamb the flavour.

This recipe can be prepared ahead and frozen making it the perfect appetizer for entertaining crowds. I like to freeze the filo rolls raw, so when they’re ready to serve, they’ll provide that wonderful just-baked aroma and fresh flavour.


  • 1 pound lean ground lamb
  • ½ cup panko crumbs
  • ⅓ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped preserved lemon (rind only)
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Côte d’Azur Spice 2.0 chili paste
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. saffron threads, pounded into a powder
  • ½ tsp. ground cardamom
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 pkg. filo pastry, thawed
  • Olive oil for brushing


  1. Place the lamb in a mixing bowl. Add the panko crumbs, pine nuts, preserved lemon, cilantro, mint, parsley, shallots, garlic, chili paste, cinnamon, saffron, cardamom, salt and egg.
  2. Using your hands, mix well to distribute all of the ingredients evenly. Set aside.
  3. Unroll the filo pastry and lay it flat on your work surface. Cut into half lengthwise and stack. Lightly brush with oil and fold in half, brush and fold in half again.
  4. Take about 2-3 Tbsp. of the lamb filling and roll into a log shape. Place the filling log on one end of the filo and roll up the pastry.
  5. Brush the roll lightly all over with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining filling and pastry.
  6. Bake the filo rolls in a 400°F preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Makes 36 rolls.

Listen to Caren McSherry Thursdays between 11 a.m. and 11:40 a.m. on CKNW 98.

Originally published in TVW. For daily programming updates and on-screen Entertainment news, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.