If you’ve ever been to Bulgaria, or have met a Bulgarian you’ve probably heard of, or if you’re lucky, eaten Banitsa. It’s the most delicious breakfast recipe and is made with eggs, butter, phyllo dough and Bulgarian cheese that is similar to feta. When done right it basically melts in your mouth and you want to eat the entire thing. So, be cautious, because I have the best banitsa recipe ever! It’s only four ingredients and it’s a savory super easy breakfast that you can eat on the go as well.
What Is Banitsa
I am Bulgarian, or as I like to say while beating my chest: Bulgar. If you don’t know what is Bulgaria, it’s a country and it’s in Europe, the Balkan region right next to Turkey and Greece.
Like all countries in that region, Bulgarian cuisine is very delicious! It shares many dishes with Middle Eastern cuisine and is rich in vegetables, cheeses, fruits, and meats and there’s also a lot of bread and dough in all its forms involved. Breakfast in Bulgaria is often a pastry. We’ve got mekitsi (fried dough), buhti (another fried type of dough), milinki (dough with Bulgarian cheese and eggs)…and there, shining among them all is the banitsa.
Banitsa is made a bit differently than the other breakfast variations I just mentioned because it’s made with phyllo dough. The filling is eggs, butter and Bulgarian white cheese, that is pretty similar to feta. Sometimes people add in yogurt as well.
You make it layer by layer, quite like lasagna. In fact, an Italian I knew many years ago when I made it, said, “ah yes, lasagna”. It’s called B A N I T S A. Now say that with an Italian accent. I’m just kidding. I did scream the banitsa thing though.
Only Four Ingredients For The Banitsa
- Phyllo dough. Depending on where you live, you will probably find different variations. I used to be able to find phyllo dough in Germany, mostly in the Turkish shops and I always got the thicker type, that have those “cooking spots” and look as if they’ve already been on the stove like tortillas). In the past, I’ve made my own phyllo dough by rolling regular dough made with flour, water, salt and oil really thin, again as if you’re making tortillas. Works as well!
- Feta cheese. Let’s assume you cannot find Bulgarian cheese where you live, feta is good too!
- Butter. I always try to get the best butter I can for the banitsa, so whatever you can.
- Eggs. 5 eggs are needed to make the banitsa filling.
How To Make Banitsa (Easy! Step By Step)
To start with you’re going to make the filling first. Use a large bowl to combine the eggs with melted butter.
Stir in the crumbled feta cheese. Your filling is ready.
Grease a smaller baking pan really well. You can also use parchment paper, because there’s a big chance the banitsa will stick to the sides of the pan, no matter how well you grease it.
Start with the first layer of phyllo dough.
It goes: phyllo dough, mixture on top, phyllo sheet again…until you run out of filling.
If you break a sheet of phyllo dough you can still use it…I actually found out that I can break it into smaller pieces and puzzle it together to fit my pan and it still tastes the same. Still dough with eggs, cheese, and lots of butter. How bad can it be?
The last layer is a phyllo sheet. On top, you’re going to place a few chunks of butter all over.
Then sprinkle around 1/2 cup of water. This will prevent the top layer from becoming too dry during baking.
Once your banitsa is all layered and sprinkled with water, it’s time to bake it for about 30 minutes at 350F or 180C. Bake it until it looks golden brown. It will rise a lot…
And then when you take it out and cut it into pieces it will go down like a broken balloon. Still, it’s delicious.
If you didn’t use parchment paper, to release from the pan, cut around the edges and a little bit under the breakfast pie.
Cut in pieces and enjoy, freshly baked is best!
How To Store
When and if there are leftovers, I store those in an airtight container in the fridge. You can leave the banitsa out for about a day, but I just always prefer to be on the safe side and have it refrigerated.
Eat On The Go
This is a great breakfast on the go. You can even have it for lunch, whenever you’re hungry and want to take something with you. The banitsa will be there waiting to be devoured.
I hope you enjoy this Bulgarian breakfast recipe as much as I do!
More Savory Breakfast Recipes With Eggs:
- Easy Breakfast Quesadilla Recipe
- Ham, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Wraps
- Healthy Avocado Egg Sandwich Recipe
- 1/2 cup / 100g butter, melted
- 1/2 cup /100g feta cheese, crumbled
- 5 eggs
- 7oz or 200g phyllo sheets
- Add the eggs and melted butter to a bowl and mix well together. Stir in the crumbled feta cheese.
- Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.
- Grease a smaller baking pan with butter or line with parchment paper, because the banitsa will probably still stick to the bottom and the sides of the pan when baked.
- Add the first sheet of phyllo dough (it doesn't have to be perfect and you can puzzle pieces together. Spread the filling all over the phyllo sheet in a thin layer. The feta crumbles can stay whole. Make sure to also get the corners and sides. Add another layer or phyllo dough on top.
- Continue until you run out of the egg mixture.
- The top layer should be phyllo. Spread a few chunks of butter on top and sprinkle 1/2 cup of water all over.
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Slice and enjoy!
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 242Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 154mgSodium 360mgCarbohydrates 14gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 8g