Generally when you follow a traditional Greek style diet it isn’t too hard to keep your sodium intake down, particularly when you are eating all the lathera vegetable dishes: vegetables cooked with olive, tomato and plenty of herbs. In regards to hypertension (high blood pressure), several studies have shown that following a Mediterranean style diet is associated with lower blood pressure.
Having said that, some Greek cheeses are high in sodium, and there are some dishes that have feta and cheese in general, as the main ingredients, and one of them is the tyropita.
Tyropita literally translates into cheese-pie, it is one of the most popular pita in Greece (along with spanakopita) and you can find numerous versions of it. These little triangle cheese pies are often served at buffets, I love them. I remember my mom making them for parties and we would grab them still hot right off the tray with my mom eventually hiding them because there wouldn’t be any left to serve to our guests.
For the low sodium version, I use the Greek cheese anthotyro, a PDO soft whey cheese or ricotta if you cannot find anthotyro. The secret is
to use plenty of fresh mint, which is what really makes these tasty. Mint and white cheese are a perfect combination and found very often in the Greek cuisine.
This tyropitaki has 50% less sodium compared to the traditional regular cheese pie that is made mostly with feta, but the calories are about the same.
Low Sodium Tyropitakia-Greek Cheese Pies
- 8 ounces (230 grams) ricotta or anthotyro
- 1 oz. feta (about 30 grams) grams feta
- 3 Tablespoons low fat cream cheese
- 2 Tablespoons Greek style yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup (or more) chopped fresh mint
- Olive oil
- 1 package phyllo (about 12-13 sheets- you may not use all of them)
1. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 C).
2. Crumble the feta with a fork.
3. Whip the eggs in a separate small bowl.
4. In a large bowl mix the cheeses with the eggs, add pepper and then the mint, blend well.
5. You can use the mixture immediately but it is better to leave it to sit for a few hours or overnight.
6. When you are ready to make the tyropitakia take out the phyllo (it should be defrosted).
7. Spread out 1 sheet of phyllo; brush a small amount of olive oil. Cut the sheet in 4 strips lengthwise.
8. Place on the top corner of each strip about 1 1/2 teaspoon of the cheese mixture. Start folding in a small triangle (see photo). Continue until you use the whole mixture.
9. Place cheese pies on a lightly greased pan and brush them with a bit of olive oil.
10. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.
*You can also make this as a big tyropita in a pan by laying 2/3 of the phyllo sheets on the bottom of the pan making sure that you brush olive oil on each sheet, than you layer on top the cheese mixture and cover with the rest of the phyllo sheets (again brushing a bit of olive oil on each sheet). Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes.
1 tyropitaki has 3 grams fat and 49 mgs sodium.
I would love to have this in a printable form. Am I missing the cue?
I am hoping you can help me find a good brand/place to buy phyllo sheets in the USA. I made one of the pites but was unable to find any store bought phyllo sheets that did not use something like soybean oil and other ingredients. I made the dough myself but it turned out much to thick rather than thin and crispy. Do you have any suggestions?
I would recommend Kontos phyllo, although it does contain some fat it is in minute amounts.
I also found on the Walmart website: Fillo Dough for Baklava (Bradic), which does not contain any fat
Athens phyllo contains some fat, but at least it is canola oil and not soybean oil.
The Tyropita recipe is delicious! The only problem was that the filling was quite runny, like pancake batter. I had to make them in a muffin pan, which didn’t make the nice triangles I was hoping for. I used ricotta instead of anthtyro because that is what is available here. Any suggestions?
Thank you Kathy. Perhaps you can try straining the ricotta if it is too watery, also you can try using 1 egg next time.
I’ve just taken a tray of these out of the oven, they are brilliant, light and delicious. I may even prefer them to your spanakopita recipe which I make every week and is hard to beat! Love all your recipes, they always work. X
Thank you Joanna!
Can these be shaped and then frozen before baking? I’d like to make them onthe weekend and save for later in the week for a quick bite after the gym when I don’t have enough time to cook. I’m guessing it would be fine, but just wondering if you know something I don’t. Thanks!
I have not put them in the freezer, but they should freeze fine, as most type of pites do.
Thanks for this low sodium recipe Elena! Sharing this at work and other RD’s REALLY liking this. MORE!!!!!
Aromatic herbs can indeed add flavor to a dish without need for much salt.
A few weeks ago I improvised, making a ‘tyrokafteri’ with anthotyro, garlic, anise, a little olive oil — I think I also put a couple pieces of ‘kerato’ green pepper. It was gorgeous!