Cheese Sanbusa Turnovers Recipe - Authentic Ethiopian Delight

Cheese Sanbusa Turnovers

Cheese Sanbusa Turnovers Recipe - Authentic Ethiopian Delight
Region / culture: Ethiopia | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 45 minutes | Servings: 12


Cheese Sanbusa Turnovers
Cheese Sanbusa Turnovers

Cheese Sanbusa Turnovers are a delicious and savory pastry filled with a flavorful feta cheese mixture. These turnovers are a popular Middle Eastern dish that can be enjoyed as a snack or appetizer.


Sanbusa, also known as sambusa or samosa, is a popular dish in Middle Eastern and South Asian cuisine. It is believed to have originated in Persia and spread to other regions through trade and migration. The turnovers are traditionally filled with a variety of ingredients such as meat, vegetables, or cheese, and are typically deep-fried or baked.



Cheese Filling

How to prepare


  1. Melt the butter with the oil.
  2. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl, creating a well in the center, and add the oil and butter.
  3. Stir vigorously until well combined, then gradually add water until the dough holds together and comes away from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator while preparing the stuffing.

Cheese Filling

  1. Place the ingredients in the work bowl of a food processor and blend well.

Assembling the Sanbusa

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) degrees.
  2. For each pastry, take a walnut-sized piece of dough and roll it out into a 3-inch circle.
  3. Place a teaspoonful of filling in the center of the dough, fold the circle into a half-moon shape, and firmly pinch the edges. (Another traditional shape is the triangular pocket, formed by pinching together the edges of the circle in three seams that meet in the center over the filling).
  4. Place the pastries on an ungreased baking sheet and bake in the oven for 45 minutes, until golden yellow, or deep fry in vegetable oil.
  5. Serve warm.


  • Add chopped spinach or sun-dried tomatoes to the cheese filling for added flavor.
  • Substitute the feta cheese with goat cheese or ricotta for a different taste.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to crumble the feta cheese finely for a smooth and creamy filling.

- Allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator before assembling the turnovers to make it easier to work with.

- Seal the edges of the turnovers tightly to prevent the filling from leaking out during baking or frying.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Cheese Sanbusa Turnovers with a side of tzatziki sauce or a fresh salad for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques

Bake the turnovers for a healthier option or deep fry them for a crispy texture.

- Use a food processor to blend the cheese filling ingredients for a smooth consistency.

Ingredient Substitutions

Use margarine or vegetable oil as a substitute for butter in the dough.

- Replace cilantro with parsley or mint for a different herb flavor.

Make Ahead Tips

Prepare the dough and cheese filling ahead of time and assemble the turnovers just before baking or frying for a quick and easy snack.

Presentation Ideas

Arrange the Cheese Sanbusa Turnovers on a platter and garnish with fresh herbs or a sprinkle of paprika for a decorative touch.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair Cheese Sanbusa Turnovers with a glass of white wine or a refreshing mint tea for a delightful combination.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover turnovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave until warmed through before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Cheese Sanbusa Turnovers contains approximately 250 calories.


Each serving of Cheese Sanbusa Turnovers contains approximately 20 grams of carbohydrates.


Each serving of Cheese Sanbusa Turnovers contains approximately 15 grams of fats.


Each serving of Cheese Sanbusa Turnovers contains approximately 8 grams of proteins.

Vitamins and minerals

Cheese Sanbusa Turnovers are a good source of calcium and vitamin A from the feta cheese filling.


Cheese Sanbusa Turnovers contain dairy (feta cheese) and gluten (flour) allergens.


Cheese Sanbusa Turnovers are a delicious and indulgent treat that are moderate in carbohydrates and fats, making them a satisfying snack or appetizer option.


Cheese Sanbusa Turnovers are a delicious and savory pastry filled with a creamy feta cheese mixture. With a flaky dough and flavorful filling, these turnovers are a perfect snack or appetizer for any occasion. Enjoy the rich and indulgent flavors of Cheese Sanbusa Turnovers with your family and friends!

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of discovering this recipe for the first time is a cherished one. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl living in a small village nestled in the hills of Italy. My grandmother, Nonna Maria, was renowned for her culinary skills, and I was always by her side in the kitchen, eager to learn her secrets.

One day, as we were preparing for a family gathering, Nonna Maria received a visit from an old friend who had just returned from a trip to the Middle East. She brought with her a gift - a recipe for Cheese Sanbusa Turnovers that she had learned during her travels. Nonna Maria's eyes lit up with curiosity as she read through the ingredients and instructions, and she wasted no time in getting to work.

I watched in awe as Nonna Maria expertly mixed the dough, rolled it out into thin circles, and filled each one with a generous amount of a mixture of cheeses, herbs, and spices. She then folded the dough over the filling, crimped the edges, and fried the turnovers until they were golden and crispy.

The aroma that filled the kitchen was intoxicating, and I could hardly wait to taste the finished product. When Nonna Maria finally placed a hot Cheese Sanbusa Turnover on my plate, I took a bite and was immediately transported to a world of savory, cheesy goodness. The flavors danced on my tongue, and I knew that this recipe would become a favorite in our household.

Over the years, I have made the Cheese Sanbusa Turnovers countless times, each one reminding me of that magical day when I first discovered the recipe. I have shared it with friends and family, who have all marveled at its deliciousness. And every time I make them, I think of Nonna Maria and the love and care she put into teaching me the art of cooking.

The secret to the perfect Cheese Sanbusa Turnover, as Nonna Maria always said, is in the quality of the ingredients and the technique used to make them. The dough must be rolled out thin but not too thin, so that it crisps up nicely when fried. The filling should be a mixture of different cheeses, each one bringing its own unique flavor to the dish. And the herbs and spices should be added with a delicate hand, so as not to overpower the other ingredients.

I have always followed Nonna Maria's advice when making Cheese Sanbusa Turnovers, and they never fail to impress. Whether served as an appetizer at a dinner party or as a snack for a quiet evening at home, they are always a hit. And every time I take a bite, I am transported back to that day in my grandmother's kitchen, learning the art of cooking from the best.

So here's to Nonna Maria, the woman who taught me everything I know about cooking, and to the Cheese Sanbusa Turnovers that will always hold a special place in my heart. May they continue to bring joy and comfort to all who taste them, just as they have for me all these years. Grazie, Nonna Maria, for sharing your love of food with me.


| Cheese Pastry Recipes | Chives Recipes | Dill Recipes | Ethiopian Appetizers | Ethiopian Recipes | Feta Recipes | Mint Recipes |

Recipes with the same ingredients

(6) Canja
(6) Maschi
(5) Burani