MIZITHROPITES – Cretan Cheese pies, Traditional Recipe

Mizithropites what a treat these pies are?! You want a savory snack? You got it! You want a sweet snack? You got it too! Take them out directly from the freezer to the pan and you can enjoy them sweet or savory anytime!


What are Mizithropites?

Mizithropites are Cretan flatbread cheese pies made with a sour cheese called “Xinomizithra”.

They are fried on a non-stick skillet over medium heat with only a brush of Olive Oil. They are served in many Cretan taverns and you have the option to enjoy them savory or sweet with a little honey on top.

They might not look like much, presentation-wise, but what they lack in appearance fill up with their exceptional taste.

stacked mizithropites

Mizithropites or Sfakianopites?

My grandma from Ierapetra was making these pies and she called them Mizithropites (Mizithra pies).  I remember when I was little I used to eat them for breakfast or as an afternoon snack without honey. Only later on I discovered that in Sfakia region of Crete they call them Sfakianopites (Sfakia pies). They are the same pies but have different names in other regions of Crete.

An uncooked Mizithropita has a diameter of about 16cm / 6.5in
A stack of Mizithropites divided by parchment paper sheets
A stack of Mizithropites divided by parchment paper sheets
Xinomixithra 1a
fresh Xinomizithra sour cheese
Xinomizithra balls
Xinomizithra balls ready to fill the pies
Xinomizithra balls2
the making of mizithropites
brush of oil
Differences in the amount of Olive Oil when frying in a pan.
Mizithropites into rolls served with a little honey
Enjoy the mizithropites sweet or savory

The video has subtitles in English, Greek, and more than 30 languages.


MIZITHROPITES – Cretan Cheese pies, Traditional Recipe

Prep: 10m | Rest: 2h | Cook: 2-3m | Total: 2h 13m | Yield: 32 pies


  • 1.3 kg Flour, all-purpose, divided
  • 7 Tbsp Lemon Juice (1.5 Lemon)
  • 700ml lukewarm Water (2.5 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil, in the dough
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil, for resting
  • 5 tsp Salt (7.5g)
  • 9 Parchment paper sheets cut into 4, for stacking and storing the pies (38x42cm)
  • Honey, for serving – Optional

For the filling:

  • 700g Cretan Xinomizithra cheese


  1. Start by preparing the parchment paper sheets that you will use to stack and store the pies.
  2. You will need 9 sheets of parchment paper sheets that you will fold and cut into 4. Each square should be around 18cm.
  3. For the dough: Add 1kg of Flour with the salt in a big bowl and mix them.
  4. Make a hole in the middle and add 2 Tbsp Olive oil, 7 Tbsp Lemon Juice, and the 700ml lukewarm water added slowly.
  5. Start working the dough with your hands while adding a little flour each time it stacks to your hands. (This procedure should incorporate 200-300g of flour).
  6. After the dough is starting to form you may transfer it to your kitchen counter if it helps you work the dough better.
  7. Mix the ingredients well until you get a firm dough, not very soft but not tough either.
  8. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, brush it with 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil on all sides and cover it with a towel.
  9. Let it REST for 2 hours at room temperature.
  10. For the filling: Start preparing the cheese filling 30 minutes before the resting of the dough ends.
  11. Add the 700g Xinomizithra cheese to a medium size bowl and crush it with a fork or your hands.
  12. Shape it into 32 small balls about the size of a walnut and set them aside.
  13. How to combine dough and filling: Prepare the dough by cutting it into 4 parts and each part should also be cut again into 8 balls.
  14. Don’t cut all 32 balls together at once. Work your dough 1 piece at a time and keep the rest 3 covered in a bowl with a towel.
  15. Shape them into small balls about the size of a walnut (the same size as your Xinomizithra cheese).
  16. Take 1 ball of dough and flatten it a little with the palm of your hand.
  17. Place 1 ball of the Xinomizithra cheese in the middle of the dough and then close it like a pouch.
  18. Flatten it with your hands and then with a rolling pin to reach about 16cm in diameter.
  19. Place one sheet of parchment paper on a plate, add the pie, and then add one more piece of parchment paper on top.
  20. After you have finished with all the pies place them in the freezer and take out only as much as you would like to eat at the moment.
  21. How to cook them: Place a non-stick pan over medium heat (6/9) and brush it with a little olive oil.
  22. Fry the pies on both sides until you see brown spots on the surface (about 2-3 minutes on each side).
  23. Mizithropita pies are ONLY served hot. So you should not fry a lot at the same time, only as much as you like to eat.
  24. You can add a little honey on top if you want them sweet and enjoy!


  • If you need to make a lot of Mizithropites, for a family dinner, then stack them on a plate covered with parchment paper or a clean towel to keep them warm until it’s time to eat.
  • When you take them out of the freezer place them directly in the pan because they do not need defrosting.
  • Do not add a lot of Olive Oil when you fry them. Just a brush or a thin layer of Olive Oil is the best option because they absorb a lot of oil.
  • For the video and the photo shoot of this recipe, I used 2 different Xynomizithra brands which were “Kriton Paradosi” and “Vogiatzidaki”. They were both delicious and I recommend them! 
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2 thoughts on “MIZITHROPITES – Cretan Cheese pies, Traditional Recipe”

    1. Hello, you can find more info about this cheese and where you can buy it if you google it as “Xynomyzithra Kritis”. It is truly a unique and exquisite type of feta cheese that is produced on the island of Crete. May you have a great day and If you have more questions don’t hesitate to ask!

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