Vegan Banitsa: A Traditional Bulgarian Pastry with a Delicious Plant-Based Twist


Banitsa is a traditional Bulgarian pastry made with layers of phyllo dough and a filling of cheese, eggs, and sometimes meat. However, with a few simple substitutions, it's easy to create a delicious and satisfying vegan version of this classic dish. Follow along with our recipe to learn how to make vegan banitsa that's crispy, flaky, and full of flavor. We can't wait for you to try it!


  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 12 sheets phyllo dough
  • 4 tbsp vegan butter, melted
  • 1 cup vegan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup aquafaba (chickpea brine)


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the rice, onion, garlic, vegetable broth, paprika, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  3. On a clean, dry surface, lay out one sheet of phyllo dough. Brush the sheet lightly with vegan butter. Repeat with the remaining sheets of phyllo dough, stacking them on top of each other as you go.
  4. Spread the cooked rice mixture evenly over the phyllo dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle the vegan cheese over the rice.
  5. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the aquafaba over the edges of the phyllo dough. Carefully roll the dough into a tight log, starting from one of the short sides.
  6. Place the banitsa seam-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the top of the banitsa with additional vegan butter.
  7. Bake the banitsa for 30-35 minutes, or until it is golden brown and crispy.
  8. Remove the banitsa from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

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