Thin egg and dairy-free doughs make the best substitute for phyllo dough for various recipes. The best replacements for phyllo dough include spring roll wrappers and lavash, and you can also make your phyllo-style dough at home. Puff pastry dough is commonly substituted for phyllo as well.
This article will discuss the four best alternatives for phyllo dough. I’ll also explain why each substitute works in specific recipes and what brands you should use for the best results.
1. Spring Roll Wrappers
Phyllo dough is used in a lot of recipes, including Baklava and Spanakopita. These are two of the most common foods that use phyllo dough. These recipes are renowned for their light, flaky crust that holds the ingredients underneath.
When cooked, the crust should be low density, lightweight, and get a nice golden brown color.
Spring roll wrappers work very well when used to substitute phyllo dough. They have a similarly lightweight to them and, when fried, achieve a beautiful golden crust the same way that phyllo dough does.
One popular brand that is delicious and convenient are these spring roll wrappers found on Amazon. Because they are even less dense than phyllo, it’s recommended that you roll the ingredients in them and deep fry them. Deep-fried spring roll wrappers are an excellent option for baklava and spanakopita.
The nice part about using spring roll wrappers for these recipes is that you can use all the same ingredients that you would use traditionally but roll them up in a tidy package that you can bring with you on the go.
But you can also make them in a pan by layering the spring roll sheets just like you would phyllo dough. This is an excellent example of traditional baklava being made by layering spring roll wrappers.
However you decide to construct your recipes, spring roll wrappers make one of the best alternatives to phyllo dough that you can find in a store. And if you have a large supply of them in your kitchen, you can use them to create many different recipes, including egg rolls.
Lavash is a flatbread typically made from the following:
Think of it as a little denser, slightly airy version of phyllo dough. While phyllo dough is unleavened, meaning completely flat, lavash has a little more rise, though it is still considered a flatbread.
Because lavash is similar in consistency, flavor, and texture to phyllo dough, it can be an excellent substitute in various recipes.
You can make a superb version of Baklava, an Armenian treat, with lavash.
And as found in this recipe, you can even use a whole wheat lavash to try something healthier and unique. One thing to keep in mind is because it is a bit thicker, it will have more density than phyllo dough.
Another typical recipe that uses phyllo dough is samosas, which is a delicious Indian pastry treat that can be made using lavash dough instead of phyllo. You will get a very similar flavor and texture, and they work just as well as phyllo because the thicker dough holds the ingredients in perfectly when frying or baking them.
Watch this video from Rich’s Foodservice where Chef Jake Brach uses Rich’s lavash wrappers to make delicious samosas:
There are various other recipes in which you could substitute lavash for phyllo. You’ll want to choose your favorite recipe that involves phyllo dough and give it a try with lavash.
You may find that the extra rise you get from the yeast in lavash makes the dish you try even better. It works great as a substitute in recipes with a lot of filling because the thickness of the dough can match up with extra filling.
3. Puff Pastry Dough
The most common substitute you will find for phyllo is puff pastry dough. The popularity of this choice is mainly due to the availability of puff pastry and the fact that it is also commonly used as pie dough.
However, to keep in mind, some puff pastry doughs work much better than others.
Puff pastry doughs traditionally involve eggs and dairy, whereas phyllo dough is 100% vegan. This is an important distinction because the eggs and dairy give the puffed pastry that fluffy, buttery, and rich texture and flavor that we are accustomed to having when eating pies, strudels, and other delicious treats.
Traditional puff pastry dough is often used to substitute for phyllo dough because they are the two most common pie crusts.
However, the higher fat content in puff pastry dough due to butter and eggs gives the crust different flavors and textures. It still works as a canvas for recipes like baklava or spanakopita, but it will have a softer, less crispy texture than phyllo does.
Lately, however, there are more options for puff pastry dough that does have any eggs or dairy.
These vegan alternatives are much better substitutes for phyllo dough as they can achieve a similar texture and flavor since they have nearly identical ingredients.
One puff pastry brand that is an excellent alternative for phyllo dough is Orgran (available on Amazon). Orgran is a good choice because the dough will result in a similarly light and flaky crust as phyllo.
While vegan puff pastry dough is a much better choice for a phyllo dough substitute, you may find that puff pastry works surprisingly well in its own right for certain dishes.
4. Homemade Dough
Another great substitute for phyllo dough is to make your own at home.
The advantage of making dough from scratch is that you can determine exactly what goes into your homemade dough. You can experiment with what ratio of ingredients best makes a dough that is light and crispy after cooking like phyllo dough is.
One thing that gives phyllo its paper-thin, crispy exterior is the simplicity of its ingredients. This recipe highlights how a few household items can create a perfect dough for some of your favorite dishes like baklava.
The dough is best kept simple with the following ingredients:
- Vinegar or Citrus
You want to put vinegar or citrus into your dough because it gives the dough the ability to stretch better. Stretching ability is imperative for a dough that you are substituting for phyllo because you need it to be as thin as possible.
The thinner that you can get the dough, the more that it will resemble an authentic phyllo dough.
When you make dishes that typically use phyllo, you need this thinness to achieve the desired texture. While other doughs can hold the ingredients, they might not match the perfect crispiness that you get out of dough, such as phyllo.
Here is a simple recipe for making phyllo at home:
- 3 cups (125 grams) bread flour
- ¾ cup (0.18 L) lukewarm water
- 2 tbsp (28.6 grams) grapeseed oil
- 1 tbsp (14.3 grams) white vinegar
- Mix all of the ingredients with a spoon or a mixer, like this high-quality one that I recommend.
- Form the dough into a ball and let rest for 3-4 hours at room temperature.
- Separate into 3” (7.62 cm) discs and let rest for 1 more hour.
- Roll the discs out as flat as possible on a floured surface.
- Use the dough in your favorite recipe that calls for phyllo dough.
For more, don’t miss Can You Freeze Cooked Baklava? (And Then Reheat It).
Hi, I’m Anne but my grandchildren call me Jelly Grandma. I have over 50 years of experience as a Southern cook and am a retired librarian. I love sharing what I have learned. You can find me on YouTube as well! Just click the link at the bottom of your page.
I hope your visit here has been a sweet one.