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Kolokotes (Cypriot Squash Turnovers)

Kolokotes (Cypriot Squash Turnovers)

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Kolokotes (singular kolokoti, pr. Koh-loh-ko-TESS), are traditional Cypriot pastries, similar to turnovers, calzone, empanadas, boureki or pies, made with butternut squash or pumpkin.

pumpkin or butternut squash image

They are neither sweat or salty.   They can be eaten any time of the day.

Try them for breakfast with a cup of milk or as a snack with a soda or as a snack in the evening with a glass of wine.

Anyway you try them they are delicious.

Making kolokotes picture

When I used to live in Cyprus, they used to be sold by street vendors but now you can find them in any Cypriot bakery as you rarely see street vendors.

kolokotes in a platter image

In the Greek language there is only one word for pumpkins, squash or courgettes (zucchini) and the word is “kolokythi or kolokytha” or “kolodji” in the Cypriot language, so this is where it takes its name from.   

kolokotes with toothpick image

These Cypriot turnovers are filled with squash or pumpkin, nuts, raisins and spices.    (In the picture, those with a toothpick on the side are without raisins as a family member does not like them!!).

See How to :

Make the Dough

Roll the phyllo dough by hand

Roll the phyllo using a pasta machine

Kolokotes brushed with olive oil picture

Bulgur or rice is added in the filling and this is to absorb the juices of the squash / pumpkin.  Carolina rice, is a Greek variety of rice which is starchy, so you can replace it with any rice suitable for risotto or rice pudding.

shredded pumpkin image

They are vegan and perfect for Lent, especially for breakfast or as a snack, with a cup of coffee or with a glass of wine.  If you are not vegan, you can brush them with egg wash (1 egg yolk, dissolved in a few tablespoons of milk or water).

Kolokotes with a cup of coffee picture

My mother used to manually cut the pumpkin into small cubes and I used to do this as well for many years but now as my mixer has an attachment which shreds vegetables this is much easier to do.

Kolokotes and bourekia image

This and many Cypriot recipes are included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste as well as in Volume 2 of my e-cookbook, sold on all Amazon stores.

Kolokotes cut picture
Kolokotes cut picture

Kolokotes (Cypriot Squash Turnovers)

Yield: 30
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Kolokotes (singular kolokoti, pr. Koh-loh-ko-TESS), are traditional Cypriot pastries, similar to turnovers, calzone, empanadas, boureki or pies, made with squash or pumpkin.


For the dough:

  • 500 grams all purpose flour (or bread flour)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 200 ml water (about 1 cup)

For the filling:

  • 750 grams pumpkin or butternut squash, cubed, shredded or grated
  • 1/3 cup carolina (similar to arborio) rice (or bulgur wheat)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup fennel fronds, finely chopped
  • ½ cup almonds, skin on, coarsely pounded
  • 1/3 cup sultana raisins
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fennel fronds
  • Olive oil to brush on top


  1. Prepare the dough and let it rest for half an hour  (See video how to make homemade phyllo by hand or using the pasta maker).
  2. Peel the pumpkin and remove the seeds and threads preferably with a spoon and cut it into small cubes (about 1 cm) or shred it in your food processor.
  3. Put it in a bowl together with the rice (or bulgur wheat), sugar, olive oil, almonds, raisins, fennel fronds and the spices and mix.
  4. Roll out your dough and stop before your phyllo becomes transparent.
  5. Place a small plate of about 15 cm (6 inches) diameter on the phyllo and cut round circles. On one side place a spoonful of the filling and cover with the other half.
  6. Press gently to join the two edges.
  7. Take both sides and turn up pressing with fingers so as to crimp the dough.
  8. Place them in an oiled baking tin or on parchment paper and brush them with olive oil, orange juice or with egg wash and bake them in a preheated oven to 180° C / 350o F, for 30 minutes or until golden on top.
Nutrition Information
Yield 30 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 136Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 0mgSodium 161mgCarbohydrates 19gFiber 1gSugar 3gProtein 3g

"These values are automatically calculated and offered for guidance only. Their accuracy is not guaranteed."

Did you make this recipe?

Tried this recipe? Tag me @ivyliac and use the hashtag #kopiaste!

Greek Pies (Pites)

Greek pies (pita plural pites) are a staple in Greek cuisine. They are very versatile and can be either savoury or sweet. You can make a "pita" with vegetables, meat, fruit, etc.

collage Cypriot kolokotes image

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!

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Sunday 5th of August 2012

I want to try kolokotes... they are lovely and I am sure by the way they look they must taste fabulous... congrats on your cookbook and much luck in your success.... Claudia


Monday 13th of September 2010

Hi Ivy! i love your recipes and have bought your cookbook. Wow so many amazing recipes! Thanks and all the best! eva


Monday 31st of December 2007

My mother used to add fennel fronds in it and it gives it such a nice taste. However, if I can't find fennel I prefer not to add any other herbs. Thanks for commenting. Happy New Year.


Monday 31st of December 2007

i never heard of using fennel or dill in it..but i may try:)

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