Detroit Eats

Musings of A Detroit Based Food Fanatic

Shrimp with Basil and Cheese in Phyllo Dough

with 22 comments

     I once was asked to create a recipe using phyllo dough and seafood. I thought back to a pasta dish (cannelloni) that I did years ago. I decided to take the same filling and,instead of pasta, to use phyllo as the instead of the pasta. The filling contains diced shrimp,Provolone and parmesan cheese, and fresh basil. While the phyllo dough is a little tricky to work with the results were more than worth the trouble.

Shrimp Phyllo (2)

     Phyllo dough can be found in almost any grocer’s freezer section. Traditionally used in Greek specialties such as baklava and spinach pie (spanakopita). Its versatility lends itself to other uses. This recipe combines the crispy texture of the baked phyllo with a rich, creamy, filling. Phyllo dough should be thawed overnight in your refrigerator. Because it dries out quickly it should be covered lightly with a moist towel while you are working with it. Use clarified butter to coat the sheets instead of margarine. The amount of water in melted margarine varies tremendously and can leave you with soggy dough.


(For 12)

3# raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, roughly chopped.
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup white wine
1 cup heavy whipping cream
½ cup cornstarch
½ cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
Vegetable oil or butter

1 package Phyllo dough

1. Sauté the onion in vegetable oil or butter until soft
2. Add white wine and bring to a boil. Reduce by 50%
3. Add shrimp and poach till just pink.
4. Add basil
5. Stir cornstarch into cream.
6. Stir into shrimp mixture.
7. Stir until thick.
8. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese.
9. Spoon the mixture into a shallow pan and allow to cool completely.

To assemble
1 package of phyllo dough
Clarified butter


1.Remove phyllo dough from package and unfold.
2. Remove individual sheets, one at a time, and brush with butter.
3. Place each successive sheet on top of the previous one until there are 5 layers.
4. With a knife, cut the larger dough into 4 smaller sections.
5. Spoon some of the cooled mixture into each of the 4 smaller sections. Do not overfill.
6. Fold the ends in and roll into a cylinder. Place on a sheet pan with the seam down.
7. Brush the top lightly with remaining butter and bake in a 400-degree oven until the dough is golden and crispy.
8. Repeat until you have 12 cylinders (1 package of dough)

  • I sprinkle each sheet of dough lightly with breadcrumbs before I add another sheet. This helps keep the layers separate so the dough will come out in crispy layers.
  • To clarify butter melt slowly in a pan until it separates. The sediment on top gets skimmed off. Beneath the sediment is the clarified butter. Pour this off slowly being careful to stop before you reach the milk solids at the bottom.

Written by Ed Schenk

March 2, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Posted in Food, Recipe

Tagged with , , , ,

22 Responses

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  1. Oh YUm!!! Filo and seafood is beautiful together. And there is cheese as well. Makes a pretty good dish to me.

    penny aka jeroxie

    March 6, 2010 at 5:09 am

  2. I looooooove phyllo! never would have thought to use it with sea food. I usually pair it with chicken or veg. Great idea 🙂


    March 5, 2010 at 6:13 am

  3. I love basil and shrimp together! Such a great combination!

  4. Oooh, creamy brie with shrimp in phyllo. Sounds amazing!


    March 4, 2010 at 11:17 am

  5. This looks delicious – we can’t wait to try it – we’ve been experimenting with phyllo and are really enjoying it!


    March 4, 2010 at 9:54 am

  6. OMG! This sounds sooo wonderful. Love your blog!


    March 4, 2010 at 5:07 am

  7. What a creative and delicious dish! Phyllo intimidates me a bit because it requires such patience.


    March 3, 2010 at 11:37 am

  8. I think phyllo is easier to work with than most people think…and it’s soooooo good. This recipe sounds crazy good! Another bookmarked. Thanks for sharing it with us Ed.


    March 3, 2010 at 7:03 am

  9. sounds very interesting…have never tried this before…:)

    thanks for sharing the recipe….


    March 3, 2010 at 5:37 am

  10. Phyllo is easier to use than most people think…and it’s very forgiving too. I used to make a lobster dish in phyllo that everyone loved.
    Great recipe, Ed!


    March 3, 2010 at 3:46 am

  11. Ed, you give such thought to your posts. This looks absolutely delicious. I’ll bet it tastes every bit as good as it looks. Have a great day.


    March 3, 2010 at 2:11 am

  12. packages of goodness!


    March 2, 2010 at 9:04 pm

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