Quick Pistachio, Lemon Zest and Ras El Hanout Bastila – Or How to Make the Best Out of Your Poultry Leftovers

Do you remember when I made bastila? It was about 9 months ago AND it was my first post, can you believe this?! 2015 is practically over.

I chose to launch my blog with bastila because; first, of all the Moroccan dishes, it is one of my favourites and I think - generally speaking - everyone LOVES bastila. Second, because bastila usually requires a fairly long preparation time and doing it for the blog felt like a big deal back then. So I chose it mainly to challenge myself.

Bastila is the most famous Moroccan dish and it has been adapted by many chefs internationally; chefs often choose to substitute chicken with duck but they also add their own magical  twist to this Moroccan classic.

The first time I decided to make an “untraditional” bastila I chose to add lemon zest and use pistachios instead of the almonds, the result tasted so good! It brought the traditional bastila to a whole new level, I loved it. Actually, everyone did!

The recipe I am sharing with you today is the final version of my modern bastila. On top of changing the ingredients, I also tried to find a way to make the recipe much faster because time and convenience matter.

I usually buy roast chicken or turkey to make this recipe but I am sure many of you will end up with a lot of turkey or chicken leftover and this dish in my opinion is the best way to make the best out of your poultry leftovers. I chose to make it with puff pastry instead of filo because filo is more delicate and requires more attention and time. And really, puff pastry tastes just as good. 

Take your taste buds on a Moroccan adventure and try this delicious fragrant bastila!!

Happy holiday season!!  xxx

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Quick Pistachio, Lemon Zest and Ras El Hanout Bastila – Or How to Make the Best Out of Your Poultry Left Overs


Makes 10 6 cm (2.5 inch) mini bastilas (or 5 10 cm (5 inch) bastillas)

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 500 gr chopped onions
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped coriander
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon ras el hanout
  • ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • 100 gr unsalted shelled pistachios, roughly ground using a mortar or a nut grinder
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 10 gr unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs, plus 1 egg beaten for brushing (optional)
  • 320 gr store bought puff pastry sheet
  • 200 gr roast (or cooked) chicken or turkey, chopped into small chunks (about 1 cm/0.4 inch)
  • Zest of two lemons


• In a large non stick pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is warm, transfer the onions. Lower the heat to medium-low and cover with a lid. Leave until the onions are soft and translucent, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

• Add the coriander, garlic, honey, ras el hanout and salt. Stir the ingredients together and leave until the onions are golden brown. About 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Taste the onions and add salt if necessary. Once the onions are golden, set the mixture aside until ready to assemble.

• Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F). In a small bowl, mix together the pistachio, icing sugar and cinnamon. Set aside until ready to assemble.

• In a small frying pan, melt the butter and scramble the eggs and set aside until ready to assemble. Make sure the scrambled eggs are not under cooked or runny. Liquid will affect the pastry during the assembling process. 

• Unroll the puff pastry dough. Dip a 6 cm/2.5 inch cookie cutter into the dough and make as many circles as possible. Press the remains of the dough back together, flatten the dough with a rolling-pin and cut out more circles. 

• Place a teaspoon of onion mixture in the centre of a pastry circle, leaving enough of a border to seal the dough (approximately 1,5 cm/ 0.6 inch). Top with some chicken or turkey chunks, about ¼ teaspoon pistachios and a generous pinch of lemon zest. 

• Dip your fingers in water and brush around the edges of the dough. This will help sealing the dough. Gently place a second dough circle on top of the first one and seal the edges with a fork. Place the bastila on a lined baking tray. Repeat the same process until you have exhausted all the pastry dough. 

• If desired brush the bastilas with the beaten egg. Transfer in the oven for 15 to 20 minute until golden brown. Start checking for doneness after 15 minutes.

• Serve warm and sprinkle the bastilas with sugar and cinnamon.