Kale, Potato and Cheese Pop Tarts

Pop Tart Stack

I love Kale, who doesn’t? In fact, I’ve already featured a recipe using kale on this blog. Sautéed Kale over rice has been part of my dinner rotation for quite some time. But lately, I’ve wanted to mix things up and try something different with kale. So I took to the internet and found inspiration from a recipe for Savory Kale, Garlic and Cauliflower Purée Pop Tarts posted on the lovely blog, Reclaiming Provincial. For this recipe, I used store-bought filo dough instead of making dough from scratch, added toasted pine nuts to the kale filling for crunch and opted for a potato puree instead of cauliflower. The crunchiness of the pine nuts combined with the buttery crispiness of the filo dough makes for a most indulgent snack.

Kale, Potato and Cheese Pop Tarts

I struggled to give this recipe a name. I was asking myself is this is really a Pop Tart since the filo and butter make it so flaky? Could it be considered a Hot Pocket? I entertained calling this recipe a Kale-a-kopita a sort of word play on Spanakopita and realized that was just way too corny. I stayed with Pop Tarts because that’s what inspired me to experiment with this recipe, and I hope you do too. I took a some of these to work to share with coworkers. They reheat well in the toaster oven. We all reminisced about the Pop Tarts we had as kids while happily licking away the buttery goodness of the filo dough from our fingers. Enjoy!

Note: Filo dough does dry out quickly so when you are working with it make sure to keep it damp with a kitchen towel. Another note, most package directions suggest thawing the dough overnight so make sure to plan accordingly. I neglected to read the thawing instructions initially and had to defrost the dough in a warm oven which took a while.

Kale, Potato and Cheese Flaky Pop Tarts

Kale, Potato and Cheese flaky Pop Tarts

Makes 16

For the kale and potato filling:

  • 1 pound potatoes, rinsed and chopped. (Any variety works fine. I used purple potatoes, because they were just too beautiful to pass up at the farmer’s market.)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup grated cheese (I used equal parts Monterey Jack and Mozzarella)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
  • 1 bunch kale, rinsed
  • 1/2 a large yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • salt to taste
  1. Use the first five ingredients for your potato puree. Add chopped potatoes to boiling water and cook until fork tender. Drain. Transfer cooked potatoes back to pan and add remaining four ingredients. Purée with a fork, pastry blender or immersion blender until desired consistency. Add salt to taste. Set aside.
  2. Chiffonade the kale by placing up to 4 leaves on top of each other, cut out the ribs and then roll up the leaves like a burrito and slice thinly. You can repurpose the kale ribs in another dish.
  3. Next, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add kale and sauté for 5-7 minutes. Add toasted pine nuts and salt to taste. Stir, mix and set aside.
For the dough and assembly: 
Kitchen hack: I used masking tape to secure the parchment paper on my work surface, and it worked out really well. Note the counter you see there is all the counter space I have. I don’t even know what I would do if I had more counter space. Shout out to all my small kitchen peeps! We should start a club and share our tips!  Anyways, back to the ingredients list.
masking tape kitchen hack
  • 1 package of filo dough, thaw according to package directions
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese (I prefer mozzarella or Monterey Jack, but I bet Havarti would be nice)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cover your work surface with some parchment paper. Gently unfold the filo dough. Layer one sheet of filo horizontally onto work surface and gently brush with melted butter. Place a second sheet of filo dough on top of the first and brush with butter. Repeat two more times until you have four sheets of filo dough stacked with butter between the layers. Fold filo dough in half. Brush the top with butter.
  3. Take your buttered four layers of dough and gently flip the dough vertically. With a sharp knife cut the dough vertically in half. Next slice the dough horizontally into four rectangles. You don’t have to be exact here just eye-ball it.
  4. From these eight squares, identify the four smaller rectangles. Place a teaspoon of potato purée and then a teaspoon of the kale and pine nut mixture on top. Spread as best as you can making sure to leave up to a 1/2 inch of space around the edges. Sprinkle some of the grated cheese on top. Brush the edges with the beaten egg.
  5. Now it’s time to seal your pop tart. Take the remaining rectangles and place on top of the rectangles with the filling. Use a fork to seal the edges. Brush the tops with beaten egg. Transfer pop tarts to a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 18 minutes at 375 degrees until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

5 thoughts on “Kale, Potato and Cheese Pop Tarts

  1. Oh my gosh. Anything with filo pastry and you’ve got me sold — then add cheese and some delicious veggies? These look SO good! Thank you again for your kind words on Twitter, esp so that I could read your lovely blog :)

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