Beggar’s Pouch Mashers with Spinach & Parmesan

These easy to assemble potato sacks are a showstopper at dinner parties and my most requested holiday go-to dish. The crispy phyllo exterior crunches and crumbles as the fork cuts through, exposing a center filled with smooth and buttery-rich mashed potatoes. I make these with all types of fillings and different cheeses, this batch with the potatoes seated atop a bed of chopped spinach, sauted shallots and garlic. Parmesan is sprinkled inside and out for added flavor. Try them with Cheddar and Bacon, or Ham and Swiss Cheese, the possibilities are endless.


preparation Time
1200 mins

cook Time
30 mins


466 per serving


  • 1 package of phyllo
  • 5 russet or idaho potatoes, large
  • 2 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • cup milk
  • cup shallot, sliced
  • 4 clove garlic
  • 8 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • cup grated parmesan cheese
  • cup sea salt
  • cup white pepper


Step 1

Wash, quarter and then boil the potatoes in a large pot of water seasoned with 2 of the garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Once the potatoes are cooked through (about 12 minutes,) drain and mash them, along with the cooked garlic, with 1 stick of the butter plus all of the sour cream and the milk. Season with a pinch or two each of sea salt and white pepper. Let cool.

Step 2

Thinly slice the remaining two garlic cloves and add to a saut pan with the shallots and a dab of the remaining unsalted butter. Gently caramelize over medium heat 4-5 minutes; let cool.

Step 3

preheat oven to 375 degrees Melt the remaining butter in the microwave for 20 secs. Set up your assembly station: Melted Butter, Phyllo Sheets, chopped Spinach, Shallot-Garlic mixture, Parmesan cheese and cooked Mashed Potatoes. Lightly brush the top sheet of phyllo with butter and fold into a square; place at the center of the next two sheets below. Add some of spinach to the center and top with a little of the shallot & garlic. Sprinkle with parmesan, then add a large spoonful of the potatoes on top. Brush the sides of the phyllo with butter and draw the corners upward, tucking the sides in as you go, to form a beggar's pouch. Place the pouch on a coated cookie sheet, brush with more butter and sprinkle with parmesan. Repeat the assembly with the remaining ingredients. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the phyllo is a light, golden brown. Serve immediately.

recipe by

No N.



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