Moroccan B'stilla


B'stilla, also called pastilla, is a savory-sweet pie with precious saffron in a crisp phyllo-style wrapping. It's an indispensable menu item for festive occasions like weddings. Formerly made with pigeons, today one of the most popular versions is filled with chicken and almonds. Alternatively, go for the simple stew version or a different tagine recipe (see notes).
hands-on time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Moroccan
Servings 3



  • 1.5 lbs chicken breast or thighs cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 eggs whisked

Fresh Produce

  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley


  • 2-4 tbsp butter

Packaged Goods/Staples

  • 1/2 cup ground roasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar[1]
  • 8 oz phyllo filo dough (18 sheets)

B'stilla Culinary Spice Kit

  • ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, saffron

Optional Garnish

  • powdered sugar & cinnamon
  • whole almonds


Filling #1 Almond Sugar

  • Mix almonds with sugar[1]. Set aside.

Filling #2 Sauce

  • In a POT, melt 2 tbsp butter over medium heat.
  • Add onions and fry until translucent.
  • Add chicken, parsley, B’stilla spices, and salt to taste. Stir-fry for 3 minutes.
  • Add 1 cup of water. Cook for about 20 minutes until the chicken is tender.
  • Take the chicken out. > Next see Filling #3.
  • Continue to cook the sauce uncovered over medium-low heat until no liquid is left.
  • Stir in eggs and cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Adjust salt & pepper to taste. Turn the heat off.

Filling #3 Meat

  • Use the chicken cooked in the step for Filling #2.
  • Let the chicken cool, then shred it.


  • Cover a 9-inch PIE DISH with overlapping phyllo sheets and about 5 inches hanging over the edges of the dish.
  • Add layers of the fillings in this order: #2 (sauce), #3 (meat), #1 (almond-sugar).
  • Cover with the overlapping phyllo sheets.
  • Spread a thin layer of butter on top.


  • Preheat OVEN to 350°F.
  • Bake B’stilla for 30-40 minutes.
  • Let it cool a bit.


  • Optionally, add garnish.



    [1] Recommended: Substitute sugar with 1/3 cup soft dried prunes or apricots, finely chopped.
    Alternative simple stew version
    Follow only the step under Fillings #2 until the chicken is tender.
    Mix 1-2 tbsp almond butter into the sauce and serve over couscous or potatoes.
    Use the B’stilla spices for a different tagine recipe:
    Tagine with prunes
    Tagine with olives