Beef Beggar’s Purses

By Anne Wilfong, R.D., L.D. – December 4, 2013
Photography by Brian Fitzsimmons

Try these party pleasers at your next holiday gathering.


Calories: 190
Carbohydrates: 20 g
Protein: 3 g
Fat: 11 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sodium: 220 mg

What You Need

3 cups finely chopped cremini mushrooms (about 6 ounces)
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 pound ground beef (95 percent lean)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1 ½ cups egg substitute
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
33 sheets frozen phyllo, thawed (14 x 9-inch sheets)
3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
66 fresh chive stems, blanched

How to Make It

1. Cook and stir mushrooms and onion in large, nonstick skillet over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, or until liquid has evaporated. Remove from skillet. Set aside.
2. In same skillet, brown ground beef with garlic over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, or until beef is no longer pink, breaking beef up into ¾-inch crumbles. Pour off drippings. Stir in mushroom mixture and cheese. Cook and stir over low heat for 30 seconds, or until cheese starts to melt. Remove from skillet. Set aside.
3. In same skillet, cook egg substitute over low to medium-low heat according to package directions for scrambled eggs, stirring occasionally. Combine scrambled eggs, salt, and pepper with beef mixture.
4. Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Layer three phyllo sheets on cutting board, spraying top surface of each sheet generously with cooking spray and sprinkling it with ¼ teaspoon bread crumbs. (Keep remaining phyllo sheets covered with a clean, damp kitchen towel to prevent them from dry-ing out.)
5. Cut layered sheets into a 12 ¾ x 8 ½-inch rectangle, discarding phyllo scraps. Cut rectangle into six 4 ½-inch squares. Spoon 1 scant tablespoon beef filling in center of each square. Bring four corners of phyllo up and over filling, carefully pinching together and twisting slightly to form a bundle or purse shape. Tie one chive around pinched top of each purse to secure it closed. Place on metal baking sheets sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Repeat with remaining phyllo, beef filling, and chives to fill three baking sheets.
6. Bake in a pre-heated 400 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 11 to 13 minutes, or until filling is hot and tops are lightly browned.

Makes 66 servings
Serving size: 1 appetizer

Registered and licensed dietitians Alexa Sparkman and Anne Wilfong can provide reliable, objective nutrition information, separate facts from fads, and translate the latest scientific findings into easy-to-understand nutrition information. For more information about their nutrition counseling practice, contact Alexa or Anne at 512.257.0898 or


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