Trader Joe’s 5 Cheese Greek Spiral

Trader Joe's 5 Cheese Greek Spiral

Trader Joe’s calls it a pie. You know – one of those coiled cheese tube pies.

In theory, this sounds delicious. How could it not be? Paper thin sheets of oven crisped filo dough filled with a thick and gooey blend of five delicious cheeses – surely that’s a prescription for gustatorial heaven, right. And while it’s close, Trader Joe’s 5 Cheese Greek Spiral isn’t really all that good – as if it’s missing some essential ingredient that would have tied it all together.

Ranking: 2 stars 2 star rating

What it is: Melted cheese in a pastry shell spiral.
Price: $3.99 / 14 oz. disc
Worth it: No. Too bland to justify that much cheese and dough.

Looking like an over-sized lollipop, Trader Joe’s 5 Cheese Greek Spiral is at the very least an intriguing looking appetizer. It’s essentially a single long tube of filo (AKA pie crust) dough, filled with tons of cheese and wrapped into a single snail-shell spiral. Like a cheese-and-pastry kielbasa, or a cheese-filled pizza crust gone wild. TJ’s isn’t kidding around about that “five cheese” part either – this big honkin’ disc contains nearly a pound of gouda, kasseri, kefalotyri, “semi-hard” and blue cheese.

The whole thing is placed in the oven (the oven explicitly – the packaging bans microwave use) and roasted for 25 minutes until golden, crispy, and filled with hot, bubbling cheese.

So why isn’t this better than it is? It’s really hard to go wrong with cheese and dough – and yet this Greek cheese spiral failed to illicit more than lukewarm reactions from everyone I called around to try it. The problem is that there’s just nothing interesting going on with this appetizer. Lots of cheese is good in theory, but the cheeses in this mixture end up as a single, salty, mild-tasting blend, without the intriguing charm or tang of the individual components. The filo dough is also unadorned, tasting of nothing much but a bland paperiness that makes for a very nice texture, but not much else.

There are no end of delicious foods that make use of cheese and dough, so it seems like a shame to waste it all on an appetizer that is merely acceptable. Pizza, for example, or any of Trader Joe’s delicious flat breads.

In fact, if there’s any potential to be unlocked in this 5 Cheese Greek Spiral, it’s in treating it as a pizza-like launch pad for more interesting toppings. With the application of a little imagination it’s easy to compensate for that missing X factor. Throw a tub of artichoke dip on top of these warm cheese coils and you’d really be talking about a delicious appetizer, or simply serve alongside a ramekin of marinara or other dipping sauces. Drizzle with honey!?!? That might just be crazy enough to work. Do anything, really, just as long as you’re not eating it plain.

The Breakdown

Would I Recommend It: Not strongly. It’s pretty underwhelming.

Would I Buy It Again: Maybe – I might try fancying one up for my next soiree.

Final Synopsis: Lots of salty cheese in a bland crust. Should have been better.

Trader Joe's 5 Cheese Greek Spiral

Trader Joe’s 5 Cheese Greek Spiral – Nutrition Facts


13 Comments on “Trader Joe’s 5 Cheese Greek Spiral”

  1. Not sure how this contains “more than a pound” of anything, considering the whole thing only weighs 14 ounces.

  2. I really liked this, even plain. Though I would definitely drizzle some honey or top off with some cherry preserves.

  3. Marina says:

    absolutely delicious…. I served it at a party 2 days ago – all Greeks – and they all raved…. I just bought 4 more for the family….

  4. I haven’t tried it yet, since it was not at my Trader Joe’s last two times I shopped, but I can tell you that this is a very popular style of ‘tyropita’ (cheese pie, vs. spanakopita/spinach pie) in Greece!
    Infact, in some of the more popular fast food establishments that serve fresh juice, coffee, and light snacks, this is one of the best sellers.
    Again, I haven’t tasted this one, but I am thinking that it just may be too novel for many of the negative posters here?

  5. Nicole says:

    I love this why does it have 1.5 star boooo. Also most of the comments seem to like this as well so TJ please do not take this into account. I hope this does not affect them in restocking the product.

  6. I would give it only one star and state the problem even more forcefully: this is a flavor disaster. All calories and no taste. If there are really kasseri and kefalotyri inside, they certainly aren’t in evidence in the flavor. Sad, too, because it’s well-constructed and easy as pie! to bake, but it has NO TASTE except a hint of blue at the finish. I say REFORMULATE adding feta and removing the blue, or discontinure. What a shame because I’d buy weekly if it were good, but it’s not. To Marina, above: if those “Greeks” you served raved about it, I’d say they were either being polite or were too American to know what it should have tasted like. I can make one much better than this, and it’s all in using cheese with flavor, which means feta in this application.

  7. Dara says:

    I have try it and love it. But I prefer to make my own pie with filo pastry and filling of spinach, cheese, fermented cabbage leaves, minced meat etc. I always have this in case I don have time for home made.

  8. I tried this and loved it, the secret is to drizzle some honey over it when it comes out of the oven. Adds the extra bit of sweetness it needs to go with the salty of the cheese and filo dough. Cut and serve as an app.

  9. NANCY HSIEH says:

    I liked this and would get it again

  10. Jill says:

    No aroma, no texture, no flavor. I made two of them and 8 people got through half of one. Took over an hour to get it slightly brown at 375. The idea is fun. Prepare to put something on it if you want to eat this. I love almost everything from Trader Joe’s, but had to spit this out. One star.

  11. Thomas Oravec says:

    My wife and I love these things.. They are freaking amazing. They are not too far off from Greek or Croatian cheese pies.. There is tons of flavor – the cheese blend even includes bleu cheese, which is a trick when making mixtures of cheese.. It results in maximum cheesiness.

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