Like pizza? Like puff pastry? Like finger food? Meet my olivey, cheesy, pizza puffs.

From the beginning of the month of Av (this year, nightfall of Sunday July 7) until the day after Tisha B’Av, we observe “The Nine Days”—a time of mourning for the destruction of our two holy Temples. During this time (aside from Shabbat) we abstain from eating meat or chicken, which are considered festive.

So when you’re sick of making macaroni or scrambled eggs, take a stab at this recipe. It’s quick and easy, and doesn’t require any babysitting while it bakes. You’ll need puff pastry, olives, feta cheese, sauce and shredded cheese (pizza cheese, mozzarella, even cheddar or Muenster work).

I spiced my tomato sauce with dried basil and oregano for more of that authentic pizza taste, but you can use prepared pizza sauce instead. And if you don’t like olives, you could substitute mushrooms or peppers instead.

Mix the sauce, cheese, olives and feta together, and roll out the puff pastry. Using a small cookie cutter (or the mouth of a narrow glass), cut out lots of circles.

Place a dollop of filling in the center of every other circle. You don’t want to put too much filling, or the pastry will be difficult to seal.

Cover each circle with another puff pastry circle. Before you seal them, you should be able to tell if you need to add or remove some of the filling.

Now, using the tines of a fork, gently press down around the edges, sealing the two layers of puff pastry. If your edges have dried out, dip the fork in water before you press down.

Carefully pick the pizza puffs and place them on a greased baking tray. They rise but don’t spread, so you can put them pretty close to each other if you’re short on space. Spray the top of each puff with Pam (or brush with egg, oil or water) and bake for 30 minutes at 350 °F.

The filling gets extremely hot, so it’s best to wait 5–10 minutes before biting into them. Warning: these are addictive, so make sure you snag one for yourself before serving, or you might miss out entirely!


  • 2 sheets puff pastry
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (mozzarella, pizza, cheddar, Muenster or other cheese of your choice)
  • ½ cup pizza sauce, or seasoned tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup olives, diced
  • ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled


  1. Roll out the puff pastry. Cut out as many circles as you can fit. I used a small cookie cutter, but you can also use the mouth of a narrow glass or jar.
  2. Combine rest of ingredients.
  3. Place a spoonful of filling in the center of half the circles. Cover each one with one of the remaining circles. Use the tines of a fork to seal the edges.
  4. Place pizza puffs on a greased baking tray. Spray the tops of the pizza puffs with Pam, or brush with water, eggs or oil.
  5. Bake at 350 °F for 30 minutes. Remove and serve.

Yields: Approximately 18–20 pizza puffs

Wondering what else to serve in the Nine Days? Salads are great, as are pasta dishes. You can try rice and beans, or a nice vegetable stir fry served over white rice. Scrambled eggs, grilled cheese, soup, roasted vegetables, quinoa, tofu, homemade pizza or veggie burgers . . . the options are plentiful.

Here are some of my favorites:

What will you be making?