Recipe: the Monegasque Barbajuans

Discover the recipe of Barbajuans, small fritters stuffed with chard leaves that are often eaten during Monegasque aperitifs. You'll love them!


(for about 20 Barbajuans) 

For the pastry: 

200g plain flour (0.441 lb)

Dash salt

50ml olive oil (10 tsp)

1 egg, beaten

50ml water (10 tsp)

Vegetable oil for deep frying 

For the filling:

15ml olive oil (3 tsp)

30g onion, finely chopped (1.06 oz)

30g leek (white part only) finely chopped (1.06 oz)

2 Swiss chard leaves (green parts only), shredded and chopped

50g fresh spinach, chopped (1.76 oz)

pinch dried oregano, crumbled

50g ricotta cheese (1.76 oz)

30g freshly-grated Parmesan cheese (1.06 oz)

1 egg white, beaten 

If you need help converting the units: Kitchen Calculator


How to make Barbajuans?

1- Start by preparing the pastry: Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the olive oil and half the egg and blend with a fork. Reserve the rest of the egg for the filling. Add just enough water to bring the pastry together as a firm dough. 

Turn this out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 min). Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. 

2- Prepare the filling: Heat the olive oil in a shallow pan over medium heat and add the onion and leek and fry until golden (about 5 minutes). Add the chard, spinach, and oregano and fry until the chard is tender (about 10 minutes).

Transfer the contents of the skillet to a bowl and then mix in the cheeses and the leftover egg from the pastry. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool. 

3- Final preparation: Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to about 2mm thick. 

Use a floured 6cm round pastry cutter and cut into as many rounds as you can. Gather the scraps, re-roll out, and cut again. You should end up with about 20 circles. 

Place 1 tbsp of the filling in the center of each pastry round and brush the edges with the egg white. Fold the dough over to form a semi-circle and press the edges with the ends of a fork to seal. As you complete each pastry, transfer to a baking tray lined with foil. 

Pour vegetable oil into a deep pan (you need at least 4cm) and heat to fry. Working in batches, add the pasties to the oil and fry until brown and crisp (about 5 minutes). Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen towels. 

Bon appétit ! 

Did you know it?

The Monegasque term "Barbajuan" literally means "Uncle Jean". For the folkloric side, it is said that a man named Monsieur Jean, not having any sauce for his ravioli stuffed with chard, had the idea to fry them. Very quickly conquered and to pay homage to this famous Mr. Jean, his hosts decided to give a name to these small wonders: the Barbajuans"!

Recipe from:

Photo: @chickenbaconlettuce

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