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Spanakopita Pie

Spanakopita Pie

Making this Greek spinach pastry in pie-form is easier than you think. Rather than having to fold it up like a perfect sealed package, the more folds and wrinkles you create as you bundle this up, the prettier it looks. Check out the step-by-step photos here to see how to assemble.

Ingredients

  • 4 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
  • 1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 5 medium scallions, white and pale-green parts only, sliced
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 10 ounces feta, crumbled (about 2 cups)
  • 1 ounce store-bought finely grated Parmesan (about ¼ cup)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped oregano
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) salted butter, melted, divided
  • 12 14x9-inch sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed, room temperature

Recipe Preparation

  • Place spinach in the center of a clean towel, gather corners together, and twist towel to wring excess liquid out of spinach. Try and get as much out as you can (if spinach is too wet, phyllo will get soggy as it bakes). Transfer spinach to a large bowl and break up into small pieces.

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium and cook leek and onion, stirring, until just beginning to soften, 5–7 minutes. Add scallions and garlic and cook until vegetables are tender, 4–6 minutes more; season with salt and pepper. Scrape into bowl with spinach.

  • Whisk egg, egg yolk, 1 tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper in a small bowl; add to spinach mixture. Add feta, Parmesan, basil, dill, oregano, and lemon zest and mix until distributed. Don’t be afraid to overmix; you want herbs and cheese in every bite!

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly brush bottom and sides of springform pan with butter. Remove phyllo from packaging and cover with a kitchen towel to prevent drying out. Working quickly, brush butter on 1 side of 1 phyllo sheet. Transfer phyllo, butter side up, to prepared pan, covering bottom of pan. Gently press and tuck sides of sheet into bottom edges of pan. Fold and ripple phyllo as needed to cover bottom of pan. Repeat with 2 more phyllo sheets.

  • Working quickly, brush butter on 1 side of another phyllo sheet. Transfer to pan, arranging butter side up and slightly off-center so long side of dough comes up and over side of pan, leaving a 2" overhang. Rotate pan slightly and repeat with another sheet so overhang covers another section of pan. Continue with remaining 7 sheets, rotating pan so there is overhang around entire pan.

  • Scrape spinach mixture into pan, pressing down firmly and smoothing top. Gently fold phyllo overhang over spinach mixture and continue to press until phyllo goes just below rim of pan. Don’t worry if phyllo breaks or tears; gather any broken pieces and arrange where spinach peeks through. You want the phyllo to look draped over the top with lots of waves and folds.

  • Bake pie until phyllo is golden brown and slightly darker around the edges, 50–65 minutes. Let cool in pan 1 hour before removing ring. Serve warm or at room temperature.

  • Do Ahead: Spanakopita can be made 1 day ahead. Do not unmold; wrap pan in plastic and chill. Reheat in a 300° oven 30 minutes.

Reviews SectionThis was amazingly delicious--fresh and savory. By mistake, we bought Puff Pastry rather than Phyllo dough, but it ended up being even easier and likely just as good. Lightly rolled one packet of defrosted dough into a 10 x 10 square, folded it in quarters to move it to the pan, where I unfolded it and pressed it in place, making sure it rose about an inch up the sides. I cut 1/3 of the second dough packet (it was folded in thirds) into about eight triangles, reserving the rest for another time. After buttering the pan dough, I added the spinach per recipe, folded down the four corners onto the spinach, and filled between them with the dough triangles, pinching them onto the bottom pastry. I subbed a few items with what I had--garlic scapes and shallots in lieu of scallions and fresh spinach (40 oz fresh = 40 oz frozen); otherwise, I followed the recipe. It required about 15-20 minutes more to cook than called for.

Authentic Greek Spanakopita – Spinach and Feta Pie

The authentic recipe for spanakopita, the tasty and healthy Greek staple. Spinach cooked with herbs and feta cheese covered with crunchy phyllo.

Ahhh the famous spanakopita. Spanakopita pronounced spah-nah-KO-pee-tah is a favorite appetizer, meal, and snack not only in Greece but around the globe. Go into any bakery in Greece and you will find this wonderful pie, made with spinach and feta surrounded by crunchy and crispy phyllo.

The first time I realized that spanakopita was to become a popular dish all over the world was in the 70’s. My mother would bake a large pan of it and take it to the school PTA meetings. The other moms loved it! They all wanted my mom’s recipe. Mind you this was in a Chicago suburb with few Greek people. And the thing is, it is a dish you never get tired of, flaky crust, earthy spinach, tangy feta…

For us spanakopita is a weekly staple and I also keep a bunch in the freezer for a last minute meal (see below how to freeze). This recipe here is my mother’s of course. Spanakopita is a popular recipe consisting of spinach, herbs and cheese, the types of herbs used, the ratio of cheese to spinach, the phyllo, all make the difference.


Homemade easy spanakopita made in only one hour

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t made a pie before (or are a complete cooking novice). This amazing easy Greek spinach pie recipe is made in only one hour from scratch! The secret is using store bought phyllo/fillo pastry. Your local supermarket definitely stocks the usual Fillo but if you are lucky and have a Greek deli nearby definitely opt to get the horiatiko phyllo pastry!

And for the ones wondering if it is worth making your own spinach pie at home, the answer for me is very simple. Nothing compares to the smell of some fragrant, warm, golden freshly baked homemade pie! So trust me on this, after you make this easy easy Greek spinach pie recipe, you will never go for the store version again!


Directions

Getting Started: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Brush a 9-inch glass pie plate (either deep-dish or standard size will work with this recipe) generously with olive oil and set on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.

For the Filling: In a large bowl, combine chopped greens, chopped herbs, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Massage together to gently wilt the greens, then set aside.

In a small sauté pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, scallions, and garlic and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the hot mixture to the greens and combine to further wilt the vegetables. Add the trahanas (or your substitute of choice) and egg and thoroughly combine. Once everything is well mixed, fold in the crumbled feta.

To Assemble the Pie: Unroll thawed phyllo and keep it covered with a moist kitchen towel while working. Working with 1 sheet at a time, lay phyllo so that it is centered in the pie pan with the excess draping over the rim and brush generously with about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Repeat with 3 more sheets of phyllo, each sheet placed perpendicular to the previous one, brushing with olive oil before adding the next.

Add greens mixture to phyllo-lined pie. Fold excess phyllo over greens and drape remaining 2 sheets of phyllo over the top. Drizzle with more olive oil. Slice into portions using a serrated knife. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Allow to cool at least 15 minutes before serving.


Recipe Summary

  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach - thawed, drained and squeezed dry
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 (4 ounce) packages feta cheese, crumbled
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ (16 ounce) packages phyllo dough
  • ¾ pound butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Slowly cook and stir onions until softened. Mix in spinach, dill and flour. Cook approximately 10 minutes, or until most of the moisture has been absorbed. Remove from heat. Mix in feta cheese, eggs, salt and pepper.

Separate one sheet of phyllo from the stack and evenly brush with a light coating of butter. Place another sheet of phyllo over the butter and press the two sheets together. Cut the layered phyllo dough into long strips about 3 inches wide. Keep the remaining phyllo covered with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out.

Lay out one strip of phyllo at a time on your work surface with one of the narrow ends close to you. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling 1 inch from the end closest to you. Fold the bottom right corner over the filling to the left edge to form a triangle. Fold the triangle up, bringing the point at the bottom left up to rest along the left edge. Turn the lower left corner over to touch the right edge. Continue turning the triangle over in this manner until you reach the end of the phyllo.

Repeat with the remaining filling and phyllo dough. Place filled phyllo dough triangles on a large baking sheet and brush with the remaining butter. (At this point, the pastries may be frozen. See Cook's Note.)

Bake in the preheated oven until the phyllo is golden brown, 45 minutes to 1 hour.


Greek Spinach Pie - Spanakopita

Nobody would argue that Greeks know something about pies. Spanakopita, or a Greek Spinach Pie, is one of their most famous creations. Flaky and crispy phyllo dough layers and a creamy spinach & feta filling. Can it be any better?

Lately I am in love with Greek cuisine. I think it didn't come as a surprise considering that it's my third Greek recipe this month! My love affair with the cuisine of this sunny beautiful country started with this bright lemon rice soup called Avgolemono and continued with these fantastic looking Kataifi nut & honey pastry rolls. Now it was time to try one of the famous Greek pies. They have literally hundreds of them and there is one thing all of them have in common - phyllo or filo dough.

After combing through my countless recipe books I've finally chosen the one I would really love to make - savory Greek Spinach Pie called Spanakopita. I've found it in one of my favorite books - Mediterranean Cookbook. If you are into Mediterranean cuisine, I highly recommend this one. It's colorful, with great pictures and foolproof recipes. By the way, all Greek pie names end with "pita", which means "pie": Tiropita, Kreatopita, Galatopita and so forth. Spanakopita is not only filled with spinach but also feta cheese and other greens. Feta is one of my favorite cheeses because of the distinct taste. Cover my eyes with a black cloth, wake me up in the middle of the night and I will still recognize it among hundreds. Seriously!

As I have already mentioned, this spinach pie, as well as other Greek pies, is made with phyllo dough. If you are not familiar with it, it's a thin unleavened dough popular in Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. It's quite popular, though, you have to be able to find it in your local supermarkets or specialized stores. Don't get intimidated by the exotic name, it's not difficult to work with. You just have to remember few things. First of all, thaw the frozen dough in the fridge overnight, bringing it to room temperature 30 minutes before using. Also, keep a damp towel over the dough when working with it to prevent it from drying out. That's it! Now you are ready to conquer this fancy dough!

This delicious Greek Spinach Pie can be served as an appetizer or even a light lunch. It is surprisingly filling, keeping in mind the lack of meat (vegetarians, you will love this). The end result is the delightful pie with the flaky and crispy phyllo layers and a creamy spinach and feta filling. What's not to love about it? Greek cuisine once again gets an A-plus from me. Impressive!


The recipe calls for the phyllo to be folded over the top, making a decorative ring but we wanted it to be with a crust on the top. I decided to use a few extra sheets of phyllo, and just shaped a crust on top. Easy peasey.

  • Layer on Phyllo sheets to pie
  • Almost done layering
  • Ready to bake

Take your time with layering your phyllo sheets as they tend to tear easy.

HUGE TIP: make sure your spinach is drained and rung out well of any moisture as this will add too much moisture to your pie if you don’t.

The recipe itself is easy to understand and follow. The results came out very well. The texture, flavor, and appearance is exactly how a Spanakopita should be!

Spanakopita pie

The recipe states to cool for 1 hour before you remove the ring and serve.

Plan ahead a bit, maybe have a snack!


Recipe Summary

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound baby spinach
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 10 sheets phyllo dough (each 17 by 12 inches), thawed if frozen
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Gradually add spinach, and cook, stirring often, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in egg, herbs, feta, salt, and pepper.

Lay 1 sheet phyllo on a parchment-lined baking sheet (cover remaining phyllo with a damp towel), and brush with butter. Repeat twice. Spread spinach mixture on center. Top with 3 more buttered sheets. Fold in sides. Butter remaining 4 sheets crumple over top. Bake until dark golden, about 40 minutes.


20 sheet (9x12" size) frozen phyllo pastry
10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed squeezed dry
2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1 1/2 cup cottage cheese
5 eggs, beaten
1 cup butter, melted

Thaw phyllo pastry but keep wrapped in a damp towel to prevent it from drying out. Thaw spinach completely and squeeze it well to remove liquid.

Mix spinach, feta, cottage cheese and eggs in a bowl, beating well.

Grease bottom and sides of a 10-by-12-inch (or 9-by-13-inch) baking dish with a bit of melted butter. Take 2 sheets of phyllo and lay them in the dish. Drizzle with melted butter. (Use a teaspoon to drizzle the butter. Or if using a pastry brush, splatter the butter around, but don't saturate the phyllo by brushing every inch of it.) Repeat with 2 more sheets of phyllo and some more melted butter until 10 sheets of phyllo have been used.

Spread the spinach mixture over the phyllo. Take 2 more sheets of phyllo and lay them over the spinach mixture. Drizzle phyllo with butter. Repeat, using 2 sheets of phyllo and some melted butter each time, until remaining 10 sheets of phyllo have been used.

Before drizzling butter over top layer, carefully precut squares of about 2 inches in the pastry it's not necessary to cut all the way through.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake spanakopita uncovered on middle rack for 40 minutes to an hour, or until browned. Allow to cool slightly, for 10 to 15 minutes, before serving. Do not cover, or else the crust will become soggy.


HOW TO MAKE SPANAKOPITA

Full measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page. Please take a look at the steps and video before attempting this recipe!

STEP 1 Defrost the spinach and squeeze the spinach in a cheesecloth to remove most of the moisture.

STEP 2 Sauté the green onions (scallions) and leeks in a pan with a splash of olive oil until soft. Add the spinach and herbs and cook for a bit longer. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool slightly.

STEP 3 Add the crumbled feta and eggs to the spinach. Season generously with salt and pepper and mix together.

STEP 4 Brush your pie dish with the melted butter then start layering the filo pastry, brushing each leaf with butter, in the dish letting the ends hang over the edge.

STEP 5 Layer 5-6 filo sheets over the bottom of the dish then add the filling in an even layer. Fold the edges over the top and brush with butter/oil.

STEP 6 Add some additional filo leaves over the top if needed. You shouldn&rsquot be able to see the filling through the filo!

STEP 7 Score the pastry before baking to make it easier to slice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 45 minutes, covering with foil after 15-20 minutes to avoid the pie colouring too quickly.