Spanakopita – Greek Spinach Pie is a flavorful savory pie filled with spinach, eggs, and feta. This delicious spinach and feta pie is an iconic Greek dish that can be enjoyed as a starter for the main course, an accompaniment to the main course, or a main course if served with a light salad, cheese, and other various complimentary items.
Spanakopita is reasonably simple to make, believe it or not. It’s delicious served, either hot or cold. I have been notorious in the past for taking it right out of the refrigerator and gobbling it down cold, and it’s still a fabulous snack. I love the taste of spinach and feta filling, savory, slightly tart, yet wrapped in a sweet buttery-tasting phyllo dough.
I used to get intimidated to try to make Greek Spinach Pie’s, the phyllo dough scared the living heck out of me. All those layers of paper-thin dough that looked so easy to break, just thin, fragile layers of scariness. However, one day I stepped into the kitchen with my friend Dina’s Mom and learned to face my fears of this intimidating dough. I found it wasn’t as fragile as I had thought.
The moral of the story looks can be deceiving at times. Yes, it would help if you were a little careful with phyllo dough, but you can handle it without too much worry. So if you’ve never used phyllo dough because you were fearful of ruining the dough, get in that kitchen and stop worrying about ruining the dough. I’m betting with a tender touch; you will be just fine.
Let’s talk about Spanakopita or Greek Spinach Pie a little. A more traditional filling includes spinach, feta cheese, onions or scallions, egg, herbs, and seasoning. The filling is layered in phyllo pastry with butter or olive oil, either in a large baking dish with an individual serving cut or made into triangular servings.
While the phyllo dough recipe is most common, some recipes from the call for a crust made of flour and water form a crunchier, thicker exterior in place of the flaky dough. The pastry should be cooked golden in color when baked, the color often enhanced by butter.
You definitely will want to try to add the proper ratio of filling compared to phyllo. Sometimes people attempt to use a thick layer of the filling. However, when using the thin phyllo, you want to make sure that it will withstand the amount of spinach filling without breaking apart easily. I usually try to keep my filling at about no more than 2 inches thick, more often than not, an inch and a half.
This Mediterranean dish is wonderfully flavorful and reasonably easy to make, minus brushing butter on the pastry sheets. It usually takes me about 5 minutes to do all of them. The first time, I think it took 10 minutes because I was fearful and intimidated by them. After your first time doing them, it will go so much faster. Just remember to lightly brush them as you don’t want them drenched in butter. You are aiming for a beautiful, light, flaky look to your finished recipe.
Ingredients needed to make Spanakopita – Greek Spinach Pie
One medium white onion
Four spring onions
Two tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sixteen ounces of frozen organic chopped spinach
One bunch of flat-leaf parsley
Ten ounces of quality feta cheese
Two tablespoons fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
kosher salt, to own taste
One roll of phyllo dough divided x2
One stick of unsalted butter
lemon slices to serve, optional
Spanakopita – Greek Spinach Pie
- 1 medium white onion chopped
- 4 spring onions whites only
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 16 ounces chopped spinach thawed, drained
- 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoons dill chopped
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- kosher salt to own taste
- 10 ounces feta cheese
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 roll phyllo dough divided x2
- 1 stick unsalted butter melted
- 1 lemon thinly sliced, optional
- Chop the white onion and slice the spring onion whites, place a metal skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil to skillet to heat, and then add onions. Cook until softened.
- Add the thawed and thoroughly drained organic chopped spinach to the metal skillet, and lightly saute for a few minutes before adding the flat-leaf parsley, fresh dill, ground nutmeg, and kosher salt. Cook for another 2 or 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Once the spinach mixture has completely cooled, crumble feta cheese into the mixture, and add the lightly beaten eggs. Combine all ingredients.
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a large baking dish by lightly brushing with olive oil, or spraying with cooking spray.
- Divide dough by 2. Brush each pastry sheet lightly with melted unsalted butter and place in the bottom the pre-treated baking dish. Only use 1/2 of pastry sheets.
- Spread the spinach mixture evenly over the dough in the large baking dish. Cover the spinach mixture with the remaining phyllo dough, remembering to brush each sheet with butter as you layer it on the spinach mixture.
- Bake at 375 degrees F till the top is a beautiful golden color
- Remove from oven and place on a heat resistant surface to cool for about 8-10 minutes before cutting and serving.
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If you enjoyed this Spanakopita – Greek Spinach Pie recipe, here are a few others you might enjoy.
- Avgolemono – Greek Lemon and Egg Soup with Orzo is a timeless classic Greek comfort food at its finest. Its hearty flavors make it the perfect winter meal combining homemade chicken broth, shredded chicken, orzo, carrots, onions, garlic, and fresh asparagus with a thick creamy, lemony soup base made from adding eggs and lemon juice to thicken the Avgolemono Soup.
- Mediterranean Cabbage Rolls, aka Lahanodolmathes, are not what I would consider 100% traditional by Greek standards. However, they are utterly delicious comfort food made of cabbage, ground lamb, feta cheese, onions, dill, oregano, lemon juice, and Greek White Wine with a lavish egg Lemon Sauce.
- Pastitsio – Greek Lasagna is one of my childhood favorites made with comforting layers of long tubular pasta, a delicious homemade Mediterranean meat sauce spiced with ground cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and topped with creamy béchamel and Kefalotyri cheese.