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Greek Spanakopita Recipe (Savory Spinach and Feta Cheese Pie)

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Find a little place in your heart for a beloved traditional Greek pastry with our spanakopita recipe, and savor the delectable flavor of its creamy feta cheese and spinach filling, and flaky, golden brown pastry crust.

Spanakopita squares stacked.

Spanakopita Recipe

Satisfyingly filling, and packed with rich, earthy, and salty flavors, spanakopita truly does pull out all the stops when it comes to wholesome Greek cooking. Whether it’s the showstopping main for your dinner party or a grab-and-go slice from the refrigerator for a quick breakfast, this is a dish for all occasions.

Spanakopita

What is Traditional Spanakopita?

Traditional spanakopita is a wholesome savory pie consisting of layers of phyllo pastry coated in olive oil and/or butter, wrapped around or layered between a mixture of spinach, feta cheese, egg, onion or spring onion, and various herbs and seasonings depending on preference.

The pie can either be assembled in a baking tray as a whole pie and cut into rectangular pieces to serve (as in our recipe), or you can fold it into individual triangular portions. Once prepared, the pie is baked in the oven until the phyllo is crispy and golden brown, and can be straight from the oven, or left to cool.

Variations

Triangular – Our recipe is to make a conventional, tray-bake pie, but the other popular type of spanakopita is in the form of individual triangular pieces. Here the phyllo dough is rolled and folded into triangular pastries, each containing spinach and feta filling, and then all the pastries are baked in the oven.

Pastry – In Greece, some people make spanakopita with a homemade phyllo, known as horiatiko (village pastry), which is thicker than store-bought phyllo, hence giving the pie a thicker crust. Spanakopita can also be made with puff pastry.

Cheese – While feta cheese is the traditional ingredient, there are other white, salty cheeses that some people use in the spanakopita filling. Two of the most common are Greek kefalotiri and ricotta cheese, and these cheeses can either be used in combination with feta cheese, or as a substitute for feta.

Herbs – While seasonings for the mixture depend on the recipe, many people will add herbs such as dill (as we have), parsley, and mint.

Greens – Especially in rural areas of Greece, leek, chard, and/or sorrel can be added to a filling that uses less spinach, as per the greens available.

Butter/Olive Oil – We have opted to use solely olive oil in our recipe, but you can use butter or a combination of both.

Lent Spanakopita – During Lent, a dairy-free version of spanakopita is made to eat during the fasting period. It commonly has a spinach, onion/green onion, and celery filling, sometimes with herbs like dill and parsley, and an olive oil and wheat flour mixture is used to brush the phyllo layers. This version, which uses no egg, butter, cheese, or any dairy, is also considered a vegan-take on spanakopita.

Tofu – By extension, but in no way considered traditional, some people substitute the feta cheese for tofu to make a vegan spanakopita.

Recipe Ingredients

To make our spanakopita recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Spanakopita ingredients on a wooden board.
  • Spinach – 2 lb
  • Feta – 16oz
  • Eggs – 2 eggs
  • Spring Onions – 4 spring onions/scallions
  • Dill – 2 tbsp finely chopped dill
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • Pepper – 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Olive Oil – 2 tbsp for sauteeing the spinach
  • Butter or High-Quality Extra-Virgin Olive Oil – 3/4 cup for brushing
  • Filo/Phyllo Dough – 1 lb

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1 – In a pan, over medium heat, add 2 tbsp of olive oil.

Step 2 – Once the oil is shimmering, add the spinach, spring onions, salt, and pepper, and saute, stirring.

Spanakopita recipe step-by-step (sauteeing the spinach and green onions).

It’s a lot of spinach, so you’ll have to really pack half of it initially and add the remaining a handful at a time as the spinach wilts and makes room in the pan for the additional spinach.

Step 3 – Sautee until all the spinach is wilted and the liquid has evaporated.

Step 4 – Transfer the spinach to a large bowl and let it cool down until it’s at room temperature.

Step 5 – Add the crumbled feta and stir.

Spanakopita recipe step-by-step (adding the crumbled feta to the room-temperature sauteed spinach).

Step 6 – Once the feta is mixed in, add the dill and whisked eggs and give everything a good, thorough mix to make your filling.

Spanakopita recipe step-by-step (feta and spinach mixed in a large bowl).

Step 7 – Assemble the spinach pie in a large baking dish (we used a 10” x 15” or 40 x 27 cm Pyrex glass baking dish, similar to this baking dish available on Amazon).

A – First, layer in half of the filo dough, layer by layer, brushing each layer with melted butter or olive oil.

Spanakopita recipe step-by-step (layering the filo dough and brushing with olive oil).

If the filo layers are too big for the pan, let some layers overhang (we’ll fold them over the filling) and bunch up a few other layers accordion-style).

Spanakopita recipe step-by-step (layering the filo dough and brushing with olive oil).
Spanakopita recipe step-by-step (layering the filo dough and brushing with olive oil).
Spanakopita recipe step-by-step (layering the filo dough and brushing with olive oil).
Spanakopita recipe step-by-step (layering the filo dough and brushing with olive oil).
Spanakopita recipe step-by-step (layering the filo dough and brushing with olive oil).
Spanakopita recipe step-by-step (layering the filo dough and brushing with olive oil).
Spanakopita recipe step-by-step (layering the filo dough and brushing with olive oil).
Spanakopita recipe step-by-step (layering the filo dough and brushing with olive oil).
Spanakopita recipe step-by-step (layering the filo dough and brushing with olive oil).
Spanakopita recipe step-by-step (layering the filo dough and brushing with olive oil).

B – Add the cooled-down spinach-feta mixture and fold any overhanging layers.

Spanakopita recipe step-by-step (adding the spinach-feta filling).
Spanakopita recipe step-by-step (adding the spinach-feta filling).
Spanakopita recipe step-by-step (folding the filo dough over the filling).

C – Add the remaining half of the filo dough, brushing each layer with olive oil.

Spanakopita recipe step-by-step (adding the top filo dough layers).
Spanakopita recipe step-by-step (adding the top filo dough layers and brushing with olive oil).
Spanakopita recipe step-by-step (adding the top filo dough layers and brushing with olive oil).
Spanakopita recipe step-by-step (adding the top filo dough layers and brushing with olive oil).
Spanakopita recipe step-by-step (adding the top filo dough layers and brushing with olive oil).

Step 8 – Score the pie by cutting the top couple of filo layers (but not all the way through to the filling). This will make it easier to cut it without breaking the filo after it’s cooked.

Spanakopita recipe step-by-step (scoring the pie).

Step 9 – Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F) and bake the pie in the preheated oven until golden and cooked through, for about 50 minutes.

Spanakopita recipe step-by-step (baked pie).

Step 10 – Cut the pie into 12 large pieces and enjoy!

Spanakopita squares stacked on a plate.

Serving Suggestions

Greek Salad – Plenty of green salads pair well with spanakopita, and horiatiki Greek salad is a great way to keep things traditional.

Tabbouleh – The herby, zesty notes of tabbouleh make for a refreshing side to the savory spinach and cheese filling.

Pilaf Rice – If you want to keep things simple, a side of pilaf rice can add some aromatic notes and defined texture to the creaminess and flakiness of the pie.

Fried Potatoes – Fried potatoes or fries are a very common side in Greece, especially with meat-based dishes like souvlaki and gyros, and can also be tried with spanakopita.

Tzatziki – A cold, creamy, refreshing dollop of tzatziki can be a great option on the table, especially if you serve the pie piping hot from the oven.

Roasted Red Pepper Dip/Muhammara – A roasted pepper dip, such as with the likes of muhammara, can balance the salty, savory notes with some sweetness and acidity.

White Wine – If you want to serve your dinner guests wine, opt for a cold, crisp white wine that can offset the density of the pie.

Spanakopita squares stacked.

Spanakopita Recipe Card

Spanakopita

5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Author: Nomad Paradise
Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 2 lb fresh spinach
  • 1 lb 16oz feta
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 spring onions or scallions
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped dill
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil for sauteeing the spinach
  • 3/4 cup olive oil or melted butter for brushing the phyllo dough layers
  • 1 lb filo/phyllo dough

Instructions

  • In a pan, over medium heat, add 2 tbsp of olive oil.
  • Once the oil is shimmering, add the spinach, spring onions, salt, and pepper, and saute, stirring. It’s a lot of spinach, so you’ll have to really pack half of it initially and add the remaining a handful at a time as the spinach wilts and makes room in the pan for the additional spinach.
  • Sautee until all the spinach is wilted and the liquid has evaporated.
  • Transfer the spinach to a large bowl and let it cool down until it’s at room temperature.
  • Add the crumbled feta and stir.
  • Once the feta is mixed in, add the dill and whisked eggs and give everything a good, thorough mix to make your filling.
  • Assemble the spinach pie in a large baking dish (we used a 10” x 15” glass baking dish).

    A – First, layer in half of the filo dough, layer by layer, brushing each layer with melted butter or olive oil. If the filo layers are too big for the pan, let some layers overhang (we'll fold them over the filling) and bunch up a few other layers accordion-style).

    B – Add the cooled-down spinach-feta mixture and fold any overhanging layers.

    C – Add the remaining half of the filo dough, brushing each layer with olive oil.
  • Score the pie by cutting the top couple of filo layers (but not all the way through to the filling). This will make it easier to cut it without breaking the filo after it’s cooked.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F) and bake the pie in the preheated oven until golden and cooked through, for about 50 minutes.
  • Cut the pie into 12 large pieces and enjoy!
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nomadparadisefood or tag #nomadparadisefood!

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Save and Pin for Later

Fancy bringing this delightful savory pie to life at home for lunches, a filling snack, or to entertain dinner guests? Keep this recipe for safekeeping by saving it to one of your boards.

Spanakopita squares stacked on a plate.

Authors

  • Doina Johnson is a recipe developer and writer. Doina has been cooking for most of her life, and her style draws from many different influences. She cooked with her mother and grandma growing up in Eastern Europe, before adding modern, western influences to her style when living in the United States for about a decade. Then, she traveled full-time for several years, trying food in Europe, Asia, and South America, and bringing those influences into her own cooking. She strives to introduce passionate homecooks to world cuisine, generally by trying the food herself abroad and then recreating it at home and, at times, enlisting the help of local foodies and chefs.

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  • Hey there! We are Dale and Doina, the founders of Nomad Paradise. We traveled full-time for over three years, and while we now have a home base in the U.K., continue to take trips abroad to visit new places and try new cuisines and foods. Our food guides are curated with the guidance of local foodies, and their contribution is indicated under each article. We also cook the foods we try abroad, and you can discover how to make them in our 'recipes from around the world' category.

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