Easy Spanakopita – this Greek Spinach Pie with filo pastry, spinach, feta cheese and herbs is delicious and popular with vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Check out my tips on how to make authentic Greek spanakopita – so yummy!
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SPANAKOPITA – GREEK SPINACH PIE
Spanakopita (which translates as “spinach pie”) is, arguably, THE most popular and beloved Greek recipe.
This vegetarian pie made with filo pastry, spinach, herbs and feta cheese is delicious served warm or cold. Spanakopita is a staple of my Greek childhood and absolutely fantastic as a snack or main meal.
Although my mum’s spanakopita with homemade pastry is superior, it involves a huge amount of work and so only gets made on special occasions. This easy spanakopita recipe is so much quicker!
Spinach Pie Ingredients
You can make spanakopita using fresh or frozen spinach. Using frozen spinach is easier and slightly cheaper but fresh spinach tastes better. I will leave it up to you!
If you use fresh spinach you will have to wilt it first – and don’t be surprised at the HUGE amount needed! Strain the cooked spinach to remove most of the juices before mixing with the other filling ingredients.
Authentic Greek spanakopita also packs LOTS of fresh herbs into the filling, plus spring onions and leeks. Crumbled feta cheese and eggs are mixed in and the filling is encased is several layers of filo pastry.
The filo needs to be brushed with oil and melted butter so that it crisps up in the oven. Assembling your spinach pie is a bit messy but the results are so worth it!!
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’t 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.
TIPS FOR A GREAT SPINACH PIE!
- Make sure to keep filo pastry covered while you work as it dries out quickly and becomes brittle.
- I recommend using an enamel roasting tin as the filo will crisp up so much better.
- Make sure you squeeze the moisture out of the spinach to avoid a soggy spinach pie!
- Greek barrel aged feta tastes miles better than feta-style cheese. Check it is suitable for vegetarians.
- Add chopped mint, toasted pine nuts or different types of cheese (such as ricotta, cream cheese or Gorgonzola) to add variety.
- Do not cover the pie while it is hot out of the oven – the moisture will soften the filo.
You will also like…
Spanakorizo – Greek spinach rice
Greek Zucchini Pie (Kolokithopita)
Spinach and Feta Pie – Spiral Spanakopita
Greek Spinach Waffles with Tzatziki
Easy Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)
- 800 g (28oz ) frozen spinach (or fresh, chopped)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 spring onions (scallions) finely chopped
- 2 large leeks white part only, finely chopped
- 1 tsp salt or more, as needed
- 100 g (about ½ cup) fresh parsley chopped
- 100 g (about ½ cup) fresh dill chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 400 g (14oz / two blocks) feta cheese crumbled
- 1 lemon zest only
- 1 pack frozen filo pastry thawed if frozen
- 113 g (½ cup) butter melted
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds optional
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and place a tray on the middle shelf.
- Thaw the spinach and squeeze most of the moisture out. If using fresh spinach you will need to wilt it in a pan before using and then strain to remove the juices.
- Sauté the green onions and leeks in a pan with a splash of olive oil. Add the salt and cook until softened.
- Add the herbs and cook for a couple more minutes. Stir in the spinach and leave to cool before adding the feta and eggs.
- Mix in the crumbled feta and have a taste, adding more salt if needed. Add the eggs and lemon zest, mix well to combine and set aside.
- Combine the oil and melted butter. Brush your pie dish with the butter / oil then start layering the phyllo pastry, brushing each leaf, letting the ends hang over the edge.
- Layer 5-6 phyllo squares over the bottom of the dish then add the filling in an even layer, packing it down. Fold the edges over the top and brush with butter/ oil. You might want to add some additional filo sheets in the middle, if needed.
- Use a knife to score the pie so that it will be easier to slice once baked. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
- Bake for 45 minutes, covering with foil after 15-20 minutes to avoid the pie colouring too quickly. Cool before slicing (otherwise you won’t be able to slice neatly).