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Spanakopita is a delicious traditional Greek snack with a buttery, flakey crust, and savory cheese filling. Feta cheese and spinach fill this tasty savory pie, and it is sure to be a hit with your family

Close up from the side of a piece of spanakopita.
Spanakopita is flakey, buttery, cheesy, and full of veggies.

While this is a great side dish or snack, it can make for a great main dish, as well. No matter what course you choose this for, prepare for a flavor bomb packed between delicate, crumbly phyllo dough crusts.

Greek is not the normal fare I share, but it is hard to ignore how great this dish is. Some recipes that might fall into similar flavors are this Mint Watermelon Feta Salad recipe, these Grilled Chicken Legs with Yogurt Mint Marinade, and this Lamb Burger recipe. No matter what you make, make sure to treat yourself! 

🇬🇷 Ingredients

Spinach and feta cheese are in the name, but it takes more to make this party go. Here is what you will need:

Spanakopita ingredients.
Ingredients: Frozen spinach, Onion, Garlic, Butter, Olive Oil, Feta cheese, Eggs, Salt & Pepper and Phyllo dough

See the recipe card for quantities.

🍲 Instructions

To prepare Spanakopita, start by ensuring your spinach is well-drained, whether frozen or fresh. Then, sauté finely chopped onions and minced garlic until they turn soft and fragrant. Incorporate the spinach into this savory mix just breifly, allowing the flavors to meld together.

Next, combine the spinach mixture with crumbled feta cheese, beaten eggs, and a dash of salt, pepper, and nutmeg for that extra kick of flavor. This filling will be the heart of your Spanakopita, bursting with Mediterranean goodness.

Assemble your Spanakopita by layering sheets of phyllo dough in a baking dish, brushing each layer with melted butter to achieve that golden crispness. Take your time with this. If some layers tear, its ok and will not show up in the end.

Spread the spinach and feta mixture evenly over the first half of the phyllo layers, then top with the remaining layers, brushing with butter as you go. Same deal as the bottom layer of phyllo.

Once assembled, bake your Spanakopita until the phyllo is golden and crisp and the filling is heated through. Allow it to cool slightly before cutting into squares and serving. 

🤷 Substitutions and variations

Substitutions and variations open up a world of culinary exploration with Spanakopita. Swap spinach for kale or Swiss chard, or experiment with ricotta or goat cheese for a twist on the filling. For a lighter option, try whole wheat phyllo dough or filo cups. 

You can trade out the melted butter for olive oil. This will change the flavor of the end product, but in both cases, they act as a fat that helps make the phyllo nice and crispy.

Add sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, or olives for a Mediterranean flair. Vegan? Substitute eggs and feta with tofu or plant-based cheese seasoned with herbs like oregano or basil. Let your creativity shine as you tailor this classic Greek dish to your taste preferences and dietary needs!

📦 Storage

When it comes to storing Spanakopita, the key is to maintain its freshness and crispness for as long as possible. Once baked, allow the Spanakopita to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container or wrapping it tightly in aluminum foil. This helps prevent the phyllo dough from becoming soggy and preserves its delightful crunch. Fresh is best, but you can store it.

For short-term storage, Spanakopita can be kept in the fridge for two to three days. Simply cover it and pop it in the fridge.

If you’re looking to prolong its shelf life, Spanakopita can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Ensure it’s tightly wrapped to prevent it from drying out or absorbing odors from other foods in the fridge.

To reheat Spanakopita, place thawed pieces in a preheated oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. This helps revive its crispiness and restores its savory flavors, ensuring each bite is as delightful as the first.

🎓 History tidbit

Spanakopita traces its roots back to ancient Greece, where it was enjoyed as far back as 400 years ago.

The name “Spanakopita” itself reveals clues about its history, with “spanaki” meaning spinach in Greek and “pita” referring to pie or pastry. Throughout history, Spanakopita has been a beloved dish enjoyed by peasants and aristocrats.

❓ FAQ

Can I use fresh spinach instead of frozen in Spanakopita?

Absolutely! Fresh spinach can be used in Spanakopita, but make sure to blanch it quickly in boiling water or steam until wilted before incorporating it into the recipe. Remember to squeeze out any excess water to prevent the filling from becoming too watery.

Is phyllo dough difficult to work with?

Phyllo dough can be delicate and require gentle handling, but with a bit of practice, it’s manageable. Make sure to thaw it according to package instructions, and keep it covered with a damp towel while working to prevent it from drying out. Brush each layer with melted butter or olive oil for a crispy and golden finish.

Can Spanakopita be served cold or reheated?

Spanakopita is delicious, both warm and at room temperature. If reheating, place it in a preheated oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. This will help revive its crispiness and restore its savory flavors.

📝 Tips and tricks

  • Keep the phyllo dough covered with a damp cloth or plastic wrap while working to prevent it from drying out.
  • For a crispy top, some people brush the final layer of phyllo with a mixture of water and butter, which helps to achieve a golden color without burning.
  • Be patient when working with phyllo dough. It is fragile and if it tears, it is ok. Just do your best and keep on trekking. 
Piece of Spanakopita on a white plate with a fork holding one part.
Give this delicious Spanakopita recipe a try. So much flavor in each bite.

🛠 Products used in this recipe

😋 Did you make this recipe?

That is awesome, and thank you so much for giving this Spanakopita recipe a try. If you could leave a rating in the comment area below, it would be greatly appreciated. This lets me know how I am doing and also helps others decide if they want to make this recipe. Most of all, thanks for visiting Ramshackle Pantry.

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Spanakopita on a white plate.

Spanakopita – Greek Feta and Spinach Pie

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  • Author: Ben
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 Hour and 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 Squares 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Greek
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Description

Spanakopita is a savory Greek pie filled with spinach, feta cheese, and herbs, all nestled in layers of flaky phyllo dough. Get ready to indulge in the flavors of Greece with this classic, buttery, delicious dish!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 20 ounces frozen spinach (you can also use fresh, just make sure to blanch it)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 cup (200 grams) feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • 1 package (1 pound) phyllo dough, thawed according to package instructions

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Spinach: If using frozen spinach, ensure it’s completely thawed and squeeze out the water. If using fresh spinach, wash and chop it. Blanch quickly in boiling water or steam until wilted, then drain well and squeeze out as much water as possible
  2. Sauté: In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic the olive oil until soft and translucent. Add the spinach and cook for a few minutes to combine the flavors. Let the mixture cool slightly.
  3. Mix Filling: Transfer the spinach mixture to a large bowl. Add the crumbled feta, beaten eggs, salt, and pepper. Mix until well combined.
  4. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
  5. Prepare Phyllo Dough: Unroll the phyllo dough onto a clean, dry surface. Cover with a damp towel to keep it from drying out.
  6. Assemble Layers: Brush the bottom and sides of a 9×13 inch baking dish with butter. Lay one sheet of phyllo dough in the dish, and lightly brush with melted butter. Repeat with about half of the phyllo sheets, placing each sheet over the last and brushing with butter.
  7. Add Filling: Spread the spinach and feta mixture evenly over the layered phyllo.
  8. Top Layers: Lay the remaining phyllo sheets on top of the filling, brushing each sheet with butter as before. Once all sheets are used, tuck any overhanging dough into the sides of the dish to seal. I use a butter knife to loosely tuck in all of the outer edges. 
  9. Score the Top: Lightly score the top layers of phyllo with a sharp knife into squares or diamonds. This makes cutting the cooked spanakopita easier
  10. Bake: Place the dish in the preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes, or until the phyllo is golden brown and crisp.
  11. Cool and Serve: Let the spanakopita cool for a few minutes before cutting through the scored lines. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

  • Keep the phyllo dough covered with a damp cloth or plastic wrap while working to prevent it from drying out.
  • Be patient when working with phyllo dough. It is fragile and if it tears, it is ok. Just do your best and keep on trekking. 

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