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Spanakopita is a savory Greek pastry packed with lots of flavor. Full of crisp, buttery flaked pastry and a rich spinach filling, this appetizer is guaranteed to be a hit around the world!
Easy Spanakopita Recipe
Sometimes I just get a craving for Mediterranean dishes, there’s just something about the fresh ingredients from this region that I find so inspiring. This Greek appetizer really encapsulates a lot of those familiar flavors. It includes some bright acidic lemon juice, salty and crumbly feta, and some perfectly crisp and flaky phyllo dough.
If you’re looking for an appetizer that will impress a crowd then look no further because the answer is right here. If you’re unfamiliar with any of the ingredients used today or even Spanakopita in general, don’t worry I’ve got you covered. Don’t let these savory triangles intimidate you, they’re quite easy to make! So let’s get into it!
Why You’ll Love This Spanakopita
- Quick and Easy! By using store-bought phyllo dough and a just handful of basic ingredients you can make this delicious Greek pastry in just about an hour!
- Authentic Recipe! With perfectly buttery crisp pastry that wraps around a yummy spinach and crumbly feta cheese filling, this recipe is unbelievably good and the real deal.
- Party Perfect! These tasty little Greek pies make a perfect appetizer! Not to mention, that they reheat incredibly well from both the fridge and freezer.
- Olive oil – We’re using this neutral tasting oil to cook down our onions as the base of our filling.
- Onion – I used both diced white onion and green onion for this dish.
- Spinach – I used frozen spinach for this recipe, if you’d like to opt for fresh I have information on substituting this ingredient below.
- Lemon – Fresh lemon juice is always best.
- Cheese – I’m using feta cheese which is what’s traditionally used in this. We will also be using some grated Parmesan cheese which is totally optional. I love to sprinkle some over the triangles but feel free to omit it.
- Eggs – The eggs will bind our filling and allow for a really satisfying filling.
- Spices – Our flavor secret weapons today is dried oregano and nutmeg.
- Butter – I usually always use unsalted butter to control the sodium content of our dish.
- Phyllo pastry – I use frozen phyllo pastry whenever I cook with it as it’s cuts cooking time down quite a bit. Be sure to take it out of the freezer to allow it to thaw completely before using it.
- Seasoning – Salt and pepper to taste.
This simple recipe shows you how incredibly easy it is to make this Greek classic right at home! Just make sure to drain the frozen spinach well and your homemade spanakopita is sure to be amazing!
Before you even start the recipe you need to take both the frozen phyllo dough and spinach out of the freezer. Then once the spinach has thawed out, place it in a colander to drain. Next, use a clean kitchen towel to squeeze out as much of the excess moisture as possible. You do not want the spinach to be watery.
With the dough and spinach thawed out, you can now begin making the yummy filling! First, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Next, add both the onion and green onions to the pan and saute until soft. Then add the spinach and saute once more until the spinach is limp. Now, stir in the lemon juice, remove the pan from the heat, and let the mixture cool. At this point, if there is excess liquid, put the mixture into a colander and squeeze it out.
The spinach mixture must be completely cool before you can begin this step. Once it is, beat the eggs together with the feta cheese and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Then add the cheese mixture to the spinach mixture and combine everything together until it’s fully incorporated.
Next, you need to preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C) so that it is hot and ready once you’ve formed the spanakopita. Then line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and set them aside for now.
The next step is easy but you’ll need a clean work surface. To begin, unroll the phyllo dough and lay one sheet flat on the surface. Then cover the remaining phyllo dough with a damp towel so that it doesn’t dry out. Next, brush the sheet with melted butter and then sprinkle it with a bit of oregano. Then add one more sheet of dough and brush it too with melted butter and sprinkle it with oregano.
Now let’s build some spanakopita! Using a pizza cutter, cut the sheets of dough lengthwise into 4 long pieces. Each strip should be about 2 inches wide. Then place one heaping tablespoon of the filling near one corner of the phyllo strip. Next, fold the end at an angle over the filling to form a triangle. Now, continue to fold the triangle along the strip until you reach the end. It’s almost like folding a flag. Then repeat this process with the remaining dough and filling.
Once all the spanakopita has been formed, place the triangles on the prepared baking sheets. Then brush them with butter and sprinkle them with Parmesan cheese if you wish. The Parmesan cheese is totally optional. Now, transfer the spanakopita to the preheated oven and bake them for about 30 minutes or until they are golden brown in color and crispy. Then remove them from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before serving.
What Is Spanakopita?
This is a Greek dish, a savory pie that is usually stuffed full of rich spinach filling all wrapped up in crispy phyllo dough. Some fillings include feta cheese, onions, and egg. My recipe is traditional as it incorporates all of these ingredients to make a stellar appetizer! This is a delicious savory little pastry that I can’t wait to share with you all.
What Is Phyllo Dough?
Not to be confused with puff pastry, phyllo (also known as filo) is a very thin unleavened Middle Eastern dough that is used in pastries like baklava. When cooked it crisps up and forms airy little layers that just melt in your mouth when eaten.
Frozen Or Fresh Spinach?
Whether you’re opting for fresh or frozen, the spinach must be cooked down to form our filling so be sure to sauté it with onions as instructed above.
Now my recipe calls for frozen spinach that has been completely thawed. Thawed frozen spinach can bring a lot of liquid to this dish so be sure that it’s been completely drained before incorporating.
If you’re using fresh spinach be sure to cut off the stems before incorporating. Wilt the spinach in a pan with some oil and drain after removing. Roughly chop the spinach and you’re good to go. You’ll want to use about 1½ pounds of fresh spinach for this recipe.
What Can I Serve Spanakopita With?
This recipe makes a great side dish for big dinners, great finger food for parties, or even as a dish all on its own to be devoured by the plateful. If you’d like to pair this dish with some other treats or dip it in some great spreads, feel free to try out some of the following:
- Let your spinach filling cool completely before incorporating the eggs and filling the dough, believe me you don’t want soggy phyllo dough as it won’t crisp properly.
- To thaw your phyllo dough remove it from the freezer and keep it in its original packaging. Allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge.
- You can find phyllo dough in the freezer section of your grocery store near pie crust and frozen puff pastry.
- Look for quality feta cheese if you can find it, there really is no other cheese that can fill its place in this Spanakopita.
- Be sure your frozen spinach is completely thawed before incorporating. Use a clean kitchen towel to squeeze all excess moisture out of spinach.
Want To Make This Dish Ahead?
Storing in the fridge
This recipe will store well in the fridge for 2 – 3 days in an airtight container.
Can I freeze Spanakopita?
Yes you can freeze Spanakopita! Just place in an airtight container and it will keep for up to 2 months. You can just pop the Spanakopita in the oven when ready to eat to warm back up, no need to thaw first.
Other Delicious Recipes To Try
- Tiropita – Greek Cheese Pie
- Chocolate Baklava
- Mushroom And Leek Strudel
- Apple Strudel
- Karydopita (Greek Walnut Cake)
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup green onion (chopped)
- 10 ounce spinach (frozen)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1½ cups feta cheese (crumbled)
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg (ground)
- 8 tablespoons butter (unsalted, melted (1 stick))
- 14 sheets phyllo
- 2 tablespoons oregano (dried)
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese (grated, optional)
- Take the phyllo dough out of the freezer to allow it time to defrost. Using a clean kitchen towel, squeeze all excess moisture out of spinach. In a large skillet heat the olive oil on medium heat.
- In a large skillet heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the onion and green onion and sauté until soft. Add the spinach and and sauté until the spinach is limp. Stir in the lemon juice, and remove off the heat. Let cool. If there is excess liquid, place the mixture in a colander and squeeze out the excess liquid.
- Cool the spinach mixture completely. Beat the eggs with the feta and nutmeg in a medium size bowl. Add the cheese mixture to the spinach mixture and mix until it’s all incorporated well together.
- To 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Unroll the phyllo dough and lay one sheet flat on your work surface. For the remaining phyllo dough, cover it with a damp towel, so it won’t dry out. Brush the sheet with melted butter, then sprinkle with a bit of oregano. Add one more sheet and brush with melted butter and sprinkle with oregano.
- Using a pizza cutter, cut the sheets lengthwise into 4 long pieces, about 2 inch strips. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling near 1 corner of the phyllo strip. Fold the end at an angle over the filling to form a triangle. Continue to fold the triangle along the strip until you reach the end, like folding a flag. Repeat this with the remaining phyllo and filling.
- Place your spanakopita triangles on your baking sheets and brush with butter, then sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over them if you wish. Bake them for 30 minutes until the triangles are golden brown and crisp. Let cool slightly before serving.
- This recipe will yield about 28 triangles.
- This recipe will store well in the fridge for 2 – 3 days in an airtight container.
- You can freeze Spanakopita! Just place in an airtight container and it will keep for up to 2 months. You can just pop the Spanakopita in the oven when ready to eat to warm back up, no need to thaw first.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.