Spanakopita: A Greek Spinach Pie with Feta Cheese

Plated veggie pastry on white plate
Jonathan Bielaski/Light Imaging / Getty Images
Ratings (91)
  • Total: 70 mins
  • Prep: 45 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: 12 to 16 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
300 Calories
20g Fat
21g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 to 16 Servings
Amount per serving
Calories 300
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 7g 33%
Cholesterol 79mg 26%
Sodium 419mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Protein 10g
Calcium 215mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Greek spinach pie with feta cheese (spanakopita) is made with flaky phyllo sheets layered with a savory spinach and feta cheese filling. Spanakopita can be made as a "pie" or pita, or as individual phyllo triangles.

This recipe makes enough filling for two 9x12-inch rectangular pans or approximately 100 folded phyllo triangles. You can keep trays of uncooked spanakopita in the freezer as a handy appetizer or side dish for guests. It freezes very well and heats beautifully. You'll need to fold the triangles, which is a bit of extra work, but well worth the effort.

Ingredients

  • For the Filling
  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh spinach (chopped, you can substitute frozen, thawed well)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil (divided)
  • 4 large onions (diced)
  • 2 bunches green onions (diced, including 4 inches of the green section)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill (chopped, or 3 tablespoons dried dill)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 pound feta cheese (crumbled)
  • 4 large eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1/2 pound ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)
  • For the Phyllo
  • 4 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1 pound phyllo pastry sheets

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this spanakopita dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Prepare the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Wash and drain the chopped spinach very well. If using frozen spinach, thaw completely and squeeze out excess water. Spinach should be dry before you begin cooking.

  3. Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a deep sauté pan or large dutch oven. Sauté the onions and green onions until tender.

  4. Add the spinach, parsley, and dill, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until the spinach is wilted and heated through.

  5. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.

  6. If using frozen spinach, you will want to cook until excess moisture evaporates. Spinach mixture should be on the dry side.

  7. Remove from heat and set the spinach aside to cool.

  8. In a large mixing bowl, combine the feta, eggs, and ricotta or cottage cheese.

  9. Add the cooled spinach mixture and mix until combined.

Prepare the Phyllo

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine the melted butter with the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in a bowl. Using a pastry brush, lightly grease two 9- x 12-inch rectangular pans.

  3. Carefully remove the phyllo roll from the plastic sleeve. Most packages come in 12- x 18-inch sheets when opened fully.

  4. Using scissors or sharp knife, cut the sheets in half to make two stacks of 9- x 12-inch sheets. To prevent drying, cover one stack with wax paper and a damp paper towel while working with the other.

Make the Spanakopita

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  2. Layer about 10 sheets of phyllo on the bottom of each pan making sure to brush each sheet with the butter-olive oil mixture.

  3. Add half of the spinach mixture to each pan in an even layer and press with a spatula to flatten.

  4. Layer another 10 phyllo sheets on top of the spinach mixture in each pan, making sure to brush each sheet well with butter-olive oil mixture.

  5. Before baking, score the top layer of phyllo (making sure not to puncture filling layer) to enable easier cutting of pieces later. (You can place the pan in the freezer to harden the top layers and then use a serrated knife to make the cutting easier.)

  6. Bake until the pie turns a deep golden brown. If the pie is frozen when you put it in the oven, you will need approximately 45 minutes of cooking time. If fresh, plan for approximately 20 to 25 minutes of cooking time.

  7. Let cool for a few minutes and then slice and serve.