Spanakopita ~ Greek Spinach Pie Appetizers or Entree

When I was in my early 20’s I used to get pizza from a lovely Greek man.  He taught me his version of spanakopita and I’ve been making it ever since.  Don’t be intimidated by the phyllo dough, it’s really not that hard to work with. Just keep it covered as you are assembling the pie.  If  a piece dries out too much, toss it out.

These also make great appetizers.  Using a sharp knife, cut the filo into 3 by 11 inch strips, and recover with the towel. Use a pastry brush to brush a strip of filo with melted butter. Place a small spoonful of spinach filling 1 inch from the end of the pastry. Fold the end over the filling to form a triangle, then continue to fold up the strip in triangles, like folding up a flag. Continue with remaining strips of dough, placing filled triangles on the baking sheet and keeping them covered with a towel until all are ready to bake.

Brush the triangles lightly with butter, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Serve hot. (These may be frozen before baking, layering waxed paper between layers of triangles to keep them from sticking. Bake frozen triangles an extra 10 minutes.)

This recipe once cooked can be easily frozen in pieces and reheated. Just wrap them well.

  • 2 1/2 lbs. of frozen spinach.  Thawed and drained well. Squeeze out all moisture.
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup feta, crumbled
  • 1/2 lb. cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 large onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint chopped
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 12 sheets phyllo dough
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Thaw spinach completely and squeeze out excess water. Spinach should be dry.

Heat the olive oil in a deep saute pan or large dutch oven. Saute the onions and green onions until tender. Add the spinach, parsley, mint  and dill and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until the spinach is wilted and heated through. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.

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

Remove from heat and set the spinach aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the feta, eggs, and cottage cheese. Add the cooled spinach mixture and mix until combined.

Combine the melted butter with the olive oil in a bowl. Using a pastry brush, lightly grease one 9 x 12 rectangular pans.

Unwrap the Phyllo:

Carefully remove the Phyllo roll from the plastic sleeve. Most packages come in 12 x 18 inch sheets when opened fully.  To prevent drying, cover  stack with wax paper and a damp paper towel while working with the sheets.Prepare the Pita:

Layer about 10 sheets on the bottom of the pan making sure to brush each sheet with the butter/olive oil mixture. Add half of the spinach mixture in an even layer and press with a spatula to flatten.

Layer another 10 sheets on top of the spinach mixture making sure to brush well with butter/olive oil mixture.

Before baking, score the top layer of phyllo (making sure not to puncture filling layer) to enable easier cutting of pieces later.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until the pita turns a deep golden brown.


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