Easy Spanakopita Recipe: Traditional Greek Spinach Pie

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Homemade Traditional Spanakopita Recipe

Today I feel Mediterranean vibes in the air and for this reason I would like to share with you a recipe coming straight from Greece: the Spanakopita!

Spanakopita is an iconic and must-have Greek traditional dish. It’s a pie based on filo dough (mostly) filled with spinach, feta, green onions … it is the pie that we used to buy from the local bakery here, which we find on the large tables as a starter meal or takeaway food. Spanakopita  is perfect for a picnic and is the one that has often  accompanied me during my travels in Greece. Summer day and the gorgeous blue sea a few feet away, with a just a salad next to it is perfect.

The spanakooita is very similar to Bulgarian banitsa which is a filo dough cheese pie.

You want to please your eye with some natural beauty? Well, last summer we went to Greece and more precisely to the Santorini and then we visited the island of Rhodes, it was surreal! Between walks and swimming we also ate delicious local food and among those were the delicious spanakopitas and I fell in love(both in the places we went and the food)! The recipe is a little further below.

Click here to skip straight to the recipe.

So, here we go with some nice shots from Santorini Greece:

 

Santorini sea

oia, santorini
Oia, santorini

 

Souvenir shop in Santorini
Souvenir shop at the Santorini tourist market

 

We were cheered by a cute little puppy near the guest house we visited in Oia
Port amoudi of oia Santorini
Port amoudi of Oia

 

 A picturesque town on the hillside of santorini
The picturesque Ois town on the hillside of Santorini, Greece

 

And a few gems from Rhodes which we also visited during our trip:

beautiful rhodes beach

Antique pillars of a beautiful acropolis of lindos on the island of rhodes
Ancient pillars at the beautiful acropolis of Lindos on the island of Rhodes

rhodes blue sea shore

rhodes houses

rhodes island yacht

I felt like I’m in a fairy tale or just in heaven all the time. You really can’t go wrong by visiting this wonderful place. I wish I could stay longer there too.

What is Spanakopita?

This means pie (or spinach bread but there are also versions with cheese or other vegetables (I give you the recipes in my notes). In fact, the concept is widespread from the Balkans to the Middle East : thin and crispy dough, stuffed, which becomes a snack. The shapes can vary (I give you the familiar large format but there are also often triangles). But ingredients can also vary depending on whether you are on land or islands, in town or in the countryside. The more sumptuous version includes phyllo dough, cheese and melted butter (which I sometimes replace with olive oil or the more frugal, but still delicious and healthy Olive pomace oil version).

Below I will happily give you the recipe that I have been enjoying and preparing for years and that is always greatly appreciated at home. It’s typical recipe for my kitchen by the way, but also quite similar in the flavors I’ve grown up with (especially for an Italian hence the famous ricotta-spinach combination). In addition I love phyllo dough (I have friends who make it themselves I am admiring). Now you can find them quite easily in the large supermarkets (rather the hyper markets outside the city) or even better in Oriental grocery stores.

So, How to Make Spanakopita at Home

For this recipe, nothing complicated is needed, just have some spinach, eggs, an onion, feta cheese, all wrapped in filo dough and you’re done 🙂 ! In Greece they do not add much more but in my house we like to add other ingredients while it is really not necessary. There is a variant in which the filling is rolled not in filo dough, but in a calzone type of dough, though I have almost not seen these very often!

Also Read:  Key Lime Coconut Cream Mini Pie Tarts Recipe

So, I suggest you check the authentic spanakopita recipe below. it’s worth it.

I chose the “individual” slices version that I find easier to eat, but you can prepare it in the form of a pie, much like the muttabaq (here)!

I hope the recipe below will please you and your guests!

Tip: the dimensions of filo dough can vary depending on the brands, take a little more than a little less, you can cut them to fit the mold and it keeps well (well covered in cool place).

You can just put feta cheese, which is pretty much the same as Bulgarian sirene cheese, but ricotta cheese brings a lot of creaminess, so it’s up to you to choose which one you will use!

 

Easy Homemade Traditional Spanakopita Recipe

 

Dish type: appetizer
Cuisine: Greek
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4-6 pieces of spanakopita

Spinach and feta cheese pie spanakopita recipe with filo dough traditional delight of Greek cuisine.
Traditional Spanakopita ingredients

Ingredients for the spanakopita  recipe

  • 600 g spinach fresh shoots or tender leaves
  • 260 g feta cheese
  • 16 sheets filo (or phyllo) dough or a dozen if they are really large
  • 2 green onions scallions (or white 4 onions)
  • 30g  flat leaf parsley
  • a few sprigs of dill
  • 2 eggs
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • a pinch of Grated nutmeg (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Fry the chopped onion (white) in a little oil 5 minutes. Wash then saute the spinach in a frying pan or saute with the onion and mix for a few minutes while they “fall” and lose a little water. Drain and cut with a knife.
  2. Crumble the feta in a salad bowl then add the spinach, chopped herbs (including the Green of the new Onion), The New onion and mix. Stir in eggs, salt and pepper.
  3. Brush a pie mold, a cooking tray or a large cake pan with few spoons of olive oil (I used two 18 cm molds, but you can opt for a rectangular bigger mold 30 cm long approximately). filo dough for making Spanakopita
  4. Lay a sheet of filo dough (if the mold is small, cut it in half) and brush it with olive oil. Keep the rest of the leaves well covered as they dry quickly. Do the same with 8 other sheets(they will protrude from the mold, this is normal).
  5. Then spread the stuffing and cover with the rest of the filo dough sheets, laid one by one and brushed each time with olive oil. Fold the edges of dough that are outside on the cake, brush again with oil.
  6. Bake in the oven for forty minutes. The dough should Brown and become crispy. Leave to cool, then gently remove and serve with a fresh salad.

 

Slice of Traditional Greek Spanakopita

Notes:

Storage: the spanakopita is stored at room temperature until the next day or even the next day if it is not too hot. It will be enough to warm it up a little in the oven before serving (or in the microwave but it will lose a little crispy.

Variations of the spanakopita recipe: instead of making a pie, form triangles (same principle as briouates) sprinkled with sesame seeds: very convenient to take to the beach or on a picnic.

spanakopita pieces in plate

You can also make a cheese version (tyropita): the process is the same, but the stuffing is composed of one egg, 300 g of feta, 150 g of ricotta and 3 cs of milk. You can also add herbs to flavor it.

Also Read:  Sans Rival Traditional Filipino Cake

Using other vegetables: you can stuff the pie with 700 g of cooked eggplant meat( according to the same method as for eggplant caviar), 80 g of feta, parsley, a large whole egg, chopped onion and a little milk.
in the islands often and depending on the season spinach can be replaced in part by Chard and leeks
you can replace feta with ricotta (or even dried ricotta) there are also even simpler and frugal versions of the campaigns with a dough based on water and flour (much like in torta pasqualina) and a stuffing with only cooked vegetables and a little flour (no egg or cheese) in some versions, the oil is replaced by melted butter.

Spinach: if they are fresh and good (not old) it is the top choice, but if you do not have them on hand, know that good frozen spinach will do the trick too (I recently discovered one in my local market which was tender and sweet, lucky me).

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Easy Greek Spanakopita Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Greek
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 600 g spinach fresh shoots or tender leaves
  • 260 g feta cheese
  • 16 sheets filo (or phyllo) dough or a dozen if they are really large
  • 2 green onions scallions (or white 4 onions)
  • 30g flat leaf parsley
  • a few sprigs of dill
  • 2 eggs
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • a pinch of Grated nutmeg (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Fry the chopped onion (white) in a little oil 5 minutes. Wash then saute the spinach in a frying pan or saute with the onion and mix for a few minutes while they "fall" and lose a little water. Drain and cut with a knife.
  2. Crumble the feta in a salad bowl then add the spinach, chopped herbs (including the Green of the new Onion), The New onion and mix. Stir in eggs, salt and pepper.
  3. Brush a pie mold a cooking tray or a large cake pan with few spoons of olive oil (I used two 18 cm molds, but you can opt for a rectangular bigger mold 30 cm long approximately). Lay a sheet of filo dough (if the mold is small, cut it in half) and brush it with olive oil. Keep the rest of the leaves well covered as they dry quickly. Do the same with 8 other sheets(they will protrude from the mold, this is normal).
  4. Then spread the stuffing and cover with the rest of the filo dough sheets, laid one by one and brushed each time with olive oil. Fold the edges of dough that are outside on the cake, brush again with oil.
  5. Bake in the oven for forty minutes. The dough should Brown and become crispy. Leave to cool, then gently remove and serve with a salad.
 

Have fun making it and enjoy with family and friends!

Slices of greek spanakopita traditional Greek Spinach Pie recipe

Also, check out my Greek Souvlaki pita wraps recipe, which is very similar to Mexican falafels.

Do you like cooking traditional Greek dishes, I know I do. So, if you want to surprise and delight your guests for the upcoming holidays, especially if you have Greek friends or relatives in your family, make them a steamy tender and healthy spanakopita. They will surely like it a lot and will ask for more ;-).

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