This Easy Spanakopita is a version of the classic Greek Spanakopita triangle appetizer made faster and easier by making it into one large pie.
Spanakopita is a classic Greek dish made with phyllo dough, spinach, onions, dill, eggs and feta cheese. This recipe is a personal favourite and though I've made it several times, I've always shaped them into small triangles. They're perfect for serving as an appetizer but they are time-consuming to make that way.
To save time, I like to make Spanakopita into one large pie. The process is much quicker and the spanakopita pie always turns out amazing.
How to Make Spanakopita Pie
This recipe is adapted from Christine Cushing's recipe for Spanakopita. I adapted her recipe and her method to reflect my preferences for this dish.
I like a lot of spinach in Spanakopita, so I multiplied the amount of spinach by five and doubled the rest of the ingredients. I also used a combination of feta cheese and goat cheese, but it can be made using only feta cheese. I also like to include a bit of dried mint in mine but it's not necessary.
- Baby spinach washed, drained and roughly chopped
- Olive oil and butter
- Green onions
- Fresh dill
- Dried mint (optional)
- Feta cheese
- Salt, pepper and grated nutmeg
- Phyllo dough
The first thing you'll need to do is cook the spinach until it is wilted and the water from the spinach has evaporated. Then you'll need to sauté the aromatics, add the spinach to the aromatics and season the mixture.
Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool. If you like you can prepare this part ahead of time and refrigerate until you're ready to make the dish.
The next step involves beating the eggs, and adding the cheese and spinach mixture to the eggs. This will be the filling for the pie.
I like using a spring-form pan to assemble the pie because it makes it much easier to release the spinach pie from the pan.
To assemble the pie, you'll need to lay sheets of phyllo inside the spring-form pan allowing one end of the phyllo to overhang at the edge of the pan. Brush the sheets with a butter-oil mixture before adding the next sheet.
Turn the pan slightly and lay the next sheet of phyllo overlapping the first one. Repeat this process with 5 more sheets of phyllo, always turning the pan slightly (in the same direction) between each addition of phyllo.
Once the bottom of the pan is covered with phyllo, add the spinach and cheese mixture to the pan spreading the filling evenly. Fold the overhanging dough over the filling.
Take one last sheet of phyllo dough and shape it into a circle by crumpling the sides. Lay it on the top of the pie and brush it lightly with the butter and oil mixture.
Bake the pie until the pastry is golden all over. Remove from the oven, let it cool slightly and serve.
You can also bake the Spanakopita ahead and serve it at room temperature.
Not only does Spanakopita served this way make a beautiful dish but it's also delicious, healthy and quicker to prepare.
- 5 cups baby spinach washed, drained and roughly chopped
- 4 tsp. olive oil
- 6 green onions chopped
- 4 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
- 1 tsp. dried mint optional
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese or 3/4 cup feta cheese and 4 Tbsp. goat cheese
- 4 eggs beaten
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- ¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
- 8 sheets phyllo dough
- 3 tbsp. butter melted
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large saute pan, add half of the chopped spinach and saute until the spinach wilts, stirring to make sure the spinach doesn’t stick to the pan, about 3 minutes. The liquid from the spinach should have evaporated but if you feel that the spinach is too wet, you should squeeze out the excess liquid and discard it. Repeat this process with the remaining spinach, using 1 more teaspoon of olive oil. When spinach has wilted, add it to the first batch and set aside.
- Add another two teaspoon of oil to the pan and add the scallions. Saute for 2 minutes and then add the dill, saute for another minute and add the spinach back into the saute pan.
- Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg and mint (if using). Stir to combine well. Cook over low heat for a couple of minutes, then remove from heat to cool. (You can do this part ahead and keep the mixture refrigerated until ready to make the pie).
- In a medium-sized bowl, beat 4 eggs together, add the cheese and the spinach mixture. Mix well. Set aside.
- Place a rack in the centre of your oven and preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in the microwave and then add in 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Unroll the phyllo dough on a flat surface and keep it covered with a towel so it doesn’t dry out. Brush the bottom and sides of the spring-form pan with the butter and oil mixture.
- Lay a sheet inside the spring-form pan allowing one end of the phyllo to overhang at the edge of the pan.
- Lightly brush the sheet with the butter-oil mixture, turn the pan slightly and lay the next sheet of phyllo overlapping the first one, making sure the bottom of the pan is covered by the phyllo. Brush again with the butter-oil mixture. Repeat this process with 5 more sheets of phyllo, always turning the pan slightly (in the same direction) between each addition of the phyllo. You should have covered the pan by now, but if not you can use another sheet or two of the phyllo pastry.
- Once the pan is covered with phyllo, add the spinach and cheese mixture to the pan spreading the filling evenly in the pan.
- Fold the overhanging dough over the filling. Take one last sheet of phyllo shape it into a circle (the size of the pan) by crumpling the sides and lay it on the top of the filling, brush it lightly with the butter and oil.
- Place the pan onto the middle rack and bake for about 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden all over.
- Remove from the oven and let the Spanakopita pie cool in the pan on a rack for about 10 minutes before removing the ring and serving.