This version of Spanakopita, a classic Greek dish, is 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. I’ve made this recipe several times though I’ve always shaped them into small triangles. Perfect for serving as an appetizer but time consuming. This time I decided to make it into one large pie, and I’m very happy I did. Much quicker to put together and it turned out amazing.
The original recipe is from Christine Cushing, and can be found here. I adapted her recipe because I like more spinach in mine. So I multiplied the amount of spinach by 5 and doubled the rest of the ingredients. I only had about 3/4 cup of the feta cheese, but I had some goat cheese and thought it would be a nice addition so I included a few tablespoons. I also added a bit of dried mint to mine but you can omit it if you don’t have it on hand.
Spanakopita made this way makes a great starter, a side dish, or can even be a main if served with a salad. This is now my preferred way to make this dish, do you have a favourite way to make Spanakopita?
- 5 cups baby spinach washed, drained and roughly chopped
- 4 tsp. olive oil
- 6 green onions
- 4 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
- 1 tsp. dried mint optional
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese or 3/4 cup feta cheese and 4 Tbsp. goat cheese
- 4 eggs beaten
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/4 tsp. 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.