Experience the flavors of Greece with this easy Spanakopita Recipe! Golden layers of crispy phyllo dough embrace a delicious mixture of fresh, earthy spinach, creamy feta, and Mediterranean spices to create an incredibly tasty pie!
What Is Spanakopita
Oh, Spanakopita, you flaky, savory treat! It’s the Greek masterpiece that’ll whisk your senses away to the Mediterranean with just one bite. Picture this: delicate, whisper-thin layers of phyllo dough, each one brushed with butter and baked to a golden perfection. Nestled within these crisp sheets lies a hearty and herby filling of earthy spinach and tangy feta cheese, all beautifully bound with the fresh flavors of dill and a subtle hint of nutmeg.
Why You’ll Love Spanakopita
- Easy Pastry Recipe! No dough rolling required! Thanks to the use of store-bought phyllo sheets, this recipe becomes not only hassle-free but also remarkably quick.
- Delicious Greek Classic! From earthy spinach to creamy feta cheese, this spanakopita recipe offers a delectable blend of flavors and textures that capture the essence of Greece.
- Crowd Pleaser! This savory pie shines as both an appetizer or a main course. It’s the perfect choice for a family dinner, an addition to a potluck, or an elegant brunch gathering.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Fresh Spinach: Known for its vibrant green color and earthy taste, it serves as the foundation of the spanakopita recipe.
- Onion: Adds a layer of aromatic complexity. Brown onion works best, but any onion you have on hand will do.
- Garlic: Fresh minced garlic contributes depth. In a pinch, you can use garlic powder if needed.
- Olive Oil: Adds richness and is used for sauteing the veggies.
- Fresh Parsley: Gives the filling a burst of herby flavor and freshness.
- Fresh Dill: Its unique fragrant flavor gives the spanakopita an element of its signature taste.
- Ground Nutmeg: Offers a subtle, warm note of spice to the filling that enhances the overall flavor.
- Salt and Pepper: Enhances all the different flavors by perfectly seasoning the filling.
- Feta Cheese: This creamy and tangy cheese forms the heart of the filling with the spinach.
- Eggs: Helps to bind the filling together and adds structure.
- Phyllo Dough: This paper-thin pastry creates the crispy, golden layers of crust that encapsulate the yummy filling. It’s the same type of dough used to make baklava!
- Unsalted Butter: Brushed between the layers of phyllo dough to create the signature flakiness of spanakopita.
How To Make Spanakopita
This popular Greek classic is incredibly simple! You don’t need to be a fancy chef or have any pastry skills. With very little effort, you can prep this spanakopita recipe in just minutes.
Preheat The Oven
Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). Then grab a 9×13-inch baking dish and set it aside for now.
Sauté The Veggies
While the oven is preheating, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Then add the chopped onions and minced garlic, and saute until the onions are soft. Next, add the spinach and cook it until it’s wilted and the excess liquid has evaporated.
Make The Filling
After you’ve cooked the veggies, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parsley, dill, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste. Then let the spinach mixture slightly cool. Now, mix in the crumbled feta and beaten eggs to complete the filling.
Start Layering The Phyllo Dough
With your filling made, you can now begin building your Greek spinach pie! Start by brushing your 9×13-inch baking dish with some of the melted butter, and then lay a sheet of phyllo dough in the dish and brush the dough with more butter. Now, continue layering and buttering sheets of phyllo until you’ve used half of the package.
Add The Spinach And More Layers
Next, evenly spread the spinach mixture over the layers of phyllo in the baking dish. Then top the filling with more phyllo by repeating the layering and buttering process with the remaining sheets of dough. Now, brush the top layer of phyllo with melted butter.
Bake The Spanakopita
Before you pop it into the oven, use a sharp knife to score the top layer of phyllo to define the pieces of pie. This simple step makes cutting the baked pie easier and keeps it from falling apart. I also like to cut the edges, to make the pie look more uniform. Now, transfer it to the oven and let it bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until the phyllo is golden and crispy.
Cool And Serve
Once baked, allow the spinach pie to cool for a few moments. Then follow the scored lines to cut it into serving portions, and you’ve completed this spanakopita recipe!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Just make sure to thaw and thoroughly drain it to remove excess moisture.
Excess moisture from the filling causes a soggy bottom. To prevent this, make sure to properly drain your spinach and let it cook off any excess liquid during sautéing. Additionally, generously layer the phyllo dough with butter to create a barrier that helps maintain the crispness of the bottom layer.
While the preparation method is similar, the choice of filling sets them apart. Spanakopita filling is a mixture of spinach, feta cheese, and various herbs and spices. Tiropita, on the other hand, features a filling primarily made of cheese, typically a combination of feta and ricotta cheese, along with seasonings.
- Cook off the excess moisture. Allow the spinach to cook until the liquid has evaporated. This is essential to prevent your spanakopita from becoming soggy.
- Be generous with the melted butter. When layering the phyllo sheets, don’t hold back on the butter. This not only enhances the flavor but also contributes to the flaky, golden texture.
- Score the top layer. Before baking, use a sharp knife to carefully score the top layer of phyllo. This step helps maintain the top layer’s integrity, preventing it from crumbling.
- Assemble it ahead of time. Just like making lasagna, you can build your spanakopita, cover it, and refrigerate it until you’re ready to bake.
You can store any leftovers by wrapping them tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerating them for up to 4 days. For longer storage, you can freeze them for up to 3 months. To reheat, put the frozen or refrigerated spanakopita in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 15 to 20 minutes until heated through.
Discover More Delicious Baked Treats
Craving More? Follow Along:
- 2 pounds fresh spinach chopped
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 1 cup fresh dill chopped
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 ounces feta cheese crumbled
- 4 large eggs beaten
- 1 pound phyllo dough thawed (1 package)
- ½ cup butter unsalted, melted
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- In a large pan, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until they're soft and fragrant. Add the spinach and cook until it's wilted and any liquid has evaporated.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Add the parsley, dill, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the spinach mixture, mixing until everything is evenly distributed. Let the spinach mixture cool a bit, then stir in the crumbled feta and beaten eggs.
- Lightly brush a 9×13-inch baking dish with some of the melted butter. Lay a sheet of phyllo in the dish and brush it with more butter. Continue layering and buttering the phyllo sheets until you've used half the package.
- Spread the spinach mixture over the phyllo layers.
- Repeat the layering and buttering process with the remaining phyllo sheets, placing them on top of the spinach mixture. Brush the top layer of phyllo with butter.
- Using a sharp knife, score the top layer of phyllo to mark out the pieces of pie you'll cut after baking (this makes cutting easier and prevents the top layer from crumbling).
- Bake the pie for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the phyllo is crisp and golden.
- Allow the pie to cool for a few minutes before cutting it along the scored lines.
Tips & Notes:
- Phyllo Dough Handling: Keep the phyllo sheets covered with a damp towel while working. This prevents them from drying out and breaking.
- Spinach Prep: If using frozen spinach, make sure to thaw and squeeze out all the excess water to avoid a soggy filling.
- Season to Taste: Adjust the amount of nutmeg, garlic, and herbs according to your preference. The beauty of Spanakopita is in its adaptability.
- Scoring the Phyllo: Lightly score the top layer before baking. This makes cutting the baked pie into neat servings much easier and prevents the top from crumbling.
- Make-Ahead Tip: Assemble the pie a day ahead, cover and refrigerate. Simply bake it the next day for a fuss-free meal.
- Storing and Reheating: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator and reheated in the oven to maintain the crispiness of the phyllo.