Greek Spinach and Feta Pie (Spanakopita).
Sharing my favorite take on Greek Spinach and Feta Pie (Spanakopita).
Also known as flakey, buttery, phyllo dough spinach pie with cheese. Also known as SO GOOD.
SIDE NOTE: I semi hate the abbreviation AKA and one hundred percent prefer to write it out. Who is with me?
I’m not sure if this dish is well known or not, but if you don’t know about Greek spinach and feta pie, I am so excited to be the one to tell you all about it. It’s actually a pretty simple thing, but the three main ingredients are what make it so good, phyllo dough, spinach, and feta cheese. It’s a combo that cannot be beat and it’s one that for some reason always reminds me of springtime.
Here’s the deal, I totally made this recipe with one person in mind, my mom. The main reason I love to cook is because I love being able to see the happiness on family and friends faces when I cook for them. Providing them with so much happiness, simply by making food that comforts them, fills me with happiness. It’s a win, win situation for all. Anytime I make a recipe specifically for someone, I have to be there when they try it. Their facial expressions say it all, you know? Whenever I cook for my mom, I get the bonus of a nice little therapy session out of it as well. I swear, I don’t even know I’m stressed when I start talking, but every time we get together over food I’ll talk mom’s ear off for an hour. And then I feel one hundred times more relaxed. Mom’s just have that way with people don’t they?
Anyway, moving along here…
My mom has been working so hard lately on the Studio and I really just wanted to surprise her with a recipe that I knew she would love and enjoy. Some of mom’s favorite things are buttery pastries, and spinach is probably one of her most liked vegetables. So I knew she would love a pastry dish stuffed with spinach and feta cheese.
And that’s where this Greek inspired spinach pie comes into play. It’s basically all of her favorites wrapped up in phyllo dough.
Traditionally, this dish is referred to as Spanakopita, but since I can’t even begin to pronounce that word (for real though…), I simplified things a bit and called the recipe exactly what it is, Greek spinach and feta pie.
This savory pie is really very simple flavor wise, but trust me, it’s so delicious. Basically it’s just a mix of a lot of spinach with some eggs, herbs, and a generous amount of feta cheese. The filling is very similar to that of a frittata, but it’s the phyllo dough crust that takes this pie to another (better) level.
The spinach and feta filling get wrapped into phyllo dough and baked to a golden perfection. Now, I know phyllo dough gets a bad wrap of being hard to work with, but here’s the key to success when working with phyllo…butter. Brushing the dough with melted butter keeps the dough from drying out and tearing, not to mention adds yet another layer of delicious flavor.
While I made this recipe with mom in mind, it’s also perfect for the spring days ahead. Plus, you can serve it up in so many ways…brunch, light lunch, dinner, a fancy side dish, or even an appetizer. I suppose this can even be eaten warm or cold, but you guys know me, I definitely prefer it warm. Actually, right out of the oven best. The cheese is soft, the spinach is hot, and the dough is buttery, flakey, and all kinds of amazing.
When I finally got this recipe perfected (it took a few tries), I showed up at my parent’s house with a fresh out of the oven pie. Because like me, mom needs all her food to be steaming hot. The verdict?
She loved it. Not surprised since I knew it had all the flavors she loves most!
Greek Spinach and Feta Pie (Spanakopita)
Traditionally, this dish is referred to as Spanakopita, but since I can't even begin to pronounce that word I will tell you that it's basically just a mix of a lot of spinach, some eggs, herbs, and a generous amount of feta cheese. Very similar to that of a frittata, but it's the phyllo dough crust that takes this pie to another (better) level.
- 16 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 10 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 pinch kosher salt and black pepper
- 12-18 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the spinach, eggs, olive oil, feta, parmesan, basil, dill, oregano, lemon zest, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
3. Place 1 sheet of phyllo dough on the prepared baking sheet and brush the phyllo with melted butter. Repeat, layering 2 more times, placing the sheets of dough over top each other. Now brush another sheet of dough with butter and place perpendicular to the bottom layer, creating an X. Repeat this layer 2 more times. Brush another sheet of dough with butter and place slightly off center of the x. Repeat this layer 2 more times. Simplistically, you are using 9 sheets of phyllo dough, 3 layers, in 3 different directions, kind of like a star.
4. Take the spinach filling and spoon it onto the center of your phyllo dough star, leaving about 2 inches of edge space. Bring the edges of the dough up and over the spinach.
5. Brush the remaining 3 sheet of phyllo dough with butter and layer over top of the spinach, crinkling them slightly to fit. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the dough.
6. Transfer to the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, until phyllo is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.
For real though, that crust and that spinach feta filling? The BEST.
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