Easy Greek Spinach Pie with Cheese

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    Spinach Pie with Cheese

    Photo of Greek Spinach Pie with Cheese - Spanakopita - Spanakotyropita
    © Jim Stanfield

    Spanakotyropita (also known as spanakopita)

    Text-only recipe

    This is a family favorite because it's quick and easier to make than some other versions.

    Day 1: Make the Filling

    • 4 pounds of fresh spinach, washed, trimmed, and chopped
    • 1 large or 2 small spring onions, chopped
    • 2/3 cup of olive oil
    • 1/3 cup of water

    Over medium heat, sauté the onion in olive oil until soft. Add spinach and water, bring to a boil and cover. Reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Put in a colander...MORE to drain. When cooled, cover and continue to drain in the refrigerator overnight.

    Day 2: Make the Pita (photos)

    • spinach from day 1 (bring to room temp)
    • 1 egg
    • 2/3 pounds of firm feta cheese
    • 2 teaspoons of freshly ground pepper
    • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons of olive oil
    • 1 pound of phyllo sheets 14 x 18 inches
    • 2 tablespoons of water

    Note: Contrary to most instructions (even my own), the phyllo can be taken out of the freezer to defrost 3 hours before using (leave package unopened while defrosting).

    The finished spinach pie is a favorite street food, snack, and even a light main dish. Walk through preparation in these step-by-step photos.

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    Start with prepared spinach, and preheat the oven

    © Jim Stanfield

    On day one, the spinach was wilted and put in the fridge to drain. Now, (continued below)

    remove spinach from the refrigerator and keep in the colander over a bowl. As ingredients are added, it will continue to drain. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

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    Beat the egg and add to the spinach

    © Jim Stanfield

    Use a fork to beat the egg and add to the spinach.

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    Crumble the cheese and add to the spinach

    © Jim Stanfield

    If the feta cheese is too soft to crumble by hand (if it starts to mush), put in a bowl and use the tines of a fork to make small pieces, then add to spinach.

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    Mix cheese and egg into spinach until well distributed

    © Jim Stanfield

    Use one or two forks to toss the spinach with the egg and cheese to combine well.

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    Unroll the phyllo and count the sheets

    © Jim Stanfield

    Because half the sheets of phyllo will be used on the bottom and the other half on top, start by counting the number of sheets in the package.

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    Use half the phyllo sheets on the bottom of the oiled pan

    © Jim Stanfield

    Oil a pan measuring the same or slightly less than the phyllo sheets with 2 tablespoons of oil using a pastry brush. Lay half the (continue reading below)

    phyllo in the pan, fold in any overlap, and pour 2 teaspoons of olive oil on top.

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    Brush the phyllo with the oil

    © Jim Stanfield

    Continue folding in any overlap until the bottom layer fits the bottom of the pan.

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    Pour the spinach mixture into the pan

    © Jim Stanfield
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    Spread the spinach filling out evenly over the dough

    © Jim Stanfield

    Use a fork to spread the spinach and cheese mixutre evenly over the phyllo dough.

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    Lay the other half of the phyllo sheets on top

    © Jim Stanfield

    Use all the remaining sheets of dough for the top. Fold in the overlap so the sheets fit in the pan. (Continue reading below)

    To make a smooth top that hides the folds of the dough, keep one sheet out of the top layer, and place it on top of the other sheets. Trim the edges with a scissors to fit the pan.

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    Use a sharp knife to cut into 20 pieces

    © Jim Stanfield

    Cut all the way through to the bottom.

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    It doesn't have to look perfect

    © Jim Stanfield

    Phyllo (filo) dough is wonderfully forgiving. The cuts don't have to be perfect and the top doesn't have to be perfectly smooth.

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    Use your hand to sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water evenly over the top

    © Jim Stanfield

    Put a little water in your hand and sprinkle. Work with small amounts of water to distribute evenly. Do not touch the dough with wet hands.

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    Bake at 350°F (175°C)

    © Jim Stanfield

    Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.

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    Cut and serve

    © Jim Stanfield

    The filling will be hot, so let the pieces cool before eating. In Greece, spinach pie is served warm or at room temperature.