Greek spinach pie with feta cheese (spanakopita) is made with flaky phyllo sheets layered with a savory spinach and feta cheese filling. Spanakopita can be made as a "pie" or pita, or as individual phyllo triangles.
You can keep trays of uncooked spanakopita in the freezer as a handy appetizer or side dish for guests. It freezes very well and heats beautifully.
This recipe makes enough filling for two 9x12-inch rectangular pans or approximately 100 folded phyllo triangles.
- 2 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, chopped (you can substitute frozen, thawed well)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 large onions, diced
- 2 bunches green onions, diced (including 4 inches of the green section)
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped (substitute 3 tablespoons dried dill)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 pound ricotta or cottage cheese
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup) butter, melted
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 pound phyllo pastry sheets
Prepare the Filling
- Wash and drain the chopped spinach very well. If using frozen spinach, thaw completely and squeeze out excess water. Spinach should be dry.
- Heat the olive oil in a deep sauté pan or large dutch oven. Sauté the onions and green onions until tender. Add the spinach, parsley, and dill, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until the spinach is wilted and heated through. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.
- If using frozen spinach, you will want to cook until excess moisture evaporates. Spinach mixture should be on the dry side.
- Remove from heat and set the spinach aside to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the feta, eggs, and ricotta or cottage cheese. Add the cooled spinach mixture and mix until combined.
- Combine the melted butter with the olive oil in a bowl. Using a pastry brush, lightly grease two 9x12-inch rectangular pans.
Unwrap the Phyllo
- Carefully remove the phyllo roll from the plastic sleeve. Most packages come in 12x18-inch sheets when opened fully.
- Using a scissors or sharp knife, cut the sheets in half to make two stacks of 9x12-inch sheets. To prevent drying, cover one stack with wax paper and a damp paper towel while working with the other.
Prepare the Pita
- Layer about 10 sheets on the bottom of each pan making sure to brush each sheet with the butter/olive oil mixture. Add half of the spinach mixture to each pan in an even layer and press with a spatula to flatten.
- Layer another 10 sheets to each pan on top of the spinach mixture making sure to brush each sheet well with butter/olive oil mixture.
- Before baking, score the top layer of phyllo (making sure not to puncture filling layer) to enable easier cutting of pieces later. You can place the pan in the freezer to harden the top layers and then use a serrated knife to make the cutting easier.
- Bake in a preheated 350 F oven until the pita turns a deep golden brown. If the pita is frozen when you put it in the oven, you will need approximately 45 minutes of cooking time. If fresh, plan for approximately 20 to 25 minutes of cooking time.