Spanakopita – Greek Spinach Pie

SpanakopitaWhen I lived in Pennsylvania, there was this cute little Greek restaurant less than a mile from my house, and my favorite dish there was the spanakopita, or spinach pie. Now that I live in Virginia, there’s a lack of really fantastic Greek food in my life, so I decided to seek out a spanakopita recipe to try at home.

Where else would I love but Pinterest?

I found this yummy-looking spinach pie pin via Shani B, who had pinned with from Alexandra’s Kitchen. Since she’s actually Greek, I had a feeling that her spinach pie recipe would be pretty darn good – and I was right!

I did modify it a little (shh…don’t tell), but the result is a recipe I’ll definitely be making again.

To make this recipe, you need baby spinach, ricotta cheese, milk, feta cheese, butter, eggs, and fillo dough. I totally forgot to take a picture of the ingredients, so you’ll just have to trust me on this one! The original recipe from Alexandra calls for cottage cheese, but I hate cottage cheese with a passion, so I used ricotta cheese and a little splash of milk instead.

Chop up the baby spinach and mix it together with the cheeses, milk, and eggs.

spinach pie filling

You want the baby spinach really chopped up well, so if you don’t have the patience to do it by hand, throw it in the food processor.

Next, you’ll need to create the pies using layers of fillo dough. This part is a little time-consuming and messy, but totally worth it. Start with one sheet, then drizzle with melted butter. You want little spots of butter here and there, but don’t paint it on or use tons because you’ll just make the pie mushy instead of flaky. Add a second layer, repeat, and add a third layer. I used about a spoonful of butter per layer.

Then, scoop about 1/2 cup of the spinach mixture at the end of the dough like so:

making spinach pies

Gently, start to roll, folding in the sides. You’re using three layers so some rips are no big deal. Seal with some butter, place in a pan, and brush the top with more butter.

Paula Deen would be so proud of all this butter!

spinach pies in a pan

I put them pretty close together in the pan so they’d all fit. Once you use all of the filling, pop them in the oven for 40 minutes until they’re golden brown.

So yummy!

I do have a few minor complaints. First, spinach pie by nature is not very filling. I had the same problem when ordering this dish at a restaurant – I’d be hungry again an hour or so later. But it would make a tasty side and is pretty perfect for a light (albeit buttery) lunch.

My second complaint is that I had to open the second bag of fillo dough to make all of these (I get Athens, so it comes in two bags), but I didn’t use nearly all of them, so I was like “well, what do I do with the rest of this dough now that it’s thawed out?” I ended up finding another recipe using fillo for the next day, but it was still a bit annoying. Next time, I might try making this recipe plus half because I think that will use up most of the sheets.

Here’s the printable recipe if you want to try this one out at home:

Spanakopita - Greek Spinach Pie
 
Ingredients
  • 10oz. baby spinach
  • 12 oz. feta cheese
  • 8 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 1 16-oz box fillo dough
  • 1½ cups melted butter
Instructions
  1. Chop spinach finely.
  2. Mix together spinach, cheeses, milk, and eggs.
  3. Drizzle 1 spoonful of butter on a sheet of fillo. Top with a second sheet, drizzle, and top with a third sheet.
  4. Add about ½ cup of spinach mixture to the end of the dough sheets and roll gently, tucking in the sides to create pies.
  5. Seal with butter, add to a pan, and brush the top with butter.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes until golden brown.
Notes
Instead of using ricotta cheese and milk, you could substitute small curd cottage cheese.

 

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Allison is one of the co-founders here at The PinterTest Kitchen. She also works as a content marketing consultant and freelance writer - find out more at AllisonBoyer.com.

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2 thoughts on “Spanakopita – Greek Spinach Pie

  1. You are funny! I love the idea of using ricotta cheese in place of the cottage cheese. Truthfully, I’m not the biggest cottage cheese fan either, but you almost wouldn’t know it’s cottage cheese in the spanakopita unless you were told. Still, ricotta sounds like a perfect substitution. And I know, isn’t the opening-of-the-second-bag-of-fillo so annoying?! Sorry about this. Wish it didn’t work out like that.

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