Spanakopita is an authentic Greek savoury pie that is stuffed full of spinach, feta, and herbs and enveloped in a flaky, buttery filo crust! It is hands down one of my absolute favourite savoury pies ever!
One of the most popular and loved dishes in Greek cuisine has to be Spanakopita! While I’ve spent my whole life enjoying all that Greek cuisine has to offer-the byproduct of being born to Greek parents-its a tough life! Nothing even comes close to beating the filo crusted pies I grew up with!
I have never met a pie I did not love. Okay, actually, there was this one time we bought a pie at a farmers market which was actually quite bad. But generally, pies are awesome in my books! Sweet, savoury, with a doughy pie crust, filo, or even crustless (like crustless quiche), I’ll eat just about anything that comes out of a pie plate!
Spanakopita was and always will be one of my favourite pies of all time. Second only to Tyropita, its extra cheesy sister which is essentially a Spanakopita without the spinach (YUP! If you haven’t tried it, you need to get on that right away!)
We are spinach-lovers in this house and always have fresh spinach on hand. I rarely make a grocery trip without leaving with a bunch of spinach. Our last spinach haul seemed to have little life in it soon after buying it and so it had to be used up asap. What better way to do that than by whipping up some Spanakopita?!
In this Greek home, we always have filo in our freezer but don’t worry if you don’t. Its readily available at almost any grocery store you visit. All I had to do was wait for it to thaw and I was ready to get to work!
Spanakopita is not too difficult to make. While filo is a bit delicate to work with, even if it rips on you, it really isn’t much of a big deal! I recommend covering the sheets you are not working with with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out.
To start, I make my filling. I start by washing and chopping up the spinach. Then I place it in a large pot with a couple tablespoons of water and cook it until it starts to wilt. I drain it in a colander, pressing down with a wooden spoon to get rid of any water. Then into a bowl it goes with all the other filling ingredients. Onion, feta, some ricotta for added creaminess, eggs, fresh herbs, salt, and pepper get mixed in with the spinach and that’s pretty much it for the filling.
The filo crust
Then I get to work on the filo. I melt some butter and then use it to brush one filo sheet at a time. You can also use olive oil for this instead if you like but I prefer the flavour butter adds to this dish. To set the base, I arrange 5 filo sheets into my quiche pan (or any baking dish you desire that is approximately 12 inches in diameter), placing the sheets at different angles so that they hang over all the edges of the quiche pan.
Then I add my filling to the pan and spread it out evenly. I add 3 more buttered filo sheets on top of the filling and then fold in all over the overhanging bits (from the bottom layers and the top layers) to seal up the dish. Don’t worry if the edges don’t cover the center of the filling. There are 2 more filo sheets left to do this. For the last 2 sheets, I butter then (of course) and then scrunch them up over the filling, tucking in the sides if needed so that they don’t over hang and burn. Do this with both of them.
Then into the oven it goes to bake up until the filo is a beautiful golden colour! This takes about 40 minutes. That’s pretty much it!
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For the Filling
- 1 lb spinach fresh, chopped
- 1/2 onion finely chopped
- 1 1/4 cups feta cheese crumbled
- 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped
- salt and pepper
For the Filo Crust
- 10 sheets filo (about 1 package)
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- Preheat oven to 350F and brush a 12 inch quiche pan or baking dish with butter.
- Add the chopped spinach in a large pot with a couple tablespoons of water and cook it on low heat until it begins to wilt. Remove it form heat and place it in a colander. Press down with a wooden spoon to remove any moisture.
- Place the spinach in a large bowl and add the remaining filling ingredients. Mix everything well and then set aside.
- Working with one filo sheet at a time, butter a sheet and place it into the baking dish letting the edges overhang. Do this with 4 more sheets placing them at different angles so they overhang all around the dish.
- Add the filling to the baking dish and spread it evenly. Top with 3 more buttered filo sheets letting them overhang as you did the base. Then fold all the overhang edges towards the center of the baking pan. Don’t worry if they do not completely cover the filling.
- With the remaining 2 filo sheets, butter them and then scrunch them up as you place them on top of the filling, tucking in any edges so that they do not overhang. Bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes or until the filo turns a nice golden brown.