Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)

Spanakopita is a popular Greek savoury pie made with spinach, feta, and herbs that are enveloped in a buttery filo crust that is baked until golden and flaky. This easy recipe makes the perfect vegetarian meal, snack or appetizer.

One of the most popular and loved dishes in Greek cuisine has to be Spanakopita! 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)! Of all those delicious dishes, my favourites are the filo crusted pies I grew up with!

I have never met a Greek pie I did not love and a quick browse of my recipes will show this. Tiropita, Prasopita (Greek Leek Pie), Kolokithopita (Greek Zucchini Pie), Hortopita (Greek Mixed Greens Pita), and sweet pites like Bougatsa all have a special place in my heart.

But we can’t talk about Greek pites without talking about the grand-daddy of them all, Spanakopita! Spanakopita was and always will be one of my favourite pies of all time. And with its popularity across the globe, I am clearly not alone.

Spanakopita slices stacked on a white platter.

Spanakopita (Greek Spinach and Feta Pie)

What is not to love about this golden, flaky pie stuffed full of spinach and cheesy goodness? It has a lot to offer the palate and the contrasting textures between the creamy filling and flaky filo layers are soul satisfying.

Hearing that satisfying crunch upon biting into a piece of spanakopita sends me to my happy place. You can be there too and you’ll be happy to learn that it doesn’t require any hard work at all!

A slice of spanakopita on a white plate.

The recipe I used today uses store-bought filo to make this pie quick and easy but if you want to use an authentic homemade filo crust, you can use my recipe from my Hortopita post instead.

So what are we waiting for? Let’s get started!

A square tray of golden brown spanakopita freshly baked.

Ingredients in Spanakopita

  • Spinach: fresh, chopped spinach is used in this recipe.

  • Onion: finely chopped onion is added to the filling for flavour.

  • Olive oil

  • Feta cheese: good quality Greek feta is recommended

  • Ricotta cheese: added for creaminess. Its mild flavour also helps offset the saltiness of feta cheese.

  • Eggs

  • Fresh herbs: parsley and dill

  • Seasoning: salt and pepper

  • Filo: about 10 sheets of filo if using store bought (for homemade filo, see my recipe in my Hortopita (Greek Mixed Greens Pita) post)

  • Butter: melted butter to brush between filo layers.

Note: Ingredient amounts and full instructions are in the recipe card at the end of this post.

Ingredients for Spanakopita on a marble countertop.

Making Spanakopita

1. Make the filling. Heat olive oil in a skillet and add the onion. Saute for a few minutes and then add the spinach in batches, stirring until it wilts. Remove from heat and transfer the spinach to a colander or sieve. 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.

Photo collage showing the steps for making spanakopita filling.

2. Arrange the bottom filo layers. 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.

3. Add the filling to the filo. Add the filling to the baking dish and spread it evenly.

4. Top with more filo layers. 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. 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.

5. Score slices: Gently score slices, but do not cut all the way through. (Think of it as if you are making dashed lines for each portion.)

6. Bake until golden brown. Bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes or until the filo turns a nice golden brown.

Photo collage showing the steps for assembling spanakopita.

Now you can slice all the way through and enjoy!

Closeup of the golden filo layers on top of a baked spanakopita.

Tips for making the best Spanakopita

  • Cover the filo when not using it: When you aren’t using it, filo should be covered with a damp, clean cloth to keep it from drying out when you aren’t using it.

  • Drain as much moisture as you can from the spinach. After wilting the spinach, try to press out as much water as you can. This will prevent the spinach from making your bottom filo layers soggy.

  • Sprinkle semolina: Another option for preventing soggy filo layers is to sprinkle semolina on the bottom filo layers before you add the filling on top. The semolina will absorb some of the moisture that is released while it bakes.

  • Use olive oil instead of butter: I opt for using butter between my filo layers because I love the buttery taste. That said, you can easily use heart-healthy olive oil instead.

  • Score slices for easy cutting: Before baking the spanakopita, score the slices with a sharp knife (think of it like making dotted lines where each slice will be cut). This will make it easier to cut the pita after without crushing the filo too much.
Closeup of cut slices of spanakopita in a pan.

Storing leftovers and reheating

Leftover slices can be placed in an airtight container and stored in the fridge for a few days.

To reheat spanakopita, place it on a baking sheet and warm in the oven at 350F until warmed through. Alternatively, you can heat it up in an air fryer. I do not recommend reheating in a microwave as that will result in soggy filo dough.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

-Cathy

3 stacked slices of spanakopita on a plate.

Post updated with new photographs and improved tips and instructions on August 19, 2022.

You may also like:

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup (Avgolemono Soup)
Traditional Greek Salad
Pressure-Cooker Chicken Youvetsi (Chicken and Orzo in Tomato Sauce)

Spanakopita slices stacked on a white platter.

Spanakopita

Herbs and Flour
Spanakopita is a popular Greek savoury pie made with spinach, feta, and herbs that are enveloped in a buttery filo crust that is baked until golden and flaky. This easy recipe makes the perfect vegetarian meal, snack or appetizer.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine Greek
Servings 8 slices
Calories 307 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Filling

  • 1 lb spinach fresh, chopped
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 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

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350F and brush a 12 inch quiche pan or baking dish with butter.
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet and add the onion. Saute for a few minutes until they begin to soften and then add the spinach in batches, stirring until it wilts.
  • Remove from heat and transfer the spinach to a colander or sieve. 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.
  • Gently score slices, but do not cut all the way through. (Think of it as if you are making dashed lines for each portion. After it is baked you will fully slice it but for now you are only scoring it. I use the tip of a knife and gently make small cuts to form the rough shape of each slice. Do not run your knife completely across the filo sheets to make full slices. If you run a knife through and completely cut each slice, the filo will begin to shrink into itself so avoid this.)
  • Bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes or until the filo turns a nice golden brown.

Nutrition

Calories: 307kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 11gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 558mgPotassium: 407mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 6020IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 235mgIron: 3mg
Keyword feta, feta cheese, filo, greek food, phyllo, spinach
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