This easy spanokopita is a Greek spinach pie. Think flaky golden filo dough filled with a feta and ricotta spinach mixture. The crunchy exterior gives way to the tastiest creamy interior. Everyone who tried this had seconds!
Easy Spanokopita- Greek Spinach Pie. What is it?
It’s a Greek savory pie, filled with feta cheese and spinach, onions or spring onions, and usually eggs to thicken. This is where I used ricotta instead, to give creaminess to the feta and also enhance the flavor. It’s always baked in filo pastry, but the shape differs. You can find spanokopita spirals, sheet pies, and this lovely one pictured.
Breakdown of the ingredients:
The filling is composed of:
A sautéed red onion
Thawed frozen spinach. Make sure to thoroughly drain this- press as much water out of it as you can so that the filling doesn’t make the pastry soggy.
Toasted Pine nuts- not typically used, but I love toasted nuts in anything, and they go perfectly in the filling.
And to encase the lovely filling we use:
Filo Dough this comes from the freezer section of supermarkets. Thaw before use, and see more tips for using filo dough below.
Olive Oil most spanokopita recipes use melted butter to brush over the filo layers, but I feel a lot better about my waistline using olive oil here. It was an experiment and it worked! The layers were so light and still turned the perfect golden brown crispy color. Not to mention, the flavor of olive oil is spot on with this Mediterranean dish.
Easy Spanokopita- How to work with filo dough:
Everyone says it’s really hard to work with filo dough. I didn’t find it to be that difficult. This is probably due to the nature of this recipe, where the filo is sort of arranged and scrunched around the filling in a messy manner. Here’s some tips to keep in mind:
The Filo dough should be thawed, but still cool. I’d recommend thawing for overnight in the fridge (in the closed box) , but I thawed mine for a few hours before using and it still worked out great.
Filo dough dries out very quickly, so while assembling, lay a damp kitchen towel over the opened pack of dough.
Don’t panic if your dough tears. You can just use another sheet, or still use the torn sheet in one of the upper layers.
Brush each two layers dough thoroughly with olive oil. The olive oil is what will get the layers to crisp up the oven.
Assembling your Greek Spinach Pie:
In a large baking pan lined with parchment paper, place two sheets of filo dough vertically from top to bottom. Brush all over with olive oil. Place two sheets horizontally from left to right, and brush with olive oil. This is like the shape of a + sign.
Now, place two sheets of olive oil diagonally from the top left of the pan to the bottom right, and brush with olive oil. Place two sheets of filo pastry from the top right of the pan to the bottom left and brush with olive oil. This is in the shape of an X. Keep going until you’ve finished 16 filo sheets in the shape of a rough star. Heap the spinach feta filling in the middle of this.
Now scrunch the edges of the filo pastry towards the center of the filling, in a messy heaped sort of shape like in the photo below. Brush the edges of this with olive oil, then you are ready to bake!
The Pomegranate Molasses Honey Glaze:
This is the cherry on top of the greek spinach pie. I love the tanginess and sweetness that a little of the glaze drizzled on top of the finished pie offers. It’s as simple as whisking together two parts honey to one part pomegranate molasses. You can try using balsamic vinegar instead of the pomegranate molasses, or leave this out entirely.
Making ahead and storing:
You can prepare the pie in it’s entirety, wrap well and keep it in the fridge overnight before baking the next day.
Leftovers should be stored in the fridge and still taste delicious heated in the oven 2-3 days later.
You can even freeze the whole pie before baking, store well wrapped in the freezer for 3-4 months. Thaw overnight, and bake as directed (might have to add a few more minutes of total baking time).
Easy Spanokopita (Greek Spinach and Feta Pie)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 200 g feta cheese 8 oz
- 100 g ricotta cheese 1/2 cup
- 400 g frozen spinach, thawed and thoroughly drained 14 oz, small bag
- 2 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- pinch nutmeg
- 16 filo dough sheets from one box of filo pastry, thawed
- 1/2 cup olive oil
For the pomegranate molasses honey glaze:
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- Preheat the oven to 200 C (425 F)
- In a small skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and once hot add the diced onion. Cook until soft and translucent 3-5 min, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, stir together the feta, ricotta, spinach, toasted pine nuts, oregano, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cooked onion until thoroughly combined. Set filling mixture aside.
- In a large baking pan lined with parchment paper, place two sheets of filo dough vertically from top to bottom. Brush all over with olive oil. Place two sheets horizontally from left to right, and brush with olive oil. This is like the shape of a + sign.
- Now, place two sheets of olive oil diagonally from the top left of the pan to the bottom right, and brush with olive oil. Place two sheets of filo pastry from the top right of the pan to the bottom left and brush with olive oil. This is in the shape of an X.
- Repeat the entire process one more time (top to bottom, left to right, then an x). Each time you place two sheets of filo dough down, you have to brush them thoroughly with olive oil. You'll end up with a rough star shape.
- Place the spinach feta filling in a circular shape in the middle of the star.
- Scrunch the edges of the filo dough towards the filling, leaving most of the filling exposed, just like the picture shows. Brush these scrunched up edges thoroughly with olive oil.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. While it's baking, you can prepare the pomegranate molasses honey glaze.
For the glaze:
- Mix together the honey and pomegranate molasses until combined. Use this for drizzling over the pie when it's out of the oven.
- Serve the spanokopita warm or at room temperature, with extra glaze for whoever wants it.
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