Spanakopita (Greek Pie) recipe!
Spanakopita is one of my favourites and I have been slowly trying to figure out how to perfect this savoury greek pie, packed full of spinach and feta cheese for some time! I love the crispy thin layers of filo pastry, and biting into this pie, always provides a flaky indulgent treat. It is great for lunch or as a side dish. Similar pies can be found in other parts of Europe but for me the Greek version is the best!
I have tried making spanakopita in the past but it turned out pretty bland. I needed to give it another go but this time I asked a Greek friend for help. Using her recipe in combination with a couple of online recipes allowed me to make this much improved version of Spanakopita. I think it was pretty damn good but once we are fully out of lockdown, I will give it another go and get a proper review!
*Skip to the end for the recipe
The key to a successful spanakopita!
PASTRY: Filo (Phyllo) pastry is essential to a successful Spanakopita. I used a roll of store bought pastry with approximately 12 sheets but if you have the energy make your own.
SPINACH: You need a large amount of spinach. I used one 900 g bag of frozen spinach. It was slowly thawed at room temperature and squeezed well between my hands to ensure all the moisture was out of the spinach. You want to get your hands involved here.
FETA: I used normal feta cheese from Tesco but I imagine this is the kind of thing where quality feta would make a real difference. Make sure you don't over season with salt because feta is pretty damn salty.
HERBS: I used a mixture of fresh dill and mint with dried oregano (I could not find any fresh stuff). This really helps pack in the flavour.
EGGS: Binding agent to bring everything together.
OLIVE OIL: Don't skimp on the olive oil in this dish. It ensures you get that truly golden, flaky pie.
Step by step!
You want to start by frying your onion in 1 tbsp olive oil with leeks (I had none so used an onion instead). Fry the onions until they are soft then stir in the spring onions. I then added the softened onion mix into a bowl along with all the other fillings ingredients (spinach, feta, herbs, eggs, olive oil, lemon zest and nutmeg). Mix well using your hands to get everything well combined.
Brush a 9 x13 inch baking tin with olive oil. I started the pie by placing two thin filo sheets in the tin and brushing the top sheet liberally with olive oil, before adding another two sheets and repeating until I ended up with 6 sheets. I am unsure why I did every 2 layers. I think every layer should be brushed with oil.
SPREAD your filling evenly on your oiled filo sheets.
Cover with the remaining 6 sheets, spreading oil between every 2 layers as before. Spread oil on the top layer to give that golden glaze.
BAKE! Mine took around 45 mins.
SLICE! This makes 8 large pieces or 12 smaller ones. I wanted big pieces of course!
Verdict: This was such a tasty slice of spanakopita. I really enjoyed it and it was a major improvement on my previous attempts. I think it had a bit too much dill for my liking so I would tone that down next time but apart from that I was pretty pleased. The best part of this tray bake was that there was plenty of leftovers. I am a bit unorthodox and love eating spanakopita for breakfast. Starting every day with a slice made the rest of the week great!
Makes 8 large or 12 small pieces
Prep: 30 mins, Baking: 45 mins
Filo (Phyllo) pastry - 1 pack (250 g)
900g-1kg Frozen spinach (Thawed and well-drained)
1 Onion or leek
4 Spring onions
300 g Feta Cheese (Crumbled)
30 g Dill (Fresh)
20 g Mint (Fresh)
1 tsp Dried Oregano
Zest of 1 lemon
Nutmeg (freshly grated)
300 g Feta Cheese
Pinch of Salt and Pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C and brush a 9 x13 inch tin with oil
Thaw the spinach and squeeze out as much water as possible
Fry the onion in 1 tbsp of olive oil until they become soft, then stir in the spring onions
Put this onion mix into a large bowl, then add the spinach, feta cheese, dill, mint and dried oregano, 2 eggs and a bit of olive oil.
Add the lemon zest and grated nutmeg
Use your hands to make sure the filling is well combined
Season with salt and pepper
Line your first filo pastry sheet and brush with oil.
Repeat until you have used half your sheets
Then fill with your spinach and cheese mix, and spread evenly
Cover with filo sheets and brush oil between every layer
Fold any overhanging pastry inwards at this point
Bake in the oven for 35-40 mins, or until the top is golden
Cool slightly before cutting and serving. Enjoy!