You might not have heard the name Spanakopita often, but you probably know what it is anyway. If you’ve ever been to Greece or any other Mediterenean country, you’ve probably seen it at the bakeries. Spanakopita is a Greek phyllo-dough spinach pie. You can use all kinds of other ingredients for the filling too, but spinach and feta cheese are the ones that are used most often. As a vegetarian, Spanakopita is one of my favorite dishes when I’m in Greece.
When I was in the Greek region Pelion, I took a cooking course at Karaiskos Farm. One of the dishes we made was the Greek pie Spanakopita. On this page I’m sharing the recipe for Spanakopita that I’ve learned there.
We made the phyllo dough for the Spanakopita ourselves, you can find the recipe for home made phyllo dough here. But you can also use store bought phyllo dough for this Spanakopita recipe.
You start by cutting all the vegetables and by putting everything for the filling in a big bowl. Not only the vegetables, but also the eggs and feta cheese. You can just use your hands to mix everything.
After you’ve made the phyllo dough, you’ll add three layers to a pie tin. Make sure to use enough olive oil in between each layer. When you’ve covered it with 3 layers, you can put the filling on top.
After that you top it with two more layers of phyllo dough. You don’t want the top layers to be smooth, you want them to be wrinkled. You can accomplish this by rolling the phyllo dough around a baking pin and move the pin from left to right while you unfold the dough from the baking pin.
And I learned a great trick at Karaiskos Farm to make the best Spanakopita crust. You might have already expected that you drizzle some olive oil on top of the last layer. But the trick is to also spray a bit of water on top. With a brush you can evenly mix the water and olive oil mixture over the top.
After that you cut the crust in the amount of pieces of your desire. Just cut the top layer, not all they way through.
400 grams fresh spinach
200 grams Chard (or extra spinach)
1 red pepper
2 handfuls of parsley, dill, peppermint and/or fennel
1/2 cup Tarhana (or rice, barley or couscous)
1-2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
200 grams Greek feta cheese
5 sheets phyllo dough
Salt/pepper to taste
Wash and chop all the vegetables, onions and herbs. Place the chopped spinach, chard, leek, pepper, onions and herbs in a large bowl. Crumble the feta and add to the mixture. Crack the eggs open above the bowl. Add a fair amount of olive oil and the tarhana or another grain. Use your hands to mix well.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Grease a pie tin with olive oil. Add 1 phyllo sheet, drizzle with olive oil and top it with another phyllo sheet. Drizzle with olive oil again and add the 3rd sheet. Add the filling and divide it evenly over the tray. Top it with another phyllo sheet, make sure that it’s wrinkled. Drizzle with olive oil and add the last phyllo sheet, wrinkled again. Use the dough that hangs out of the tin to fold it inward to make a crust. Sprinkle the spanakopita with some olive oil and spray a bit of water over it.
Divide the spanakopita into parts with a knife. This only has to go through the top layers of phyllo sheets.
Bake the spanakopita at 180°C for 60 minutes. The spinach pie is ready when the crust is golden brown.