Looking for an authentic and traditional Greek dish? Look no further than spanakopita, a savory greens pie that is filled with spinach, feta cheese, and wrapped in layers of crisp phyllo dough. This dish is the epitome of Greek cuisine, with its mix of fresh ingredients and classic flavors that have been passed down from generation to generation.
Spanakopita is not just another savory pie; it is a symbol of Greek hospitality, where every mouthful is filled with warmth, love, and hospitality. It’s a dish that can be served at any occasion, whether it’s a family gathering or a fiesta with friends. With its flaky layers and salty feta filling, this traditional Greek spinach pie will transport you all the way to Athens!
There are many variations of spanakopita, but we will be sharing the most authentic recipe. Our recipe contains a mixture of fresh spinach, wild greens such as dandelion leaves or Swiss chard, feta cheese, onions finely chopped with Greek herbs such as dried oregano and thyme for a bold flavor. All combined to make an irresistible filling that will thrill your taste buds.
We promise that this dish isn’t too complicated to make either! Our recipe is simple enough for amateurs yet detailed enough for seasoned bakers. Plus, once you acquire the techniques used in making this traditional dish like layering filo pastry sheets and how to make the perfect filling without making it too soggy then it will be easy breezy.
You don’t have to travel all the way to Greece to experience authentic Greek cuisine – Bring Greece to your home right now by trying out our delectable spanakopita recipe!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Spanakopita, a classic Greek savory pie recipe, is a mouth-watering dish that is sure to impress anyone who tastes it. One of the reasons why you’ll love this recipe is that it combines the best of both worlds: the crisp, flaky layers of phyllo dough with a delicious filling that’s packed with healthy greens and salty feta cheese.
But that’s not all; this spanakopita recipe has so much more to offer. With its mix of wild greens and herbs, plus a touch of lemon zest and juice, this traditional Greek dish is bursting with flavor that will tantalize your taste buds. The combination of dried thyme, dried oregano, and paprika in the filling creates an aromatic blend that gives a unique twist to the classic spinach and feta pie.
One great aspect of this recipe is its versatility. You can easily swap out some ingredients depending on what’s available in your kitchen or to suit your preferences. For instance, you can use winter greens such as Swiss chard or even frozen spinach instead of fresh spinach. You may also opt for puff pastry instead of phyllo dough for an equally delicious outcome.
Finally, as a bonus point, preparing the spanakopita pie is both easy and fun. It’s like wrapping a present, but instead of paper, you use crispy layers of phyllo dough filled with fresh spinach and salty feta cheese as well as other added ingredients like cooked rice (which adds texture) and seedless raisins (which provide bursts of sweetness). Assembling the pie may seem daunting at first since it involves dealing with delicate layers, but after a few minutes of practice following this recipe’s instruction how-to section, you’ll be on track to create perfect triangles filled with comforting goodness.
In conclusion, once you taste this authentic Greek-style dish expertly brought to your table using this recipe for spanakopita greek savory greens pie from Bon Appétit magazine, it isn’t hard to see why it became a classic Mediterranean meal staple renowned worldwide. From its aroma to its flavor profile all through to its easy preparation method and endless potential substitutions depending on your preferences or dietary restrictions- there truly are many reasons why you’ll love this spanakopita recipe!
Here are the essential ingredients you’ll need to make this traditional Greek Spanakopita recipe:
For the filling:
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 2 pounds spinach and/or mixed greens, finely diced (note: fresh or frozen spinach can be used)
- 1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup cooked rice
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup seedless raisins
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of paprika
- Pinch of dried thyme
- Pinch of dried oregano
For the phyllo pastry:
- 12 ounces phyllo dough
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
It’s important to have all the ingredients measured and prepped before beginning to cook easier and smoother.
The Recipe How-To
Before we begin, it’s important to make sure you have all the necessary ingredients. You’ll need 3 pounds of spinach or other leafy greens, 1 cup of crumbled feta cheese, 6 large eggs, 1/2 cup of cooked rice (preferably leftover), 1/4 cup of seedless raisins, 1/2 cup of water, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon dried thyme and 1 teaspoon dried oregano.
Step 1: Preparing the Filling
In a large pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add in 1/4 cup of olive oil and a large red onion that’s finely chopped. Sauté until the onion is soft and just beginning to caramelize. Add in your chosen mixed greens such as spinach and Swiss chard. If you’re using frozen spinach, thaw it ahead of time.
Season with 2 teaspoons of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Add in the paprika, thyme, and oregano . Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally if needed.
When finished, remove from heat and let cool down for at least 10 minutes.
Step 2: Mixing the Filling
In a separate bowl, whisk together 6 large eggs until slightly frothy . Then, pour them into your cooled greens mixture along with 1/2 cup of cooked rice and add more seasoning if needed.
Stir everything together making sure all ingredients are well combined.
Step 3: Preparing the Phyllo Dough
To prepare the phyllo dough you’ll need to melt half a cup of unsalted butter and brush it onto each layer.
Make sure to follow package instructions carefully when handling phyllo dough; it requires a delicate touch.
Step 4: Assembly Time!
Spread out your first layer of phyllo dough onto a greased baking sheet. Take another layer and gently lay it on top brushing with melted butter. Continue this process with another four layers.
It’s now time to add the filling over the sixth phyllo layer getting it even throughout the pastry sheet. Make sure to leave some empty space around the edges so that it will easier to fold later.
Then make another six layers on top putting melted butter between each one to stick them together.
Step 5: Baking Your Spanakopita
To bake your Greek Spinach Pie, preheat your oven at 375ºF degrees while placing the baking sheet in there for approximately an hour until done with crisp golden edges.
When finished cooking let is rest from everything for approximately 15 minutes before slicing into individual portions. Enjoy each slice with few leaves fresh spinach and some freshly squeezed lemon juice!
Substitutions and Variations
Don’t be afraid to get creative and make this spanakopita recipe your own! Here are some tips for substitutions and variations:
– Greens: Instead of spinach, try using Swiss chard or other leafy greens. You can also incorporate other winter greens for a twist on the classic Greek savory pie.
– Cheese: If you’re not a fan of feta cheese or are looking for a milder flavor, substitute ricotta cheese or cottage cheese instead. For a vegan option, try using a tofu-based feta alternative.
– Dough: Traditional spanakopita is made with filo pastry, but if you don’t have any on hand or prefer something different, you can use puff pastry instead. Just keep in mind that it will have a different texture than the flaky, crispy layers of filo.
– Nuts: To add extra crunch and nuttiness, consider adding pine nuts or chopped walnuts to the filling. You can also include seedless raisins for added sweetness.
– Spices: Experiment with different spices to bring out unique flavors in your Greek greens pie. Paprika, dried thyme, and dried oregano are classic choices, but you can also add cumin, coriander, or red pepper flakes to give it a spicy kick.
By mixing and matching these substitutions and variations, you can create your own take on this traditional Greek spinach pie recipe. Bon appétit!
Serving and Pairing
Once your delicious Spinach Pie is ready, it’s time to serve and pair this authentic Greek dish with the perfect accompaniments. Typically, Spanakopita is served as a main dish or as part of a larger meal with other Greek specialties.
This savory pie goes well with a variety of sides and sauces that complement the richness and flaky texture of the phyllo dough. For starters, fresh, crisp greens are a great choice and add a refreshing contrast to the savory depth of the pie.
In terms of other sides, consider pairing your Spanakopita with roasted vegetables like bell peppers, eggplants or zucchini. They bring out the earthy flavors of this traditional Greek dish while adding a splash of warm colors to your plate.
For sauces, tzatziki, made from yogurt seasoned with lemon juice and herbs like parsley and dill is a classic option for dipping your Spinach Pie. Alternatively, try topping it off with some hot or sweet chili sauce for a spicy kick.
When it comes to matching beverages, light and fresh choices like white wine or beer work well to balance out the richness of this hearty dish. A glass of Retsina – a traditional Greek wine with resin flavor notes – can also complement the salty feta cheese that’s used in the filling.
In conclusion, make sure you pair your Spanakopita with sides, sauces and beverages that enhance its unique flavor profile. Whether you’re serving it as lunch or dinner, these combinations will elevate your classic Greek Greens Pie recipe to another level.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Once you have prepared your heavenly Spanakopita pie, you may be wondering about storing and reheating. This dish is a great option for preparing in advance as you can serve it warm or at room temperature.
If you have any leftovers, place them in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. When reheating, it is better to use an oven instead of a microwave to keep the pastry crispy. Simply remove from the fridge and let it come to room temperature before popping it into a preheated oven at 325°F for approximately 10 minutes.
However, if you’re planning on making this dish ahead of time, you can pop it in the freezer for up to 1 month. Before freezing, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and then wrap again with aluminum foil. Place it in the freezer and when ready to serve, take it out of the freezer and let thaw to room temperature before reheating following the instructions above.
It’s also worth noting that Phyllo pastry tends to get soggy over time due to its thin nature. We recommend storing the filling mixture separately, so you can quickly assemble right before baking. By doing this, you will ensure that pastry stays crisp and doesn’t become unpleasantly mushy.
With these make-ahead and storage tips, you can be assured that your Spanakopita pie will remain just as delicious as the day you made it!
Tips for Perfect Results
Making spanakopita is not rocket science, but there are a few tips that can help you achieve the perfect balance of flavors and textures. Here are some recommendations from my experience as a baker that will surely enhance your spanakopita recipe:
1. Use high-quality feta cheese
The salty feta cheese is the star ingredient in this recipe, so it’s important to use high-quality feta cheese for a more authentic Greek taste. Look for firm feta cheese that crumbles easily and has a tangy flavor.
2. Thoroughly drain the spinach
To prevent your spanakopita from becoming soggy, make sure you drain the spinach completely. You can use a cheesecloth, fork or hands to extract moisture from the leaves. Squeeze the spinach firmly until it’s as dry as possible.
3. Brush phyllo dough with butter and olive oil
For flaky layers, brush each sheet of phyllo dough with a mixture of melted butter and olive oil. This will give your spanakopita a crispy texture that complements the filling.
4. Don’t skimp on herbs and spices
The herbs and spices are what give spanakopita its distinctive flavor, so make sure you use them generously. Traditional Greek herbs like oregano and thyme add depth and complexity to the dish.
5. Cut the pie before baking
Cutting the unbaked pie into squares or diamonds before baking makes serving much easier and reduces the risk of breaking the delicate phyllo dough layers.
6. Add extra crunch with nuts or cornmeal
For an additional crunch, sprinkle chopped nuts (such as almonds or walnuts) or cornmeal between the layers of phyllo dough.
7. Keep leftover phyllo dough moist
Phyllo dough dries out quickly, so keep it covered with a damp towel while working with it to prevent cracking.
Follow these tips and you’ll have perfectly crisp and savory spanakopita every time!
In summary, Spanakopita is a mouth-watering Greek savory pie that has been enjoyed for generations. With its flaky layers of crisp phyllo that are filled with spinach and salty feta, Spanakopita is a staple in Greek households and beyond. This traditional recipe is easy to make and can be customized to your liking, allowing you to experiment with different greens or cheeses.
Whether you are looking to impress your guests at a dinner party or just want to treat yourself to a delicious meal, Spanakopita is the perfect choice. So gather your ingredients and get ready to take a culinary journey to Greece with this authentic recipe. You won’t regret it!
So, take my advice and give this spanakopita recipe a try. You’ll love the way it tastes, and your family and friends will be impressed by your culinary skills. Besides, who wouldn’t love flaky layers of crispy phyllo dough filled with spinach and feta? Trust me, this dish won’t disappoint!
Spanakopita (Greek Greens Pie ) Recipe
- 1 (17 ounce) package thawed phyllo dough
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 lb spinach (fresh or frozen)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lemon, juice and zest of, grated
- 1 1/2 cups coarse diced onions
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons seedless raisins
- 2 eggs
- 24 ounces feta cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Cook spinach til tender; drain, lightly squeeze out excess water and place in med bowl. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice and rind to spinach; mix well. Set aside.
- Saute onions with spices in 2 tbsp olive oil until onions are transparent. Stir in rice, water and raisins; heat through. Set aside.
- In separate bowl, beat eggs lightly with pepper. Add feta cheese and mix well. Set aside.
- In a 9" oiled deep pie pan, lay one sheet of phyllo on the bottom of the pan and brush entire surface with melted butter. Top with 7 more sheets, one by one, brushing each and rotating each sheet 20 degrees. There will be over-hang.
- Over that, carefully layer the onion mixture, then the spinach, then the cheese.
- Cover with a top 'crust' of phyllo by repeating same procedure as step 4: Eight sheets, each brushed with butter and rotated.
- Roll-up the overhanging dough to form a seal. Brush top with melted butter.
- Bake 350 degrees, for 1/2 hour. Lay a piece of foil over top and continue to bake for another 1/2 hour or until done.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before eating.
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Steven is a chef by heritage, so it’s no wonder why baking is such a big part of who he is. To share his passion for all things sweet, he created cookiesncrepes.com. It’s the perfect platform to indulge in delicious treats, all with a sprinkle of his signature flare.