Spanakopita Recipe for Beginners | a healthy recipe big on Flavour

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Spanakopita is a popular greek savoury pie of primarily spinach, herbs and feta cheese encased in sheets of phyllo dough.  This recipe has been adapted to use commercial phyllo dough that you can find at your supermarket.  It is easy, healthy and big on that Mediterranean flavour.

I made this recipe for my non-greek followers who saw me post photos of spanakopita with home-made pastry.  Their feedback was they would very much like to make it, but they did not think they were ready to make spanakopita with home-made filo.  

This Spinach phyllo pie makes for a tasty light lunch or dinner, or cut into triangles or squares and served on a platter it makes for a great accompaniment to Chicken, lamb and salad dishes.

You could also use puff pastry for this recipe which also gives a lovely result.   Head over to tips, for advice on how to adapt the recipe to use puff pastry instead.

Using only feta cheese ( not the smooth and soft variety but the greek-style which is harder and drier in texture ) will give you a good result, and use a blend of feta, ricotta and a cheese with bite like Italian pecorino, parmesan or Greek Kefalograviera –  you won’t regret it.

A large quantity of fresh silverbeet is required here.  Many readers ask me if it is ok to use frozen spinach.  I’ll be honest, I would never use frozen spinach at home and so I would never tell you it is ok to use it.  The key here is the fresh, bold flavours, and if you would like to re-create the real thing fresh spinach will have to be it.

Everyone knows spanakopita, but what is my ultimate favourite is making a hortopita ( χωρτοπιτα ) otherwise known as a wild greens pie.  This topic will be reserved for another blog post.

 

Spanakopita Recipe for Beginners | a healthy recipe big on Flavour
Yield: 12 pieces

Spanakopita Recipe for Beginners | a healthy recipe big on Flavour

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Spanakopita is a popular greek savoury pie of primarily spinach, herbs and feta cheese encased in sheets of phyllo dough.  This recipe has been adapted to use commercial phyllo dough that you can find at your supermarket.  It is easy, healthy and big on that Mediterranean flavour.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch ( 1 kilo ) Fresh Silverbeet
  • 1/4 cup fresh finely chopped dill
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup mint finely chopped
  • 6 spring onions finely copped
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 packet fresh phyllo pastry
  • 1/2 cup butter for basting
  • 250g greek style feta cheese
  • 1 cup parmesan, pecorino or greek kefalograviera.
  • 250g ricotta cheese
  • 4 eggs

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Wash leaves of silverbeet and drain well.
  3. Trim roots and stem of silverbeet. Shred the silverbeet leaves and set aside.
  4. Chop the herbs finely.
  5. Saute shallots and silverbeet in an oiled pan. Set aside. Allow to cool before adding into baking dish.
  6. Roughly mash the feta with a fork, and mix through greated sharp cheese and ricotta. Add the eggs, season to taste.
  7. Lightly oil your baking dish, approximately 20 x 30 x 6 cms.
  8. Lay your phyllo out onto a work surface, keep it covered with a damp cloth to prevent the phyllo from drying out.
  9. Lay filo onto baking dish, and brush with butter. Lay another sheet and also brush with butter. Do this for six sheets.
  10. Gently mix the silverbeet and herb mixture with the cheese and egg mixture. Pour over the filo sheets.
  11. Lay with remaining sheets of filo in the same fashion as the base.
  12. Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes. Turn the dish around to ensure it cooks through evenly. The sheets of filo pastry should be a light golden brown.
  13. Cover with foil if it is overbrowning. Cool on a rack and cut into squares or triangles.
  14. Serve.

Notes

Filo Pastry

If you can find Antoniou Fillo Pastry ( Thicker Fillo sheets ) at your supermarket or specialist store, this kind would be the preferred filo to use ( if your in Australia ). Click on the link in recommended products below. Have also listed alternative brands that you could use, if you cannot find this one.

In fact, in the picture on that particular occasion have used the typical paper thin store bought filo.

When handling filo, keep it covered underneath a damp cloth. Filo tends to dry out in the air very quickly and will fall apart when handled.

Puff Pastry

As a variation you can use puff pastry. Allow the sheet to thaw, butter your deep dish, place puff pastry on dish and pierce with a fork. Bake in a fan forced oven for 15 minutes. If you don't do this, your pie will be soggy. Pat the partially cooked pastry down, as it will have risen. Then add your prepared filling and top layer with another sheet of puff pastry, Baste with butter or olive oil, and bake in a fan forced over for a further 35 - 40 minutes. ( this will vary depending on size of your dish).

Home made Fillo

I just love using home made phyllo pastry sheets, and for a purist like me, nothing really replaes the texture and taste of homemade filo. I would recommend following this recipe and making your spanakopita with store bought filo first. When your confident, follow the link making phyllo and learning how to roll out to dough to thin sheets overview, and use your home-made fillo to make spanakopita.

Cheese

Using only feta cheese ( not the smooth and soft variety but the greek style which is harder and drier in texture ) will give you a good result, but if you could stay motivated at this point with the recipe and use the cheeses listed above you won't regret it.

So feta, ricotta, pecorino or greek kefalograviera for best results.

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olivesandfeta
Average rating:  
 1 reviews
by bibush on olivesandfeta

I used the slightly thicker filo as you recommended and I very much like that one. The filling was superb. Can't wait to try your vegan spanakopita next time.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. foodinbooks says:

    That looks so good! I love spanakopita and have yet to try it on my own, but your method makes it look simple. I presume silverbeet is a type of spinach? I like your advice to not use frozen spinach…….the times I’ve used it in baking, it is so soggy that it ruins the pastry. I could use a large quantity of fresh spinach, I would assume? Anyway, thank you for sharing. Anything wrapped in phyllo dough is a favorite with me!

    1. If you Google Silverbeet you will find it is simply another word for chard. You will need alot more spinach than Silverbeet.

  2. Mom Fairy: Fashion Fitness and Fun says:

    I’ve always wanted to know how to make this! Thank you!

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