How to make THE BEST spanakopita

If you have not tried Spanakopita before, you’re in for a treat! Spanakopita is a delicious savory Greek pie made of perfectly crispy layers of phyllo dough and a comforting filling of spinach and feta cheese. I’m sharing my family’s favorite spanakopita recipe, complete with tips, video, and step-by-step photos. Trust me, this is so much easier to make than you think!

Spanakopita makes a great side dish for large holiday dinners next to lamb or lemon chicken. But it can easily stand alone as the main dish. Serve it with a big salad like Greek salad; Balela; or this Mediterranean chickpea salad, and favorite dips like Greek Tzatziki or Roasted Garlic Hummus.

What is Spanakopita?
My little one describes spanakopita this way, “yummy, crispy cheese pie with lots of green stuff!”

Spanakopita is a popular Greek savory pie made of perfectly flaky phyllo dough with a comforting filling of spinach and feta cheese nestled in. If you’re not familiar with phyllo dough, it is basically layered sheets of tissue-thin pastry dough, typically found in the freezer section next to things like pie crust and puff pastry.

Spanakopita can be made in a large casserole dish like in today’s recipe, or in the form of hand pies shaped in triangles or even rolls.

When I was at an Atlanta-area Greek festival a few weeks ago, my daughter’s lunch of choice was a piece of spanakopita and a side of Greek salad. Luckily, she allowed me a taste; it was heavenly! I ended up chatting with the woman behind the lavish lunch, her name was Yiayia Helen. We discussed family recipes and shared spanakopita lessons and tips…

Tips for How to Make Spanakopita
1. What is in the spanakopita filling?
The key filling ingredients in a classic spanakopita recipe are spinach and feta cheese. And yes, only use quality feta cheese, no other cheese qualifies for spanakopita.

To the spinach and feta, we add flavor makers in the form of fresh herbs and aromatics. I used two whole bunches of parsley (parsley stems pack a ton of flavor, by the way, so don’t be afraid to throw some in) Then, onions, garlic and a little dry dill weed.

2. Do I need to cook the spinach in advance?
You need a good amount of spinach in this recipe, so using frozen spinach is the way to go. In this easy spanakopita recipe, frozen spinach–fully thawed, of course–is mixed right in with the remaining filling ingredients, no advanced cooking necessary.

But one thing you must do, be sure to drain all liquid from the thawed spinach. I ended up squeezing the spinach by hand a few times until it could no longer produce any liquid. If you do use fresh spinach, you will need to cook it with the onions and garlic, drain, and let cool completely before mixing the filling.

3. The Phyllo
Golden, crispy phyllo pastry, encasing the soft spinach filling is really what spanakopita is all about! Quality of phyllo (fillo) dough can make or break the recipe! I am a big fan of organic dough from The Fillo Factory. It’s vegan and contains no preservatives; no cholesterol; and no trans fat. And be sure follow the tips below for best results.

Ingredients:
•1 egg
•125 ml (half a cup) of milk
•125ml (3/5 cup) vegetable oil
•2 tablespoons of water
•1 teaspoon of salt
•Spinach feta salt pepper
3 rolls of filo dough
•poppy seed
•1 egg yolk

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