spanakopita from weelicious.comPin

This recipe hails from Greece, but the inspiration for it actually came from my cousin in Kentucky. She always sends me suggestions for recipes based on foods her boys love and believe it or not, Spanakopita is one of them. Spanakopita is a savory Greek pastry comprised of flaky phyllo dough filled with spinach and feta cheese. The phyllo can be homemade, but it’s a time intensive process that is unnecessary since you can purchase quality prepared phyllo in the freezer section of your grocery. Spanakopita is a fun lunch, snack or dinner choice for your family because little kids can hold the individual servings in their hands and they are easy to eat.

I played around with this recipe a lot, worrying that it might be too involved compared with most of the simple recipes featured on weelicious, but once you get the hang of making them, it only takes minutes. And in my opinion, they’re worth it. I made this for dinner the other night with Kenya and he loved getting to stir the filling as I layered the phyllo and rolled the Spanakopita into triangles. An added bonus is that this recipe freezes beautifully, so you can store half of what you make now and just pop it into the oven on the nights you don’t have time to cook.

Whether you’re making this dish in Athens, Georgia or Athens, Greece, your family will definitely love you for it!

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Spanakopita

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Author: Catherine McCord
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients  

  • 1 10 oz Block Chopped Frozen Spinach, thawed and drained well (I drained it once in a fine mesh strainer and then once again, squeezing it in a towel to remove any excess moisture)
  • 1/2 Cup feta cheese
  • 1 Cup Ricotta Cheese (you can use either part skim or whole milk ricotta)
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1/2 Tsp kosher salt
  • 1 package phyllo dough, defrosted
  • 1 4 ounce stick unsalted butter, melted

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Place the first 5 ingredients into a bowl and mix.
  • Gently place one sheet of phyllo on a work surface and brush gently with melted butter (while you work, make sure the remaining phyllo dough is covered with a damp towel because it dries out quickly).
  • Place another sheet of phyllo on top and brush with more butter.
  • Add a third sheet of phyllo to the top of the stack, giving you a total of 3 layers (no need to brush the top with butter).
  • Cut the buttered stack into 3 lengthwise strips (each about 12 inches long and 3 inches wide).
  • Take one strip and put 1 tbsp of filling near the corner nearest to you, then fold corner over to form a triangle.
  • Continue folding over, like a flag, keeping a triangle shape.
  • Place the stuffed triangles, seam side down, onto a silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet and lightly brush the tops with butter.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Cool and serve.
  • *I like to bake half of the Spanakopita and freeze the other half. To do this, after step 9, freeze the triangles on the baking sheet for one hour until solid, then place triangles in a zipper bag and freeze for up to four months. When you’re ready to cook them, continue with step 10. No need to defrost before baking.

Nutrition

Sodium: 140mg | Cholesterol: 5mg | Calories: 60kcal | Fat: 2g | Protein: 3g | Carbohydrates: 7g
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About the Author

Catherine is a mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.

Comments

  1. I can say that I’m of Greek heritage, and have learned to make phillo from scratch (you don’t roll it paper-thin, but instead the layers are inside a ball), but my dad just told me that he’s switched to using frozen puff pastry in place of the phillo and likes it even better! Could be a good way to make a recipe like this less labor-intensive for hard-pressed parents.

  2. My greek friend and I made these for a family party one time. 100s of spanikopita, but so deliciously worth it! We make ours with cream cheese instead of ricotta-it’s a creamier texture that is more kid friendly and just tastes better! Try it! Just do not use fat free because it doesn’t melt. As for vildan’s question–you’re freezing the spinach and then cooking it! The heat from the oven would kill anything that would grow, but you should be fine anyways as long as you don’t leave them sitting out for a long time before freezing.

  3. This was sort of an epic failure. I was able to make 6 or so, but that’s about it. I didn’t understand how to fold the phyllo and I couldn’t figure out how to use the phyllo without it breaking a part. The ones that I did bake came out tasty, but this was a little too difficult for me. Would love to see a video on how to do this.

  4. I found this for those who are having trouble!
    Variation: Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking pan, and spread 6 sheets of filo, brushing each with butter, on the bottom. Spoon the spinach filling over the filo, then cover with 6 more sheets of filo, buttering each sheet. Score the top 3 sheets with a sharp knife. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until top is golden, let stand 15 minutes, then cut into squares and serve warm.

    Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/spanakopita-spinach-triangles-or-pie-recipe.html?oc=linkback

  5. I saw it on The Chew. This guest used a bunt cake pan to make a very beautiful spanikopita pie. It slices beautifully if you are wanting to make the invidividual pieces. I have a mini bunt cake sheet pan that I’m going to use to make individual “pies”.

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