My version of the traditional Greek Spanakopita (Spinach & Feta) Pie has been one of my family’s absolute favorite recipes for many years, and one I guarantee that you’ll love too.
My Spanakopita pie is delicious served hot or cold anytime – for dinner, lunch or brunch – and with just a simple side salad of eg: lettuce, red onion, spring onions, tomatoes, cucumber etc, but for special occasions (…such as on very hot Australian Christmas day family lunches) I always like to serve it accompanied with a wide range of salad dishes – I usually serve it with:
A Potato Salad, Pasta Salad, a simple Greek-Style salad tossed with my “Karen’s Super-Easy Salad Dressing“, and my “French Tomato side salad” and “Karen’s French Egg Rice Salad” (yes, I know they are French salad dishes!, but they are magnificent served with this Greek pie).
My Spanakopita Pie recipe differs slightly from any of the traditional Greek Spanakopita recipes that I’ve tasted, but I think you will like it :-).
This Spanakopita pie recipe stores very well, and if kept wrapped and sealed in the refrigerator it will keep for at least 4-5 days, or it can be frozen & stored for much longer – for frozen Spanakopita Pie oven reheat: cut into individual servings and wrap in foil & freeze, then slowly reheat in the oven. For microwave oven frozen Spanakopita Pie reheat: cut into individual servings, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. Reheat in microwave for about 1-2 minutes on high. For best results when microwaving, place the pie in a hot conventional oven for 5 minutes before serving, to crisp up the pastry again.
- 500g Frozen Spinach
- 1 kilo Fresh Raw Spinach or Silver-beet, washed very well & the stems trimmed off, and then roughly chopped up. Steam or lightly fry before adding to the egg mixture
- 3- 4 Onions, diced into small pieces (Optional: You can lightly saute / fry the onions in a small amount of olive oil before adding to the mixture, if you prefer. If so, add the chopped garlic to the onions once they are cooked and stir well, to bring out the aroma of the garlic….)
- 3-6 Fresh Garlic Cloves, finely chopped or crushed.
- 8-10 Free Range Eggs.
- 500g (approx) Feta Cheese – cut up into small cubes (or crushed up into small pieces). A Low-Fat Feta variety is fine to use.
- 3-4 cups Grated Cheddar Cheese (vegetarian non-animal rennet).
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or add to taste).
- 1 X 375g packet Greek Filo Pastry, (thawed to room temperature).
- 1/4 cup (approx.) Olive Oil.
- (Optional) 1-2 tablespoons Sesame Seeds.
IMPORTANT!!! : DO NOT ADD SALT! – THERE WILL USUALLY BE MORE THAN ENOUGH SALT WITHIN THE FETA & CHEDDAR CHEESES.
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (conventional ovens) or 160 degrees Celsius for fan-forced ovens.
- Defrost frozen spinach in a microwave until thawed, then put aside ready to use (takes about 8-14 minutes on defrost setting, depending on your microwave). If you don’t have a microwave you could defrost it in a saucepan over a low heat.
- Whilst the spinach is defrosting, prepare the filo pastry: Place one sheet of Filo pastry on a dry, clean surface or board (or on greaseproof paper is ideal), and then brush the surface roughly with a small amount of the olive oil. Place another sheet on top and continue the process until HALF of the filo pastry is oiled & layered together. Line the bottom of a (lightly oiled) baking dish with your prepared Filo pastry. Then repeat the same process with the remaining half of the Filo pastry, and put it aside, (ready to use for the top of the pie).
- Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add the pepper, garlic, Chopped Onions, Feta cheese and Cheddar Cheese, and mix until combined.
- Once spinach is thawed, drain off any excess liquid and add to the egg mixture. Stir well.
- Pour the egg mixture into the filo-lined baking dish.
- Top with the other half of the prepared filo pastry, and seal the edges by folding them over neatly.
- Lightly brush the top of the pie with olive oil.
- (Optional) Cut across the top of the pie in diagonal lines with a very sharp knife, to create diamond-shaped pieces. I like to do this because I find it’s much easier than trying to do it later once the pasty is cooked and somewhat brittle, (plus it also helps during the cooking process when testing the pie to see if it’s cooked through properly…)
- (Optional) Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top of the pie.
- Place the Spanakopita Pie in the oven & cook for (approx.) – Conventional oven for about 30-45 minutes – Fan forced oven for about 25-35 minutes
- Spanakopita pie is cooked once it is golden brown on top and the filling is set / firm in the middle when cut with a sharp knife. Do not under-cook this pie (….or any pie with a egg mixture / egg fillings for that matter…) or you could risk food poisoning. Egg mixtures MUST always be cooked until firm.
- Sometimes I will saute the onions before adding them to the egg mixture, if time permits, as I always prefer sauteed to raw onions, but using raw onions is also fine and it is nice either way.
- If I was using raw spinach (or if I didn’t have a microwave to thaw the frozen spinach in..) then I’d sauteed the onions in a saucepan with a little olive oil and then add the fresh or frozen spinach to the onions and cook them over a low heat until wilted / thawed.