Spinach Feta Filo Pie
This impressive looking Spinach and Feta Filo Pie (also known as Spanakopita) is the perfect recipe to make for a vegetarian main course for a special occasion, a holiday or Sunday supper. Even though the show-stopping crispy and flaky crust looks complicated, it is actually quite simple to prepare. Everyone loves the spinach and feta filling with fresh mint, parsley and spices. Read on to see the step-by-step photos and a video showing how to make this foolproof recipe for the Greek classic.
Why We Love This Spinach and Feta Filo Pie
It’s no secret spinach is one of our favorite leafy vegetables! Steamed, sautéed, or raw; anyway, it’s prepared we find it utterly delicious. But have you ever tried spinach in a savory pie? When baked with sauteed onions and garlic, tangy feta cheese, fresh mint, parsley, and spices it creates one stellar combo!
Spinach Feta Filo Pie, also known as spanakopita, is a tried and true classic that never fails to stop the show! With beautiful golden crust and crispy layers, it looks too good to eat! But trust us, you need to try this recipe; you are in for a treat!
This savory Greek dish is layered with perfectly flaky and crisp layers of filo dough and then stuffed with healthy, comforting, and hearty spinach and feta cheese filling.
If you feel intimidated by the look of this show-stopping spinach feta filo pie – we’re here to tell you not to worry! This recipe is simple, straightforward, uncomplicated, and just what you’ll need when you’re looking to change up your dinner menu or want a beautiful dish to serve at your next get-together.
Key Ingredients for this Recipe
Frozen Thawed Spinach
You will need about two pounds of frozen spinach for this recipe. We recommend frozen bagged spinach, but it is fine to buy it in the brick packaging as well. If yours comes in 10-ounce bags instead of pound size, you can use three ten ounce bags (30 ounces) instead of 2 pounds (32 ounces.)
Frozen thawed spinach is best for this recipe because it is just way too much raw spinach to cook down from fresh. (It would be more than could fit into a large stockpot!) The key to using frozen is to thaw it completely in the refrigerator for a day, and then drain it well. Then it is important to squeeze all the moisture out of it.
Filo Dough (Phyllo)
Filo or phyllo is a tissue-thin unleavened dough that is used in traditional Greek and Mediterranean dishes such as baklava, strudel, and spanakopita. When baked, filo dough offers a wonderful light, crispy texture to any dish.
While you can make your own filo dough at home, you won’t be able to get those tissue paper-thin layers you’ll find in the pre-packaged frozen varieties at your local grocer.
Pre-packaged frozen filo generally comes in two sizes 9×14 and 13×17; I prefer the long narrow size of 13×17 for this recipe.
Feta is a salty and slightly tangy Greek brined curd cheese made from sheep’s milk or a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk. In Greek cuisine, feta is served as table cheese, in Greek salads, and pastries – most commonly phyllo-based dishes such as spanakopita.
Feta can be found in the artisanal cheese section of most grocery stores either already crumbled or in a chunk. If you buy in a chunk, you will have to crumble prior to adding to the dish.
Filo dough is almost free of any fat; therefore, needs that fat to be added to the dish prior to baking. Each layer of dough is brushed with melted butter which not only adds the fat content but also adds tremendous flavor. But besides flavor, butter plays another vital role in the dish.
Butter is a solid that contains fat and milk solids. When the pie is baked, the milk solids and fat become a liquid which creates steam, trapping it in the dough and creates air pockets. Once cooled, these pockets become that ultra-flakey and crispy dough that is iconic to these traditional filo dishes.
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Mint, chopped
- Garlic, minced
- Dill Weed
- Salt and pepper
- Onion, finely diced
- Parsley, chopped
Step By Step Instructions To Make Spanakopita
Step 1: Preheat oven
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 2: Sauté onions
In a medium skillet over medium-high heat add garlic and onion. Stir often until the onion is softened. Scrape into a large bowl.
Step 3: Make pie filling
To the large bowl full of sautéed onions, add parsley, eggs, feta, mint, dill, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir it to combine.
Squeeze any additional moisture from the spinach. Once dry, add to bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Step 4: Prepare filo dough
On a slightly damp cloth, unfold filo. Place a second slightly damp cloth on top to prevent the dough from drying out. Coat a deep-dish pie plate with cooking spray.
Step 5: Prepare pie crust
Place two sheets of filo into the prepared pie dish, pressing to the corners of the plate. Brush with butter. Repeat with two more sheets of filo, placing them down with the corners rotated about 45 degrees from the previous sheet. Brush with butter. Repeat in this manner, rotating each time, until all but 4 sheets are in the bottom of the pie plate.
Step 6: Fill pie with spinach filling
Spread the filling into the filo shell.
Step 7: Top pie
Layer and butter the remaining 4 filo sheets over the filling, rotating them as before.
Step 8: Seal and bake
Roll the edges of the pie up along the edges forming a ruffled 2-inch-wide lip along the edge of the plate. Brush the sides and top with remaining butter.
Bake until the crust is deeply golden brown. Let cool for 20 minutes before slicing into wedges and serving!
FAQ And Expert Tips for Spinach Feta Filo Pie
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, warm in the oven until warmed through.
You sure can! Spinach feta filo pie will last for up to 3 months in the freezer. When ready to consume, thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Then reheat in the oven until warmed through.
This is a great dish to make one day in advance. Assemble the pie as directed through step 8 on, cover, and refrigerate. When ready to bake off, proceed to step 9 and bake according to directions.
Of course! Follow directions on the recipe card except you will layer the filo in the casserole dish without rotating it as you would for the circular dish. Instead, layer each set of two directly aligned on the butter brushed layer before.
To seal off, either roll the edges or ruffle them along the edge of the dish.
Bake for 55 minutes.
Pro Tip: Make Sure To Squeeze The Spinach Thoroughly
The key to a crisp crust and great filling texture is removing the excess water from the spinach. To do so, place the thawed spinach in a colander in the sink or over a large bowl. By the handfuls, squeeze the spinach hard allowing the water to run into the colander or down the drain. You will squeeze more than a cup from it! You can also do this in a clean dish towel, but it may discolor it!
Additional Recipes To Try
If you’d like to add more spinach to your breakfast routine, try my Spinach Egg Bake. Easy-to-make and the perfect make-ahead meal for a brunch or meal prep, this casserole is just what you’ll want on those busy weekday mornings to get you going!
This Savory Galette is rustic and full of sauteed greens and topped with feta, currants, and pine nuts for a perfect simple supper or vegetarian entree for a special dinner.
Swiss Chard Tart with Chevre and Leeks is a wonderful vegetarian main course that is a perfect weeknight meal but also festive enough for a special occasion!
This simple yet delicious Stuffed Shells with Spinach is so tasty that it will quickly become a family favorite!
Healthy Beef Lasagna with Spinach and Basil is only 259 calories per serving and chock full of healthy satisfying vegetables, lean grass-fed beef, and fresh basil.
Spinach Salad with Bacon and Eggs is one of my favorite salad recipes! Made with vibrant fresh spinach, crispy bacon, protein-packed eggs, all tossed in a delicious red wine vinaigrette. It’s easy to whip up and only 248 calories per serving!
These Swiss Chard Rolls with beef and pine nuts make a tasty, low-carb, grain-free comfort food meal.
Our new recipe for Stuffed Mushrooms with Spinach and Goat Cheese are healthy but oh so tasty!
If you are looking to add more salads and greens into your diet, Beet Green Salad with feta and sherry vinaigrette is for you! The bold and savory dressing pairs so well with the strongly flavored leaves that it will turn anyone into a fan of beet green.
Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter for healthy recipes delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
Spinach and Feta Filo Pie is the perfect vegetarian main course for a special occasion, a holiday, or a Sunday supper. This show-stopping dish with its perfectly flaky crust is perfectly spiced and full of spinach, feta, fresh mint, and parsley. This dish is one that your whole family is going to love!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ½ cup crumbled feta cheese (6 ounces)
- ¼ cup chopped mint
- 1 teaspoon dried dill weed or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper (preferably white pepper)
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 16-ounce packages frozen spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry (or 3 10-ounce bags)
- One 16-ounce box filo pastry (13 by 17-inches), thawed
- 8 tablespoons melted unsalted butter (1/2 cup or 1 stick)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring often until the onion is softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape into a large bowl.
- Add the parsley, eggs, feta, mint, dill, salt, pepper and nutmeg to the bowl and stir to combine. Squeeze any remaining moisture from spinach, and it to the bowl. Stir until thoroughly combined.
- Unfold filo and set on a slightly damp cloth. Layer a second slightly damp cloth over it to prevent the filo from drying out as you work. Coat a deep-dish pie plate with cooking spray (or brush with butter.)
- Place two sheets of filo into the pie plate, pressing it into the corners of the pie plate. Brush with butter. Repeat with a second sheet of filo, placing it down about 45 degrees from the previous sheet. Brush with butter. Continue adding sheets and buttering until all but 4 sheets are in the bottom of the pie plate.
- Spread the filling into the filo shell.
- Layer and butter the remaining four filo sheets over the pie, offsetting them as before.
- Roll the edges of the pie up along the edges to form a ruffled 2-inch-wide lip along the edge of the pie plate. Brush it and the top of the pie with any remaining butter.
- Bake until the crust is deeply golden brown, and an instant read thermometer registers 165 degrees F in the center of the pie, 1 hour 10 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes before slicing into wedges and serving.
To Make In A 9 by 13-inch Casserole Dish
Layer the filo in the casserole dish without rotating the sheets as you would for the round version. Instead, layer each set of two directly aligned on the butter brushed layer before. Roll the edges or ruffle them along the edge of the dish. Bake for 55 minutes.
- Serving Size: 1/8 pie
- Calories: 407
- Fat: 23 g
- Carbohydrates: 37 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 13 g