Cheese and Spinach Pie (Spanakopita)

    1 hour 50 min

    A Greek pie made with a filling of spinach with cheese, which is encased in layers of buttered filo pastry, then baked until golden and puffy. Delicious served in small portions as a starter or canapé, or larger slices as a heavenly vegetarian main course.

    59 people made this

    Serves: 10 

    • 850g frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 2 small onions, finely chopped
    • 225g feta cheese, crumbled
    • 135g Gruyere cheese, grated
    • 60g Parmesan cheese, grated
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    • 1 dash ground cinnamon
    • 225g butter, melted
    • 450g filo pastry

    Prep:1hr10min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Ready in:1hr50min 

    1. Preheat oven to 190 C / Gas 5.
    2. Place spinach in a steamer over 2.5cm of boiling water and cover. Cook until tender, about 2 to 6 minutes. Drain and press to remove all water. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Saute onion until tender, but do not brown. Stir in cooked spinach and continue cooking until all moisture has evaporated. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
    3. In a large bowl combine feta cheese, Gruyere cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, parsley and cinnamon. Stir in spinach and onion mixture.
    4. Brush the bottom of a 43x28cm or similar sized baking tin with butter. Place 1 sheet of filo in the bottom of the tin; brush with butter. Continue to layer 13 more sheets of filo, brushing every other sheet with butter. Spread spinach and cheese mixture over dough. Continue layering with remaining filo, brushing every other sheet with butter. Tuck edges of filo under. Brush top sheet with butter and using a sharp knife, score top layer into diamonds.
    5. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

    Parmesan cheese

    Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

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    Reviews in English (32)


    As a confirmed meat eater I only approached the recipe due to veggie friends staying. What a FANTASTIC dish!! Loved every mouthfull - not at all what I was expecting. Will do this pie again for just my wife and I in the near future. I found it impossible to to buy filo - so I used puff pastry - worked perfectly!  -  21 Sep 2011


    I can't believe it was so-o-o-o good. I, too, followed another reviewer's suggestions and used a 9x9 casserole dish, two packages of spinach and no cinnamon. Be sure you use a casserole deep enough because it can start out fairly high. I used olive oil instead of butter to brush the phyllo layers, and added some fresh garlic when I sauted the onions. Another step saver -- I thawed and drained the frozen spinach, then added it directly to the softened onions/garlic without steaming first. I can't wait to make this again!  -  10 Oct 2006  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Here's what I learned from making this dish: I wanted to cut the saturated fat (a cup is A LOT of grease!); I did this by mixing 1/4 each melted butter and olive oil. Also added about 1 scant tsp. nutmeg (the traditional Greek seasoning for this dish). I never use eggs in mine, as they make the mixture too wet, and the lovely phyllo gets soggy as a consequence. Nothing worse than soggy phyllo! I also only used half the phyllo and 2 10 oz. frozen packs spinach for the same reason. Kept the parm and swiss cheese and that was a really nice touch. I used only half the package of phyllo and baked in a 9 x 13 Pyrex dish until golden. Make sure you roll the edges and butter them (it makes a nice pizza-like crust). I serve this with a large Greek salad, and, on special occasions, get to serve it with the homemade baklava that my next door neighbor Georgia -- who is Greek -- brings by during the holidays. Good times.  -  17 Nov 2008  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)