Greek Spinach Pie: A Delightful Mediterranean Classic

Greek Spinach Pie Spanakopita serving
Spanakopita serving

Greek cuisine is renowned for its vibrant flavors, healthy ingredients, and rich culinary traditions. Among its many beloved dishes, Greek Spinach Pie, or Spanakopita, stands out as a quintessential representation of the Mediterranean diet. This savory pastry, filled with a mixture of spinach, feta cheese, and herbs, encapsulates the essence of Greek cooking. In this article, we will explore the history, ingredients, and preparation of Greek Spinach Pie, providing you with a detailed recipe and answering common questions about this delicious dish.

The History and Significance of Greek Spinach Pie

Greek Spinach Pie, or Spanakopita, has its roots in ancient Greece, where spinach and other greens were commonly used in cooking. The dish has evolved over centuries, incorporating influences from Byzantine and Ottoman cuisines. Today, it is a staple in Greek households and a popular offering at Greek restaurants and festivals worldwide. Spanakopita is often enjoyed as a main course, appetizer, or snack, highlighting the versatility and timeless appeal of Greek cuisine.

Ingredients for Greek Spinach Pie

Key Ingredients

The beauty of Spanakopita lies in its simplicity and the quality of its ingredients. Here are the essential components:

  1. Spinach: Fresh spinach leaves are the star of the dish, providing a rich, earthy flavor. You can also use frozen spinach if fresh is not available.
  2. Feta Cheese: This tangy, salty cheese adds depth and creaminess to the filling.
  3. Phyllo Dough: Thin, flaky layers of phyllo dough create a crispy, golden crust.
  4. Herbs: Fresh dill, parsley, and green onions enhance the flavor and add a burst of freshness.
  5. Eggs: Eggs help bind the filling and give it a rich texture.
  6. Olive Oil: High-quality Greek olive oil is used to brush the phyllo layers and in the filling.

Optional Additions

For a twist on the classic recipe, you can add ingredients like:

  • Leeks: For a sweeter, milder onion flavor.
  • Garlic: For an extra depth of flavor.
  • Nutmeg: A pinch of nutmeg adds warmth and complexity.

Recipe for Greek Spinach Pie

Step-by-Step Preparation

Follow these steps to make a delicious Greek Spinach Pie at home:


  • 1 pound fresh spinach (or 1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained)
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese (optional for a creamier filling)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 package phyllo dough, thawed


  1. Prepare the Filling:
    • Wash and chop the spinach. If using frozen spinach, make sure it is well-drained.
    • In a large bowl, combine the spinach, feta cheese, ricotta cheese (if using), dill, parsley, and green onions.
    • Add the beaten eggs and mix until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Assemble the Pie:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
    • Lightly grease a baking dish with olive oil.
    • Lay a sheet of phyllo dough in the dish and brush with olive oil. Repeat this process with about half of the phyllo sheets, layering them evenly.
    • Spread the spinach mixture evenly over the phyllo layers.
    • Continue layering the remaining phyllo sheets on top of the filling, brushing each sheet with olive oil.
    • Tuck the edges of the phyllo dough into the sides of the dish to seal the filling.
  3. Bake the Pie:
    • Use a sharp knife to score the top layers of phyllo dough into squares or diamond shapes.
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until the phyllo is golden brown and crispy.
    • Allow the pie to cool slightly before cutting and serving.
Greek Salad

FAQ about Greek Spinach Pie

H2: Common Questions about Spanakopita

Q: Can I make Spanakopita ahead of time? A: Yes, Spanakopita can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking. You can also freeze it, either baked or unbaked, for up to three months.

Q: Is Greek Spinach Pie healthy? A: Spanakopita is a nutritious dish, rich in vitamins and minerals from the spinach and herbs. It also provides protein from the feta cheese and eggs. Using olive oil adds healthy fats, making it a balanced and wholesome meal option.

Q: Can I make a vegetarian version of Spanakopita? A: Traditional Spanakopita is already vegetarian. To make it vegan, you can substitute the feta cheese with a vegan cheese alternative and use a flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons water) in place of the eggs.

Q: What should I serve with Greek Spinach Pie? A: Spanakopita pairs well with a variety of side dishes, such as Greek salad, tzatziki, or roasted vegetables. It can also be enjoyed on its own as a light meal or snack.

Q: Can I use store-bought phyllo dough for Spanakopita? A: Yes, store-bought phyllo dough works perfectly for Spanakopita. Make sure to thaw it according to the package instructions before using.

Enjoying Greek Spinach Pie

The Perfect Dish for Any Occasion

Greek Spinach Pie is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in various settings, from casual family dinners to festive gatherings. Its combination of flavors and textures makes it a crowd-pleaser that appeals to both children and adults. Whether served hot out of the oven or at room temperature, Spanakopita is always a hit.

Exploring Greek Cuisine Further

If you enjoyed making and eating Greek Spinach Pie, consider exploring other traditional Greek dishes. Here are some suggestions:

For more delicious Greek recipes and cooking tips, visit our website.

Greek Meze

Exploring Greek Cuisine Further

If you enjoyed making and eating Greek Spinach Pie, consider exploring other traditional Greek dishes. Here are some suggestions:

For more delicious Greek recipes and cooking tips, visit our website.

External Link

To learn more about the Mediterranean diet and its health benefits, check out this comprehensive guide from Medical News Today.

Greek Spinach Pie, or Spanakopita, is a shining example of the rich culinary heritage of Greece. Its delightful flavors, combined with its nutritional benefits, make it a must-try dish for anyone interested in Mediterranean cuisine. Enjoy making this classic recipe and exploring the wonderful world of Greek cooking!

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Author: Bob

With over 20 years in Bioinformatics and AI in Molecular Diagnostics, Bob Stavrou advises BiCos, focusing on authenticating OLIVE OIL DNA. He's also a passionate contributor to YouTube Cooking with Greek People and appeared on Greek TV show Savvatokiriako Me Ton Manesi, bridging science and culinary arts. Watch it on Alpha TV.

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