If you have not tried Spanakopita before, you’re in for a treat! Spanakopita is a delicious savory Greek pie made of perfectly crispy layers of phyllo dough and a comforting filling of spinach and feta cheese. I’m sharing my family’s favorite spanakopita recipe, complete with tips, video, and step-by-step photos. Trust me, this is so much easier to make than you think!

Spanakopita makes a great side dish for large holiday dinners next to lamb or lemon chicken. But it can easily stand alone as the main dish. Serve it with a big salad like Greek salad; Balela; or this Mediterranean chickpea salad, and favorite dips like Greek Tzatziki or Roasted Garlic Hummus.

This post is sponsored by The Fillo Factory.

Spanakopita, Greek savory pie with spinach and feta

What is Spanakopita?

My little one describes spanakopita this way, “yummy, crispy cheese pie with lots of green stuff!”

Spanakopita is a popular Greek savory pie made of perfectly flaky phyllo dough with a comforting filling of spinach and feta cheese nestled in. If you’re not familiar with phyllo dough, it is basically layered sheets of tissue-thin pastry dough, typically found in the freezer section next to things like pie crust and puff pastry.

Spanakopita can be made in a large casserole dish like in today’s recipe, or in the form of hand pies shaped in triangles or even rolls.

Spanakopita pie served next to olives and fresh tomatoes. Phyllo dough box on side.

When I was at an Atlanta-area Greek festival a few weeks ago, my daughter’s lunch of choice was a piece of spanakopita and a side of Greek salad. Luckily, she allowed me a taste; it was heavenly! I ended up chatting with the woman behind the lavish lunch, her name was Yiayia Helen. We discussed family recipes and shared spanakopita lessons and tips…

Tips for How to Make Spanakopita

1. What is in the spanakopita filling? 

The key filling ingredients in a classic spanakopita recipe are spinach and feta cheese. And yes, only use quality feta cheese, no other cheese qualifies for spanakopita.

To the spinach and feta, we add flavor makers in the form of fresh herbs and aromatics. I used two whole bunches of parsley (parsley stems pack a ton of flavor, by the way, so don’t be afraid to throw some in) Then, onions, garlic and a little dry dill weed.

To bind everything together, I used four large eggs.

Spanakopita filling ingredients in a bowl. Spinach, feta, fresh herbs, onions, garlic and eggs
Spanakopita filling ingredients: spinach, feta cheese, fresh parsley, dill weed, onions, garlic, eggs, olive oil, salt and pepper

2. Do I need to cook the spinach in advance?

You need a good amount of spinach in this recipe, so using frozen spinach is the way to go. In this easy spanakopita recipe, frozen spinach–fully thawed, of course–is mixed right in with the remaining filling ingredients, no advanced cooking necessary.

But one thing you must do, be sure to drain all liquid from the thawed spinach. I ended up squeezing the spinach by hand a few times until it could no longer produce any liquid. If you do use fresh spinach, you will need to cook it with the onions and garlic, drain, and let cool completely before mixing the filling.

Spanakopita filling ingredients mixed together
Mix Spanakopita filling ingredients

3. The Phyllo

Golden, crispy phyllo pastry, encasing the soft spinach filling is really what spanakopita is all about! Quality of phyllo (fillo) dough can make or break the recipe! I am a big fan of organic dough from The Fillo Factory. It’s vegan and contains no preservatives; no cholesterol; and no trans fat. And be sure follow the tips below for best results.

Tips for working with Phyllo Dough:

– Thaw phyllo dough properly; too much moisture will make the dough or sheets sticky and hard to manage.  When thawing, do not remove the phyllo (fillo) from the package, place it in the fridge 12-14 hours before using.

Place phyllo dough sheets between two clean and slightly damp kitchen towels
Place phyllo sheets in between two clean and slightly damp paper towels. This will keep them from tearing too much as you are working to assemble spanakopita.

-Before you begin assembling the spanakopita casserole, unroll the thawed phyllo (fillo) sheets and place them carefully between two ever-so-slightly damp kitchen cloths. This helps the sheets remain lenient so they won’t tear too much.

Phyllo sheets being brushed with olive oil
Brush each layer of phyllo with extra virgin olive oil. This photo is about 1/2 way through the phyllo package.

-Do not skimp on the oil, but don’t overdo it either. Some use butter, but I use quality extra virgin olive oil here instead to keep it light. You need to brush each of the phyllo layers with a little olive oil (see the video as well)

Spanakopita filling is placed

-Remember, Phyllo (fillo) sheets will tear, and that’s perfectly fine. Just make sure you save a couple good sheets for the top of your spanakopita casserole.

Uncooked spanakopita fully assembled in casserole dish
Once spanakopita filling is spread well in the center, lay the remainder of the phyllo dough sheets on top (you will follow the same process, working one sheet at a time and brushing each layer with extra virgin olive oil.)

Can I make Spanakopita Ahead of Time? What about Leftovers?

–  You can make spanakopita the evening before you need to serve it. Follow the instructions for assembling, but do not bake. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. When you are ready, go ahead and bake according to recipe instructions. Budget 1 hour for baking.

– Already cooked spanakopita will keep well if properly storied in the fridge for 2 to 3 evenings. Heat in medium-heated oven until warmed through. You can also portion cooked leftover spanakopita and freeze for a later time. Warm in oven; no need to thaw in advance.

One square piece of spanakopita Greek spinach pie served on blue plate

Watch the video for How to Make Spanakopita:

Never Miss a Recipe! Join my free e-mail list here to receive new recipes, weekly Mediterranean dinner plans, and my free E-cookbook with 15 healthy recipes to try!

Shop our online store for quality olive oils, all-natural spices and more.

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Spanakopita Recipe (Greek Spinach Pie)


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.8 from 203 reviews

Description

Foolproof family recipe for Spanakopita! Delicious savory Greek pie made of perfectly crispy layers of phyllo dough and a comforting filling of spinach and feta cheese.


Ingredients

Scale

For the Spinach and Feta Filling

  • 16 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
  • 2 bunches flat-leaf parsley, stems trimmed, finely chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 10.5 oz quality feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tsp dried dill weed
  • Freshly-ground black pepper

For the Crust


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Before you begin mixing the filling, be sure the spinach is very well drained, and squeeze out any excess liquid by hand.
  3. To make the filling: In a mixing bowl, add the spinach and the remaining filling ingredients. Stir until all is well-combined.
  4. Unroll the phyllo (fillo) sheets and place them between two slightly damp kitchen cloths.
  5. Prepare a 9 1/2″ X 13″ baking dish like this one. Brush the bottom and sides of the dish with olive oil.
  6. To assemble the spanakopita: Line the baking dish with two sheets of phyllo (fillo) letting them cover the sides of the dish. Brush with olive oil. Add two more sheets in the same manner, and brush them with olive oil. Repeat until two-thirds of the phyllo (fillo) is used up.
  7. Now, evenly spread the spinach and feta filling over the phyllo (fillo) crust. Top with two more sheets, and brush with olive oil.
  8. Continue to layer the phyllo (fillo) sheets, two-at-a-time, brushing with olive oil, until you have used up all the sheets. Brush the very top layer with olive oil, and sprinkle with just a few drops of water.
  9. Fold the flaps or excess from the sides, you can crumble them a little. Brush the folded sides well with olive oil. Cut Spanakopita ONLY PART-WAY through into squares, or leave the cutting to later.
  10. Bake in the 325 degrees F heated-oven for 1 hour, or until the phyllo (fillo) crust is crisp and golden brown. Remove from the oven. Finish cutting into squares and serve. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Tips for Working with Phyllo: As mentioned earlier in the post, remember that phyllo is paper thin and will break as you are working with it. For best results, place phyllo dough sheets in between two very slightly damp kitchen towels (step #4) before you start working with it (unless you think you will work fast enough that the phyllo will not dry out.) Also, be sure to brush each layer with oil; don’t skimp.
  • Make Ahead Tips: You can make spanakopita the evening before. Follow up to step #9, cover and refrigerate. When you are ready, go ahead and bake according to step #10.
  • Leftover Storing and Freezing Tips: Already cooked spanakopita will keep well if properly storied in the fridge for 2 to 3 evenings. Heat in medium-heated oven until warmed through. You can also portion cooked leftover spanakopita and freeze for a later time. Warm in oven; no need to thaw in advance.
  • What to Serve with Spanakopita? Spanakopita makes a great side dish for large holiday dinners next to lamb or lemon chicken. But it can easily stand alone as the main dish. Serve it with a big salad like Greek salad; Balela; or this Mediterranean chickpea salad, and favorite dips like Greek Tzatziki or Roasted Garlic Hummus.
  • Recommended for this Recipe: Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives).
  • SAVE try our Greek olive oil bundle and our popular Ultimate Mediterranean Spice Bundle 
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Entree or Side Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Greek

*This recipe and tutorial was originally published 11/08/2016. Last updated with new information and photos on 4/15/2019.

 

Spanakopita Recipe (Greek Spinach Pie) | The Mediterranean Dish. The best tutorial for how to make spanakopita. Greek spinach pie with crispy, golden phyllo and a soft filling of spinach, feta cheese, and herbs. A holiday recipe for make it for dinner! So easy. See it at TheMediterraneanDish.com

Share it with the world

I’m Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I’m all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you’re here…
Learn More

Get our best recipes and all Things Mediterranean delivered to your inbox.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. Ange Kenos says:

    Making your own filo is NOT hard and actually enjoyable. Plus it makes for a better pita. BUT, as stated, drain your stuff of water or suffer a poor outcome. Also, always use ONLY Hellenic/ Greek feta and not others.






    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks for sharing, Ange!

  2. Liv says:

    How many people does it cater for for a main meal please?
    Thank you






    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Liv. The recipes makes 12 pieces of Spanakopita.

  3. Lori Good says:

    I am on a low sodium diet and noticed that sodium is missing from your nutrition facts. Do you know the amount of sodium in your Spanakopita recipe?

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Lori. Unfortunately, I don’t have the sodium content for this one at the moment. We were using a different program at the time we created that recipe & are making our way back as we can to revise the information using the new program. It just takes a little time. Also, please note that any of the nutrition information listed here is just a best estimate.

  4. Miriam says:

    Hi,

    I just wanted to confirm that the onion goes in raw. All the other recipes I’ve seen call for sautéed onion.

    Thanks!

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Miriam. Correct. I find that the onion cooks well enough with the spanakopita in the oven. However, you can sauté if you prefer.

  5. Janice says:

    Hi Suzy,
    Your recipe was very easy to follow and the Spanikopita came out almost perfect. I followed the instructions for layering the filo but my bottom layers were tough and difficult to cut through when eating? I used a 1 lb. box of Kontos Country #10 filo dough and brushed each sheet with olive oil. There were about 6 bottom layers. Do you know what could have happened? Out side of that it was delicious. I couldn’t believe it tasted and looked like the real thing. Mu husband was really impressed since it is one of his favorite dishes.
    Thanks!
    Janice






    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Janice. Maybe it is the type/size of phyllo dough sheet you use. I typically go with #4 from The Fillo Factory. A #10 may have been a bit thick. So glad you still enjoyed the Spanakopita, though!

  6. Nathan says:

    I LOVED this recipe!! I was wondering if you can freeze the dish before baking it?






    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Nathan! You can. When you’re ready to bake, no need to thaw first. Just pop it in the oven.

  7. Ilona says:

    Love phyllo dough pastries! Looks like a good recipe but I had trouble recreating it. I’ve made the phyllo dough with the meat filling previously and the spinach spanakopita today, both from your website. I used phyllo dough from my supermarket, which was the Athens Phyllo Dough. I’m checking my spanakopita at the hour mark, and the phyllo layers are raw near the center where the spinach/cheese mixture is. This happened few weeks ago when I made the meat filled phyllo pastry. I finally realized, that the phyllo dough you’re using has half the sheets that I was using. The Athens Phyllo Dough I used had 40 layers and the one you’re advertising for this recipe has 21 sheets or so. Wish I knew this before I butchered both recipes. It took me 2.5 hrs to finally cook all the layers and even then some layers toward the center were still soggy. I guess it would’ve been helpful if the number of sheets used were mentioned somewhere in the recipe. Thank you for all your recipes! I love visiting your site!






  8. Jennifer says:

    This recipe was delicious! Thank you so much for sharing it.






    1. Suzy says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Jennifer!

  9. Thomas Pivinski says:

    The printed recipe is terrific and beautifully explained; however, I would like to see the video but could not find any link to it.






    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Thomas! So sorry about that. Some web browsers do not allow pop-ups, which also affects our videos. You may want to try to adjust your browser settings, or try a different browser all together.

  10. LESLIE DSOUZA says:

    Hi Suzy, I am the biggest Fan of your recipes, I do follow them , when it comes to Phyllo Leaves, instead of brushing the Phyllo, can I spray the sheets with a PAM vegetable oil sprayer OR put some olive oil in a spray bottle an spray the sheets, as its very difficult to brush the sheets with a brush cause it tears off very easily , what do you think ?? jus asking
    Regards
    Leslie






    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Leslie! I have never tried spraying the oil on myself, but another reader has and it sounds like it was successful. I would not recommend Pam, though. I’d stick with olive oil.

  11. Amira says:

    I went shopping for all the ingredients that I needed but the dried dill weed was just a little too pricey for me ($8.99 & $9.99). Is there anything I could/should substitute for the dill weed? I figured since it only called for 2 tsp. in the recipe, that it wouldn’t make too much of a difference…?
    Thanks for the recipe….it does seem way more simple than what I thought. I’m excited to see how it will turn out!

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Amira! You may be able to get a small packet of fresh dill weed at your local market for less. That would work as a substitute.

  12. Rita Savanah says:

    Fabulous. Wouldn’t change a thing. Sydney 2021

    1. Suzy says:

      Yay! Thanks, Rita!

  13. Lacey says:

    Very good, but as other pointed it, the filling definitely needed more seasoning. I did use fresh dill instead of dry as one user suggested which was wonderful, next time I would add lemon zest, fresh nutmeg and definitely a good amount of salt. My cook time was also more like 1.5 hours and eventually needed to turn up the oven to 340 to get it to really brown on the top.






    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Lacey!

  14. Marie says:

    Don’t wish to be sassy but…. lemon zest, juice of one lemon, fresh dill and fresh nutmeg are kinda required here…






  15. Janean rockwell says:

    Hi Suzy, I made this and it turned out perfect . However it did not seem to have a lot of flavor. I put salt and hot sauce on it and helped. Something I did wrong? Maybe more garlic?

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Janean. I’m sure you didn’t do anything wrong. I would just add more of the seasonings and garlic to suit your taste.

  16. Priya says:

    Amazing, I made it for a dinner party and it was just gobbled up. I wouldn’t change a thing of this recipe!






    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks so much, Priya!