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:

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Spanakopita Recipe (Greek Spinach Pie)

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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.



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


  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!


  • 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

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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…
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  1. Martin says:

    I have a quick question regarding the quantity of spinach. Are you using one pound of frozen spinach, or is the one pound weight after thawing and draining? My 10 oz frozen block only weighed around 4oz after draining out the water.

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Martin. I use a 16 oz package of frozen spinach for this recipe. Hope that helps!

  2. Lisa says:

    Thank you!

  3. Melissa W says:

    Just made this! Complete perfection as is! I debated using butter instead of olive oil since that’s what I’ve always done but I’m glad I stuck to the recipe! It was rich but still light. My husband loved it too! Thank you!

  4. Lisa says:

    Looking forward to making this. Can I use 16 oz. of fresh chopped spinach rather than frozen? Thank you.

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Lisa. Yes, you can use fresh spinach, but remember that frozen spinach has already been blanched, so you’ll need a lot more fresh spinach (two to three times, I believe). You’ll want to chop and cook the spinach down before use.

  5. Margarita says:

    I followed recipe to the T. It was good but I’ll add a bit of more salt and maybe a little lemon juice. I’ll also make it on a larger tray to make it thinner. But it’s easy to make.

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Margarita!

  6. Nelson says:

    Go easy on the Parsley. I put two supermarket bunches in which was waaay overpowering. Many other recipes leave it out entirely. Recipe turned out great other than that.

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Nelson!

      1. Felix says:

        Hi Suzy,

        Your recipes look great, going to call the veg tajine this weekend. What would you substitute the feta for for this spanakopita if you wanted a vegan version?


      2. Suzy says:

        Hi, Felix. I have never made a vegan version of this recipe, so it’s a bit hard to advise on this one. I just did a quick search, though, and it looks like there may be plant-based vegan fetas out there. Tofu itself may even work. Hope that helps!

  7. Shar says:

    Can I sub dried parley for fresh , if so how much ?
    I also need to sub rosemary ( also dried ) for dill , in the winter I don’t have access to fresh as I need . I know I should be more prepared > but wanted to make it last min for Xmas brunch .
    I’ve done these substitute before , but not for this and certainly don’t want to mess It up : /

  8. Chris says:

    I made this for a special family dinner and was disappointed how oniony it was. I think this dish really only needs about a quarter cup of onions. I will make again and adjust

    1. Joyful Explorer says:

      May I suggest that you caramelize the onions before using them in the dish. Lends a lovely sweetness to the base.

      Additionally, back in the day, we used melted butter between the sheets. I like a combo now.

      Good recipe. Efharistò.

      1. Suzy says:

        Thank you for the tips!

  9. Kris says:

    This recipe is the best! I have made it several times now. I have made the spinach triangles for years and this is so much better. Love it. Thanks !

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks so much, Kris!

  10. Jessica says:

    I get very confused about phyllo dough. The package I bought is 16 oz and says it has 36 sheets. So I should be using all 36 in this recipe? It just seems excessive but I also want to make it correctly. Thanks!

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Jessica. I use one 16 oz package of The Fillo Factory (size #4) pastry sheets for this recipe, which contains 20 sheets. 36 sheets does sound a bit excessive.

  11. Louise Garbin says:

    Can I substitute fresh dill for the dried dill weed?
    Looks amazing, I am making this for thanksgiving!

    1. Suzy says:

      Sure! You can follow this general rule as far as substituting fresh dill in place of dill weed here: 3 teaspoons fresh equals 1 teaspoon dried. Happy Thanksgiving!

  12. Wendy Czech says:

    Perfect accompaniment to the gyro and homemade pita bread. Turned out wonderfully for my first time ever working with philo pastry.

    1. Suzy says:

      Yay! Thanks, Wendy!

  13. CY says:

    It was just ok. It came out very dry, but that might be partly my fault – I’m new to phyllo dough, so I might not have put enough oil on it. But the flavor was just “ok.” I even used feta “with Mediterranean spices” and a bit of nutmeg. It definitely needed more spices/flavor. Next time I’ll try adding a bit more nutmeg and maybe an additional spice blend. But it’s a great “starter” recipe. Thanks! 🙂

    1. Suzy says:

      Thank you for your feedback!

    2. Tristan says:

      Personally i chose to add;
      1 teaspoon garlic powder
      1 teaspoon onion powder
      2 heaped tablespoons “Italian herb mix”
      1 /2 teaspoon freshly ground rosemary
      1/2 teaspoon freshly ground thyme
      1 teaspoon “vegeta” stock powder
      2 teaspoons of black pepper.
      I also used 2 full bulbs of garlic and 3 onions.

      It was really really really good. I was very happy with how it came out. But i forgot to squeeze some lemon over the top for the final touch.
      Because i had precooked the spinach with the caramelized onion and garlic, we only put it into the oven for 30 minutes.

      1. Suzy says:

        Thanks for sharing your adaptations, Tristan.

  14. Farin Skillman says:

    I just want to say thank you. this is the second recipe i have followed and made of yours first one was falafel ( which was outstanding) and tonight spanakopita . I just want to say thank you so much. your recipes are clear concise and everything delicious. healthy too.

    1. Suzy says:

      Awww! Thank you, Farin!

  15. Laura says:

    Could I make this a couple days ahead of time rather than just a night?

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Laura. If you want to make it 2-3 days ahead, it’s best to cook it first, and then store it in the fridge. When you are ready to eat it, reheat in a medium-heated oven until warmed through.

  16. Lynn says:

    This is so good and easy, it just takes some time. I will never use another recipe.

    1. Suzy says:

      Yay! Thanks, Lynn!