With a flaky phyllo dough crust and a creamy filling made of cheese, spinach, and herbs, this Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie) can be served as a main course, appetizer, or side dish. This classic savory Greek recipe is always a crowd-pleaser and easy to make too!
Easy Greek Spinach Pie
Making spanakopita at home is much easier than you might think! With this recipe, the final result is exactly what you want from any spanakopita – flaky, buttery crust filled with rich, cheesy goodness. It’s a dish that looks like you labored over it all day, when it fact it only takes about 25 minutes to assemble. Pulling it from the oven and cutting into it is pretty glorious.
What is Spanakopita?
Spanakopita (pronounced spah-nah-KO-pee-tah) is a traditional savory Greek pie, made with layers of flaky phyllo dough and a rich, cheesy spinach filling. The filling is always made with feta cheese (though I added some ricotta too) and includes lots of fresh herbs for flavor, along with a little bit of garlic and onion.
Since spinach is one of the main components, this dish includes a lot of it. For the sake of ease, frozen (thawed) spinach is commonly used in spanakopita recipes. Otherwise, you’d need to cook down a very large amount of fresh spinach to get the amount needed for this recipe.
The main ingredients for this Greek recipe are spinach and feta cheese, enhanced by herbs and other aromatics to bring all the flavors together. It’s so good!
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Phyllo dough – This is a must and what gives Spanakopita its flaky crust. Don’t substitute. Make sure to thaw before using.
- Melted butter – Brushed onto the phyllo dough for flavor and a golden, crispy texture.
- Frozen spinach – Thaw and thoroughly squeeze the spinach dry before using.
- Feta cheese – Next to spinach, this is the most important ingredient. Be sure to use a quality feta.
- Ricotta cheese – Adds extra creaminess to the filling.
- Parmesan – Using freshly grated parmesan is a must. If you can find it, you can also use Greek kefalotyri cheese, which is more traditional but can be difficult to locate.
- Eggs – Acts as a binder and helps hold the filling together.
- Onion and Garlic – For wonderful aromatics and flavor.
- Herbs – Fresh parsley and dill are common ingredients to add flavors to Greek dishes.
- Seasonings – Salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
How to Make Spanakopita
Greek spinach pie is easier to make than you may think. Handling the phyllo dough can be a bit tricky (see below for tips) but the filling comes together in minutes.
(Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details and don’t miss the video below.)
- Make the spinach filling. Combine half of the butter with all ingredients except for the phyllo dough in a mixing bowl.
- Create the phyllo crust. Lay a half sheet of phyllo dough in a baking dish and lightly brush with butter. Repeat with 7 more sheets of phyllo dough to form a crust.
- Add the spinach filling. Spread the spinach filling over the crust.
- Add the top layer. Lay the remaining 8 sheets of phyllo dough on top of the filling, brushing the top with butter. Trim the edges if necessary. Lightly score the top layers of the pastry into 12 equal squares.
- Bake. Bake until the phyllo is golden and the filling is bubbling, around 45 minutes. Cut all the way through the scored squares. Let cool for 10 minutes then serve and enjoy!
Tips for Working with Phyllo Dough
If you’ve never worked with phyllo pastry before, it can seem a little difficult to handle. Here are a few tips to make it easier.
- Be sure to get phyllo dough NOT puff pastry. Puff pastry is not the same thing as phyllo dough and will create completely different dishes. Phyllo dough is usually found in the freezer section at most grocery stores.
- Thaw overnight in the fridge. When using frozen phyllo dough, thaw it overnight in the fridge. Do not let it thaw on the counter, as it will cause the pastry to crack.
- Bring to room temperature just before using. 30 minutes before you need the phyllo dough, set it out on the counter.
- Keep it covered to avoid drying out. Phyllo dough dries out quickly. To avoid this, work with one sheet at a time and keep the others covered with plastic wrap and a lightly damp towel on top of the plastic.
- Handle gently. Think of each sheet of phyllo dough like tissue paper. It can and likely will tear. If it does, no worries. Just try to keep a few sheets without tears for the topping.
What to Serve with Spanakopita
Wondering what to serve with spanakopita? The answer depends on whether it’s being served as a side dish or the main course.
You can also easily turn it into the main course. Serve with a big, hearty salad topped with Greek salad dressing or with a chickpea salad. It also pairs well with pita chips and tzatziki sauce or stuffed grape leaves (dolma.)
Make Ahead, Storing, and Reheating Leftovers
- Make ahead. You can assemble your Greek spinach pie a day in advance. Just prepare as instructed and instead of baking, cover, and place in the fridge. You can bake it directly from the fridge but will need a few additional minutes of baking time.
- How long does spanakopita last? Store leftovers in the fridge for 3 days in an airtight container.
- How to reheat leftovers. The best way to reheat spanakopita is in the oven until warmed through. Reheating in the microwave can make the phyllo dough a little soft but works in a pinch.
- Can I freeze spanakopita? Yes, you can freeze baked or unbaked spanakopita. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and again in foil. Reheat in an oven until warmed through. You can bake the spanakopita frozen, there’s no need to thaw it first.
More Greek-Inspired Recipes:
- Avgolemono Soup (Greek Lemon Chicken Soup)
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Greek Salad Dressing
- Layered Greek Dip
- Tzatziki Sauce
- 1/2 cup melted butter , divided (plus more for the baking dish)
- 1 medium onion , finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 16 ounces frozen chopped spinach , thawed and thoroughly squeezed dry
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 3 large eggs , lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley , finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill , finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- dash of nutmeg
- 8 sheets phyllo dough (17×13-inch each, thawed if frozen, and cut in half so you have 16 sheets)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking dish with butter.
- Thoroughly combine 1/4 cup of the melted butter along with all the other ingredients (except the phyllo dough) in a large mixing bowl.
- Lay one half sheet of phyllo dough in baking dish. Using a pastry brush, brush dough lightly with some butter. Repeat 7 more times to form a crust. (Don’t worry if the sheets hang over the edges of the pan. You will trim them later, if necessary.)
- Spread spinach filling evenly over crust.
- Brush one half sheet of phyllo dough with butter and lay on top of filling, butter side up. Repeat with remaining 7 sheets of dough like before.
- Using a sharp Chef's knife, trim the edges if necessary, then lightly score by cutting through the top layers of pastry into 12 equal squares (this will make it easier to cut once baked.)
- Bake, uncovered, until phyllo topping is golden and filling is bubbling gently, about 45 minutes.
- Use a sharp knife to cut all the way through the scored squares.
- Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then serve and enjoy!