I’ve always loved Spanakopita – and what’s not to love? Crispy little spinach pies baked to perfection and topped with a dollop of tzatziki. Yes. Please. I make a rustic version here that is less fussy but absolutely packed with flavour.
Spinach lost it’s spot in the limelight when kale became en vogue, but it’s one of the veggies we eat the most of in our home (we try not to play favourites, they’re all awesome). Spinach is sooo versatile. Throw it fresh into a smoothie, stir it into a curry or sup, toss it into scrambled eggs or tofu for breakfast or turn it into a mean salad … the possibilities are endless.
While we do lean on fresh spinach in our house, I always have a package or two of frozen chopped spinach in the freezer. Frozen veggies are a great way to sneak in nutrition and are so convenient…. and some frozen veggies are even more nutrient dense than their fresh counterparts, depending on the time of year and how long they have been sitting in the store.
I was delighted to see how much our kids LOVED these homemade spanakopitas! I made them into a cute little package and folded them up without a lot of fuss (because who has time for that?), and froze a bunch of them on a baking sheet lined with parchment for those days when I don’t feel like cooking (just bake for a couple minutes longer if cooking from frozen). The best part is that Charlie gobbles them up in his lunch – one more healthy idea for those school lunches!
The yield will really depend on how much spinach mixture you put inside each of these – you can really make them as big or small as you wish! I serve them with a generous dollop of tzatziki and a big Greek salad for a healthy dinner.
Here is the step-by-step guide to making your own!
- 1 package FILO pastry, thawed
- 1/3-1/2 cup melted butter or olive oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup finely diced yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 300g-pkg frozen chopped spinach thawed and very well drained *
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill, lightly packed
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, lightly packed
- 1 cup feta cheese crumbled
- 2 eggs well beaten
- salt and pepper to taste
- tzatziki for serving (optional)
Thaw filo according to package directions.
Meanwhile prepare the filling. Heat a medium pan on medium heat and add the oil. Add the onions and sauté until soft add transparent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the crushed garlic and sauté for another minute. Transfer to a large bowl.
Add the spinach, dill, parsley, feta cheese, and eggs and season with salt and pepper. Mix together until well combined.
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with parchment (skip preheating the oven if you are freezing the spanikopita for future use).
Taking 1 sheet of FILO at a time (cover the filo that isn't being used with a clean slightly damp towel to prevent it from drying out), lay it out flat on a clean surface and brush lightly with the melted butter or olive oil using a pastry brush. Fold the sheet in half length ways. Place 2-3 tablespoons of filling in the middle of the lower 1/4 of the pastry and roll up by folding it forward until it is folded half way up the sheet. Fold in the sides (like a burrito) and continue to fold the parcel forward until no more FILO is left. Place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet, and repeat until all of the filling is used up. You can freeze the spanikopitas at this stage if desired (freeze on baking sheet and transfer to an air tight container).
Bake for around 20 minutes, until golden brown and serve with tzaziki if desired.
*squeeze out as much water as possible by pressing in a clean cloth or fine sieve