the delicacy of a spinach pie…

spinach 18Spanokopita (span-noh-KOH-pee-tah) – this flaky, scrumptious combination of spinach, onions, feta, phyllo pastry, and butter has been a home-cooked treat at our house ever since our daughter, Ayla, embarked on her path of mastering the kitchen sciences when she was 14.

spinach 2She was both earnest and remarkable at it; if I was any help at all to her, it was simply due to an ability to relinquish my control over the kitchen and hope that she would leave it as she found it---and, to get out of her way.

 spinach 1She poured over the few cookbooks that I owned, and then started checking more out from the library. It seems like every Christmas and birthday, we would buy her another book or a small appliance to help her along her journey.

spinach 3I think I miss her soups and sandwiches the most when she not at home. But her spinach pie is what is always requested if she’s able to attend a family gathering. She made it for us recently, and this time I paid special attention and took some photos.

spinach 4It seems people shy away from making this because the thin, paper-like, layers of the phyllo pastry intimidate them.

spinach 5But it really shouldn’t; they are already made. You just need to buy a box, simply lay them in your baking dish, one at a time, and drizzle a bit of butter in-between each layer. If they tear in the process---no worries; you won’t be able to tell.

spinach 6Spanokopita (the Greek term for spinach pie) is an incredible treat when it is homemade and this recipe is so much better than any I have ever had in a restaurant.

spinach 7One thing I’ve realized about this dish, is if the spinach and phyllo are co-stars, then the onions and feta are the supporting actors that actually got to take home the golden statue. They are what make this recipe mouth-watering.

spinach 8According to Ayla, the onions should be white and the feta should be the kind sold in solid blocks which are stored in its own liquid, and not crumbled or seasoned. Here in the states, Vigo is a brand that she likes the best. It comes in a blue and white container and is saltier tasting than others.

spinach 9One other tip: the phyllo tends to dry out if it is out to long. So take only what you plan on working with, within ten minutes are so, out of the box and put the rest back in the fridge.

spinach 10


  • 2 (10oz) pkgs. frozen spinach
  • 2 c. feta cheese
  • 2 c. small curd cottage cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • Two handfuls of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Couple dashes of ground nutmeg
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • Package of phyllo dough 

spinach 11This recipe is doubled from the original and can be halved. It fills a large 10 x 15 inch baking dish. We like to have enough for leftovers; it’s wonderful the next day and I like to snack on it cold right from the fridge. If you only make half, then you would want to use a 9 x 13 inch dish.   

spinach 12spinach 13 spinach 14spinach 15 spinach 16 spinach 17

First thing you want to do is heat your oven to 350°. Then, place spinach in glass bowl and microwave until completely thawed.
Drain entirely. (See photos for Ayla’s process of squeezing the excess liquid out of the spinach. I’m not sure where she got that idea from, but it works.) 
Add feta, cottage cheese, eggs, and onion to spinach. 
Stir and add parsley, oregano, salt and nutmeg.
Drizzle butter onto the bottom of a glass baking dish and place one sheet of phyllo over it.
Drizzle every sheet with butter until you feel you have enough to support the bottom of the pie---about seven to nine sheets.
Spoon all of spinach mixture on top and begin placing phyllo sheets on top with butter again---the same amount.
Bake, covered, for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes, until golden brown. That’s it! That’s all there is to it…honest.

Spanokopita can be made the day before and stored in the refrigerator until it is time to bake if you would like. If you need to prepare it earlier, just freeze it and thaw it out before you bake it.

*To Ayla---thank you for letting me document you :-) I’ve already eaten all of the spinach pie and am already missing you, very, very much.
love, love, love,

I hope you try this golden,flaky treat for yourself--- I know you will not be sorry, 


  1. This looks delicious, and I've always wondered how to recreate Greek spinach pie! I'll have to try this! Your photos are stunning, as always!

  2. Great timing. I've been meaning to make spanakopita for my daughter's kinder lunch box for weeks now and this is just the little push I needed. Looks delicious. Thanks.

  3. Kate,
    I hope you do try it; let me know what you think. And, thank you, that is very sweet.

  4. twirlingbetty---I'm so glad to hear that. You know, these can also be made into individual serving pieces. I've seen her cut the phyllo into 3 inch strips, butter a strip, then add a spoonful of the spinach at one end, fold it over to make a triangle, and continue folding along the strip from side to side. Then, you'll have cute little triangles to bake. That might work even better for a lunch box.

  5. I normally do not like spinach at all, but you did such a great post today that I might actually make this! Your pictures show clearly how easy it is to make. Great job :)

  6. Wow, I came back to ask if you could make portion servings, thinking that would be so clever for packed lunches and picnics, and here you've already suggested that!

  7. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I am so trying this. I always thought Spanakopita was had to make, but your photos are so clear, it looks very doable. Thanks for this great post!

    Also, how awesome to have a talented culinary daughter!

  8. Oh yes, is and always has been very awesome. :-) Thank you, so much, for dropping by!

  9. What a talented daughter you have, and what a fabulous step-by-step, thank you for taking the time to share this! I can't wait to give it a go.

  10. I LOVE SPANOKAPITA! Yes, I had to yell that, that's how much I love it. Hers looks beautiful!

  11. dale thank you so much for stopping by my blog and for your kind words! i haven't eaten today and this post is making me hungry!!!

    i just made black bean, spinach, and corn enchiladas last night and i feel like those are pictures of me squeezing the spinach!!! haha

    have a happy thursday! :)