What Is Spanakopita?
Spanakopita is a savory pie consisting of layers of soft-cooked spinach and salty feta cheese, sandwiched between crackly sheets of phyllo, a dough composed of many paper-thin, buttery layers. This finicky pastry is tricky to make, but can be found in the frozen section at most grocery stores. You can also use puff pastry for slightly thicker layers and quicker assembly.
Prep Time20 min
Total Time12 hr 50 min
Cook Time30 min
- 1 package frozen phyllo dough, properly thawed
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1 small onion, diced
- ½ bunch green onions, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound fresh spinach, washed and roughly chopped
- ½ cup mixed herbs like fresh dill, parsley, thyme, and oregano, chopped
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup feta cheese
- ½ cup whole-milk ricotta
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Thoroughly defrost the phyllo dough in the refrigerator for about 12 hours before cooking. An hour before cooking, remove the dough from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- To make the spinach filling, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and green onions, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onion has begun to soften and turn translucent, then add the spinach. (Working in batches will allow the greens to wilt, allowing more room in the pan.) Add the chopped herbs and nutmeg, and stir to combine. Taste, and season with more salt or pepper as needed.
- Transfer the spinach mixture to a large bowl to cool completely, draining off any excess liquid as needed.
- In a second bowl, combine the cheese and eggs, and mix until well-incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Add to the bowl of cooked spinach, and stir to combine.
- Lightly grease a rectangular baking dish with some of the melted butter or olive oil. Unfold the phyllo, and cut or slice with a sharp knife into two even stacks to fit the size of the pan.
- Working with one stack at a time (cover the other with a damp kitchen towel or paper towels to keep it from drying out), brush each individual phyllo sheet with melted butter and layer into the pan.
- When you reach 10–15 sheets, stop and top with a thick, even layer of the spinach-cheese filling. Repeat brushing and layering with the second stack of phyllo.
- Bake spanakopita until golden brown and crispy, about 30 minutes, rotating halfway through.
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