Cooking, Mediterranean Diet

Spanokopita (Spinach Pie) with Fresh Mint



Spanokopita​  is a wonderful recipe that can be made year-­round. It’s wholesome, filling, light  and at the center of every family’s dinner table about once per week. Origin is Greek, with a  direct translation of “spinach in bread’ (“spanak” in “pita”). Spinach is chock full of fiber, Vitamins  A, C and K, protein, calcium, and iron. In the winter, when this  leafy green is harvested, ​ spinach  ​ is served at least 3 times per week in various forms (sauteed  in a tomato sauce, with meatballs, in soup, salads, and in my favorite: spinach pie or  Spanakopita).


● 1 box of phyllo dough

● 1 box of fresh or frozen spinach* (16 oz frozen, 1 large bag fresh, 1 bunch fresh)

● 3 bulbs of garlic, minced

● Salt, pepper to taste

● Crumbled feta cheese (a lot)

● Ricotta cheese (approximately 5 oz)

● 3 tablespoons of dried mint

● Mixture of Olive & Canola oils (50:50 ratio)

Preparing the Spinach Filling  

1. In a medium saucepan, gently saute the garlic in some oil. Once translucent (about 2 ­ 3  minutes), add the frozen/fresh spinach.

2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Remove from heat and place in large bowl. Add dried mint and mix. Set aside.

Preparing the Cheese Filling  

1. In a medium bowl, add the ricotta and feta cheeses. Mix thoroughly. If too dry, drizzle a  few drops of olive oil for a pasty texture.  Set aside.

Preparing the Raising Agent for the End  

The phyllo dough is quite dry, papery. We must create a “glue” to keep them together and to  help it rise for a fluffy, buttery taste.

Below are 3 Raising Agent variations. You can decide which one is best for your family, based on cholesterol concerns, flavor, and what is easily found in your pantry.

Agent 1:  ● 2 eggs  ● ½ cup milk  ● Black pepper, teaspoon

Agent 2:   ● 1 egg  ● ½ cup of chicken broth/stock/bouillon

Agent 3:   ● 1 egg  ● Plain Greek yogurt  ● Olive oil  ● Salt

Preparing the Raising Agent “Glue”  Whichever “glue” you decide to use, the method is all the same: In a large bowl, beat the “glue”  ingredients until smooth.  Once smooth, set aside.


Putting it all together!  

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F

2.  Unroll your phyllo carefully so as not to tear

3.  Take a large rectangular pan and spray the bottom with nonstick spray or add some oil

4.  Place one or two layers of phyllo on the bottom of pan. Using a cooking brush, take the  olive oil & canola oil mixture and brush it on the phyllo, careful not to tear.

5.  Continue to do this until you are halfway through your box of phyllo.

6.  In the middle, add the Spinach Filling and spread across the phyllo.

7.  Add the Cheese Filling on top of the Spinach Filling.

8.  Continue adding sheet by sheet (or by two’s) the remaining phyllo. With each layer,  continue brushing with oil to keep moist.

9.  Once finished with all the phyllo, take a sharp knife and cut into diamond or square  shapes.

10. Take your Raising Agent and add to the cut pieces so it soaks into all the phyllo.

11. Brush some of the Raising Agent onto the top (for a golden look)

12. Allow the spanakopita to rest for minimum of 20 minutes (and preferably overnight!).

13. Place in the oven on middle rack and cook for 20 ­ 30 minutes, or until golden.

Excellent side dishes to add to Spanakopita: a large salad, tzatziki  and a glass of chilled white wine!

white wine


Do you have another variation of spanokopita? I’d love to hear it!

Discover your Inner Aphrodite. . . .


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