I worked at a Greek restaurant for 4 years when I was in college (ahem, a while ago). I started as a server and ended up redesigning and pricing their menus, bartending, cooking and basically running the whole restaurant while the family went to Greece for the summer. I learned some amazing recipes and I hope you enjoy them as much as my friends and family do.
My Spanakopita recipe is SOOOO GOOD and if you don’t let the phyllo “boss you around” it’s really actually simple to make! If you consider yourself a beginner cook I would have a partner help you the first couple times you make this because phyllo can dry out quickly. Recently my 12 year old and 2 ten year old cousins made this Spanakopita with my instruction, they did a great job!! I promise you people that don’t like spinach, kids that don’t like vegetables will TEAR THIS UP! This recipe is for 9×13 pan (for thick pieces) OR a half sheet pan (thin pieces)
- Pastry brush
- Linen towel to cover phyllo
- Large pot or bowl
- 9×13 pan or a half sheet pan.
- 1 box of Phyllo, thawed
- 2 Bags of Spinach I prefer Aunt Mids, remove large stems
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 2 eggs
- 16 oz feta cheese
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup of chopped fresh herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, parsley)
- 1/2 cup of white rice
- 1/2 lemon zested
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 tsp of salt to taste
Preheat oven to 375 F
Chop spinach leaves coarsely throw into bowl. Dice the onion and add to spinach. Add eggs, garlic, herbs, rice, S&P. Add feta (If you buy the block feta crumble into small crumbles). Zest the lemon and then cut and squeeze the juice. Toss everything to combine. I like to use my freshly washed, clean hands to combine everything well but you can use a spoon if you want, it’s your kitchen!
Melt the butter in the microwave. Combine with the olive oil. Use the pastry brush to brush the bottom and sides of your pan with the butter/oil mixture.
Unroll thawed phyllo dough. Leave the bottom non-stick waxy layer on the bottom. If you have a person helping to hand you the phyllo dough, (or you work super fast) you won’t need to cover the phyllo every layer with the towel.
Start layering the phyllo dough and brushing the layers with butter and olive oil. It Does NOT need to be perfectly brushed. It’s more a Jackson Pollack Spatter paint style. Then smooth it out with your pastry brush. Working quickly is key with phyllo. Use 6 layers of phyllo brushed with butter.
Scoop your spinach mixture onto the phyllo and spread evenly. Repeat layering 5 more layers of phyllo and butter/oil. Make sure the edges are tucked in a bit. There shouldn’t be spinach showing along the edges.
With a SHARP knife precut the top layers only of the phyllo into however many pieces you like. For a 9×13 pan I usually cut 16 squares. If you have any butter/oil left dribble it all over the top.
Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes. Phyllo should be a deep golden color. Cool for 15 minutes before recutting your pieces and cutting through to the bottom. Serve hot or room temperature.
DELISH TIP— Refrigerate leftover pie. To reheat it bake it in the oven at 350 for about 15 min. Or you can recrisp it in a sautee pan with a teeny bit of butter or olive oil and flip it until crispy and hot.