This recipe hails from Greece, but the inspiration for it actually came from my cousin in Kentucky. She always sends me suggestions for recipes based on foods her boys love and believe it or not, Spanakopita is one of them. Spanakopita is a savory Greek pastry comprised of flaky phyllo dough filled with spinach and feta cheese. The phyllo can be homemade, but it's a time intensive process that is unnecessary since you can purchase quality prepared phyllo in the freezer section of your grocery. Spanakopita is a fun lunch, snack or dinner choice for your family because little kids can hold the individual servings in their hands and they are easy to eat.
I played around with this recipe a lot, worrying that it might be too involved compared with most of the simple recipes featured on weelicious, but once you get the hang of making them, it only takes minutes. And in my opinion, they're worth it. I made this for dinner the other night with Kenya and he loved getting to stir the filling as I layered the phyllo and rolled the Spanakopita into triangles. An added bonus is that this recipe freezes beautifully, so you can store half of what you make now and just pop it into the oven on the nights you don't have time to cook.
Whether you're making this dish in Athens, Georgia or Athens, Greece, your family will definitely love you for it!
Below is a diagram on how to fold the Phyllo triangles_
Spanakopita (Makes 30 Triangles)
- 1 10 oz Block Chopped Frozen Spinach, thawed and drained well (I drained it once in a fine mesh strainer and then once again, squeezing it in a towel to remove any excess moisture)
- 1/2 Cup feta cheese
- 1 Cup Ricotta Cheese (you can use either part skim or whole milk ricotta)
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1 package phyllo dough, defrosted
- 1 4 oz. Stick Unsalted Butter, melted
Preparation1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Place the first 5 ingredients into a bowl and mix.
3. Gently place one sheet of phyllo on a work surface and brush gently with melted butter (while you work, make sure the remaining phyllo dough is covered with a damp towel because it dries out quickly).
4. Place another sheet of phyllo on top and brush with more butter.
5. Add a third sheet of phyllo to the top of the stack, giving you a total of 3 layers (no need to brush the top with butter).
6. Cut the buttered stack into 3 lengthwise strips (each about 12 inches long and 3 inches wide).
7. Take one strip and put 1 tbsp of filling near the corner nearest to you, then fold corner over to form a triangle.
8. Continue folding over, like a flag, keeping a triangle shape.
9. Place the stuffed triangles, seam side down, onto a silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet and lightly brush the tops with butter.
10. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
11. Cool and serve.
*I like to bake half of the Spanakopita and freeze the other half. To do this, after step 9, freeze the triangles on the baking sheet for one hour until solid, then place triangles in a zipper bag and freeze for up to four months. When you’re ready to cook them, continue with step 10. No need to defrost before baking.