Spanakopita (Greek spinach pie) is one of those delicious Greek dishes that you might think is a bit complicated to make. But the good news? It isn’t that hard to make at all! You can easily learn to make this super tasty Greek spanakopita with puff pastry and enjoy it with the whole family!
What is Spanakopita (Greek spinach pie)?
Spanakopita is a traditional Greek dish that combines spinach and feta cheese in a pastry filling. It is often made with phyllo pastry (spanakopita with phyllo) but I went for puff pastry here because it is easier to work with! If you have the time, you can also make it with homemade phyllo (spanakopita with homemade phyllo).
Sometimes you see the spanakopita made into small pies (spanakopitakia) as well as in larger casserole dishes like this one. In Northern Greece, it is known as spanakotiropita (spinach feta pie) while the term spanakopita tends to be used in Southern Greece but both are referring to a tasty spinach and cheese pie.
- Classic Greek dish: Ideal for larger family gatherings.
- Delicious combination: Spinach and feta cheese are at the heart of the dish.
Tip: During religious fasts, a version of the recipe is often made without using cheese and eggs.
What you’ll need to make Spanakopita with Puff Pastry
You will want good quality feta cheese for this recipe to bring out the best of the flavors. Don’t be tempted to go for something lesser quality or even try a different cheese as it won’t produce the same results as feta does.
Key Ingredients for Spanakopita with Puff Pastry
Filling: For the spanakopita pie filling, you need leeks, garlic cloves, fresh spinach and then some spring onions, mint, lemon zest and nutmeg. Feta cheese is added for the classic Greek flavor.
Pastry: You’ll need eggs, puff pastry and some flour for rolling to prepare the pastry for the dish.
Key Preparation Tips
There are three main steps involved with making spanakopita with puff pastry:
- Prepare the filling
- Prepare the puff pastry
- Finish the spinach pie
Prepare the filling
Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Trim the leeks into 1cm or ⅓ inch pieces then fry in the pan with some salt until soft and starting to color, usually around 10 minutes.
Peel and crush the garlic clove then add to the pan, cooking for another minute until soft.
Chop the spinach roughly and add to the pan, a handful at a time. Stir it frequently and let it wilt then add more. Cook the spinach until almost all of the liquid has evaporated from it, around 15-20 minutes then remove from the heat.
Prepare the spring onions and add them to the mixture with roughly chopped fresh mint, lemon zest and nutmeg. Crumble in the feta cheese, season with salt and black pepper then leave to cool.
Prepare the puff pastry
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees (390 F). Lightly flour a surface or board and divide the pastry block into two.
Generously grease a 20 x 20cm baking tray that can hold at least 4 inches of filling with butter then roll out one piece of pastry making sure it can line the dish. Press into the corners with your fingertips for complete coverage.
Finish the Spanakopita (Greek spinach pie)
Beat an egg and stir into the spinach mixture before spreading it across the pastry, pushing into corners and using a spoon to have a smooth surface.
Beat the other egg and brush it across any exposed pastry above the filling.
Roll out the second sheet and add it to the top, using fingers to pinch the two sheets together. Trim off any excess and brush with the rest of the egg.
Cook for 30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden. Remove from the oven and leave for another 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Warm or room temperature is perfect for this recipe.
Can you Use Frozen Spinach?
I prefer to use fresh spinach when making this Spanakopita with puff pastry recipe but you can use frozen spinach too.
Spinach is a great leafy green to keep in your freezer for when you need it. It can work for this recipe too because you don’t need to cook it in advance, just as part of creating the filling.
Just make sure to fully thaw the spinach and squeeze out all the liquid before adding it to the rest of the filling ingredients. This will help to prevent the spanakopita from becoming too waterlogged.
Making ahead of time and storing
You can make the Spanakopita with puff pastry ahead of time and store it until you want to serve it. Follow the instructions for assembling but don’t bake it. Cover it tightly and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it then follow the instructions.
It will also store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days after cooking. You can heat it back up in the oven.
To freeze it, take the cooked recipe and cut it into portions then freeze it like this. Once cooled pop into an airtight container. Defrost overnight then heat up in the oven.
This delicious Spanakopita with puff pastry works well on its own as a standalone dish, but is also great if you have a few people to feed alongside dishes such as Greek lemon chicken or a lamb recipe. You can serve it with Greek salad and some dips such as Tzatziki or garlic hummus.
More delicious Greek Pies!
If you love a traditional Greek pie, the below recipes are made for you!
- Greek Meat Pie (Kreatopita)
- Greek Chicken Pie Recipe (Kotopita)
- Traditional Greek Leek Pie Recipe (Prasopita)
- Mini Spanakopita Triangles Recipe (Spanakopitakia / Greek Spinach Triangles)
- Greek Feta Cheese Pies Recipe (Tiropitakia)
- Spiral-Shaped Greek Cheese Pie Recipe (Kichi Kozanis)
- Traditional Zucchini Pie Recipe With Feta Cheese (Greek Kolokithopita)
- Traditional Tiropita Recipe (Greek Cheese Pie With Feta)
- Delicious Little Cheese Pies! (Pitarakia Milou)
Easy Greek Spanakopita with puff Pastry
- Prep Time: 25 min
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 portions 1x
- Category: Side dish
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Greek
- Diet: Vegetarian
Making spanakopita sounds too complicated? Well not anymore with my super easy spanakopita with puff pastry recipe!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 leeks
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 400g-500g fresh spinach (roughly 1 lb)
- 4 large spring onions
- large handful fresh mint
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- generous pinch ground nutmeg
- 150g feta (5 1/4 oz)
- black pepper to taste
- 2 eggs
- 1 x 500g block puff pastry (1 lb 1 1/2 oz)
- flour, for rolling out the pastry
- softened butter, for greasing the baking dish
- To prepare this super easy spanakopita with puff pastry recipe, start by making the filling first.
- Heat the oil in a very large frying pan or skillet set over a medium heat. Trim and slice the leeks into 1 cm (1/3 inch) pieces and fry with a pinch of salt for about 10 minutes until they’re soft and just starting to colour.
- Peel and crush the garlic into to the pan, cooking for a further minute until it has turned soft and aromatic.
- Roughly chop the spinach and gradually add handfuls to the pan, stirring often until it has wilted enough to allow you to fit more. Then, continue to cook the spinach until almost all of its liquid has evaporated; this should take around 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of your pan. Remove it from the heat.
- Top, tail and finely slice the spring onions before stirring them into the spinach mixture along with the fresh mint, roughly chopped, the lemon zest and the nutmeg. Crumble in the feta, before seasoning to taste with more salt and a little black pepper. Leave the spanakopita filling to cool.
- Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (390 fahrenheit).
- On a lightly floured surface, divide the pastry block into two. Generously butter a 20x20cm (roughly 8×8 inch) baking dish and roll out one piece of pastry to be big enough to line the dish allowing the filling to take up at least 4cm (1 1/4 inches) of depth, and the other to form a lid. Line the dish, pressing the pastry into the corners carefully with your fingertips.
- Lightly beat the first egg, and stir it into the spinach mixture before spooning the cooled filling into the prepared pastry case, pushing it into the corners and smoothing the surface with the back of the spoon.
- Beat the other egg, and brush the egg wash across the exposed lip of the pastry, just above the filling. Top with the lid, and again use your fingertips to press the edges together. If necessary, trim off any excess that overhangs the dish with a sharp knife before folding the pastry over and crimping it with your fingertips to seal the pie. Brush with the remaining egg wash and cut two small slits in the middle of the pie to allow steam to escape.
- Bake for 30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden. Remove from the oven, and rest for a further 30 minutes at least before slicing and serving either warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
I made this recipe, and it didn’t work at a 200 degree oven. I put more filling in, but the top did not bake, puff, and brown until I turned the oven to 350.
I wish more people would pay attention to directions. 200 oven that didn’t cook phyllo because 200 is centigrade. READ carefully…”(390 Fahrenheit)” is in parentheses for a reason!!
I’m happy that the person who made this error finally figured it out.
This recipe get 5 stars from me. I used store bought phyllo and followed the directions.
Cooked this today for a lunch for 6 friends. It was delicious. I had no leeks or spring onion so just used 2 yellow onions
The taste of mint and lemon zest with nutmeg was fresh and wonderful. I also added dill as I didn’t have much mint. Served it with greek salad. Thank-you so much for this recipe.